Food Worth Growing: ‘Trinidad Perfume’ Pepper

Pepper Trinidad Perfume

I love the idea of hot peppers much more than my body likes it when I eat them. For that reason I am always on the look out for what West Indians call “seasoning peppers.” That is, varieties that impart the flavour of hot peppers without the heat.* One of the best seasoning peppers that I have found is a beautiful, bright yellow-orange scotch bonnet aka habanero-type variety called ‘Trinidad Perfume.’

As the name suggests, this variety is perfumed like a typical habanero, but carries little to no heat. The peppers are incredibly flavourful and aromatic. They are fruity and sweet with a strong citrus flavour, yet I can bite into one without burning my mouth or destroying my digestive tract. I have enjoyed them chopped up finely and served fresh in tuna salad, added to fresh salsa/pico de gallo, or cooked/stewed with meat and vegetables much in the way you would use a regular habanero. I have also used it in pickles, and I imagine that it would work wonderfully this way all on its own. The time has passed this year, but the fruity flavour would also work well in a peach jam.

Pepper Trinidad Perfume Grown in a Container

Over the last two years I have grown this variety among the many that I keep in pots on my sunny front stoop, overwintering the first plant in addition to starting a new one from self-collected seed. The plant looks just like the other habanero types I have grown in the past (it is also Capsicum chinense) and requires the same growing conditions.

Be forewarned that some plants can revert and produce hot fruit. If heat is a problem for you, I suggest tasting the first fruit carefully to ascertain its heat level before adding them to food. In fact, I tend to taste a small piece of each fruit before I use it, just in case.

Pepper Trinidad Perfume

The Details:

  • Open-pollinated
  • Final height is about 2 feet.
  • Grow in full sun in well-draining soil. Allow the top inch of soil to dry slightly between waterings.
  • Requires about 100 days to fruit. Start seed very early. I start mine as early as January in zone 5b.
  • Save seed from ripe, unblemished fruit.
  • Fruit forms green and transforms to bright yellow-orange. Harvest once this colour has developed.
  • Container Growing: I have only grown it in containers so far. This is a tall plant so choose a pot that is at least 12″ deep.
  • Overwinter indoors near a bright light source. I keep mine in a large south-facing window. Bring indoors well before the hard frost hits your region.

I bought my seeds from Solana Seeds in Quebec, but there are several other vendors online.

*Note that seasoning peppers can be a little spicy. However, their main purpose is imparting flavour to a dish.

Gayla Trail
Gayla is a writer, photographer, and former graphic designer with a background in the Fine Arts, cultural criticism, and ecology. She is the author, photographer, and designer of best-selling books on gardening, cooking, and preserving.

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10 thoughts on “Food Worth Growing: ‘Trinidad Perfume’ Pepper

  1. Thanks for the review. those are pretty little peppers. I think i’ve found a spot on my deck where peppers do ok, it’s a challenge to grow peppers here in Calgary. I had excellent luck with Spanish Padron Peppers i grew from seed (Baker Creek) this year – definitely a keeper. Delicious as Tapas, and nice stuffed with shimp and tempura fried. I have Shishitos on my list to try next year, and now Trinidad Perfume.


    P.S. I gave a newbie gardener friend your Grow Great Grub book this spring as part of an enabling gift (along with seeds and an offer to help build a raised bed). She truely thought cucumbers grew underground, and started pulling her plants to havest cukes before they even bloomed! Eventually she managed to harvest a few from the remaining plants. Another one completely hooked, she was so happy with her first year’s effort – she has plans to build another bed next year and start a raspberry patch.

    • I love Spanish Padron, but neglected to grow them this year. If you try ‘Trinidad Perfume’ I definitely suggest starting as early as I do and grow in a pot. A pot can be moved around the garden to follow the sun and heat as the season changes.

      Thank you for giving my book! Also: One of us! One of us!

  2. I will try and find some seeds of these peppers and grow them next summer. I love the idea of the flavour of a hot pepper without the heat.

    Thanks for the great information.

  3. While I love a hot pepper I’m all for the fruit-forward ones, too. This is now on my list of varieties to try. Thanks for the recommendation!

  4. This is a regular in my garden, too. I’m a fan of spicy, but I love this almost spice-less pepper anyway. It is so fragrant and shiny, productive and tasty, that it has earned a permanent place in my garden. Thank you for telling more people about it.

  5. I really love learning about new varieties that people have been successful growning. I’ve added this to my seed list for next year!

  6. So great to hear that they’re available online! If it weren’t illegal to do so, I would tell you that we Trinis usually just resort to smuggling a few seeds in our suitcases when we go down to Trinidad, but since it IS illegal to do so, I won’t tell you that. ;)


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