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Mango Amra Newsletter

Mango Amra Perfume

"A mango might be designated the unspeakable eatable, for who is qualified to determine the evanescent savours and flavours which a prime specimen of the superb fruit so generously yields? MangosTake of a pear all that is mellow, of a peach all that is luscious, of a strawberry all that is fragrant, of a plum all that is kindly, of an apricot all its aroma, of cream all its smoothness. Commingle with musk and honey, coriander and aniseed, smother with the scent of musk roses, blend with cider, and the mixture may convey a dim sense of some of the delectable qualities of one kind of mango. To do justice to the produce of the very next tree another list of triumphant excellences might be necessary. A first-class mango is compact of so many sensations to the palate, its theme embraces such rare and delicate surprises, that the true artist in fruit-flavours is fain to indulge in paraphrase and paradox when he attempts to record its virtues and--yes, its vanities."
--from My Tropic Isle, by E J Banfield

In 1971, I first traveled to India as a student with Friends World College. They had a center in the city of Bangalore on the Deccan Plateau which at that time was in Mysore State(now Karnatika). Bangalore at that time was a lovely city with a mild year-round climate. It had not yet become the center of India's computer industry(at which point the population quadrupled)and still had a gentle, sweet, slow moving ambiance. Clear skies, fresh breezes, sweet aromas, lovely parks, graceful tree lined avenues, and many other charming features characterized the city.

One of my first adventures was to visit the fresh flower, fruit and vegetable market in the center of the city. Mango season was still in full swing in the month of June and the beautifully kept fruit stalls had magnificent heaps of the ripe fruit in all sizes and shapes(there are said to be hundreds of varieties of mango in India) and the melded opulent, exotic aroma saturated the atmosphere. I had never encountered such a display of fruits in my life and the memory of that first trip to City Market remains vividly imprinted on my mind becomes of its novelty and aromatic savor.

In the course of many subsequent trips to India I had many other encounters with the mango tree and its fruit, with the result that its taste and smell became deeply impressed in my mind, with lovely associations of the ancient land that became more than a home to me. Last year I began compiling a list of essential oils, attars, absolutes and co2 extracts which had fruity elements in their bouquet with the thought of trying to capture something of the immensely complex and exotic odor of the fruit markets I had visited in South India. Gradually a lovely perfume came into being that displayed the deep, rich, complex bouquet that I was looking for. After it matured for well over 6 months I realized that it essential aromatic quality was that of the mango with its sweet, smooth, fruity-floral aroma that contained elements of peach, apricot, strawberries, raspberries, roses, honey and cream.

Mango Amra Perfume recipe

1 1/2 ounces Fir Balsam Absolute(33%) in Fractionated Coconut Oil(67%)

1/4 ounce White Champa Flower CO2 or Essential Oil

3/4 ounce Jasmin sambac CO2

1/4 ounce Ambrette Seed Essential Oil
1/2 ounce Mukhallat Attar
3/4 ounce Tonka Bean Absolute(33%) in Fractionated Coconut Oil(67%)
1 ounce White Champa Leaf Essential Oil
1 ounce Ylang Complete Essential Oil
1/2 ounce Lavender Seville Absolute
6 ounces Mango Melange(blend of essential oils)-to be found in the essential oil section of the web site

Please note that this is a perfume recipe, not a blend to be taken internally.

Mango in Literature

In India everything is shown in the open, and the mangoes lie in baskets piled up one above the other like little hills. There were places where oranges were heaped up like big burning rocks. Here and there you could see brown men robed in white sitting near these mountains of fruit, bargaining parrot eating mangoabout the prices.

Now it is very good to smell the fragrance of fruit, and one day while going through the lane of a village, as the fragrance of the fruit grew stronger, I forgot all about Kopee, and did not realize that I was carrying him on my shoulder.

Somehow the little monkey always knew when I was not thinking of him. At such moments he would invariably jump off my shoulder and run straight for the oranges or mangoes, take one or two of them and then make a dive for a sheltered spot. This upset the whole bazaar. Hundreds of men would pursue him from tree to tree, yelling and throwing stones till he vanished out of sight.

--from Kari the Elephant,
by Dhan Gopal Mukerji

One day I took them to the bazaar, I on the elephant and the monkey on my shoulder. When we had reached a mountain of mangoes round the corner of a lane, the monkey jumped off and climbed up to the top of the pile. At this the owner of the fruit chased him away, yelling and shouting. The monkey climbed up the roof of a house, followed by a crowd. Kari, however, put out his trunk and helped himself to whatever fruits he liked, eating them with great relish. The moment he heard the people coming back from the monkey chase, he ran away—and you may be surprised to know that when an elephant runs, he can go more than ten miles an hour. By the time we reached home, Kopee had buried his face in an enormous mango and was covered with the [37]juice. And you know that mangoes taste very much like strawberries and cream with sugar on them.

--from Kari the Elephant,
by Dhan Gopal Mukerji

There is a legend about mango that once Manu requested Brahma, the creator of the universe, "Lord! Grant us a fruit full of sweet juice, which has the fragrance of flowers, sweetness of fruits and nutrition of cereals. Also let it be accessible to all, rich and poor."

Brahma said, "Evamatsu"(So be it) and poured a few drops from his kamandal (a special pot used by mendicants).

After some time tender shoots of mango sprouted at that spot. Since then, mango is dear to all, prince and pauper.

--from Let Us Identify the Useful Trees
by Rekha Rastogi

Having refitted, we started on route to Meerut, about three hundred miles by land, under the command of two officers, whose sole study was to promote our happiness and welfare. I do not know that I ever spent a happier time. Our march was always over by nine o'clock, and we encamped under the salubrious scent Street vendor slicing mangosand pleasant shade of the lofty mango. After journeying in this pleasant manner, we reached Meerut on the 9th day of November, 1809, having been eleven months and a day from England. Here I was welcomed by all my old comrades, and found myself full sergeant in Captain Beattie's troop.

--from Memoirs of the Extraordinary Military Career of John Shipp
by John Shipp

And everywhere, everywhere, the sweet perfume of mangoes hangs in the air. It's mid-August, the last glorious gasp of the mango season and every market table groans with them.

--from An Embarrassment of Mangoes
by Ann Vanderhoof

Summer, while I was growing up, was all about mangoes. Ripe, sweet mangoes that dripped juices down into your throat, down into your neck. The smell of a ripe mango would still evoke my taste buds, my memories, and for a while I would be a child again and it would be a hot summer day in India.

--from The Mango Season
By Amulya Malladi