Monday, July 23, 2012

Perfumed Wine

As most of you who read my blog regularly know, I perform quite a lot of experiments with perfume in food, whether it be a simple off-the-cuff formulation of essences to enhance a batch of cookies or perk up a soup, to fully formulated perfumes to create complex flavor profiles in cream cheese, butter, frostings and ice creams. For a few years now I've been mentally formulating cocktail perfumes, ever since the summer of Camasi Tea, in which pitchers of jasmine green tea spiked with honey and mandarin blossom vodka put the 'woot!' in the birthday party celebrations. At work lately I've been adding a drop of Lylli Bleu Eau de Parfum to my water, sometimes (and this is so good it makes me weep) I'll put in a drop of Parma Extrait into my water and . . . I don't know, it just makes the workday seem less like work and more like being in the studio picking apart notes and putting them back together again in a more interesting and surprising way. (Parma ~ violet leaf absolute, the green leafy character that bolsters the fragrance with a sweet "verte" note, the very bones of the violet family of fragrances; twined and woven into these very basic elements of violet are notes of champaka, benzoin, oakmoss, tuberose, ambrette, rose de mai, antique santal, cassie, tonka, boronia, genet, wild verbena, carrot seed, yuzu, rosa damascena, linden blossom, honey, bergamot and a real tincture of Parma violets.)

Friday was a night of unwinding after a long, long, long week of work and summer visitors and, well, life, so for the first time in a long time, I thought to imbibe and bought a bottle of sparkling wine (I can't remember the name of the wine but it was an Italian sparkling wine that was nice and sweet with a touch dryness), then proceeded to add a drop of Atay Extrait to the glass -- wow.  According to what I wrote about Atay over a year ago, it "unfolds on the skin like blooming tea in hot, honeyed water, unfurling wisps of fragrance ~ ginger, vanilla, tuberose, sandalwood and piquant jade green tea. Atay is a sweet, floral parfum with delicate spice notes. The tuberose is delectable, nearly edible in its richness." Turns out that tuberose was edible. What it did to that sparkling wine was something else -- the tuberose expands in the wine, turning it ambrosial; sweet and heady/floral with touches and whispers of spice and creamy woods.

I've decided the course of the rest of the summer will be small experiments in food, wine and perfume flavorings, despite the protests from the folks who room with me. Get with the program or bake your own damned cookies!

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