Our Cologne Intense collection travels the world, collecting treasured ingredients with which to create opulent and unexpected scents. We allow our senses to wander to far flung places; through wild land, across magnificent terrain and amongst exquisite scenery searching for the most precious ingredients the world has to offer. For it is the story of the source and the journey to the finest raw materials that captures our imagination. The detail and care that goes into the sourcing of each bottle of cologne that thrills. It is this inquisitive and restless mind that led us to Madagascar, the starting point for our newest member of the Cologne Intense line-up: Vetiver & Golden Vanilla.
Our vanilla comes from Loky Manambato, on the northeast coast of Madagascar, where the vanilla is sourced and prepared. The process of cultivation is hand-led, as each vanilla flower is pollinated by hand. Six to nine months after pollination the vanilla beans begin to change colour from dark green to yellow-tinged light green. They are then hand-picked and the curing process begins.
The Drying Process
Once picked, the vanilla beans are bathed in hot water, sweated and sun-dried. To start the drying process, beans are placed in boxes and insulated in wool or under cloth for 2-3 days retaining a temperature of 45-65 °C to begin imparting the beans aroma whilst remaining 60-70% moisture content. Next, the beans are laid out in the sun during the day and wrapped in blankets at night. The Drying stage is a meticulous process that usually takes around six months. Once considered dry enough they are then encased in wax-papered boxes for at least one month to enhance their fragrance. From pollination to sale the process takes approximately 18 months, so it’s true what they say; good things do come to those who wait.
The process of cultivation is hand-led, as each vanilla flower is pollinated by hand. Six to nine months after pollination the vanilla beans begin to change colour from dark green to yellow-tinged light green.
Vetiver bourbon, our dancing partner for vanilla, is also native to Madagascar. In the 80s it had practically disappeared from the market but was reintroduced and cultivated six years ago. Vetiver bourbon is perceived to be some of the highest quality of vetiver and is incredibly rare, with a scent that is smokier and woodier than its more commonplace Haitian counterpart. Madagascan vetiver is a grass that prides itself on its toughness and self-sufficiency, for it seems that vetiver roots need to suffer to be good, thriving in poor sandy soil and without water. Its roots are cultivated after a year of growth and the scent captured through steam distillation.
What It Smells Like
The bounty of an island’s two most prized ingredients, Vetiver & Golden Vanilla is an inimitably warm and rich fragrance with hints of spice evoking the coiling orchid vines of the Madagascan tropical forest. Precious vanilla bourbon warms and envelops, whilst earthy depths are explored through the native vetiver.