A whiff of wild South African mountain woodlands – Nectar Eau de Parfum for Rain Africa
The lingering and dominant base note in Nectar – an artisanal perfume – is Cedarwood, which results in a distinctive wild, woody, spicy-resinous and somewhat sweet aroma, balanced with light floral top and middle notes. This perfume is the embodiment of the fragrance of South African mountain woodlands. Max Millies designed Nectar to meet the exacting product standards of Rain Africa. The indigenous Cedarwood oil used in the perfume comes from plants which are cultivated in the town of Clanwilliam in the Olifantsrivier (Elephant River) valley in the Western Cape, South Africa. Earthgro provided the perfume itself to Rain Africa, while Rain Africa designed the perfume bottle, bottle holder and box.
Delicate florals, growing in complexity.
Sensuous jasmine, rose and lily assert their sweetness.
The base note is indigenous South African Cedarwood. Widdringtonia wallichii (also Widdringtonia cedarbergensis, commonly known as the Clanwilliam Cedar) is a species of Widdringtonia native to South Africa, where it grows wild in the Sederberg (Afrikaans) or Cedar Mountains northeast of Cape Town in Western Cape Province. It is a small evergreen tree growing to 5–7 m (rarely to 20 m) tall. The essential oil derived from leaves contains terpinen-4-ol (36.0%), sabinene (19.2%), γ-terpinene (10.4%), α-terpinene (5.5%) and myrcene (5.5%). The wood oil contains thujopsene (47.1%), α-cedrol (10.7%), widdrol (8.5%) and cuparene (4.0%). Wild Clanwilliam Cedar is a protected species, which is why the Cedarwood used in Nectar is from cultivated plants grown in the same terroir, to maintain the fragrance profile.
Marvellous botanical watercolour of the Clanwilliam Cedar by artist Penny Mustart. (Rtrvd. 2017-04-18)
This results in the perfume’s distinctive wild, woody, spicy-resinous and sweetish aroma, which is quite distinctive and complex. South Africans who have been to the Cedar Mountain region will recognize its unusual and stimulating base notes that are reminiscent of nutmeg, cardamom, marjoram and tea tree oil (terpinene); black pepper (sabinene), and wild thyme, hops (myrcene).
Cedarwood has been used as a base note of many famous perfumes and is one of the most commonly used perfume notes. What makes Nectar special is that the Cedarwood is specifically the Clanwilliam Cedar.
“The bottle used for this perfume is extremely special. It is high fired porcelain and was designed by a German mould engineer. It is inspired by the cocoon of a caterpillar – which gives life to a butterfly – carried away on the wings of the wind. An additional innovation with this perfume bottle is that it is refillable. Simply push it out from the bottom with your finger or a pen, insert the refill and gently knock the cocoon at its base to lock the refill in place. The refills are also ideal for carrying in one’s handbag as they are not as heavy as the standard cocoon shaped bottle. The refills are sold separately.” (From: Rain Africa branches out into perfumery, Pharmacos, 14 June 2016)
Where to get THE RAIN AFRICA PERFUME RANGE – LEAF, TWIG AND NECTAR*
Nectar can be purchased in-store or online – check availability on the website. Rain Africa has stores in 22 locations in South Africa, and in the USA in City Point, Brooklyn, New York. In Ireland, there are Rain Africa stores in Douglas, Castletroy, Dublin, Kinsale and Cork. *Product details for Rain Africa correct at the time of publication.
About Rain Africa – Sourcing and production criteria and standards
“Rain Africa was started by Bev Missing in August 1999 in Ladybrand in the Eastern Free State in South Africa. It grew from one person making soaps in a garage to what it is today: a proudly South African international brand. Her business partners, Simon and Hendrien Dewhurst, are former South Africans living in New York who operate Rain in the USA. Features include:
- No petroleum jelly
- No liquid paraffin
- No animal testing
- No child labour
- Started as job creation scheme.
- Deliberately low-tech and labour intensive production cycle.
- Deliberately hand-made products and packaging.
- Support of small local suppliers and producers.
- Wild ingredients hand-harvested by women living in remote areas of Southern Africa where economic opportunities are almost non-existent.
- Beauty Without Cruelty accreditation.
- Only Southern African beauty and body product company which is accredited by both Fair Trade in Africa and the international Fair Trade body in Europe.
- Products comply with FDA and European Union standards.
- Oils used are covered by the Ubuntu Natural Charter, for responsible harvesting of raw South African plants.”
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