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

 

 

 


 

 

Oakmoss Perfumes

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Epris Max Factor
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Le Smoking DSH Perfumes
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Mousse de Chêne - Oakmoss Outremer
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Deep in Earth Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
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Cordial (Holiday no.12) DSH Perfumes
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Uncharted Crabtree & Evelyn
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Crown of Gold Anglia Perfumery
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Riviera Palace L`Artisan Parfumeur
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Patchouli Durance en Provence
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Firefly DSH Perfumes
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Cathode Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
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Art collection 202 Man M. Micallef
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Vanesya Luxury Perfumes
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Tuscan Antonio Rossini
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Bluegrass Moonshine
1.5
Clearwater Fulton & Roark
1.5
Caspian Angela Flanders
1.5
Lider Egoist Christine Lavoisier Parfums
1.5
Gymkana Jean Dessès
1.5
Morozets Novaya Zarya
1.5
Want DSH Perfumes
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Sorrow Perfume Oil Possets Perfume
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Don Carlos Shirley May
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Zombi Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
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Cuba City Las Vegas for Men Cuba Paris
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Kamennyi Tsvetok Novaya Zarya
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Tramp Lush
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The Forest Library of Flowers
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Medusa Scent by the Sea
1.4286298616163
Ingenue Ava Luxe
1.428571
Acqua degli Speziali Derbe
1.4285121383837
Aqua Lumiere Novaya Zarya
1.4255958171758
Faberge Audace Brut Parfums Prestige
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Epic Adventure Emper
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Guillotine Parfums Sophiste
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Intimate Jasmine Neil Morris
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Aventus Creed
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Shipr Korolevskiy Novaya Zarya
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Lapsang Su Chong Tokyo Milk Parfumarie Curiosite
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Vetiver Murdock London
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Nord du Nord WienerBlut
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Fascinator Hové Parfumeur, Ltd.
1.4
Black Magic Parfums Genty
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Very Sexy Platinum for Him Victoria`s Secret
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To a Wild Rose Avon
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Jacarandá Fueguia 1833
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Basque Suzy Larsen Perfumes
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Lichen & Vetiver Voluspa
1.375
Agent XY LR
1.375
Manto di Rugiada Melograno Selvatico I Profumi di Firenze
1.375
Tribal Arte Profumi
1.375
Splash Orange Amére Astier de Villatte
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Chique Yardley
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Clubman Pinaud Clubman
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Hedera helix Roxana Illuminated Perfume
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Moss Portland General Store
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Varon Dandy Parera
1.3566637101065
Arboretum Le Prince Jardinier
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Memory & Desire No.1 DSH Perfumes
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АRТ Elegance ( ART Elegance) Dzintars
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Curzon Cologne Geo. F. Trumper
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Muschio di Quercia (Oak Moss) La Via del Profumo
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Feuille Verte Creed
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Lace Fine Fragrances & Cosmetics
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Acqua di Gio Giorgio Armani
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Diamella Yves Rocher
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Jil Sander Man II Jil Sander
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Naiad Bud Parfums
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Twelfth Night (Holiday no.2) DSH Perfumes
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Daniel Hechter Sport Daniel Hechter
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Mokara Voluspa
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Morass Teufels Kuche
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Splendia Bvlgari
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15 The Fragrance Kitchen
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Creation N° 09 Ulric de Varens
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A & F 1892 Cobalt Abercrombie & Fitch
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Maratons (Marathon) Dzintars
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Volgere L`acqua Di Fiori
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Avada Kedavra Art Deco Perfumes
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110 Scent Bar
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No. 6 Luna + Azul Crow
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3rd Eiger Ajne
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Ghala Zayed Al Battash Concepts
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Shanghai Mod.1 Parfum Bar
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Red Gold Jivago
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Kremlyovsky Parade of Stars
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Mitsouko Eau de Toilette Guerlain
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Cuba Green Cuba Paris
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Bottega Veneta Bottega Veneta
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Eau de Monsieur Annick Goutal
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Precious One Angela Flanders
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London for Men Burberry
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Rose Vert DSH Perfumes
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Chypre 2010 YanFroloff Perfumer
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Cristalle Eau de Toilette Chanel
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Charming Angel C. Darvin
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BOSS The Collection Cotton & Verbena Hugo Boss
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Secret No. 1 Nordic EDP Raunsborg
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La Collection du Joaillier Boucheron
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Rayon Vert Artemisia Natural Perfume
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The Wendol Blackbird
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Bayan Mulak Sigilli
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CoolBleu - Cool Blues Ajne
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Devil's Night Cap Lush
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Mexx Spring is Now Man Mexx
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Lace Yardley
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Banded Sea Snake Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
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Linden & Dark Moss Voluspa
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Terre d`Hermes Parfum Hermes
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Casino Novaya Zarya
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Style Lentheric
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Favori de la Fortune Novaya Zarya
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Age of Aquarius Tokyo Milk Parfumarie Curiosite
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Ed Hardy Skulls & Roses Limited Edition Christian Audigier
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Delirivm B&B Cosmetics
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Raunaq Nabeel
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Chyprissime Thierry Mugler
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Dakar Al-Rehab
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Eucris Geo. F. Trumper
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Charlie Blue Revlon
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Mon Secret Pola
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Earthtones #4: Red Sky Neil Morris
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U Black Hombre Adolfo Dominguez
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Desir de Nature Yves Rocher
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Eau Fraiche Christian Dior
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Madison Soiree Bond No 9
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Cocktail B Never Too Busy To Be Beautiful
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Silvestre Victor
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Coca for Men Cofinluxe
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Josephine Angela Flanders
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Speakeasy Moonshine
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Osirius Therapeutate Parfums
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Eau d'Ete Antonio Puig
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Levitation Platinum Cuarzo The Circle
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Da i Niet Parfums et Senteurs du Pays Basque
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Bottega Veneta Eau Legere Bottega Veneta
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Rich Leather JoAnne Bassett
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Paper & Cotton Tokyo Milk Parfumarie Curiosite
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Egoiste Platinum Chanel
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Champion Black Al-Rehab
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Vu par Ted Lapidus Ted Lapidus
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Feromone pour homme (Pheromone for man ) La Via del Profumo
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Desarmant La Parfumerie Moderne
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Camera On Max Deville
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Cuba Brown Cuba Paris
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Zilite Dzintars
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Terra Firma Royal Apothic
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Khaltath Al Haramain Perfumes
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Moss Commodity
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Golden Autumn Prince Matchabelli

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