If you’ve ever lost your sense of smell (thanks, Covid), you know that scent can greatly affect enjoyment of food. We not only taste the sweet, sour, salty, bitter and umami flavors in food, but we also enjoy it with our eyes, our sense of touch and definitely our sense of smell. Salt and Straw, a craft ice cream brand is taking our enjoyment of sweets one step further with a culinary perfume.
Meant as an accompaniment to their gourmet ice cream flavors, you mist caramel ice cream, for example, with A Cloud of Cocoa perfume. The perfume adds a malty cocoa aroma with notes of Ecuadorian chocolate, malted milkshake and Japanese whiskey. It doesn’t change the flavor of the ice cream, but instead is meant to enhance the experience.
The brands two other perfume scents—A Swoon of Citrus and A Plume of Blooms pair well with their Arbequina Olive Oil and Chocolate Gooey Brownie ice creams, respectively, but you can also mix and match to find the perfect combo.
The reason for the spray actually makes a lot of scents (pun intended). Most aromatic foods open up when they hit heat – think of savory garlic and onions in a pan or a warm apple pie in the oven. Ice cream is cold and therefore usually pretty scent-less. This spray now gives ice cream lovers the chance to open their nose and use a whole new sense when eating a sundae.
Can you see the possibilities for food colognes down the line? Add a whiff of strawberry to raw oysters or tropical notes to a crispy salad. The potential for food sprays is still in its infancy and chefs will surely find more creative uses that only make the food experience better.
The perfume is a collaboration with Portland-based Imaginary Authors and is not only made from food-grade ingredients, but it can also be worn as a straight perfume on your body if you want to smell delicious. The scents are available both by mail or at Salt and Straw scoop shops.