Tag - oils

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...

Patchouli

Because the scent is developed by oxidation, the succulent leaves of this pretty East Indian bush carry little indication of their potential. The leaves are aged before being distilled, which takes up to 24 hours. Even then, the oil is harsh. As it...

Pepper (Black)

Pepper is a semitropical climbing shrub from India, where most oil and peppercorns for seasoning are produced. Some also comes from Indonesia and the Orient. Family: Piperacea Extraction: Distilled from partially dried, unripe fruit. The scent is...

Juniperus communis

Juniper

The berries of this North American shrub flavor gin, named after geniŠvre, French for “juniper berry.” Traditionally the fragrance was thought to ward off contagious diseases. Native Americans living in the high deserts of the West still...

Coriander

Regardless of its reputation as a love potion, the 14th-century nuns of St. Just included coriander in their Carmelite water, a scent and complexion product that remained popular for the next four centuries. Coriander dominated Eau de Carnes...

Labdanum

Native to Spain and Greece, this is the “rockrose” grown in some North American gardens. Possibly the Bible’s onycha and “rose of Sharon” (Song 2:1), it often replaces ambergris. It has long been popular in Spain, which...

Cumin

Some perfumes use small amounts of cumin, which is native to Egypt and the Mediterranean. The seed is commonly used in Mexican and East Indian foods, and is traditionally used in the ancient Ayurvedic medicine of East India. Family: Apiaceae...

Lovage

This large European and west Asian plant is common in herb gardens. It tastes like a very strong celery. The herb is often used in treating women’s complaints. Family: Apiaceae (Umbelliferae) Extraction: Distilled from fresh roots, or from...

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