Oakmoss

lat. K9ngdom Plantae, division Bryophyta
Other names: Mousse de Chene, treemoss

Group: Woods and Mosses

Oakmoss K9ngdom Plantae, division Bryophyta
Oakmoss K9ngdom Plantae, division Bryophyta
Oakmoss K9ngdom Plantae, division Bryophyta
Odor profile: An inky, bitter-smelling forest floor evocative, prized essence coming from the lichen that grows on oak trees in Europe (harvested in the Balkans). Nowadays severely restricted under skin sensitization concerns, it is nevertheless an essential part of chypre fragrances and fougère fragrances.

 


Oakmoss, also known as Evernia prunastri, is a species of lichen, a fungus found in mountainous temperate forests all around the Northern Hemisphere. As its name already suggests, oakmoss grows commonly on the branches and trunks of oak trees, even though it may also be found on other deciduous trees and conifers. This bushy lichen is very short, flat and has a strap-like thallus that somewhat resembles the shape of deer antlers. Oamkoss varies in color, being minty green or almost white when dry, or dark-olive green and even yellowish when wet.

Oakmoss is one of the most commonly used raw materials, especially in chypre and Fougère types of perfumes. Often used as a fixative, it not only improves the longevity of the composition but also lends a delicate forest-like, rich and earthy aroma to the fragrant composition, leaving a natural, damp and creamy soft trail. This raw material is usually commercially grown in South-Central Europe and exported to Grasse in France, where the majority of the perfumery houses are situated. Oakmoss absolutes and extracts, derived from the lichen, have a distinctively woody, sharp and very sensual aroma that combines very well with floral and green notes, and makes a great addition to oriental type fragrances. A special type of oakmoss which grows on pine trees has a slightly different, turpentine-like smell, which makes it highly valued among perfumers.

Oakmoss absolute can be obtained by solvent extraction or by using vacuum distillation. The one obtained by solvent extraction is dark green or even brown in color and has a strong, natural, earthy-mossy scent with a slight leather undertone. The process of vacuum distillation gives a pale yellow or green aromatic material with a very dry, earthy and bark-like flavor.
 

For many years, oakmoss has been known as a potent dermal sensitizer that should be used with extreme caution in order to prevent adverse dermatological reactions. However, it has become very controversial in recent times, since the IFRA, a body that regulates the guidelines for safe usage of fragrant chemicals and essential oils in perfumes, has listed oakmoss as a restricted ingredient. IFRA regulations state that oak moss extracts obtained from Evernia prunastri should not be used in consumer products if their quantity exceeds 0.1%. Moreover, if the formula already contains tree moss extracts, the levels of oakmoss and tree moss extracts should be reduced in such a way that the total amount of both extracts doesn't exceed 0.1%.

Because it is almost impossible to compose a classic chypre fragrance without a trail of natural moss, perfumers have been under a difficult challenge since 2001, trying to find a new extract that would be olfactively close to the original scent of oakmoss, and yet comply with the IFRA regulations. Following the new guidelines, many perfumery houses have reformulated their epic perfumes. Some of the many examples are Guerlain's Mitsouko and Parure, both using oakmoss as a base note. But, with a little help from modern science, Thierry Wasser, Guerlain's famous perfumer, has found his way to preserve the scent of original version and avoid changing the formulation dramatically.


Guerlain now uses oakmoss that doesn't have the specific molecule which is not allowed by IFRA regulations. Thanks to the modern chemistry, this new raw material is a 100% pure and natural extract that complies with the amendments of IFRA. Some other perfumers have substituted oakmoss with grassy notes of patchouli and vetiver, while others use a synthetic “mossy woods” note that reproduces the deep forest-like smell.

You can still feel the genuine “scent of the wet forest” in the creations of modern natural perfumers, who continure to use oakmoss absolute obtained by solvent extraction. Oakmoss is found in many iconic perfumes such as Paloma Picasso, in the floral-woody-green composition of Chanel #19, in Miss Dior by Dior, a chypre-floral fragrance for women, and Apercu by Houbigant. I should also mention Houbigant’s vintage Fougere Royale, with a top-note of lavender and base-notes of oakmoss and coumarin. The whole class of Fougère perfumes, consisting primarily of perfumes for men, is named in reference to this classic creation.

 


Author: Marina Milojević (Mary)
Fragrantica Writer, Translator & Editor

 

 

 


 

 

Perfumes and Colognes With Oakmoss

1.5015547263682
Epris Max Factor
1.5014769900498
Muschio Bianco L`Erbolario
1.5009328358209
Le Smoking DSH Perfumes
1.5009328358209
Khaltath Al Haramain Perfumes
1.5008550995025
Muschio L`Erbolario
1.5006218905473
Programme Homme Cologne Lancome
1.5005441542289
Constellation Paloma Picasso
1.5004664179104
Mousse de Chêne - Oakmoss Outremer
1.5002332089552
Zombi Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5002332089552
Crown of Gold Anglia Perfumery
1.5001554726368
Jazz Funeral Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5001554726368
Purple Orchid Shirley May
1.5001554726368
Deep in Earth Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5001554726368
Riviera Palace L`Artisan Parfumeur
1.5000777363184
Firefly DSH Perfumes
1.5000777363184
Cathode Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5000777363184
Want DSH Perfumes
1.5000777363184
Cordial (Holiday no.12) DSH Perfumes
1.5000777363184
Patchouli Durance en Provence
1.5
Gymkana Jean Dessès
1.5
Caspian Angela Flanders
1.4999222636816
Don Carlos Shirley May
1.44342039801
Clubman Pinaud Clubman
1.4286487363184
The Forest Library of Flowers
1.428571
Invictus Silver Cup Collector`s Edition Paco Rabanne
1.4284155273632
Amplexus Daniel Vaudd
1.4198423333333
Very Sexy Platinum for Him Victoria`s Secret
1.4173666268657
Champion Black Al-Rehab
1.409091
Intimate Jasmine Neil Morris
1.4006996268657
Firdous Al Haramain Perfumes
1.4003109452736
Vetiver Murdock London
1.3859365174129
Lapsang Su Chong Tokyo Milk Parfumarie Curiosite
1.3850814179104
Lasso Jean Patou
1.3832840895522
BOSS The Collection Cotton & Verbena Hugo Boss
1.3751554726368
Mila Schön Uomo (Original) Mila Schön
1.375
Dragon Noir Dragon Parfums
1.375
Agent XY LR
1.3675909850746
Mitsouko Eau de Toilette Guerlain
1.3637914726368
Ed Hardy Skulls & Roses Limited Edition Christian Audigier
1.3637914726368
Watt Blue Cofinluxe
1.3598393333333
Acqua di Gio Giorgio Armani
1.3587754626866
Hedera helix Roxana Illuminated Perfume
1.3580058706468
Chique Yardley
1.3516355074627
Feuille Verte Creed
1.35
Linden & Dark Moss Voluspa
1.3498152437811
Vu par Ted Lapidus Ted Lapidus
1.3460517014925
Aventus Creed
1.3448814527363
Dakar Al-Rehab
1.3444121442786
Bottega Veneta Bottega Veneta
1.3402607263682
Cristalle Chanel
1.335043199005
Cuba Green Cuba Paris
1.3348099900498
Audace Brut Parfums Prestige
1.3338771542289
Garden State 100 Tokyo Milk Parfumarie Curiosite
1.3338771542289
UNTITLED No. 1 by Yosh Han UNTITLED
1.3338771542289
Colonia del Forte 1265 Profumi del Forte
1.3337994179104
Celui de Jean Dessès Jean Dessès
1.3337994179104
Jil Sander Man II Jil Sander
1.3336439452736
Memory & Desire No.1 DSH Perfumes
1.3335662089552
Morass Teufels Kuche
1.3335662089552
Twelfth Night (Holiday no.2) DSH Perfumes
1.3335662089552
Infinitif Infinitif
1.3335662089552
Secret No. 1 Nordic EDP Raunsborg
1.333333
3rd Eiger Ajne
1.333333
Epic Adventure Emper
1.333333
Camera On Max Deville
1.333333
Red Gold Jivago
1.3332552636816
Rose Hubris Ex Nihilo
1.3332552636816
No. 6 Luna + Azul Crow
1.3294105621891
Diamella Yves Rocher
1.3274054477612
London for Men Burberry
1.3188816268657
Precious One Angela Flanders
1.3158667363184
Rose Vert DSH Perfumes
1.3082361542289
Jacarandá Fueguia 1833
1.3039645522388
Lace Yardley
1.3020211442786
Arboretum Le Prince Jardinier
1.3004664179104
Lace Fine Fragrances & Cosmetics
1.3003109452736
Moss Portland General Store
1.3
Safary Night Shadow Parfums Louis Armand
1.3
CoolBleu - Cool Blues Ajne
1.2999222636816
Angry Birds Red Bird Air-Val International
1.2985503532338
Chypre Novaya Zarya
1.298006199005
Golden Autumn Prince Matchabelli
1.2939272587065
Terre d`Hermes Parfum Hermes
1.2924114975124
Patchouli Intense Nicolai Parfumeur Createur
1.2923666268657
Plaisir d' Amour Libertin Louison Technique Indiscrete
1.287812880597
Ferrari No 1 Ferrari
1.2863358905473
Banded Sea Snake Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.2852145522388
Vintage Tabarome Creed
1.2805796915423
Egoiste Platinum Chanel
1.2801100895522
Cuba Brown Cuba Paris
1.2765789402985
Eucris Geo. F. Trumper
1.2765616268657
U Black Hombre Adolfo Dominguez
1.2763445422886
Charlie Blue Revlon
1.2762515870647
Bottega Veneta Eau Legere Bottega Veneta
1.2728047363184
Speakeasy Moonshine
1.272727
Root Library of Flowers
1.2723877263682
Wisdom No 26 Tokyo Milk Parfumarie Curiosite
1.2720295074627
Curzon Cologne Geo. F. Trumper
1.2708395074627
Mystere Novaya Zarya
1.267055681592
Naiad Bud Parfums
1.2659388457711
Ultraviolet Paco Rabanne
1.2654056268657
Jade Yardley
1.2623684527363
Courant Helena Rubinstein
1.2610413034826
La Panthere Cartier
1.2600054179104
Antaeus Chanel
1.2599306716418
La Collection Y Yves Saint Laurent
1.2598808905473
1747 Galimard
1.2597254179104
Embruns Keiko Mecheri
1.2595528258706
Eau de Monsieur Annick Goutal
1.2594144726368
Rich Leather JoAnne Bassett
1.2593686567164
Desir de Nature Yves Rocher
1.2577983134328
CK One Calvin Klein
1.257524199005
Age of Aquarius Tokyo Milk Parfumarie Curiosite
1.2571873631841
Driftwood Arran Aromatics
1.2565654726368
Megumi Ayala Moriel
1.2561411691542
Eau Fraiche Christian Dior
1.2559895970149
Chanel N°5 Chanel
1.2558989502488
Dune Christian Dior
1.2538144875622
Empreinte (new) Courreges
1.253809079602
Devil's Night Cap Lush
1.2527207711443
Vetiver Bourbon Miller Harris
1.2523777164179
Ange ou Demon Givenchy
1.2521369701493
Enigma Dare to Dream Oriflame
1.2516324626866
A Rather Novel Collection 5 O'Clock At Belvoir Castle by Stephen Nilsen Anthropologie
1.2515547263682
Cocktail B Never Too Busy To Be Beautiful
1.2510105721393
Eau du Soir 2010 Sisley
1.2508550995025
Moss and Mint Body & Soul Nest
1.2506996268657
Chique Milton Lloyd
1.2506996268657
Lush Fig Nectar Bath and Body Works
1.2506218905473
Green Velvet The Rising Phoenix Perfumery
1.2504664179104
Pure Silk Mayfair
1.2504664179104
Agua de Colonia No.2 Oak Moss Musgo Real
1.2504664179104
7 Sinful Scents Lust Gendarme
1.2503109452736
Usain Ona Parfums et Senteurs du Pays Basque
1.2502332089552
Terra Firma Royal Apothic
1.2501554726368
Happiology Sunshower Illume
1.2501554726368
X Series Flash Avon
1.2500777363184
Earthtones #4: Red Sky Neil Morris
1.25
Mokara Voluspa
1.25
VO by Victor Ortiz Eclectic Collections
1.2461563532338
Green Oakmoss Soivohle
1.2426814427861
Alliage Sport Spray Estée Lauder
1.2415048358209
Cool Water Davidoff
1.2413843532338
Tobacco Rose Papillon Artisan Perfumes
1.2412885174129
Omnia Crystalline Bvlgari
1.2410883084577
Invitation Jean Patou
1.2401554726368
Invisible Monster CB I Hate Perfume
1.2399789054726
Paco Rabanne Paco Rabanne
1.2399606716418
Paper & Cotton Tokyo Milk Parfumarie Curiosite
1.2391833084577
Masculin Acier Bourjois

Popular brands and perfumes: