Immortelle. Neither a harsh winter nor years of storage in a closet will alter your golden charm. You are the everlasting flower; you are “Immortelle.” A true present of the Gods to the people for healing wounds, joint pains, skin and lungs issues, you are also nurturing, calming, harmonizing and grounding, reducing apprehension, irritability, and mental unrest. You take your energy from the Sun, which you follow like your distant cousins, and your strength and properties from the arid and stony hillsides of the Mediterranean basin. When Napoleon stated that he could recognize his homeland, Corsica, only by the smell, you were surely the source of his olfactory memory.
There are more than 600 species in the Helichrysum genus, the scientific name of Immortelle, growing in temperate regions all over the world. South Africa alone hosts around 250 species of them. The plant was already used by the ancient Greeks for its medicinal and culinary use. The plant can be cooked as a herb to give a curry-like flavor to stews. You should however not leave it in the pot too long and not eat it, as it is very bitter and can irritate sensitive stomachs. Growing immortelle at home is very easy and appreciated for its cute little yellow flowers and pleasant smell. Cut, It can then be used in potpourris and to freshen your closets.
Immortelle is increasingly popular in aromatherapy. The oil, usually labeled as helichrysum, is distilled from the fresh flowering tops of the genus Helichrysum italicum or a blend of different species of the genus. The oil has strong anti-inflammatory and anti-haematomal properties that make it precious for healing wounds. The list of benefits provided by this oil would be too long to figure in this article. Helichrysum is a miracle herb.
In perfumery, Immortelle is found in essential oil or absolute form. The absolute is a dark, thick and semi-solid compound that can dissolve in alcohol or a heated base oil. The essential oil is pale yellow and emanates notes of tobacco, fenugreek, curry, thyme, and honey. The absolute has a deeper aroma with stronger notes of tobacco and smoke, with some musky undertone. Depending on the dilution, the note of immortelle can have a very different character in the fragrance, making it interesting to the perfumer but also delicate to master.
Givenchy, in its high-end line L’Atelier de Givenchy, placed the Immortelle at the center of the composition with a floral-spicy fragrance called Immortelle Tribal. Givenchy described the scent as: “The botanical freshness of Figleaf, the solar, spicy and richly-faceted heat of Everlasting Flower (the immortelle), the smooth generosity of Sandalwood.”
Perhaps the most respected perfume based on Immortelle is Sables by Annick Goutal. This oriental-woody juice blends a top note of immortelle with cinnamon, sandalwood, an amber accord in the base and some hints of tea and back pepper. Blanche Immortelle by Atelier Cologne, is a feminine floral-oriental with immortelle teaming with jasmine and rose to build a powerful floral heart, decorated with some citruses and mimosa in the opening and a smart base of vetiver-patchouli-sandal. One of the best fragrance of this brand in my opinion.
Like This, by Etat Libre d’Orange, touches me by the story behind the smell. “Like This” is the last sentence of a beautiful poem from Jalaluddin Rumi, the Sufi mystic, teaching how to find God in the simplest way. The nose behind this creation, Mathilde Bijaoui, translated this simplicity in love for the “scent of home”; the smell of her childhood. The Immortelle note is clearly opening the original fragrance, sweetened by some pumpkin note, spiced with ginger and embellished with floral notes. A very wearable juice from the innovative French brand.
L’Occitane en Provence has a complete line of cosmetic based on Immortelle which I invite you to discover in their shops. It is, in fact, their fetish flower which also appears on their 40 years anniversary commercials.
I chose Immortelle as my last post of the year, as I wanted to wish you all, my dear readers, a very long and healthy life, keeping your youth and beauty forever like this remarkable plant. Thank you so much for following me and reading some of my posts; your interest in Scent & Flavor is very precious to me.
Happy New Year my friends! All my best wishes for a fragrant new year 2017!