Now, the tide is turning as perfumers seek out a wider palette of olfactory elements to draw from, with the likes of tomatoes, carrots and beetroot turning up in trending scents.
It may be creators are seeking more creative and unusual scent combinations as consumers demand more distinct and unique perfumes to stand out from the crowd.
Or, it could be the increased desire for natural elements in the creation of wearable scent, as the advances in green perfumery offer new ways to circumvent wasteful and chemical or petroleum extraction methods.
L’Oreal recently announced it had teamed up with Cosmo International Fragrances to use a new scent extraction technique that captures the exact scent of a flower, herb or fruit using only air, without the water, heat, cooling or chemical solvents used in traditional processes.
Fragrance giant Symrise has also launched a collection of 100% natural ingredients produced from vegetables for its perfumers to use in creating fragrances. Asparagus, artichoke, onion, cauliflower and leek have been added to the Symrise perfumer’s palette.
In any case perfumes and other fragrance options like candles and room sprays are increasingly offering vegetable-based notes.
A particularly notable arrival is Les Jardins Français Collection by French beauty brand L’Officine Universelle Buly. Now available at MECCA, the collection pulls vegetable garden elements taken from a very old collection of seeds and seedlings, and is inspired by the passion and curiosity of 18th and 19th century botanists. The storied brand’s new perfumes include unique combinations of beetroot and rhubarb, redcurrant and tomato and sweet potato and carrot.
Herbs are also gaining attention as a fresh, aromatic counterpoint, balancing out floral concoctions or adding a zingy or crisp hit to cleaner scents.
Louis Vuitton’s recent Pacific Chill Eau de Parfum was inspired by a green detox juice and includes key notes of blackcurrant, cédrat, basil, lemon, coriander and carrot seeds.
These new arrivals are a refreshing beacon in a market previously overloaded with sickly-sweet perfumes that call upon notes of salted caramel, coffee, vanilla and spun sugar.
Expect to see more of this trend in coming seasons.