Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Orange Blossom Candy Dots


In August 2007, gourmet candy purveyor Artisan Sweets became the only American distributor of Orange Blossom Candy Dots. The candy, known as pastiglie fior arancio in Italian, is manufactured by Pietro Romanengo fu Stefano, an historical confectionery with roots in the second half of the18th century. There is an interesting effect that transpires if the candy is eaten after applying an orange blossom fragrance. A tangible synchrony of the senses occurs that is best compared to sympathetic vibration between two tuning forks—a flavor and fragrance connection that is nearly impossible to forget.

Pietro Romanengo fu Stefano’s discs of colorless molded sugar are perfumed with natural orange flower and develop a granular feel in the mouth as the confection dissolves—a sophisticated way to experience traces of pure sugar crystals on the tongue. For the uninitiated, pastiglie fior arancio are remotely akin to Necco® Candy Buttons, small removable dots of colored sugar that are assembled in rows and fastened onto strips of paper. The Necco® confection, designed for children, is pastel-colored, but the texture is far from pleasing—it resembles hardened dry icing used to decorate cakes. Orange Blossom Candy Dots are quite small, but their size belies the beauty of an impactful flavor.

Not all orange blossom fragrances permit sensory resonance with Orange Blossom Candy Dots. Fresh and delicate compositions are necessary as orange blossom possess a slight Concord grape odor due to the presence of naturally occurring methyl anthranilate. Slatkin Orange Blossom and Citron eau de parfum and Jo Malone Orange Blossom cologne match perfectly with Orange Blossom Candy Dots. A review of each of these fragrances is provided as a guide to exploring flavor and fragrance connections. Feel free to experiment with other matching fragrances in haute niche ranges.

Fragrance Reviews/Recommendations:

Slatkin Orange Blossom and Citron is as welcome as a summer breeze that sends curtains fluttering with the promise of clement weather. At first sniff it is decidedly crisp and refreshing. The scent seamlessly transitions into a bouquet of gentle white florals, slowly fading in an upward stream of musk. There is a pronounced hedonic nose of jasmine in the bouquet which is simply expressed, lacking the indolic quality of a full jasmine. A faint touch of honeysuckle also flirts with the orange blossom, adding a quality of freshness à la Marc Jacobs Blush. Though Slatkin Orange Blossom and Citron doesn’t have the complexity of earlier eau de parfums in the branded line, it most certainly has its place in the Slatkin pantheon. In addition, the ancillary products are aesthetically pleasing and well formulated. The shampoo, in particular, possesses a lasting fondness for scenting the hair.

Jo Malone Orange Blossom cologne bows gracefully to the white radiance of orange flower. The scent begins on a honeyed citrus peel note dappled with clementine leaf before revealing the tender presence of its floral heart. True to its cologne formulation, the quality of constancy on skin is pleasant and not overbearing. Fragrance layering opportunities exist with other scents in the Jo Malone line, which make it attractive to the fine fragrance connoisseur. Orange Blossom body cream, body lotion, bath oil, and shower gel formulations are also available should the desire for indulgence arise.

Additional Notes:

If you are interested in making a delectable orange blossom pastry, consult my Persian Orange Blossom Cookies recipe on Bois de Jasmin. It is a beautiful and fragrant cookie that is easy to make (and difficult to resist after it has come out of the oven).

The complete Slatkin Orange Blossom and Citron line is available in-store at Bergdorf Goodman. Due to high demand, availability of the eau de parfum may be limited.

Photo of the orange blossom comes from