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

1.5015322148165
Muschio Bianco L`Erbolario
1.5015322148165
Epris Max Factor
1.5009193288899
Le Smoking DSH Perfumes
1.5009193288899
Khaltath Al Haramain Perfumes
1.5008427181491
Muschio L`Erbolario
1.5006128859266
Programme Homme Cologne Lancome
1.5005362751858
Constellation Paloma Picasso
1.500459664445
Mousse de Chêne - Oakmoss Outremer
1.5002298322225
Crown of Gold Anglia Perfumery
1.5002298322225
Zombi Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5001532214817
Deep in Earth Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5001532214817
Purple Orchid Shirley May
1.5001532214817
Riviera Palace L`Artisan Parfumeur
1.5001532214817
Firefly DSH Perfumes
1.5001532214817
Jazz Funeral Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5000766107408
Patchouli Durance en Provence
1.5000766107408
Want DSH Perfumes
1.5000766107408
Cordial (Holiday no.12) DSH Perfumes
1.5000766107408
Cathode Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5
Gymkana Jean Dessès
1.5
Caspian Angela Flanders
1.4999233892592
Don Carlos Shirley May
1.4434474833372
Clubman Pinaud Clubman
1.4287242214817
The Forest Library of Flowers
1.4284177785183
Amplexus Daniel Vaudd
1.4198435303762
Very Sexy Platinum for Him Victoria`s Secret
1.4173564966674
Champion Black Al-Rehab
1.409091
Intimate Jasmine Neil Morris
1.4006894966674
Firdous Al Haramain Perfumes
1.4003064429633
Vetiver Murdock London
1.385917382594
Lapsang Su Chong Tokyo Milk Parfumarie Curiosite
1.3852278859266
Lasso Jean Patou
1.3832503222248
BOSS The Collection Cotton & Verbena Hugo Boss
1.3751532214817
Mila Schön Uomo (Original) Mila Schön
1.375
Dragon Noir Dragon Parfums
1.375
Agent XY LR
1.3662990731633
Mitsouko Eau de Toilette Guerlain
1.3637892214817
Watt Blue Cofinluxe
1.3637892214817
Ed Hardy Skulls & Roses Limited Edition Christian Audigier
1.3597193333333
Acqua di Gio Giorgio Armani
1.3587518255573
Hedera helix Roxana Illuminated Perfume
1.357954094078
Chique Yardley
1.3515949866697
Feuille Verte Creed
1.35
Linden & Dark Moss Voluspa
1.3497735974106
Vu par Ted Lapidus Ted Lapidus
1.3476050295717
Aventus Creed
1.345296094078
Dakar Al-Rehab
1.3443761116218
Bottega Veneta Bottega Veneta
1.3414302386425
Cristalle Chanel
1.3351716577798
Cuba Green Cuba Paris
1.3347886040757
Audace Brut Parfums Prestige
1.3338692751858
UNTITLED No. 1 by Yosh Han UNTITLED
1.3338692751858
Garden State 100 Tokyo Milk Parfumarie Curiosite
1.3338692751858
Colonia del Forte 1265 Profumi del Forte
1.333792664445
Celui de Jean Dessès Jean Dessès
1.333792664445
Jil Sander Man II Jil Sander
1.3337160537041
Twelfth Night (Holiday no.2) DSH Perfumes
1.3336394429633
Memory & Desire No.1 DSH Perfumes
1.3335628322225
Infinitif Infinitif
1.3335628322225
Secret No. 1 Nordic EDP Raunsborg
1.3335628322225
Morass Teufels Kuche
1.3334096107408
Epic Adventure Emper
1.333333
3rd Eiger Ajne
1.333333
Red Gold Jivago
1.333333
Camera On Max Deville
1.3332563892592
No. 6 Luna + Azul Crow
1.3332563892592
Rose Hubris Ex Nihilo
1.3293745437064
Diamella Yves Rocher
1.3260087402896
London for Men Burberry
1.3188714966674
Precious One Angela Flanders
1.3158656107408
Rose Vert DSH Perfumes
1.3082282751858
Jacarandá Fueguia 1833
1.3039837585229
Lace Yardley
1.3019152685206
Arboretum Le Prince Jardinier
1.3003064429633
Moss Portland General Store
1.3002298322225
MPH (Miles Per Hour) Washington Tremlett
1.3
Safary Night Shadow Parfums Louis Armand
1.3
CoolBleu - Cool Blues Ajne
1.2999233892592
Angry Birds Red Bird Air-Val International
1.2979814362982
Golden Autumn Prince Matchabelli
1.2926560337087
Patchouli Intense Nicolai Parfumeur Createur
1.2923564966674
Plaisir d' Amour Libertin Louison Technique Indiscrete
1.2917921320003
Terre d`Hermes Parfum Hermes
1.2877824900023
Ferrari No 1 Ferrari
1.2863268859266
Banded Sea Snake Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.286173664445
Lace Fine Fragrances & Cosmetics
1.2852337585229
Vintage Tabarome Creed
1.2823062824638
Egoiste Platinum Chanel
1.2800763222248
Cuba Brown Cuba Paris
1.2769102888991
Eucris Geo. F. Trumper
1.2765514966674
U Black Hombre Adolfo Dominguez
1.274165276718
Ultraviolet Paco Rabanne
1.2730598329886
Bottega Veneta Eau Legere Bottega Veneta
1.2728036107408
Speakeasy Moonshine
1.272727
Root Library of Flowers
1.2726152755688
Desir de Nature Yves Rocher
1.2723652148165
Wisdom No 26 Tokyo Milk Parfumarie Curiosite
1.2719889866697
Curzon Cologne Geo. F. Trumper
1.2708755974106
Mystere Novaya Zarya
1.2670500537041
Naiad Bud Parfums
1.2653954966674
Jade Yardley
1.2644925840803
Charlie Blue Revlon
1.2638835181951
La Panthere Cartier
1.2634644429633
Musk Denim
1.262323429633
Courant Helena Rubinstein
1.2600568792615
La Collection Y Yves Saint Laurent
1.2598718859266
1747 Galimard
1.259718664445
Embruns Keiko Mecheri
1.2595179329656
Eau de Monsieur Annick Goutal
1.2594122214817
Rich Leather JoAnne Bassett
1.2585012860645
Antaeus Chanel
1.257576047039
Age of Aquarius Tokyo Milk Parfumarie Curiosite
1.2572769329656
Green Oakmoss Soivohle
1.2570994966674
Driftwood Arran Aromatics
1.2565632214817
Megumi Ayala Moriel
1.2560522485252
Eau Fraiche Christian Dior
1.2556620746955
CK One Calvin Klein
1.2555002148165
Moss and Mint Body & Soul Nest
1.2544601742894
Dune Christian Dior
1.2539071477821
Devil's Night Cap Lush
1.2533204302459
Chanel N°5 Chanel
1.2520728122271
Enigma Dare to Dream Oriflame
1.2516088255573
A Rather Novel Collection 5 O'Clock At Belvoir Castle by Stephen Nilsen Anthropologie
1.2515322148165
Cocktail B Never Too Busy To Be Beautiful
1.2512275298399
Ange ou Demon Givenchy
1.2509959396307
Eau du Soir 2010 Sisley
1.2506894966674
Chique Milton Lloyd
1.2506894966674
Lush Fig Nectar Bath and Body Works
1.250459664445
Agua de Colonia No.2 Oak Moss Musgo Real
1.250459664445
Pure Silk Mayfair
1.250459664445
Green Velvet The Rising Phoenix Perfumery
1.250459664445
7 Sinful Scents Lust Gendarme
1.2503064429633
Usain Ona Parfums et Senteurs du Pays Basque
1.2502298322225
Terra Firma Royal Apothic
1.2501532214817
Happiology Sunshower Illume
1.2501532214817
X Series Flash Avon
1.2500766107408
Earthtones #4: Red Sky Neil Morris
1.25
VO by Victor Ortiz Eclectic Collections
1.25
Mokara Voluspa
1.2483535437064
California Dana
1.2426150337087
Alliage Sport Spray Estée Lauder
1.2420806243009
Cool Water Davidoff
1.2411600756148
Paco Rabanne Paco Rabanne
1.2410725503716
Invitation Jean Patou
1.2409246098215
Omnia Crystalline Bvlgari
1.2401532214817
Invisible Monster CB I Hate Perfume
1.2399336577798
Paper & Cotton Tokyo Milk Parfumarie Curiosite
1.2390143288899
Masculin Acier Bourjois
1.2386363759289
Tobacco Rose Papillon Artisan Perfumes
1.238547523711
Envol Ted Lapidus

Popular brands and perfumes: