I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream, but have you ever stopped to think why ice cream has no distinct scent?
You can head over to your freezer, or the nearest ice cream store, and try and take a whiff out of an ice cream container. What do you smell? The answer is probably nothing.
Tyler Malek, co-founder of the Portland, Oregon, based ice cream brand Salt & Straw, saw this as an opportunity and decided to work on creating scents in our ice cream eating experience with a first-of-their-kind fully edible perfumes for ice creams!
Malek collaborated with a perfumery called Imaginary Authors to create something we didn’t even know we needed. “We talked a lot about how food and smell interact. And over the past four years, we’ve always kind of gone back to this idea of how do we enhance our foods—specifically ice cream—with different aromas,” said Malek, in an interview with Food and Wine, “We kept thinking about how we could adjust the aroma of ice cream in a way that hasn’t ever been done before. So we went through each of the ‘flavors’ of perfume, and tried to figure out how to take the ingredients that perfumists use, and how to take the 8,000 and so that are food ingredients and are edible, and use them to create a scent that is made for ice cream.”
The two companies wanted to create the ‘Neopolitan ice cream’ of perfumes and they ultimately decided to go with three distinct scents: Citrus, floral, and chocolate.
So you can try the three varieties, which include ‘A Cloud of Cocoa’ which is a rich and robust perfume with notes of Ecuadorian chocolate, malted milkshake, and a Japanese whiskey, or you can go for ‘A Plume of Blumes’ which combines the scents of honeysuckle and jasmine, and finally, ‘A Swoon of Citrus’ which balances the tartness of citrus with the herbal undertones of an entire orchard. And yes, you can use these like regular perfumes to smell especially delectable.
But how is one supposed to use the perfume on ice creams? Malek says the key is to create a “dome of aroma” around the ice cream by spraying either the cone or the bowl first and then adding an additional spritz of perfume on the scoops of ice cream themselves. He advises that it would be best to take a few seconds to experience the scent before you take the first bite.
While this may seem like a novelty (and an unnecessary additional step before enjoying the dessert), Malek feels that it could be a unique way to customise and personalise your ice cream just like you would with mix-ins or toppings.
The company has previously collaborated with the perfumery to create the scent of a freshly baked waffle cone, which led them to “nerd out” over the possibility of what else they can create in the dessert-perfume space. Malek said that he is excited (and nervous) to see how people react to the perfumes.
“We’re hoping that people will blend them a bit,” he said, “We’ve tasted them in about 20 different ways, but once you put it out in the market, it could be tasted in two million different ways. We don’t even know what some of the combinations are going to be yet.”
Would you ever spray edible perfume on your ice cream?