Tonka beans (cumaru) from Brazil
Tonka beans are dark and wrinkled seeds of the Dipteryx Odorata, a flowering tree native to South America. In Brazil the tonka bean tree is common in the states of Pará and Amazonas. Tonka beans are one of the most common ingredients in perfumery. We buy our tonka beans directly from small local communities in the Amazon basin. We offer very competitive prices for importing tonka beans directly from Brazil.
Cumaru’s journey to perfumery began in 1793, when the fruit was first presented to the French. The tropical tree has beautiful purple flowers where each flower contains one bean. It largely grows in the tropical rainforest between Venezuela and Brazil. The tonka beans are dark brown from the inside and they spread characteristic vanilla-like flavor and therefore are also used as a replacement for vanilla in a range of foods including baked goods and ice cream. The beans can also be found in several other products like soaps and tobacco where it is used to improve aroma.
The dipteryx odorata tree also yields an exceptionally attractive timber that is used both locally and for exporting. Because the tree is often harvested from the wild, it is very important the use of this resource occurs in a sustainable way.
Extraction of the cumaru seeds for the fragrance industry
After the tonka beans have fallen from the trees and been harvested, the cumaru seeds are first dried. The cumaru is then macerated in alcohol for twelve to twenty-four hours. This causes a “frosting” of the beans; the formation of pure coumarin crystals on the surface of the tonka beans. The coumarin crystals are sold separately from the cumaru seeds itself. The extraction creates an absolute with a gourmand fragrance which is a valuable raw material in the perfume industry.
Importing tonka beans (cumaru) from Brazil
By buying the tonka beans (cumaru) from our suppliers you:
- Support local communities
- Contribute to the preservation of the Amazon rainforest
- Contribute to local economies
- Support fair trade
- Combat biopiracy
The harvest season of cumaru / tonka beans is from July until September.
If you are interested in importing tonka beans from Brazil or in receiving samples, please contact us.