The pursuit of scent, the most ephemeral of senses, has been the stuff of legend—Napolean was said to have a 2-quart-a-week violet cologne habit and Queen Elizabeth had all public places scented under her rule. This same pursuit made Patrick Süskind’s Perfume, a story of the murderous alchemy of capturing the alluring scent of a young woman, one of the most popular German novels of the 20th century.
After discovering the novel in her attic, the Danish chef Kille Enna embarked on a 7-year journey to bottle the most alluring scents. With her culinary background, these scents were not meant to just be smelled but also tasted. Taking notes from the ritual of wine tasting, Enna developed a range of botanical extracts for spring water under the product line, The Taste of a Scent.
“What does lavender flowers or Ceylon cinnamon really taste like if you do not add sugar, butter, cream or use them in a marmalade or a cake? This question has haunted me for 8 years and still haunts me to this day,” Enna said in an interview with MOLD. By separating scent from taste, Enna believes one can experience the rare essence, what she calls the “raw aesthetics” of an ingredient. “For me it has always been about the perfect volatile natural moment. An intimate experience of nature extracted from roots, seeds, flowers, herbs and bark without any help from added effects.”
If you were my guest I would give the inside of a beautiful crystal glass 10-15 puffs with the aroma extract. Then hand you the glass and ask you to close your eyes, take a deep breath, discover and sense. While I feed you with words and destinations to connect you to the aromas. I would then fill the glass with spring or well water (at a temperature of 12-14°C) and leave you to enjoy it. —Chef and Designer Kille Enna
By encouraging the ritual of smelling and then tasting, the chef gets to, “set the pace and rhythm of the experience” remotely. From air to water, the scent can be enjoyed through different mediums. “This way the raw material is first a naked, vibrant, playful and authentic scent,” Enna directs. “But after the water is added the experience changes to something else and you experience the taste of the scent. Delicate subtle flavors.”
The infused water is meant as an apertif before a meal, a dinner party experience, or a personal ritual. The large amount of raw plant material also gives infused water aromatherapeutic qualities. Whatever the context, it is clear that The Taste of a Scent is a moment for a multi-sensory meditation.
Sugar-free and handcrafted in Denmark using organic wheat alcohol and raw ingredients, the four scents—Damask Rose and Heather Flowers, Green Cardamom and Lavender, Ginger and Rosemary from Uganda and Liquorice Root from Uzbekistan—Enna’s commitment to ingredients doesn’t stop with the roots, bark and flowers she sources from small-scale organic and biodynamic farms. The glass flacons are manufactured in a solar-powered factory and the packaging is made from FSC certified paper and even the packing tape on her shipping boxes are made with odourless vegetable glue that can be recycled along with the cardboard.