The Tonka bean of Venezuela

Hot, gourmand, vanilla… the adjectives struggle to describe the enchanting scent of the tonka bean, one of the most precious natural ingredients of luxury perfumery. This heady almond comes from the fruit that produces a tropical tree, which grows only in South America: the Cumaru. The tonka bean is a rare raw material whose aromatic richness has captivated great perfumers for over a century.

The most sought-after tonka bean is found in a remote area of Venezuela, where the harvest season is expected every year with apprehension, because the plant is capricious, and no one can predict whether from one year to another the harvest will keep its promises. The tonka bean is today not only an economic issue, but also an environmental issue in this region of the world where the extraction of gold and the exploitation of wood are often more valuable than the delicate perfume of an almond.

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The Sandalwood of New Caledonia

New Caledonia is one of the places in the world where the natural environment is still remarkably preserved. The archipelago has been classified as a hot spot of biodiversity, due to the richness, the originality and above all the exceptional endemism of its plant species. Of all the species that naturally develop here, there is one that has accompanied and inspired men since the dawn of time: sandalwood.

The wood of this small tree is now one of the most expensive in the world. Associated with many traditional religious practices, its perfume has always attracted such fervor that it is now on the list of species threatened with extinction in several regions of the globe. Here a real renaissance is going on, around the safeguarding of sandalwood, two universes that were once divided have now joined to work together. A Kanak engineer, convinced that a responsible exploitation of this natural resource is the best chance of saving the species, and creators of fine perfumery, anxious to be able to preserve, on their palette, the unique notes of a fundamental ingredient.

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Meet with Maria Kambourakis

Born and raised in Melbourne, Australia, to Greek migrant parents, Maria’s 10 year career in design and communication gave her an eye for detail that ensures every Anouk Gania creation is of the highest quality, beautiful and functional.

Working with artisanal perfumers, she has created a collection of scented candles that pay homage to her Greek heritage (her mother is from Thessaloniki and her father from Crete) and at once transport and ground you to a time and place.

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Your scented travel memories: La Paz

“Scents can be like music: that one note that only takes a second to pull your body out of it’s current existence and reset you in a former moment of nostalgia. And unlike the soundtracks to our trips, they’re so hard to recreate, or even put your finger on. So when you smell them again, it only takes you a second to travel back in time and feel the rush of the journey you were on at that point in your life. Even for just a moment, they completely envelope you in a time, a place, a person. A feeling that at the time probably felt unreplicable until you’re lucky enough to get a whiff of it again.

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