Discover the captivating fragrant allure of oak moss as we delve into its mesmerizing essence and explore how this enchanting ingredient captivates the market’s senses and adds depth to the fragrances we cherish.
Oak Moss is a species of lichen (evernia prunastri) that is indigenous to the mountainous regions throughout Europe and North Africa where it flourishes only in fresh, clean air.
The more romantic moniker for this tight-curled plant is French and known as mousse de chene. It is also sometimes known as tree moss.
It grows on the trunks and branches of oak trees but is also found on the bark of conifers such as fir and pine trees.
It ranges in color from light green to black, which is determined by whether it is dry or damp. Either way, its fragrance is much more appealing than how it looks.
For centuries, oak moss has been loved and coveted by perfumers focused on formulating fragrances within the Chypre family of scents, the name of which was inspired by the island of Cyprus.
Often used in tandem with spicy, floral bergamot, perfume masters value it as a formidable fixative for more volatile notes.
Its rich and colorful history possibly begins in ancient Egypt, where baskets filled with oak moss were found in the royal tombs of the mighty pharaohs.
Their true purpose has never been ascertained. In the days of Imperial Rome, fragrances were mostly a blend of sugary, vanilla-nuanced styrax, elegant, soft and faintly sweet, calamus root and fruity, woody and labdanum. During the Middle Ages, oak moss was added and used to burn a certain type of incense.
How Is Oak Moss Used In Perfumery?
Our perfume experts revere oak moss for its earthy, woody essence of the dark, primeval forest, which teems with hidden life and colorful, leafy blooms.
It is also often nuanced by erotic musk and warm, honeyed amber.
As a perfume ingredient that has captured the imagination of its users for centuries, it was not popularized in the modern world of perfumery until 1917 with the advent of Coty’s Chypre fragrance.
The Chypre family of scents is always woody in character and their elements play upon the contrast between cool and warm elements.
Formulators deftly layer facets of sugary, vanilla-nuanced styrax, intense, spicy, floral bergamot, rich jasmine, dreamy musky red rose, dark, sensual patchouli, earthy oak moss, animal facets, elegant, smooth calamus and resinous labdanum.
Forest elements add to their essence of elusive mystery as well. These base notes serve as fixatives for many of our bold formulations and they render longevity to any fragrance.
A Few Interesting Facts And Statistics
1. Oak Moss Appearances Are Deceiving
At first glance, the lichen known as oak moss appears to be a single plant, but it is not. It is a growth comprised of two elements; namely, fungus and algae, which grow as one.
2. Oak Moss Soothes Inflammation And Irritation
Oak Moss essential oil has the capacity to soothe skin and maintain its softness by balancing both its moisture and oil levels.
3. Oak Moss Can Be Mistaken For Reindeer Moss
Although oak moss is is similar in appearance to both Reindeer Moss and Old Man’s Beard, the bits that grow outward (the thallus) on oak moss are different. They are flat and strap-like, while the others are round.
4. Oak Moss Is A Bio-Monitor For Pollution
Bio-monitoring measures the chemical elements present in biological materials to determine their level of pollution exposure.
Oak moss has no roots stems and it absorbs all the air and nutrients present in the atmosphere.
This indirectly reduces emissions by filtering dangerous dust particles, and particularly, the accumulation of heavy metals.
5. There Is No Real Oak Moss In Perfume
While ethically there is no ‘there’ there, this riddle is easily explained.
Oak moss has been ‘blacklisted’ by the International Fragrance Association (IFRA) as a potential irritant, and its use is restricted by European regulation to 0.1% in perfume compositions that are applied to the skin.
Perfume creators have found a way around this with a process known as fractionation, which separates the diverse elements of a specific ingredient and removes the problem allergen.
5 Of Our Most-Recently Composed Oakmoss Fragrances
The following represent a small sampling of some of the more popular perfumes our master perfumers have created that contain oak moss.
Applewood Oak Moss
The head notes of this glorious fragrance stream with aspects of the eternal, wet forest, crispy, waxy apple and lush, sugary pineapple.
A floral heart soon follows featuring rich and intense jasmine, dreamy musky rose, spicy, warm ginger, green, musty cyclamen and woody, powdery violet.
A potent dry down of amber-nuanced and sensual oak moss, dark, erotic white musk, earthy patchouli and cedar wood complete this alluring fragrance.
Damask Rose Oakmoss
This intoxicating fragrance streams with head notes featuring facets of clean, spicy and citrusy bergamot and succulent orange.
These elements soon drift into a floral heart marked by intensely sensual and sweet-smelling damask rose, light, herbaceous and bitter bergamot and haunting jasmine.
The scent completes with a dry down featuring sweet, noble vanilla, dark, musky and potent patchouli, warm, smoky oud and dry, earthy and green oak moss.
Mimosa Blossom Musk
Citrus facets of clean, fresh lemon, floral, invigorating bergamot and luscious orange stream seamlessly through the head notes of this intriguing fragrance.
A heart note blend soon follows characterized by bitter, herbaceous and light neroli, ambrosial, woody and green mimosa, rich, fragrant and soothing lavender, intense and intoxicating jasmine, smooth, velvety gardenia and dreamy, musky rose.
The scent completes with a potent dry down meshed with elements of dark, sensual patchouli, radiant, floral and earthy civet, erotic musk, earthy, forest-nuanced oak moss and elegant sweet vanilla.
Oakmoss And Vetiver
The head notes of this strong and virile fragrance burst with facets of luscious orange, fresh lemon and sharp, clean lime.
These elements soon flow into a heart characterized by streams of woody rosemary, rich jasmine, clear, green and delicate lily-of-the-valley, green, musty vetiver and passionate, soft and musky rose.
A dry down of earthy oak moss and sweet, sexy white musk complete this unusual and extremely potent Alpha Aromatics fragrance.
Pink Tangelo Orchid
Dry, acidic and very fragrant citron, uplifting grapefruit and juicy, mild tangelo stream through the head notes of this robust scent.
These elements soon meld into a floral heart bouquet of sweet, fresh orange blossom, rich, intense jasmine, dreamy, musky red rose and powdery, vanilla-nuanced orchid.
Buttery, creamy sandalwood, earthy green oak moss, cool, fresh green and erotic musk complete this captivating fragrance.
We are known all over the world as a leading manufacturer and purveyor of fine natural and designer fragrances that are found in many products that include: fragrances for the home; candles and diffusers; odor neutralizers, private label brands, industrial air fresheners, household cleaning products and fine, specialty perfumes.
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