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Focus Aroma : Gin Aroma Kit : Cucumber

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The refreshing and uplifting green cucumber aroma has excited interest in the new generation of Gins which explore more adventurous interpretations of traditional Gin aromas and flavours.

Every Gin lover will associate this aroma as a signature scent of the celebrated and popular Scottish Gin – Hendricks which introduced this radical green aroma into the traditional Gin Aroma profile in 1998.

The family of green smells is amongst the most important in international perfumery and international foods. We think of the green, but individually distinctive smells of, freshly cut grass, freshly cut cucumbers, bright green seaweeds and green peppers to name the best known of this scent type. Why was a prominent green note chosen for Hendricks? If the informal account is to be believed, it was because during a period of contemplation about the flavour direction of a new Gin the inspiration was found when sitting one day in a rose garden eating cucumber sandwiches which provided a magical, intense aroma experience of rose and cucumbers. The psychology of green notes is well understood in perfumery. They tickle our unconscious and conjure-up old memories of happy days spent wandering in natural green landscapes. They are a natural aromatic feel-good factor.

There is a marked individual sensitivity towards the special cucumber aroma molecules and, when sniffing the cucumber aroma in our Gin Aroma Kit, should you be highly sensitive, the initial olfactory sensation might possibly be too strong for you, in which case just track the aroma as it gradually evaporates from the Aroma Strip and you will reach the optimum concentration for your nose at some point. The psychological effect is one of ‘lightness’ (‘lightness-of-being’) and of freshness and this is one of the compelling contributions which this note makes to spirits.

The cucumber note, in combination with other green oils, is often used in the top notes of luxury perfumes (for a beautiful such green opening note, go and sniff some Chanel No 19). By itself, the note is often used in skincare creams where its scent ‘halo’ gives a feel-good factor and this is often especially effective since, in this out of context situation, the nature of the green aroma is not obvious.

There is “Myth & Lore” associated with Cucumber. The infamous water demons of Japanese mythology have a great hunger for cucumbers. You can avoid being dragged into a river and having your blood sucked dry if you carry a cucumber with you and offer it to any demon who springs out on you!

See our Gin Aroma Kit for more information.


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