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
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Muschio Bianco L`Erbolario
1.5008244023083
Khaltath Al Haramain Perfumes
1.5006412017954
Constellation Paloma Picasso
1.5005496015389
Muschio L`Erbolario
1.5005496015389
Mousse de Chêne - Oakmoss Outremer
1.5003664010259
Zombi Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5002748007694
Morass Teufels Kuche
1.5002748007694
Riviera Palace L`Artisan Parfumeur
1.5002748007694
Deep in Earth Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5000916002565
Want DSH Perfumes
1.5
Cordial (Holiday no.12) DSH Perfumes
1.5
Firefly DSH Perfumes
1.5
Gymkana Jean Dessès
1.4343406028213
Hedera helix Roxana Illuminated Perfume
1.4286626002565
The Forest Library of Flowers
1.428387799487
Amplexus Daniel Vaudd
1.409091
Intimate Jasmine Neil Morris
1.400183200513
Jazz Funeral Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.3945058046167
BOSS The Collection Cotton & Verbena Hugo Boss
1.3889671722085
Mitsouko Guerlain
1.3861722043602
Lapsang Su Chong Tokyo Milk Parfumarie Curiosite
1.3847066002565
Rose Vert DSH Perfumes
1.3750916002565
Umber: Bois de Rose DSH Perfumes
1.375
Agent XY LR
1.3647750102592
Chique Yardley
1.3616653333333
Acqua di Gio Giorgio Armani
1.357143
Secret No. 1 Nordic EDP Raunsborg
1.3499195326555
Bottega Veneta Bottega Veneta
1.3496870076944
Vu par Ted Lapidus Ted Lapidus
1.3482289234222
Cristalle Chanel
1.3358978071815
Feuille Verte Creed
1.3357146066685
Diamella Yves Rocher
1.3347986041037
Arboretum Le Prince Jardinier
1.3339742017954
UNTITLED No. 1 by Yosh Han UNTITLED
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Garden State 100 Tokyo Milk Parfumarie Curiosite
1.3337910012824
Colonia del Forte 1265 Profumi del Forte
1.3336994010259
Celui de Jean Dessès Jean Dessès
1.3336994010259
Turtle Vetiver Front Les Nez
1.3336994010259
Memory & Desire No.1 DSH Perfumes
1.333516200513
Muschio di Quercia (Oak Moss) La Via del Profumo
1.333516200513
Twelfth Night (Holiday no.2) DSH Perfumes
1.333333
Epic Adventure Emper
1.333333
Red Gold Jivago
1.333333
Camera On Max Deville
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No. 6 Luna + Azul Crow
1.3208303196849
London for Men Burberry
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Melodrama Space NK
1.3082416015389
Jacarandá Fueguia 1833
1.3082416015389
Pure Boadicea the Victorious
1.3032976092333
Lace Yardley
1.3008244023083
Eau du Soir 2008 Sisley
1.3000916002565
Moss Portland General Store
1.3
CoolBleu - Cool Blues Ajne
1.2987626041037
Dakar Al-Rehab
1.294670845562
Aventus Creed
1.2946282120546
Very Sexy Platinum for Him Victoria`s Secret
1.2899625685628
Terre d`Hermes Parfum Hermes
1.2898886233397
Eucris Geo. F. Trumper
1.2876376053861
Ferrari No 1 Ferrari
1.2874996130805
Enigma Dare to Dream Oriflame
1.2872712043602
Audace Faberge
1.2864468020518
Banded Sea Snake Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.2862636015389
Lasso Jean Patou
1.285897200513
Rich Leather JoAnne Bassett
1.2804474137584
Egoiste Platinum Chanel
1.2799764061555
Cuba Brown Cuba Paris
1.2799054176972
Duc de Vervins Houbigant
1.2766864023083
U Black Hombre Adolfo Dominguez
1.2760736361638
Desir de Nature Yves Rocher
1.272910200513
Lustrous Fire Antica Farmacista
1.2728186002565
Speakeasy Moonshine
1.272727
Root Library of Flowers
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Chypre Novaya Zarya
1.270453200513
Megumi Ayala Moriel
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Bottega Veneta Eau Legere Bottega Veneta
1.2682242043602
La Collection Y Yves Saint Laurent
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Naiad Bud Parfums
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Ultraviolet Paco Rabanne
1.2647172107722
Comme Une Evidence L'Eau de Parfum Yves Rocher
1.2641656028213
Invitation Jean Patou
1.263251651461
CK One Calvin Klein
1.2628616143629
Empreinte (new) Courreges
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Charlie Blue Revlon
1.2620608033342
Golden Autumn Prince Matchabelli
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Chanel N°5 Chanel
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Moss and Mint Body & Soul Nest
1.2604175552808
Dune Dior
1.2595246066685
Eau de Monsieur Annick Goutal
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Ange ou Demon Givenchy
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Age of Aquarius Tokyo Milk Parfumarie Curiosite
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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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Cuba Green Cuba Paris
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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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Quince Mint & Moss Union
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7 Sinful Scents Lust Gendarme
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Green Velvet The Rising Phoenix Perfumery
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Usain Ona Parfums et Senteurs du Pays Basque
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Shiloh X Hors La Monde
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Pure Silk Mayfair
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Happiology Sunshower Illume
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1960 Bogner
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Solo Soprani Green Luciano Soprani
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Terra Firma Royal Apothic
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Aigner No 1 Sport Etienne Aigner
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Aliage Sport Estée Lauder
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Quartz pour Femme Molyneux
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Paco Rabanne Paco Rabanne
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Envol Ted Lapidus
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R de Capucci Roberto Capucci
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Cool Water Davidoff
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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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Les Nuits D'Izu Keiko Mecheri
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Tweed Fine Fragrances & Cosmetics
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Wisdom No 26 Tokyo Milk Parfumarie Curiosite
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Eau du Soir Sisley
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Le Seducteur M. Micallef
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Wild Fern Cologne Geo. F. Trumper
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Eau des Merveilles Hermes
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Style Lentheric
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Devil's Night Cap Lush
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La Collection Pour Homme Yves Saint Laurent
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Desarmant La Parfumerie Moderne
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Sleza Yurate Faberlic
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Lavender Noir Phoenix Botanicals
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1853 Lady Acqua di Genova
1.230769
Feuilles Vertes (Green Leaves) DSH Perfumes
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Miss Dior Cherie Eau de Parfum Dior
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Air de Cabochard Gres
1.2290290012824
Plaisir d' Amour Libertin Louison Technique Indiscrete
1.2290134048731
Design for Men Paul Sebastian
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Great Jones Bond No 9
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Eau Fraiche Dior
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Zombie for Her Demeter Fragrance
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English Lavender Atkinsons
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Halston Couture Halston
1.225806
Powder ‘n Lace Coeur d’Esprit Natural Perfumes

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