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

1.5015833333333
Muschio Bianco L`Erbolario
1.5015833333333
Epris Max Factor
1.5008333333333
Ex`cla-ma`tion Noir Coty
1.5008333333333
Khaltath Al Haramain Perfumes
1.50075
Muschio L`Erbolario
1.5005833333333
Constellation Paloma Picasso
1.5005
Mousse de Chêne - Oakmoss Outremer
1.50025
Deep in Earth Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.50025
Crown of Gold Anglia Perfumery
1.50025
Zombi Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5001666666667
Riviera Palace L`Artisan Parfumeur
1.5000833333333
Patchouli Durance en Provence
1.5000833333333
Want DSH Perfumes
1.5000833333333
Cordial (Holiday no.12) DSH Perfumes
1.5
Firefly DSH Perfumes
1.5
Caspian Angela Flanders
1.5
Gymkana Jean Dessès
1.4427593333333
Hedera helix Roxana Illuminated Perfume
1.4286543333333
The Forest Library of Flowers
1.4284043333333
Amplexus Daniel Vaudd
1.421553
Champion Black Al-Rehab
1.409091
Intimate Jasmine Neil Morris
1.40075
Firdous Al Haramain Perfumes
1.4001666666667
Jazz Funeral Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.3860316666667
Lapsang Su Chong Tokyo Milk Parfumarie Curiosite
1.3846983333333
Rose Vert DSH Perfumes
1.3832853333333
BOSS The Collection Cotton & Verbena Hugo Boss
1.3760386666667
Mitsouko Eau de Toilette Guerlain
1.3759166666667
Eau du Soir 2010 Sisley
1.375
Agent XY LR
1.3607743333333
Acqua di Gio Giorgio Armani
1.35818
Chique Yardley
1.3574763333333
Precious One Angela Flanders
1.357143
Secret No. 1 Nordic EDP Raunsborg
1.352542
Bottega Veneta Bottega Veneta
1.3515036666667
Feuille Verte Creed
1.3497723333333
Vu par Ted Lapidus Ted Lapidus
1.3451903333333
Dakar Al-Rehab
1.344015
Cristalle Chanel
1.3349163333333
Audace Faberge
1.3339163333333
Garden State 100 Tokyo Milk Parfumarie Curiosite
1.3339163333333
UNTITLED No. 1 by Yosh Han UNTITLED
1.333833
Jil Sander Man II Jil Sander
1.333833
Colonia del Forte 1265 Profumi del Forte
1.333833
Celui de Jean Dessès Jean Dessès
1.3336663333333
Memory & Desire No.1 DSH Perfumes
1.333583
Morass Teufels Kuche
1.333583
Infinitif Infinitif
1.333583
Twelfth Night (Holiday no.2) DSH Perfumes
1.3334996666667
Ed Hardy Skulls & Roses Limited Edition Christian Audigier
1.3334163333333
Epic Adventure Emper
1.333333
Red Gold Jivago
1.333333
No. 6 Luna + Azul Crow
1.333333
Camera On Max Deville
1.329173
Diamella Yves Rocher
1.3262963333333
Aventus Creed
1.3216396666667
London for Men Burberry
1.3155276666667
Patchouli Intense Parfums de Nicolaï
1.3129166666667
Melodrama Space NK
1.3082753333333
Pure Boadicea the Victorious
1.308192
Jacarandá Fueguia 1833
1.304
Lace Yardley
1.3018333333333
Arboretum Le Prince Jardinier
1.30075
Eau du Soir 2008 Sisley
1.30025
Moss Portland General Store
1.3
CoolBleu - Cool Blues Ajne
1.297796
Golden Autumn Prince Matchabelli
1.295073
Very Sexy Platinum for Him Victoria`s Secret
1.291321
Terre d`Hermes Parfum Hermes
1.2874946666667
Enigma Dare to Dream Oriflame
1.287464
Ferrari No 1 Ferrari
1.2863806666667
Banded Sea Snake Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.286214
Lasso Jean Patou
1.2858806666667
Rich Leather JoAnne Bassett
1.28037
Bottega Veneta Eau Legere Bottega Veneta
1.2801946666667
Cuba Brown Cuba Paris
1.2797626666667
Egoiste Platinum Chanel
1.276612
U Black Hombre Adolfo Dominguez
1.2765503333333
Eucris Geo. F. Trumper
1.2756666666667
Plaisir d' Amour Libertin Louison Technique Indiscrete
1.2750046666667
Charlie Blue Revlon
1.2743936666667
Cuba Green Cuba Paris
1.2728936666667
Lustrous Fire Antica Farmacista
1.2728103333333
Speakeasy Moonshine
1.272727
Root Library of Flowers
1.2723173333333
Ultraviolet Paco Rabanne
1.2706476666667
Chypre Novaya Zarya
1.2704366666667
Megumi Ayala Moriel
1.2685146666667
Desir de Nature Yves Rocher
1.2670836666667
Naiad Bud Parfums
1.2625923333333
Courant Helena Rubinstein
1.2612866666667
Moss and Mint Body & Soul Nest
1.260618
Chanel N°5 Chanel
1.260065
La Collection Y Yves Saint Laurent
1.25991
Quartz pour Femme Molyneux
1.2595596666667
Eau de Monsieur Annick Goutal
1.2591326666667
CK One Calvin Klein
1.2574806666667
Age of Aquarius Tokyo Milk Parfumarie Curiosite
1.2568663333333
Antaeus Chanel
1.256382
Devil's Night Cap Lush
1.2561666666667
Eau Fraiche Dior
1.2555406666667
Mystere Novaya Zarya
1.2539016666667
Dune Dior
1.25275
Autenthic Maroussia Slava Zaitsev
1.2522596666667
Ange ou Demon Givenchy
1.25175
A Rather Novel Collection 5 O'Clock At Belvoir Castle by Stephen Nilsen Anthropologie
1.2515833333333
Cocktail B Never Too Busy To Be Beautiful
1.25075
Lush Fig Nectar Bath and Body Works
1.2506666666667
1747 Galimard
1.2505833333333
Desarmant La Parfumerie Moderne
1.2505
7 Sinful Scents Lust Gendarme
1.2505
Green Velvet The Rising Phoenix Perfumery
1.2504166666667
Pure Silk Mayfair
1.2503333333333
Solo Soprani Green Luciano Soprani
1.2503333333333
Usain Ona Parfums et Senteurs du Pays Basque
1.2501666666667
Terra Firma Royal Apothic
1.2501666666667
Happiology Sunshower Illume
1.2500833333333
1960 Bogner
1.25
VO by Victor Ortiz Eclectic Collections
1.247107
Alliage Sport Spray Estée Lauder
1.245645
Kapsule Woody Karl Lagerfeld
1.2455123333333
Omnia Crystalline Bvlgari
1.2450646666667
Umber: Bois de Rose DSH Perfumes
1.243674
Wisdom No 26 Tokyo Milk Parfumarie Curiosite
1.2430973333333
Envol Ted Lapidus
1.2410833333333
Invitation Jean Patou
1.2405833333333
Driftwood Arran Aromatics
1.240095
Paper & Cotton Tokyo Milk Parfumarie Curiosite
1.239095
Jil Sander Man III Jil Sander
1.2389283333333
Masculin Acier Bourjois
1.2387586666667
Peony & Moss Jo Malone
1.238596
Cool Water Davidoff
1.2380923333333
Empreinte (new) Courreges
1.237592
Solstice Soivohle
1.2369323333333
Eau du Soir Sisley
1.2366273333333
English Blazer Parfums Bleu
1.236215
Paco Rabanne Paco Rabanne
1.235063
Eau des Merveilles Hermes
1.234808
Fougere Royale Houbigant
1.2341023333333
Pearl Sage Machado
1.2316856666667
Style Lentheric
1.231269
Turtle Vetiver Front Les Nez
1.231019
Sleza Yurate Faberlic
1.230769
Feuilles Vertes (Green Leaves) DSH Perfumes
1.2294396666667
Air de Cabochard Gres
1.229352
Jardin Clos Diptyque
1.2289396666667
Design for Men Paul Sebastian
1.2286396666667
Duc de Vervins Houbigant
1.2285003333333
Zombie for Her Demeter Fragrance
1.2262893333333
Allure Pour Homme Chanel

Popular brands and perfumes: