Tag - oils

Sandalwood

One of the oldest perfume materials, sandalwood has been in use for at least 2,000 years. It begins producing oil only after 30 years. Mysore, India, produces the best-quality oil, which is regulated by the government, but oil is also available from...

Melissa

Well-known to herbalists as “lemon balm,” melissa is a southern European native. A medieval favorite, it was the main ingredient in “Carmelite Water,” along with lemon peel, nutmeg, coriander and angelica. It was used for...

Tea tree

Tea Tree

This large Australian tree, sometimes also spelled “ti,” is related to eucalyptus. There are many species and subspecies; all have an interesting bark that curls off the trunk, giving them the name “paperbark.” Studies show...

Mimosa

A common Australian tree-also called by the less poetic name “black wattle”-mimosa is grown in Africa, Europe and warmer sections of the United States. It is used mostly in perfume. Family: Mimosaceae Extraction: Absolute, concrete. The...

Thyme

Rudyard Kipling wrote of the “wind-bit thyme that smells like the perfume of the dawn in paradise.” Ancient Greeks complimented each other as “smelling like thymbra”; their word thymain meant “to burn as incense,”...

Myrrh

This small, scrubby tree from the Middle East and northeast Africa isn’t very handsome, but it makes up for its lackluster looks with the precious gum it exudes. An important trade item for more than a thousand years, myrrh was a primary...

Myrtle

The Biblical Queen Esther changed her name to Hadassah, after the Hebrew word hadas, for “myrtle.” This small, attractive North African tree now makes itself at home throughout the Mediterranean, and was a favorite in the ancient gardens...

Oakmoss

This lichen (a combination of a fungus and algae), which hangs from trees like Spanish moss, was found in Egyptian royal tombs. It is a fixative in chypre-type perfumes (named after Cyprus, the home of this moss) and was a popular 16th-century...

Orange

The familiar sweet orange comes from Sicily, Israel, Spain and the United States, each offering a slightly different characteristic. Chu-lu, the first monograph describing the various citruses, was written in China in 1178. Extraction: Cold-pressed...

Orange Blossom

One of the many stories about this plant is that neroli was named after the 16th-century Italian princess of Nerola, who loved its scent. The oil comes from the blossom of the bitter orange, not the sweet orange that produces orange oil. An...

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