In a Nutshell

By Jo Phillips

Of the 7 wonders of the world the hanging gardens of Babylon were said to have contained pistachio trees, and they are one of only two nuts mentioned in the Old Testament, that is thought to have been assembled in the 5th Century BC. This biblical nut has a lot to offer including a divine scent, find out more In a Nutshell here

Image on left-hand side Jasmine Gillanders

So legend says the Queen of Sheba decreed that pistachios could only be exclusively royal food, and it is said she even forbid commoners from growing the nut for personal use. The nut travelled from the Middle East, the Levant, to Italy in the first century AD and spread throughout the Mediterranean from there. Apices, Rome’s version of Jamie Oliver mentions pistachios in his classical cookbook yet didn’t include any of the recipes that used them.

“Then their father Israel said to them, “If it must be, then do this: Put some of the best products of the land in your bags and take them down to the man as a gift—a little balm and a little honey, some spices and myrrh, some pistachio nuts and almonds.” 

Genesis 43:11

They were frequently carried by travellers across the ancient Silk Road that connected China with the West because they are extremely healthy. They were also used as an early thickening agent in food and to enhance flavours too. As well it has been used as a dyeing agent and a folk remedy for ailments ranging from toothaches to sclerosis of the liver.

After spreading and eventually reaching central Europe, after the Romans conquered the Middle East it was known as the “Latin Penny Nut” because of its introduction from the Italian sales route and because they would have been expensive. Only after World War II did the pistachio image gradually change from an expensive baking additive to a popular snack.

During the 1880s, imported pistachios were popular in the USA, especially with Middle Eastern immigrants. In the end, it was noted that due to its fertile soil, hot, dry climate, and moderately cold winters California’s Central Valley offered the ideal growing conditions for the nut.

As for the flavour of pistachios, they can range from sweet and salty to savoury, spicy, and more. A soft creamier nut than many with an earthy buttery nuttiness. Most bought in shops are already salted as so many are now eaten as a snack.

Image by Erika Varga

So what does this biblical nut smell like? Think along the lines of many a nut ingredient say similar to almonds in scent, but green, buttery, and pleasantly nutty in aroma, sweet, but not too sweet. So in fragrance terms, a pistachio scent would come under the gourmand style.

Many love the sweetness and sugary elements of gourmand scents but if you find them sometimes a bit sickly then a good nut fragrance may be a way into gourmands. The perfect example is the new Pistachio perfume from DS&Durga. This scent was originally released in early 2022 as a “Studio Juice” with a limited edition run of 100 bottles and it is now added to the main collection.

“We made this on a whim; a fragrance with no story that just evokes the fun of pistachio (especially as a dessert flavour). It was a STUDIO JUICE (limited edition of 100 bottles). People went nuts for the concept (pun somewhat intended) and we knew we had to add it to the line. It’s dank & unabashedly sweet which is something I don’t normally do”.


Pistachio opens the scent alongside the warm sweet spice of Cardamom which makes sense if you have ever eaten anything like the Middle Eastern sweet treat Baklava, as these two flavours are the best of bedfellow so they totally make sense here.

Then find more nuts! Here in the centre of the fragrance find more pistachio alongside the softest roasted almonds, again such good friends in food and sitting perfectly here in this scent

And if that was not enough of this soft green jewel of a nut find more in its base alongside creamy vanilla; think a hit of crème brûlée. The creamy softness of both melding together in a soft pillowy effect.

As the brand doesn’t usually do these sweet scents it’s unsurprising that this gourmand is markedly different from most. Yes, it’s sweet but not sickly. The green notes of the nut and the hit of cardamon bring a new fresher facet to this grouping. The perfect start for those who don’t usually wear creamy desserts.

After all pistachio nuts were considered a good omen for romance. Couples would meet under pistachio trees waiting for the sound of nuts cracking thus ensuring a successful and happy relationship. Maybe now they can add a spritz of the scent to add to their success

Find Pistachio here at e-scents and more about here

If you enjoyed reading In a Nutshell then why not read Unique Portraist here

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