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Coumarin is considered one of the first, if not the first, synthetic ingredients in perfume history. As early as 1822, coumarin was isolated for the first time from tonka beans (tonka beans consist of about 65% coumarin). In 1868, the first synthetic production succeeded and in 1882, a considerable amount of coumarin was found in the world-famous perfume Fougère Royale by Houbigant.

Olfactorily, coumarin is very close to tonka bean with its sweetish-vanilla, somewhat spicy smell. Nowadays, coumarin is often used, especially in designer fragrances, to add a kind of warmth and depth to the perfume in the base. However, coumarin in larger quantities can cause allergic reactions in consumers and is therefore limited to 1.6% of the final product according to IFRA (International Fragrance Restriction Agency).


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