Black pepper (Piper Negrum) is often referred to as the “King of Spices” or black gold. Black pepper has been used for a long time in the culinary world, medicine, and even cosmetics. For centuries, it has been the mainstay of the exchange of goods, and today it is the most widely used spice in the world, due to its inherent ability to not only improve the taste of food but also facilitate digestion. It is also very involved in perfume making because of the ability to connect the top and bottom notes of the perfume composition in a fresh, yet bold way.
Originally from India, the black pepper plant is a vine that can grow up to 10 meters high. The stem of the black pepper plant grows into an abundant green shrub as the multitude of shoots that grow from the stalk begin to form green, almond-shaped leaves. In the canopy of lush leaves, stand out the flowers and pepper fruit. The peppercorns, ie, fruits, are round and can grow approximately 6 mm. These fruits turn green and red and are harvested at various ripening periods to produce different types of pepper. In order to produce black pepper, the fruits are harvested only when they are fully ripe. This flowering shrub has been used for centuries in Ayurveda medicine. At one time, only the elite members of society who received it in exchange for gold could own black pepper. Hence the nickname “black gold”.
In the perfumes, you will feel warm, spicy, and slightly heat notes thanks to the potent essential oil of black pepper. Only a small portion of the produced bp is used to make the essential oil. The scent is fresh, warm-spicy, dry-woody with a slight touch of refreshing bitterness. Essential oil is obtained by the process of steam distillation, dried berries that are previously ground and powdered.
The intense, fragrant black pepper essential oil is surprisingly complex. In addition to the warm, sensual notes, it brings incredible freshness and a burst of energy, as well as a slightly woody smack. It is best combined with citrus fruits like lemon and bergamot, as well as aromatic herbs like lavender, as well as geranium, ginger, and coriander. Black pepper essential oil has been used successfully in aromatherapy to calm and treat anxiety, but also as a massage oil, because of its soothing and warming effect. In perfumes, it gives exciting results with eugenol and isoeugenol, which can be found in carnation flowers, in oriental scents, or modern, aldehyde bases. A particularly exciting combination is with fragrant note of rose.
Perfumes with a robust black pepper note are: Pipper Negrum by L. Villoresi as well as B.P. by Comme des Garcons, Sensuous by Estee Lauder, Beat by Burberry and Bang by Marc Jacobs.