Raw Materials Christmas Scents: Part I, Spruce

Christmas Scents: Part I, Spruce

11/20/15 09:26:57 (10 comments)

by: Juliett Ptoyan

 
Welcome to a new series of articles dedicated to discussion about trees, plants and spices that create a festive mood and explain fragrances related to the Christmas holiday.
 
SPRUCE 
Spruce is perhaps the most famous of all Christmas trees; it usually takes its place this time of year in living rooms or gardens and is a type of conifer that many of have seen on classic holiday postcards. In fact, who hasn't scraped a finger while trying to dress up spruce's bristled leaves? 
 
 
Spruce is also really easy to find at holiday fairs - even easier than fir, which originated in the North. The main characteristics of the spruce are crowded, comparably short, but pointed needles, almost flat twigs, and variable height - from the tiny, Canadian conic sort (approximately 1 meter) to the Sitka spruce which can grow up to 90 meters in height. It's not too difficult to confuse a spruce with a fir, but their appearance is the answer: firs' cones stay pedimental, and spruces' hang loose. Firs' needles are also not as sharp.
 
 
The scent of spruce is rich, balsamic and heavenly and can be compared with the aroma of fir, but the spruce is more intense and resinous, and the aroma is not as volatile (in fact, both of them are equal in fugacity).
 
To make an essential oil from spruce, producers often choose a Norwegian variety, widespread all over Europe, because other varieties can't guarantee the high quality of seepage: for example, the Ayan spruce offers only a small amount of oil, and the Jezo offers very little bornyl acetate, the colorless liquid that produces the piny scent. Producers use a steam distillation method to extract fragrant compounds and the result is only 15-20 ml for each kilo of needles and branches. 
 
Besides its magnificent scent, spruce oil is highly estimated for its ability to quickly help with the common cold, to boost immunity and clear the mucous. 
 
 
 
Spruce as a perfume note is employed rather infrequently, but there are some striking scents from modern natural perfumers that deserve attention: Ayala Moriel offers two perfumes - Rainforest and Orcas; Joanne Bassett offers Petit Trianon; and Teone Reinthal offers Black Spruce.
 
Other brands include Christopher Brosius's Christmas Tree for Demeter, and The Fir Tree for his own CB I Hate Perfume; Serge Lutens united fir and spruce in Fille en Aiguilles; and there's a frosty touch of spruce in The Vagabond Prince's Enchanted Forest, too. 
 
 
There are also numerous scented candles from companies such as P.F. Candle Co., Voluspa, UCandles', and a number of artisan chandlers on Etsy. 
 
But spruce is not just for perfume in Russia: in the Ural region, you can try jam from cones! It's just delicious and really unusual, and somewhat nutty (have you tried it? You need to!). In the middle of summer, local farmers collect green cones, which are easy to crack in their raw conditions, and boil them with sugar and water. The result is a heavenly-scented confiture with unusual texture: the cones become so soft that you can easily bite through them. 
 
Finally, you can use the conifer broom in hot baths! But I suppose you better try pine first - spruce is a bit prickly, and you should really love the aroma to appreciate it....
 
 
How do you feel about the scent of spruce? Do you wear any fragrances where it is a dominant note, and if you do, which ones and when - all year long or just in winter?
 
Wishing you a fragrant weekend!
 

 

Juliett Ptoyan is a perfume journalist who collaborates with several glossy magazines, organizes perfume workshops and regularly writes for her own blog, bouquetjuliett.ru.

 

 



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miracleborgtech
miracleborgtech

Lovely article! With the colder weather and holidays coming, I've been wearing all my favorites that have a strong pine note. Agree with NebraskaLovesScent - my favorite is Dasein Winter so far. Still on the hunt for more that have the smell of sap from fresh cut boughs though. . Going to get a sample of Black Spruce! Also getting Christmas Fir Cabin Spray by Juniper Ridge for my pillows! Want it to smell like being in a pine forest!

Nov
28
2015
Carnation
Carnation

I love it. Anything resinous is music to my nose!
The closest I have worn is Parfums d'Empire's Wazamba.

Nov
23
2015
melissa
melissa

For the smell of pine, I love Clinique Wrappings. It reminds me of the christmas season and it is only available during the holiday season.

Nov
23
2015
bouquetjuliett
bouquetjuliett

ComfyCat, thank you! The next will be about another conifer ;)As for your favourite - haven't tried it yet, but really need cause freshly broken branch (in winter!covered with snow!) is one I'm looking for:))

Nov
23
2015
dmaw
dmaw

Clinique Wrappings---my go to for Christmas/winter.

Nov
21
2015
ComfyCat
ComfyCat

Great writing, Juliett!
Spruce, Firs, Pines, I love them all. My favourite scent so far on this theme would be Evocatives Siberian Fir which smells like a freshly broken branch of fir in winter: very crisp and clear. Looking forward to the next article :))

Nov
21
2015
bouquetjuliett
bouquetjuliett

Fragaria, Yogamarc, NebraskaLovesScent, thank you! :) We will continue with 1 article per week and definitely tell more about firs, pines, junipers and several other conifers.

Jodi, really need to try Dasein Winter:))

Nov
20
2015
NebraskaLovesScent
NebraskaLovesScent

It's a nice scent. I do tend to save it for colder weather. Lots of good ones on the list and I'll add Dasein Winter, which is the ultimate "Christmas tree" scent, in my opinion. :-)

Thanks, Juliett!

Nov
20
2015
Yogamarc
Yogamarc

Don't forget Krigler's Good Fir! Its not as common but to me it's the finest fir scent there is! Love the smell of Pine - but it's hard to nail down in a scent.

Nov
20
2015
Fragaria
Fragaria

I loved this article. I would have enjoyed several MORE pages. I vote for an article a day until Christmas! It's beginning to smell a lot like Christmas!

Nov
20
2015

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