We drink our beverages hot, even in summer. Piping hot tea and coffee – always ; the only exception being iced Vietnamese lotus tea – which is extraordinarily light and refreshing on a sweltering, humid day.



In Indian restaurants I also like my chai freshly off the boil – so hot it burns the mouth and I know I have to wait. Rare that it has that perfect balance, though : of cardamom, ginger, masala, cloves, cinnamon – I think in a lot of popular places they don’t always have the time to blend all the spices in, and it can occasionally be too milky and bland.


No such problems with Amsterdam based luxury niche brand Baruti, who present a fresh, potent, perfectly balanced photorealistic chai to your skin with notes of steamed milk, ginger –  cardamom – all the spices to the fore;  cocoa, roses, vanilla and a base note of leather. It is a delicious summation, even if at extrait strength, this is probably a gourmandish hologram you probably want to keep between you and your wrist. Too much and you might cause contextual confusion in your anticipated audience ( ‘where am I again?) – a synaptic gamechanger.


I don’t really tend to wear full on gourmands myself, though  I love the dry, moisture sucking nuttiness of the coumarin note in Hermessence Vetiver Tonka, a perfume that smells great on me – not too sweet or too asphyxiating, an ‘overpresence’ I associate with the decadence of the more luxuriant current gourmands. Baruti keeps a judicious hand  – just – with the sugar jar in both Chai and the house’s latest release, Perverso, which like its fitting name, IS quite headstrong and uncompromising with its caramellized whisky of tobacco, chocolate and an extreme overdose of hazelnut : an accord that whirls about you, as though you were smoking a pipe through a face smeared lovingly in Nutella.


I happen to be very susceptible to nuts in chocolate : gianduja, noisette; pralines: the taste drives me………  nuts. In perfume terms I would probably rather smell this on someone else: on my own skin I would feel somewhat scandalized. Still, combined with darker woody and amber notes, in the base, used in moderation – one spritz, say, on a chestnut or russet coloured turtleneck as you walk into your local espresso bar I can imagine a subtle sillage of Perverso being quite chic; effective. Those with severe nut allergies, however, need definitely not apply.*





*figuratively speaking





Filed under Ginger, Gourmand

8 responses to “THE HYPERGOURMAND : CHAI (2015) + PERVERSO (2019) by BARUTI

  1. I am absolutely crazy about nuts in chocolat as well; gianduja, praline, marzipan, all have a special place in my heart. I don’t know if I would enjoy that in a fragrance though. I have very few, if any actually, gourmands in my collection. I guess Angel by Mugler is one of the few, but not any others I can think of. I have a couple of tea scents, L’Artisan Tea for Two is one, but not true food like ones.
    Your descriptions of these make them sound lovely, but I know they would not be “me”.

  2. Robin

    As long as the nuts aren’t peanuts!! They ruin chocolate. No wonder: they’re not even a real nut. Oh, but hazelnut. Reminds me of Missoni, the one with the fabric circle around the top. Gianduja in a bottle. One of the few gourmands I will wear comfortably. I do like Tea for Two, too, so this Chai might be quite nice. Sounds as though Perverso might layer well with something drier, smokier. I love Vetiver Tonka, so much so that I rarely visit my bottle for fear that any replacement might suffer from even a whiff of reformulation. It is perfection. I can imagine you wearing it well.

    A column I wrote a long time ago was all about chai: which restaurant served the best in Vancouver, where we are spoiled for Indian cuisine, and what was the secret blend of spices which contributed to the winning formula. I researched for weeks. The best, which surprised me, was the simplest. Just cardamom. No ginger, no cinnamon, no nothing. I know! The owner, whose wife did the cooking, said that the other spices were “entirely beside the point.” And it was true. The impression was of a whole orchestra of different spices. And it was how it was made, too. Simmered for hours until the magic point of rich reduction with fresh green cardamom smashed from the pod, a raw brown Indian sugar. Done.

    Pet peeve: Canadians calling it “chai tea.” Like “salsa sauce” which we are also guilty of.

    • This was fascinating Cardamom is divine, but I had no idea it would suffice.

      We part ways with peanuts.

      I adore them, particularly in chocolate, though the calorie content of such conglomerations is quite horrific. D is often baffled/ verging on irritated by how much I enjoy them. Whence the disdain, Madame ?

      • Robin

        You’d have to ask my taste buds, and they have never been able to give me a satisfactory answer. Now I think of it, though, I do like Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. The exception. I think because the peanuts are all smashed up with salt and sugar and that somehow is a better accessory for chocolate than a straight-up goober.

        Let me know if you try the 100% cardamom chai experiment and tell me what you think. If you can get that Indian sugar, better yet. Jaggery, it’s called, but you probably already know that, being from England. From the date palm, and it actually has a bit of a date-y taste. Not sure if it would be easy to find in Japan, but that does raise an interesting question: how easy is it to find non-Japanese foods in the grocery stores there? Can you zip to the market and buy all the ingredients for an Italian dinner, say? I’m thinking that parmesan alone would be a tough sell.

      • Actually we ONLY drink cardamom tea : always add it to Ceylon – d even puts it in coffee, which I am less keen on. I haven’t tried the full sugar milk simmer though without ginger – but shall

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