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

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Epris Max Factor
1.5013203063111
Muschio Bianco L`Erbolario
1.5008802042074
Khaltath Al Haramain Perfumes
1.5007041633659
1747 Galimard
1.5006161429452
Constellation Paloma Picasso
1.5005281225244
Muschio L`Erbolario
1.5005281225244
Mousse de Chêne - Oakmoss Outremer
1.5004401021037
Zombi Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5002640612622
Riviera Palace L`Artisan Parfumeur
1.5002640612622
Deep in Earth Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5002640612622
Crown of Gold Anglia Perfumery
1.5000880204207
Want DSH Perfumes
1.5000880204207
Patchouli Durance de Provence
1.5
Cordial (Holiday no.12) DSH Perfumes
1.5
Firefly DSH Perfumes
1.5
Gymkana Jean Dessès
1.4286590204207
The Forest Library of Flowers
1.4283949591585
Amplexus Daniel Vaudd
1.409091
Intimate Jasmine Neil Morris
1.4077463471525
Hedera helix Roxana Illuminated Perfume
1.4007921837866
Firdous Al Haramain Perfumes
1.4001760408415
Jazz Funeral Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.3949694900977
BOSS The Collection Cotton & Verbena Hugo Boss
1.3861113471525
Lapsang Su Chong Tokyo Milk Parfumarie Curiosite
1.3847030204207
Rose Vert DSH Perfumes
1.3803344974034
Mitsouko Eau de Toilette Guerlain
1.375
Agent XY LR
1.3646318168295
Chique Yardley
1.3640054492562
Dakar Al-Rehab
1.3614593333333
Acqua di Gio Giorgio Armani
1.357143
Secret No. 1 Nordic EDP Raunsborg
1.3515656330429
Feuille Verte Creed
1.3497556534636
Vu par Ted Lapidus Ted Lapidus
1.3487780376727
Bottega Veneta Bottega Veneta
1.3479411391603
Cristalle Chanel
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Audace Faberge
1.3339491429452
UNTITLED No. 1 by Yosh Han UNTITLED
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Garden State 100 Tokyo Milk Parfumarie Curiosite
1.3338611225244
Turtle Vetiver Front Les Nez
1.3337731021037
Colonia del Forte 1265 Profumi del Forte
1.333685081683
Celui de Jean Dessès Jean Dessès
1.333685081683
Memory & Desire No.1 DSH Perfumes
1.3335970612622
Twelfth Night (Holiday no.2) DSH Perfumes
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Champion Black Al-Rehab
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Infinitif Infinitif
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Morass Teufels Kuche
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Epic Adventure Emper
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No. 6 Luna + Azul Crow
1.333333
Red Gold Jivago
1.333333
Camera On Max Deville
1.3291235105184
Diamella Yves Rocher
1.3205434651879
London for Men Burberry
1.3154568309128
Aventus Creed
1.3129401021037
Melodrama Space NK
1.3082201225244
Jacarandá Fueguia 1833
1.3082201225244
Pure Boadicea the Victorious
1.3073542858903
Golden Autumn Prince Matchabelli
1.3046143675733
Arboretum Le Prince Jardinier
1.3037848780917
Lace Yardley
1.3007921837866
Eau du Soir 2008 Sisley
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Moss Portland General Store
1.3
CoolBleu - Cool Blues Ajne
1.2949000618784
Very Sexy Platinum for Him Victoria`s Secret
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Terre d`Hermes Parfum Hermes
1.2875811027198
Enigma Dare to Dream Oriflame
1.2875624288355
Ferrari No 1 Ferrari
1.2865061837866
Banded Sea Snake Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.2862421225244
Lasso Jean Patou
1.2858900408415
Rich Leather JoAnne Bassett
1.2831380420738
Eucris Geo. F. Trumper
1.2828261947892
Egoiste Platinum Chanel
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Cuba Brown Cuba Paris
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La Collection Y Yves Saint Laurent
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Bottega Veneta Eau Legere Bottega Veneta
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U Black Hombre Adolfo Dominguez
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Desir de Nature Yves Rocher
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Cuba Green Cuba Paris
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Lustrous Fire Antica Farmacista
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Speakeasy Moonshine
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Root Library of Flowers
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Courant Helena Rubinstein
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Chypre Novaya Zarya
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Megumi Ayala Moriel
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Aquae Nobilis Profumum Roma
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Naiad Bud Parfums
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Charlie Blue Revlon
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CK One Calvin Klein
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Moss and Mint Body & Soul Nest
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Chanel N°5 Chanel
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Eau de Monsieur Annick Goutal
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Dune Dior
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Ultraviolet Paco Rabanne
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Age of Aquarius Tokyo Milk Parfumarie Curiosite
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Ange ou Demon Givenchy
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Eau Fraiche Dior
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Devil's Night Cap Lush
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Antaeus Chanel
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Autenthic Maroussia Slava Zaitsev
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A Rather Novel Collection 5 O'Clock At Belvoir Castle by Stephen Nilsen Anthropologie
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Cocktail B Never Too Busy To Be Beautiful
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Omnia Crystalline Bvlgari
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Lush Fig Nectar Bath and Body Works
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Desarmant La Parfumerie Moderne
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Green Velvet The Rising Phoenix Perfumery
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7 Sinful Scents Lust Gendarme
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Usain Ona Parfums et Senteurs du Pays Basque
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Solo Soprani Green Luciano Soprani
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Pure Silk Mayfair
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Happiology Sunshower Illume
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Terra Firma Royal Apothic
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1960 Bogner
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Aigner No 1 Sport Etienne Aigner
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Empreinte (new) Courreges
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Duc de Vervins Houbigant
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Umber: Bois de Rose DSH Perfumes
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Wisdom No 26 Tokyo Milk Parfumarie Curiosite
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Envol Ted Lapidus
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Cool Water Davidoff
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R de Capucci Roberto Capucci
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Invitation Jean Patou
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Driftwood Arran Aromatics
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Paco Rabanne Paco Rabanne
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Etoile d`Or Volnay
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Kapsule Woody Karl Lagerfeld
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Paper & Cotton Tokyo Milk Parfumarie Curiosite
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Mystere Novaya Zarya
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For Men Woods of Windsor
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Braggi Charles Revson
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Jil Sander Man III Jil Sander
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Masculin Acier Bourjois
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Peony & Moss Jo Malone
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Solstice Soivohle
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English Blazer Parfums Bleu
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Quartz pour Femme Molyneux
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Eau des Merveilles Hermes
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Alliage Sport Spray Estée Lauder
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Style Lentheric
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Sleza Yurate Faberlic
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1853 Lady Acqua di Genova
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Lavender Noir Phoenix Botanicals
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Feuilles Vertes (Green Leaves) DSH Perfumes
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Eau du Soir Sisley
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Pearl Sage Machado
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Air de Cabochard Gres
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Plaisir d' Amour Libertin Louison Technique Indiscrete
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Great Jones Bond No 9
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Design for Men Paul Sebastian
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Allure Pour Homme Chanel
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Ylang 49 Le Labo
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Zombie for Her Demeter Fragrance

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