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Michael Colman wanted to reintroduce Black Mitcham mint, a crop to which hasn't been grown in England for over 50 years– the kind which produced the finest premium peppermint oil. An oil that would have all of the flavours and aromas that we have been missing out on since mass-production and blended oils became the norm and this became his all-consuming passion.
For centuries England was renowned for producing the best mint in the world (so much so the French still call the flavour menthe Anglaise). However during World War II the pressure to grow essential crops plus the rising cost of labour meant that fields of mint became a thing of the past.
Summerdown mint oil is distilled on site in Hampshire to make an intense pure peppermint oil which, unlike most other mint oils, isn't blended with cheap, harsh-tasting or smelling imports from China and India. Like wine, the tanks of oil must be left for over a year to mature and settle so that the balance of flavours and perfume is perfect.
Summerdown Mint have used the best quality essential oils to ensure that the perfume stays true and long lasting. Also, their natural products are free from sulfates, parabens, PEGs, petrochemicals and artificial colourings making them an excellent indulgence and a perfect luxurious gift.
“It did take several weeks to get the right balance. You are highlighting certain aspects but not squashing other notes. You have to modify and tweak the balances and that can take weeks,”
“I based the scent on peppermint and spearmint oils and the process was about getting an accord of the fragrance that is robust enough to compete with the mints. They are forceful and you need something that is not going to simper. We needed citrus notes that were not going to conflict with the mints or be overpowered by them. It was the same story with the woody notes we added. It’s all about translating an image into a scent and the ingredients I can use to create the effect.
This unique fragrance is based around Summerdowns distinctive, single estate, Black Mitcham mint. Bright notes of lemongrass and zesty lemon blend with the greenness of galbanum, while natural oils of blackcurrant, clove, cinnamon and cedarwood add depth and long-lasting qualities to this individual, contemporary scent.
When you buy any individual item from the body, bath and home range – from lotions and washes to candles, diffusers and soap – you’ll experience the scent in a slightly different way.
“Each product takes up the fragrance in a different way. For example, the washes throw out the mint – the top notes – to be refreshing and vibrant. In the lotions and the soap, the scent is more held in, so less of the mint comes through. It’s more delicate.
“Both the candle and diffuser fill a room but in entirely different ways, so what you experience is also different. Therefore you experience the scent in a noticeably different way, depending on which of the products you use.”