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  • July 01, 2019 2 min read 0 Comments

    Allow us to introduce you to one of the world’s best loved perfume ingredients – dipteryx odorata. But don’t let the name panic you. This is no exotic dinosaur, but the official name of the humble tonka bean.

    Tonka bean perfume has been around for centuries. However, it’s one of those ingredients that not many people have heard of. With that in mind, here’s some information about what it is, and why tonka bean in perfume works so well.


    Tonka beans come from a tree. In appearance, they look a bit like wrinkled raisins. But it’s not the whole bean that’s of interest to perfume-makers. In fact, it’s a substance inside called coumarin. This is what’s responsible for the wonderful scent.

    The most important question of all is – what does tonka bean smell like? Well, it’s sometimes used as a vanilla substitute, which provides a good idea of the sort of aroma it has. However, it’s slightly spicier than vanilla, with hints of cinnamon and almond, not to mention a vague tang that’s a bit like cherry.

    It’s a rich, deep scent, which is why tonka bean fragrance oil is so often used as a base note in perfumes. It not only brings the other ingredients together; it also becomes more noticeable as time goes one, which is particularly useful if you’re looking for a day-to-night fragrance.

    Tonka bean works well with a variety of different ingredients. For example, it’s often paired with:

    • Oud oil – which adds intensity and a touch of exoticism
    • Fruity aromas – the tonka bean adds sweetness and gives the fragrance more dimension
    • Smoky scents – tonka bean complements smoky ingredients, softening them nicely


    Many perfumes feature tonka bean as a key base note. If you’re looking for a tonka bean scent that epitomizes everything there is to love about this unique aroma, here are a few suggestions:

    Essence De La Vie, the essence of the man who is his own master. He is a hero, a defender of his people and their ideals. Essence De La Vie was designed to reveal and release unrestrained passion and to accentuate desire. With fresh top notes and heart of Tonka, Ambroxan and Geranium Flowers; it seamlessly meld into the base notes of of Vanilla, Cedarwood and Vetiver.

    Class for Her. Our homage to all iconic ladies of the world, featuring strong base notes of tonka bean, but the top notes of Pink Pepper and Orange Blossom make this far livelier and fresher. This is the perfect choice for a day out with friends, or for wearing in the office.

    Which tonka bean perfume is right for you?

    You might be wondering whether or not tonka bean is the right sort of scent for you. There’s only so far we can go in explaining it – the best idea is to sample some fragrances for yourself!