The ingredient Oudh is gaining popularity in the West. An ingredient that we know is expensive and that already has an age old tradition in the Arab countries. In this blog we are not going to talk about Oudh but about its smaller sister Saffron.
They are not literally brother and sister. Whereas Oudh is a resin developed by the Agar Aquilaria tree, Saffron is the pistil of the Crocus Sativus flower. What both ingredients do have in common is that they are expensive and were embraced early on by Arab countries.
Saffron comes from the Arabic word Za'fran, which means "to be yellow". Originally, this flower, the Crocus Sativus, was cultivated in Cilicia (Turkey). Around the 900s, the Arabs brought it to Europe along with rice and it was mainly used for cooking. The ancient Egyptians already used saffron in perfume. For example, Cleopatra put saffron in her baths so that lovemaking would be even more pleasurable. In the Middle Ages, the price was so high that people sometimes had to pay three times the price of pepper. This caused fake saffron to come into circulation. For this, turmeric or safflower were sometimes used, both of which are also naturally "yellowing agents.
So why is it that saffron is so expensive? First of all, crocuses bloom for only 2 weeks. In addition, it is a labor-intensive work in which the pistils are hand-picked from the flowers and dried in the sun. For 1 kilo of saffron you need about 150,000 flowers. This ensures that the price for a kilo quickly reaches between € 25,000 and € 40,000. Because of this, saffron is also known as the Red Gold.
Iran is good for about 90% of the world production of saffron. In addition, Italy produces saffron, this is the "Aquila" Saffron or also Zafferano dell'Aquila. It comes from the Navelli Valley of the Italian region of Abruzzo, near L'Aquila. But the largest saffron crop from Italy comes from San Gavino Monreale, Sardinia. This saffron is known to have unusually high crocin, picrocrocin and safranal content. Crocin is responsible for the color, the flavor is determined by picrocrocin and the aroma safranal.
The smell of Saffron can best be described as leather with a suede touch. Also the hay-like what you encounter in the taste, is clearly evident. Saffron is added to perfumes to support the leather accords. The sharpness of the leather chords is softened.
Some well-known fragrances in which saffron is used are; Spicebomb by Viktor&Rolf, Aoud Safran by Montale and Noir de Noir by Tom Ford. Of course you can find in our assortment also some beautiful fragrances with Saffron. Below is an overview of some of the scents;
In addition to these scents, we have a number of other scents that incorporate Saffron. Stop by the store and we'll let you smell them!