Have you ever passed fields of towering violet flowered branches, a canopy of purple with a strong yet unusual scent? Not powdery enough to be Lavender and very different from common Sage. Instead, you could smell a burst of freshness, some minty, herbal, tea-like and slightly floral and citrusy scents, all intertwined into one. Coming closer to the field, the tenacious and soft odour also reveals accents of musk and amber, along with undertones of wood and even the slightest hints of spices and smoky accords.
In perfume, it blends well with sweet and powdery raw materials, including Honey, Tobacco and Vanilla. Moreover, Clary Sage is commonly used with fern in creating an aromatic profile, as well as in formulas with oriental flavours, producing a chypre-like scent; all of which are highly popular in male fragrances.
A LITTLE HISTORY…
As a perennial plant, with approximately 500 varieties, the plants’ secrets lie solely in its name. Taking its genus name, “Salvia Sclarea”, and translating from Latin; “salvare” meaning “to save”, whilst “sclarea” translates as “to clear”, justifying the health benefits and the traditional uses of its oil before it came into the hands of perfumers!
Starting in medicine, the Ancient Greeks and Romans held Clary Sage in high esteem due to its therapeutic properties. Regarding it as a sacred and miraculous plant, they believed that it could cure all diseases and illnesses; from its eye-healing properties to being a remedy for snake bites and even encouraging restful sleep, Clary Sage was truly an all-encompassing remedy. And its properties didn't stop there… The plant’s oil was also renowned for its deeply sensual and aphrodisiac qualities and additionally was adopted in cooking, used as a flavouring in dishes and even in wine, providing a pleasant muscatel smell and taste.
Clary Sage nowadays is still similarly used, with more revealed benefits in the medical sphere; from soothing sore throats to helping reduce fever, as well as treating depression, and any stomach upsets, only to name a few. Most commonly though, Clary Sage is best renowned for its use in female sexual health: including balancing hormones, even alleviating the labour pain during childbirth, as well as helping regulate menstrual cycles and soothing
any disorders during the menopause period.
PROCESS OF EXTRACTION & PURIFICATION
Mainly grown in the south-eastern region of France, as well as in Russia, Romania and the US; it is harvested in July, when the summer heat is at its peak. Farmers wait for droplets to appear on the plant stems, which signal that it has reached maturity and can be harvested. They are then cut and left in the heat for 2 or 3 days, which allows the precursors of the essential oil to develop and begin to ooze from the stem. The essential oil content is highest between the hours of 12:00 and 16:00; however, this can vary greatly depending on the local conditions. During this period, the beautiful amber notes begin to develop.
Like most raw materials, there are two possible extraction processes. One brings the essential oil, the other absolute. The production of essential oil, which is commonly also referred to as just “oil”, is the most common natural extract. The method used, distillation, traditionally uses steam to extract aromatic compounds from the plant. The essence of the ingredient is obtained in its oil form and some follow this process with purification or rectification.
The difference in obtaining the absolute, rather than the essential oil, is that it is higher in concentrate and the aroma is closer to the original plant product than the aroma from the essential oils. This form is more commonly used in perfumery. Since not all molecules are successfully captured with hydro-distillation, the solvent extraction process was developed to replace the “enfleurage”. The first extract obtained, the concrete, is a very aromatic and thick paste, containing lots of insoluble waxes, 10-50%. The mixture is then purified into a second extract, the absolute, soluble at 10% in alcohol and more concentrated in the aromatic compounds. Molecular distillation can also be used, resulting in an Absolute MD, which is less colourised.
Maison 21G uses the raw materials and oils that are supplied by perfume house IFF and their in-house naturals facility LMR in Grasse, where they focus on traditional Clary Sage of the highest French quality.
OUR RECOMMENDED MIXES
As an excellent fixative, adding Clary Sage can considerably increase the durability of the fragrance. Although most commonly considered suited only for male perfumes, we could not resist adding this refreshing note to mixes perfect for women too!
Our first elixir is a potion that simply screams raw seduction: SAGE SUPREME and TOBACCO TRANCE. Sensual, yet fresh, warm, yet refreshing, subtle yet powerful; this mix is perfect as your evening-wear fragrance, unveiling your bold, mysterious, alluring character.
For the more impulsive of personalities, a fragrance mix that will make you feel limitless, is undoubtedly SAGE SUPREME along with CANNABIS CLOUD. A bold, addictively fresh fragrance, with an aromatic intoxicating twist. Be prepared to be stopped by admirers, asking about your unique scent!
As promised, a fragrance mix for our ladies; SAGE SUPREME and AMBER AFFAIR. With a single spray, you will be transported into a mist of sensual intoxication. The harmony of the warm tea-like accords, with the fresh and tangy spices, creates a subtle yet beautifully powerful perfume. Enjoy ladies, and prepare for the heads to turn!
Finally, we recommend a mix of SAGE SUPREME along with OCEAN ODYSSEY, as a perfect daily, second skin wear. Each spray is a capsule of freshness, perfect even to be worn during sport! The freshness of the marine notes compliment the aromatic freshness of the sage, to produce a powerful boosting scent!