Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Fragrant Oil for Today: Oak Moss Essential Oil

Oakmoss Oil extract is greenish owing to its natural form

Oak Moss has gained the reputation of being in the most sacred category of ingredients used in the global perfume industry. Its fragrance is so exotic that even the choosiest of perfume brands cannot ignore it. Apart from the perfume industry, Oak Moss is also used in skincare products and cosmetics. As the name suggest, this is essentially lichen that grows on trees. The essential oil extracted from Oak Moss comes from the oleoresins. These are volatile biological compounds with a distinct fragrance. For a natural or organic perfumer, Oak Moss is an absolute must. Perfume history of France has legends related to Oak Moss because of its rare availability and the need to pick a particularly type of lichen which is not easy.

Prevalence of Oakmoss

European nations are the forefront of producing Oak Moss Oils since the temperature there supports oaks and the regional variety of oak moss provides the easiest raw material to handle. Oak Moss Essential Oil has now moved out of its traditional demographics within Europe that saw it limited to France. New entrants include nations like Bulgaria. Moving westwards, USA is arising as the new destination for this exotic essential oil.


Using Oakmoss

Oakmoss Absolute is always used in low concentrations because the extracts are highly volatile and the aroma can be overpowering. Stronger concentrations are never recommended to those just entering the niche of essential oils. First impressions suggest thick, resinous oil that remains semi-solid at room temperature. This is among the harder of essential oils to blend. In terms of appearance, the first extract of Oak Moss is slightly ungainly, looking like sludge, very different from the refined substance you find among expert perfumers. The texture is sticky and the color somewhat greenish. The wet oak moss extract beautifully conceals its inherent medical and therapeutic properties.


Therapeutic Uses of Oakmoss

From historic records to aromatherapy options recommended by modern-day naturopaths, it is obvious that Oak Moss Essential Oil is now globally accepted as a restorative and an antiseptic. The most preferred way of extracting essential oil from Oak Moss is Solvent Extraction—if you want to understand this method, please revert to this discussion: http://blogs.mukhallat.com/2015/07/extracted-basics-of-how-essential-oils.html.

The most amazing medical property of Oak Moss essential oil is to control sepsis. This means that the oil can fight away infection, if not curing it totally. It is a great application when you want to control a spreading infection or when recovering from a bout of infection. However, using Oak Moss essential oil for such medical reasons needs careful handling as the oil has a strong reaction. Oak Moss’ antiseptic properties come with some issues like a bit of burning sensation. However, we are going to concentrate more on the fragrant properties of Oak Moss rather than talk about its ability to soothe scratches and inflammations.


What to expect from oak moss fragrance?

In one word—EARTHY!

Some folks might call the fragrance as mossy too but that is only if you are sniffing the absolute pure variety. Oakmoss is different from other earthy-described scents because it has a forest floor undertone to it—this is very rare and though it might induce the impression of smelling something like a moisture-seeped wall, this is not the case. Oak moss scent is dry and earthy with a slight grassy feel. Some people call this “barky” but this is not a universally accurate description. Other opinions include a bit of leather-like tone, when the hide has undergone some sort of treatment. This again remains subjective. Oakmoss is among the more challenging of fragrances to define. Perhaps, this is why many perfumers use it as a fixative agent. This means Oakmoss loses is inherent aura to other volatile notes so that the final creation is a lot more stable and has a rich layering effect. Oakmoss oils are often used to make oriental and floral perfumes smell better, less volatile and make them smell more natural (the “earthy” bit again). Ralph Lauren Polo is one brand often credited for using a rather premium Oakmoss ingredient but some folks say that the scent sometimes is not as natural as you would expect from such a premium brand.

Some 100% Natural Oakmoss Oil creations that you can find on Mukhallat.com:

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