INCI: Dipteryx odorata
There are few spices with such a beguiling aroma as the tonka bean. It smells as if vanilla beans, rum, woodruff, hayflower and bitter almonds have been mixed together. Strictly speaking, the tonka bean is not a bean at all, but actually the seed of the South American tonka tree.
Because of its fragrance, the essential oil of the tonka bean also plays a role in aromatherapy. It is considered stress-relieving and relaxing. Therefore, it is recommended for tension, nervousness and sleep disorders, among other things. In Germany, no untreated tonka beans are offered for sale. The coumarin content would be too high. Only after the complex fermentation process, which reduces the coumarin to an approved level, are the tonka beans approved for European trade. Coumarin, an important note in perfumery, has been used in perfumery since the 19th century. The molecules were given the Latin name Dipterix Coumarou.
And this is how you make a tonka bean extract yourself:
50ml spirit of wine, or other alcohol
4-5 tonka beans, possibly lightly crushed
in an amber glass and leave to infuse for three to four weeks. Then strain through a coffee filter.
The result is a wonderful-smelling extract that, with a few drops, will make any body lotion smell like it's melting away.