The Mysteriously Aromatic Earthy Woody Note Of Galbanum

The fresh earthy and woody aroma of galbanum essential oil brings pleasure to both the mind and soul.

It is a rich, green, mysterious and woody perfume note that is quite complex, and its application presents a formidable challenge to master perfumers.

The sticky, brown and aromatic gum resin that is extracted from plants that are in the same botanical family as carrots, celery and parsley, is also known by other monikers that include: Ferula gummosa; Galbano and Oleogum Resin.

These plants grow in wild profusion along the mountainous slopes of northern Iran and to some extent, Afghanistan and Turkey.

The Many Uses Of Galbanum

At maturity, this perennial herb reaches about three feet in height and diameter. Known for many applications that date back to the days when the world was young, galbanum is mentioned in the Old Testament as one of several sacred ingredients found in holy incense (Exodus 30:34).

Galbanum Perfume Spray

The ancient Egyptians imported immense quantities from Persia for use in their religious rites, embalming rituals, many healing ointments and as a facet in a unique perfume known as Metopian.

The Romans and Greeks burned galbanum in incense sticks, added it to scent bath water and incorporated it into skin balms and unguents. During the Middle Ages in Europe, galbanum was an important ingredient in many formulas for medicines.

For many centuries, it was used as a remedy for digestive problems, as an appetite stimulant and to relieve coughs and spasms. It was also sometimes applied to the skin to treat wounds.

This essential oil is also used today as flavoring in food and beverages.

How Exactly Is Galbanum Produced?

Galbanum essential oil is intensely green, natural and fresh.

It is harvested via an incision into the root of the plant and then extracted either through steam distillation to obtain the essential oil, or by solvent distillation of the stems of the plant, which are extracted in small drops known as tears, to produce the earthy, woody resin.

This powerful, natural substance is the olfactory force behind one of the world’s most iconic perfumes; namely, Chanel No. 19, which was created from a superior Iranian grade of galbanum.

Perfumers relied on it so heavily that in 1979, during the Iranian Revolution when the oil supply was blocked, formulators were greatly challenged by the pressing need to reproduce this vital ingredient.

Galbanum Use Within Modern Perfumery

Galbanum holds a unique position within the world of perfume creation.

It can be utilized in so many ways because of its intrinsic olfactory facets, which include: green; woody; balsamic; animal; herbacious and woody aspects.

Galbanum Fragrance And Use In Scented Products

Although it can recreate floral elements very well, its main purpose is to render an intensely green note to any fragrance.

A truly versatile perfume ingredient, galbanum renders a fresh and spirited character when formulators seek to emphasize the green aspect of its nature. If an earthy tone is desired, it can infuse an intense, and woody effect.

Galbanum is not recommended for amateur perfumers, as it can easily and very quickly repress any other notes in a specific composition.

Our perfumers at Alpha Aromatics, rely heavily on this resin as a fixative to stabilize other scent components for its many woody (chypre) fragrances.

The rich, green, piney and dry elements are known to evolve over the passage of time.

Galbanum deftly balances floral accords used in conjunction with leafy green and earthy hyacinth, raspberry-nuanced iris, potent, rich and dark narcissus, powdery violet and creamy, smooth gardenia. The resin also blends well with many spices.

A Few Of Our Select Galbanum Fragrances

Given it’s popularity and its use a as a fixative agent (an ingredient used to stabilize other perfume components), our perfumers often incorporate Galbanum into the fragrances we design for all product categories.

These include but are not limited to personal care products, candles and diffusers, fragrances for the home, odor neutralizers, private label brands, industrial air fresheners and household cleaning products, to name just a few.

Alpha Aromatics Library of Fragrance Samples

The following represent a sampling of our most recently-designed perfume designs that contain galbanum.

Amberwood Galbanum

A citrus burst of lush orange and spicy, fruit and aromatic bergamot open this glorious fragrance.

Head note facets soon merge into a floral middle note accented by rich, haunting jasmine, dreamy, musky rose, mellow, green and sweet lavender and slightly woody, vanilla-like balsam.

A potent dry down marked by aspects of intense, long lasting amber wood, balsamic, green and woody galbanum, creamy sandalwood, sensual musk, pungent, radiant civet and dark, earthy patchouli completes this unforgettable scent.

Galbanum Bloom

Head notes of sweet, dark and berry-like cassis, luscious orange and fresh, clean lemon drift seamlessly into a floral heart note bouquet marked by aspects of rich, haunting jasmine, powdery, vanilla-nuanced heliotrope, creamy, potent and waxy tuberose, honeyed, radiantly sweet and spicy freesia and wild, warm honeysuckle.

This intriguing scent finishes with a dry down marked by intense, green, woody and balsamic galbanum and piquant, hot and fruity clove leaf.

Green Willow Galbanum

Streaming facets of clean, cool fresh breeze and woody, green galbanum form the head notes of this potent fragrance.

These aspects soon drift into a middle note featuring intense jasmine, creamy, sugary and wintergreen-nuanced green willow and delicious, vanilla-toned and almondy heliotrope.

Base notes of dry, balsamic cedar, dark, earthy patchouli, animalistic, passionate musk, warm, honeyed amber and lush vanilla finish this scent. 

Sweet Grass and Clay 

Green and revitalizing, the head notes of this uplifting scent stream with fruity, floral elements of sharp lime zest, soft floral tones, velvety peach blossom and sappy, green aloe leaf.

A sweet smelling heart note soon takes hold, bursting with facets of passionate, musky rose, haunting jasmine and vanilla-nuanced and sugary green grass.

Completing the fragrance is a dry down of honeyed, dark and warm amber, intensely green and balsamic galbanum and erotic, aromatic white musk.

Wild Iris Galbanum

Fatty apricot kernel, fresh, clean lemon, crunchy apply and uplifting grapefruit form the top notes of this invigorating fragrance.

These elements meld into a potent heart note bouquet hallmarked by elements of intoxicating, woody galbanum, rich, narcotic jasmine and smooth, raspberry-nuanced iris.

A dry down of elegant, lush vanilla, sensual, aromatic musk, earthy, dark patchouli, creamy sandalwood and dry, somewhat sugary cedar finish this fragrance.

In Conclusion

Contact our teams today, and learn how the power of galbanum can provide a uniquely aromatic signature scent for your product or product line!


Photo Credits: Pixabay

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