Françoise Rapp

Frangipani and Tiare flowers are synonymous with mellow holidays by the beach. Their irresistible sensual scent captivates our senses and makes us feel seductive and incredibly feminine. Although they both belong to the floral perfume family, their unique differences set them apart.

The Origin of Frangipani

The frangipani, also known as plumeria, was named in honor of the French botanist Charles Plumier. Its common name, “frangipani,” comes from an Italian marquis, Muzio Frangipani, who created an almond-based perfume to scent gloves. In natural perfumery, there are absolutes of red frangipani, native to Malaysia, and white frangipani, native to India. This botanical genus, primarily composed of bushes and deciduous trees, has become acclimatized in Asia and can be found in all tropical or hot countries.

The different varieties of plumeria give magnificent flowers within their center, with the yellow color haloed by other petals in shades of yellow, pink, or white. The flowers give off an intoxicating scent, especially at night. In Asia, frangipani is considered a tree of eternal life. In Polynesia, it is deemed to have privileged links with the spirits. In India, shrubs are usually planted next to temples. The flowers are used as offerings to Hindu and Buddhist deities.

The frangipani flower is a sacred flower in India whose abundant flowering is called by fiery prayers like samba jasmine because the whiteness of the flower symbolizes the purity of the soul. In the Pacific Islands, women wear frangipani flowers on their right ear to indicate that they are looking for love. In contrast, a flower on the left means they are already engaged.

The Bewitching Sacred Flower

Frangipani has a lot of presence and is often associated with other solar and white flowers such as ylang-ylang, jasmine, tuberose, magnolia, gardenia, and tiare flowers. It is an intensely intoxicating aromatic material, like a heavier, tropical version of fresh gardenia flowers. This voluptuous bouquet reminds me of osmanthus flowers.

In traditional medicine, the bark of frangipani is used as a purgative because it contains an antibiotic, while its leaves promote healing. In Africa, it has a reputation for promoting the secretion of breast milk. In Asia, its sap was used to treat warts.

The Sacred Origins of Tiare Flowers

The tiare flower, also known as gardenia tahitensis, was once the preserve of queens and kings. It is a rare cultivated flower native to Polynesia that grows on small shrubs. Tiare is planted in dark soil, and coral fragments are added to its roots to help growth. The Tiare Tahiti flowers all year, mainly from September to April, yielding about 2-10 flowers per day.

Fresh flowers are collected from 5 am at the bud stage in the morning, ready to blossom. They are then wrapped in leaves carefully to retain their freshness and fragrance for several days. Tiare flowers are entirely free from toxicity and are the most commonly used of all Polynesian plants.

In traditional medicine, tiare flowers are prepared in various preparations to meet all needs, as an infusion, soaked in lukewarm water, ground with other essences, or crushed with a few drops of Monoi. Polynesians have used these preparations to relieve earaches, migraines, and mosquito bites. The flower is also used to perfume homes by placing a few tiare flowers in a small saucer filled with water to release its delicate and sweet scent.

Tiare flowers have antiseptic properties due to the richness of essential oils and calming and purifying properties due to salicylic acid and derivatives salicylates. It is mainly used in sensitive skin care products and Monoi de Tahiti, suitable for all cosmetic formulations. In addition, the Tiare flower exhales a seductive fragrance that is a highly refined source of inspiration for perfumers.

The Solar Note for Natural Fragrances

Tiare flowers produce beautiful white flowers with a divine scent reminiscent of jasmine. Its interesting notes are used to create the famous solar facet. It is a white floral note, creamy and indolic. In addition, the Tiare flower has a charming complex spicy bouquet, mainly with honey, chocolate, cinnamon, and green notes. The abundance of dihydro-coniferyl alcohol esters is one of the specificities of the Tiare flower. They are the ones giving it a heavy vanilla scent with floral notes.

Whether it is frangipani or tiare flowers, these tropical flowers are more than just a symbol of mellow holidays by the beach. They have sacred origins, bewitching scents, and unique properties that make them indispensable for solar notes in natural fragrances.

Learn how to compose lush natural perfumes with frangipani or Tiare flowers. Then, enroll in our French Natural Perfumery course and become a certified natural perfumer. Sessions start each first Monday of the month. 

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