Tonka – The Fragrance You’ve Been Craving

The Dipteryx odorata is a tree native to Central and South America that produces the tonka bean. This tree grows between 65 and 100 feet tall and produces fruit with a hard outer shell that contains the tonka beans at the core. These trees are thought to be able to live over 1,000 years! Each fruit from the Dipteryx odorata contains one tonka bean. Once ripened and harvested, the fruits are dried sometimes for several weeks before the shells are broken, and the tonka beans are gathered from the fruit to extract their essential oil.

The essential oil from the tonka bean is sometimes known as tonka absolute. This plant oil possesses an aromatic fragrance that has been said to offer notes of vanilla, caramel, almond, gingerbread, and pistachios with a spicy clove-like and fruity undertone. This unique set of fragrances is highly sought after for perfumes, especially considering how they offer aphrodisiac properties. The primary molecule in tonka beans is coumarin, which gives tonka its unique blend of aromatic properties.  According to Sylvaine Delacourte, “In 1882, the perfumer Paul Parquet used coumarin (tonka) in Fougère Royale by Houbigant.” This was the first recorded use of tonka being utilized in a perfume formulation.

In some cultures, Tonka beans are said to possess magical powers, and we couldn’t agree more after experiencing its inclusion in the Higher Good full body luxury moisturizer! More on that below; first, let’s look at some of the therapeutic properties of tonka and its essential oil.

Benefits of Tonka for Skin

Tonka bean oil is known as a fixative. A fixative is a natural substance that can “fix” or otherwise help a base fragrance grip to the skin, increasing its longevity. Tonka is said to be a strong anchor fragrance for many floral, vanilla, and fruity scents. This is one of the reasons we added it to the formulation for the Higher Good full body luxury moisturizer. This isn’t the only reason, though. Tonka has been shown to offer various benefits to the skin.

  • Reduces the Appearance of Age Spots and Uneven Skin Tones
  • Absorbs UV light Leaving Skin Youthful and Radiant Looking
  • Antioxidant Properties
  • Antiaging Properties

Isolated polyphenols found in tonka essential oil harnesses UV rays which are harmful to the skin and utilizes them to increase the luminescence in skin. This causes the skin to appear tighter and lighter. Polyphenols also help to mask imperfections through their antioxidant properties to help even skin tone.

Other Benefits of Tonka

Coumarin, the chemical compound mentioned above, which makes up for more than 40% of the molecular structure of tonka beans, has technically been illegal in the U.S. for the food and beverage industry since 1954. It was found that large concentrations of this molecule, when ingested, could cause liver problems. However, the concentration at which it would have to be ingested in order to be fatal would not be standard and is highly unlikely.

Despite the ban, many restaurant establishments continue to offer tonka zested foods, and various products can be found from suppliers online. There are many reasons aside from its unique flavor and aromatic properties that someone would want to ingest or utilize tonka aromatically. Some of the potential benefits of this plant oil are as follows! 

  • Expectorant
  • Anti-Spasmodic
  • Anti-Coagulant
  • Relaxant
  • Heightens Sexual Excitement (Aphrodisiac)

Tonka is a New Ingredient in the Potency Product Lineup

Since the launch of Higher Good, the reviews have been rolling in, and many are regarding the highly addictive fragrance and how they crave the feeling of this luxury moisturizer!

“The Higher Good from Potency No. 710 is absolutely luxurious and smells AMAZING! Thank you so much Mandy Lile, you never disappoint!” –  Carrie P.

“I love this so much!!! I’ve gotten lightheaded a couple times from smelling it so much!” – Autumn C.

“Love this! I have just opened the jar several times a day just to smell it because it smells sooooooo good!!!!!” – Anna T.

Tonka is one of the newest ingredient additions to the Potency product lineup and one that we will likely embrace more in the future! To experience firsthand the aromatic and topical properties of tonka bean essential oil, check out the Higher Good by Potency No. 710!  

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