Information submited: 2015-07-30 Modified: 2018-03-07 By: 1
Botanical Name: Eugenia caryophyllata
Common Method of Extraction: Steam distillation
Part Typically Used: Flower bud and stem
Color: Golden Yellow / Brown
Consistency: Medium, slightly oily
Perfumery Note: Middle
Strength of Initial Aroma: Penetrating aroma that is rich, warm, spicy with a fruity top note and a woody base note.
Cloves are the aromatic flower buds of a tree in the family Myrtaceae, Syzygium aromaticum. They are native to the Maluku Islands in Indonesia. Cloves are commercially harvested primarily in Indonesia, India, Madagascar, Zanzibar, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Tanzania.
Until modern times, Cloves buds grew only on a few islands in the Maluku Islands (historically called the Spice Islands), including Bacan, Makian, Moti, Ternate, and Tidore.
The Clove tree is an evergreen tree that grows up to 8-12 m tall, with large leaves and sanguine flowers grouped in terminal clusters. The flower buds initially have a pale hue, gradually turn green, then transition to a bright red when ready for harvest. Cloves are harvested at 1,5 - 2,0 cm long, and consist of a long calyx that terminates in four spreading sepals, and four unopened petals that form a small central ball.
Once the fragrant Clove buds have been dried, they are steam distilled in order to obtain the essential oil. Clove essential oil can be obtained from either the bud or the leaves. The leaves contain a higher concentration of Eugenol.
Clove comes from a Latin word "Clavus" meaning "Nail".
Archeologists have found Cloves in a ceramic vessel in Syria, with evidence that dates the find to within a few years of 1721 BCE.
Cloves were traded by Muslim sailors and merchants during the Middle Ages in the profitable Indian Ocean trade, the Clove trade is also mentioned by Ibn Battuta and even famous Arabian Nights characters such as Sinbad the Sailor are known to have bought and sold Cloves from India.
In fact, the Clove tree that experts believe is the oldest in the world, named Afo, is on Ternate. The tree is between 350 and 400 years old.
Eugenol comprises 72-90% of the essential oil extracted from Cloves, and is the compound most responsible for Clove aroma.
Other important essential oil constituents of Clove oil include acetyl eugenol, beta-caryophyllene and vanillin, crategolic acid, tannins such as bicornin, gallotannic acid, methyl salicylate (painkiller), the flavonoids eugenin, kaempferol, rhamnetin and eugenitin, triterpenoids such as oleanolic acid, stigmasterol and campesterol and several sesquiterpenes.