Building an Encyclopedia of Fragrant Materials from the Black Diaspora for Scent-making and Perfumery

Note: This list is a start to what I hope will be a growing resource for perfumers and scent-makers interested in the aromatics from the Black Diaspora. Listings may be either endemic or have become popular cultivations in the listed region over time. I ask you to do further research regarding safety in use.

This List is not Definitive, Your Contributions are Welcome! 

See a needed correction? Please get in touch : ) I hope you'll find something here to inspire you!


African Blue Grass (Cymbopogon validus) ~ South Africa

African Geranium (Pelargonium sidoides) ~ South Africa

African Rum Resinoid ~ West Africa

Alligator Pepper, Grains of Paradise (Afromomum meleguetea) ~ West Africa

Ambrette/Musk mallow (Abelmoschus moschatus) ~ East Indies, West Indies, Africa, Australia 

Amyris (Amyris balsamifera) ~ Haiti, South America

Blue Lotus (Nymphaea caerulea flower) ~ Egypt

Cocoa (Theobroma cacao) ~ Africa, Various 

Eucalyptus Dives ~ South Africa, Australia

Frangipani (Plumeria) ~ Caribbean

Frankincense (Olibanum) ~ Somalia, Ethiopia, Sudan 

Hibiscus ~ Nigeria

Honeybush (Cyclopia) ~ South Africa

Hyraceum musk (Procavia capensis) ~ South Africa

Jasmine ~ Northeast Africa, East Africa

Karo Karounde (Leptactina senegambica hook) ~ Guinea

Madagascar Vanilla ~ Madagascar 

Mango Leaf (Mangifera indica) ~ Egypt

Mopane (Colophospermum mopane) ~ Namibia 

Myrrh (Commiphora myrrha) ~ Somalia, Eritrea, Ethiopia

Omumbiri (Commiphora wildii) ~ Namibia

Omumgorwa Myrrh (Commiphora tenuipetiolata) ~ Namibia 

Opoponax (Commiphora eyrthraea) ~ Somalia

Rooibos (Aspalathus linearis) ~ South Africa

Roselle (Hibiscus sabdariffa) ~ Caribbean, Central Africa, West Africa

Sandalwood (Santalum spicatum) ~ Australia

Thiouraye ~ Senegalese scent traditions

Vetiver (Vetiveria zizanioides) ~ Haiti

West Indian Bay Leaf (Pimenta racemosa) ~ Caribbean

Wild Rosemary (Eriocephalus africanus) ~ South Africa

Ylang Ylang (Cananga odorata) ~ Comoros Islands