The Alluring Aromas of Antiquity: Tonka Scent and Beyond

The world of aromas is a captivating realm, a sensory journey that transcends time and space. From ancient civilizations to the modern era, scents have played a pivotal role in human history, shaping cultures, rituals, and lifestyles. This article delves into the enchanting world of ancient aromas, with a special focus on the mesmerizing “tonka scent”, a key ingredient in Potency No. 710’s Higher Good Natural Fragrance roll-on and moisturizer.

Tonka: The Scent of Luck and Luxury

The tonka bean, native to the tropical rainforests of Central and South America, has been cherished as a symbol of good fortune since ancient times. Its scent, a delightful blend of honey, vanilla, almond, and fresh cut grass, has been enchanting people for centuries. The tonka bean made its debut in the world of perfumery in 1882 with Fougère Royale by Houbigant. Today, it remains a highly sought-after ingredient in perfumery, offering a rich, sweet, warm, and captivating aroma.

The tonka bean’s scent is often likened to vanilla, but it is considered more intricate and fascinating. Its aroma can be described as a mix of sweet, spicy, nutty, herbaceous, and woody. It can be warm, inviting, and even seductive at times, depending on how it’s blended with other fragrances.

In the early 1900s, the tonka bean became widely used in perfumery because of its rich and complex aroma. The tobacco industry began to use tonka bean powder to impart a smoother, softer, and warmer aroma to tobacco. Despite being banned as a food ingredient in the United States in 1952 due to concerns that it could cause serious liver and heart damage if consumed in extreme quantities, the use of tonka bean in fragrance and perfumery is perfectly legal. In fact, the United States is the world’s largest importer of tonka beans for this reason.

Tonka beans work best in spicy and sweet scents featuring notes that are similar. These include: clove, vanilla, heliotrope, bitter almonds and cinnamon. They also blend well with notes of patchouli, sandalwood, rose, lemon peel and lavender.

Frankincense: The Divine Aroma

Frankincense, an aromatic tree resin, has been used as a fragrant perfume since at least 1500 BC. It was a key ingredient in the ancient incense kyphi, used to fumigate ancient Egyptian temples. Its earthy, resinous scent has been cherished for centuries, and it continues to be one of the most common and sought-after aromatic tree resins in the world today.

Myrrh: The Scent of Healing

Myrrh, like frankincense, is a resin extracted from trees. It has been used throughout history in medicine, perfumery, and incenses. The name myrrh comes from the Arabic word ‘murr’, meaning bitter. Its scent is complex and sweet, with enticing notes of spices and tobacco.

Other Ancient Aromas

Ancient civilizations have left us a rich olfactory heritage. The Egyptians, for instance, enjoyed the aroma of lilies, rose, cinnamon, parsley, and lemongrass. They even concocted complex perfumed mixtures such as kyphi, whose 16 ingredients, including raisins, frankincense, myrrh, pine, honey, wine, and juniper berries, were ground in a mortar, soaked in wine, and/or heated to produce a thick, pungently sweet paste.

Potency No. 710: Capturing the Essence of Timeless Aromas

Potency No. 710’s products stand out for their ability to capture the essence of these timeless aromas. The Higher Good Natural Fragrance roll-on and moisturizer, for instance, feature notes of myrrh and tonka, offering a sensory experience that transports you back to ancient times. The tonka scent in these products provides a complex and sweet aroma, with enticing notes of spices and tobacco, enhancing the overall olfactory experience.


The exploration of ancient aromas offers a fascinating glimpse into the past, revealing how our ancestors interacted with the natural world and how they used scents to enhance their lives. As we continue to uncover the secrets of these ancient aromas, we are reminded of the enduring power of scent to evoke emotions, memories, and connections. We invite you to experience this rich olfactory heritage with Potency No. 710’s range of products, each meticulously crafted to capture the essence of these timeless aromas, including the enchanting tonka scent.