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segunda-feira, 21 de dezembro de 2015

Christmas Scents: Part V, Pine

by: Juliett Ptoyan

There are only 13 days before the New Year! Christmas markets are about to invade the streets, Fragrantica editors and writers are continuing their preparations for the holidays... and there's a new article in «Raw Materials» - this time on pine. For all who joined us recently: for several weeks we've been talking about the scents of nature associated with the winter holidays and fragrances with these main notes - sprucecinnamonfir and cloves. Now let's look at the pine tree, which is a symbol of the New Year in many countries.
Pinery. Mast Timber in Vyatka province (Ilya Shishkin, 1872)
There are almost 130 species of pine, some of which (Pinus Brutia, Pinus Densiflóra, Pinus Nigra Pallasiana) are listed as endangered, so it may be difficult to recognize it among other conifers. The easiest way to identify it, is the needles: they are assembled in bundles of 2, 3 or 5 pieces, rather long (up to 7 cm), thin and prickly, and easily crumbled. These trees like dry, sandy, bondless soil, but can grow in marshes and on rocks as well; in city parks, the long red needles indicate that you are right next to a pine.
Christmas markets often feature Scots pines (Pinus sylvestris); many bonsai trees are grown from the seeds of Japanese pines (Pinus thunbergiana); and in the city you can sometimes find Black pines (Pinus nigra) looking great and creating shady spaces but with prickly cones (beware of scratching your hands). The rare Pinus Brutia is often planted near spas - it allocates a large amount of phytoncids which purify the air and reduce the concentration of harmful bacteria. In ancient Egypt, pine resin was used for embalming, to avoid an early decay. Nowadays we can enjoy pine extract (from the condensate after steam distillation) - it can be added to baths to boost immunity and relieve insomnia.
Pine nuts are not what they seem: actually, they are seeds of the Siberian cedar pine. Not even cedar!
You can notice plenty of light in pine forests: the branches of these trees begin somewhere in the middle of the trunk, allowing rays of sun to fall on the ground. Walking through a pine forest at sunset is a unique pleasure: in addition to the incredible frosty smell, you may notice the beautiful light seeping through the branches. Something like this:
The scent of pine is difficult to confuse with other conifers - it's icy, with a barely noticeable touch of menthol, not a lot of woody undertones but much more herbal; it's like spruce's scent with its quite complex, bold, but vital, balmy character.
We have many and many fragrances with pine as a main note:
Aromatic Epicea by Creed is a dusty, antique interpretation which is loved for its British mood.
The recent 46°N 08°E by Richard Lüscher Britos features the non-timber side of the pine soaked in cognac and with a hint of menthol.
Finisterre by Maria Candida Gentilesmells like any spa resort in winter - grey slender trees, fallen needles and hydrogen sulphide water.
In chain stores one can find Swiss Army Forest from Victorinox, but this is a light version with all kinds of conifers, "winter freshness" and other attributes of an unobtrusive man's toilet water.
In contrast - Yatagan by Caron is something like a test for resilience: thorny brooms beat down on the skin, drops of castoreum splash in the face, spicy gunpowder... Not for everyone. You know what I mean.
But the smell of pine (and its essential oil) is not the whole story of this tree: its timber, more likely than other conifers, is used for furniture production - it is quite soft, but durable.
An idea for ​​Christmas decorations from The Party Supplies
For New Year's eve, pine, by the way, can be of help in decorating the house - large cones can be painted with gold paint and short branches can be used for serving.
What do you think about pine tree notes in perfume? Does your signature scent have some coniferous notes? Do you like to decorate  your interior with it?
Wishing you a fragrant weekend!

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