Some of you may have already had your head turned by the glorious packaging for our Tåg solid perfume, but if you haven’t then here are just a few reasons why they are literally the nuts.
Our solid perfumes are ingeniously housed inside natures little miracle, the tagua nut. Originating from Central and South America the tagua nut is actually a Palm fruit, the seeds of the Phytelephas macrocarpa palm. Growing happily across Colombia, Panama and Peru ours are sourced from Ecuador where the Palms grow natively as part of the rich and diverse forest systems. Each Palm distributes over 1,000 of these nuts every year into the lowland forests edging the coast of the Caribbean. This may seem like a lot but tagua is a tasty treat for Agouti, a charismatic jungle rat that enjoys eating the fruits as part of a mixed forest diet.
What attracted us to them?
Well tagua has a relatively recent history of as an ‘ethical ivory’ for carving and especially in the fashion industry for buttons. The nuts are initially liquid inside a harder outer case known locally as a ‘mococha’. As the nut becomes solid it turns an attractive off white that is almost identical in colour and hardness to the type of ivory poached from endangered animals. Instead of risking the loss of elephant or rhino, this ivory actually gives back to the natural world. The tagua palm itself is actually very difficult to grow from seed commercially, so it's much more effective to keep the forest standing in which they grow.
In addition each tagua nut that falls can take up to 3 years to sprout a new plant and from there a further 15 years to reach maturity. Once established they can survive for hundreds of years and produce 1,000’s of nuts for the world throughout their whole life. Before you worry about all those hungry Agouti, the harvesters leave at least 30% of the tagua that falls on the forest floor to allow for plenty of food and for natural regrowth of the next generation of tagua palms.
By buying tagua, in actual fact we are supporting the protection of the forest; as a ‘non-timber forest product’ i.e something that literally grows on trees and helps keep them alive, tagua also helps to sequester carbon rather than emit it. And by being wild harvested it supports precious ecosystems with no need for irrigation, fertiliser or non-sustainable nasties to grow it – pure and simple its natures bounty.
From the forest to the factory it is then sorted into various grades and sizes before a team of artisan crafts people create the various tagua products. For us this means a simple process of hollowing out the nut and giving it a quick buff and polish before its ready to be filled. Because of its unique appearance it seemed fitting to showcase the nut itself rather than cut it up into buttons and so we simply pour our special blend of Amazonian butters and fragrance into them, before sealing with recycled aluminium applicator for the most ecofriendly perfume option we can think of…