Tonka Beans (whole) - Dipteryx odorata - from Venezuela. These seeds of the large tropical Tonka tree have the fragrance reminiscent of newly mown hay or a freshly cut meadow. They have a high coumarin content, which provides a sweet, herblike fragrance.
Tonka beans were and may still be used as an adulterant to vanilla. The beans are used to flavor tobaccos and snuffs. The essential oil is widely used in the perfume industry. Tonka beans are often used in sachets and potpourri. They are said to lighten one's mood and be emotionally balancing.
Use in small amounts.
Synonyms: tonquin bean, Coumarouna odorata
Origin: tropical South America, West Africa
Parts Used: seeds (a.k.a. beans)
Aroma Description: rich, warm, coumarin-herbaceous, tobacco-like, caramel-like. They have a high coumarin content, which provides a sweet, vanilla, herblike fragrance
Emotional Attributes: creative, love, balancing, grounding
Cosmetic Uses: perfumery, aromatherapy; used in sachets and potpourris, etc., has excellent fixative properties
Culinary Uses: once used to flavor candy, beverages, medicinal preparations, and in some desserts. but now banned in some countries since 1953 as a food additive due to its higher then usual coumarin content. It is pointed out though that you would have to ingest high amounts of Tonka Beans (also things like Nutmeg) to reach dangerous levels. The small amount used in recipes doesn't come near what is considered dangerous. Still used in some countries to flavor tobacco and snuff.
Medicinal Attributes: discontinued since the discovery that coumarin may damage the heart, liver and even cause cancer
Element Association: Water
Magical Associations: courage, prosperity, luck
Astrological Association: Taurus, Libra
Planetary Association: Venus
Aromatic Note: Base note
Essential Oil: Yes, concretes, absolutes and tinctures are made though they can be difficult to find.
Mixes Well With: benzoin, catnip, copal-black, copal-gold, copal-white, myrrh, frankincense, lavender, mugwort, nutmeg, oakmoss, palo santo wood, storax, tolu balsam, vanilla, vetiver, clary sage, etc.
Medical Disclaimer: Information on this web site is for entertainment purposes only. This information is NOT intended as medical advice or for use as diagnosis or treatment of a health problem or as a substitute for consulting a licensed medical professional.
Per oz. (28 grams): $ 6.75
Per 4 oz. (112 grams) $25.00
Per half pound (224 grams) $ 48.00
Per pound (448 grams) $ 85.00