Spicy and sweet-scented clove adds a warm and aromatic note to perfume blends and has a stimulating, analgesic and antiseptic effect on the skin.
Believed to have originated in Indonesia and Moluccas, previously known as the Spice Islands, the clove is a tropical evergreen tree of the Myrtle family. The tree can grow to be 90 years old and may yield 800 to 1,000 pounds of cloves per year. Cloves are the dried, aromatic flower buds of the tree. They are picked before the blossoms open and then the rose-coloured buds are dried for 48 hours in the sun, turning them into a rich brown colour.
Cloves are used in herbal medicine and were first mentioned in Chinese medicine in about AD600. Clove is known in Europe particularly for its soothing effect on toothache. The ancient Chinese used to hold a clove in the mouth to perfume the breath when speaking to the emperor.