Karo Karounde Flowers
Karo Karounde

Karo Karounde Absolute: Gaia Untamed

Karo Karounde is extracted from the flowers of a small West African shrub (Leptactina senegambica), distantly related to Gardenia. There is plenty of gritty lore around this heady perfume known to be abundant in the politically tense country of Guinea. The flowers have been used by the local population to perfume linen and scent hair oil.

The Site: West Africa

Karo Karounde (Leptactina senegambica) grows wild in the Fouta-Djallon, a mountainous region of Guinea southeast of the Senegambia known for the grandest waterfalls in Africa. The shrub is also found all the way up to Gambia and south to the Ivory Coast.


The concrete is generally produced locally before being shipped to Grasse to be processed into the absolute.

Kinkon Waterfall

Fragrance Aspects

The fragrance is at once sweet, intensely floral and herbaceous. It features some quite unusual components which may make it subject to regulatory control. Benzyl nitrile, for instance, acts as a pheromonal anaphrodisiac but also triggers a number of other biological functions.


Many luxurious perfumes utilize Karo Karounde for its remarkably intoxicating depth. Pleasures Summer Fun from Estée Lauder incorporates it unabashedly. Other perfumes which include Karo Karounde are Marron Chic from Nez a Nez and Sequoia from Comme des Garçons. Karo Karounde is also thought to be a component of Shaal Nur by Etro and Timbuktu by L’Artisan Parfumeur.


Myristo nitrile is among the many uncommon metabolites found in Karo Karounde. This material had been developed in Grasse decades ago as a synthetic, only to be recently discovered in nature. For more about the strangely captivating fragrance of Karo Karounde and the stories about its origin, explore A. Reisfield’s Trilogy The Perfume of Life.

#23 Karo Karounde


Karo Karounde Absolute is one of the rarer products in the world of natural fragrances. Its annual production is not easy to establish, but it was less than 200 kilos in times when a few French perfume houses claimed to use this powerful material in their  grands parfums. This is a rare opportunity to acquire this mysterious fragrance.

Special Discount on Karo Karounde

We are pleased to offer a special discount of 15% for our newly secured Karo Karounde Absolute.
Discount available May 6th through May 10th, 2021.
Thank you for reading our Authenticity Bulletin #17

Original Swiss Aromatics
PO Box 6842, San Rafael, CA 94903
(415) 479-9120

Pacific Institute of Aromatherapy
PO Box 6723, San Rafael, CA 94903

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