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

1.5016420361248
Muschio Bianco L`Erbolario
1.5016420361248
Epris Max Factor
1.5008642295394
Ex`cla-ma`tion Noir Coty
1.5008642295394
Khaltath Al Haramain Perfumes
1.5007778065854
Muschio L`Erbolario
1.5006049606776
Constellation Paloma Picasso
1.5005185377236
Mousse de Chêne - Oakmoss Outremer
1.5004321147697
Zombi Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5002592688618
Crown of Gold Anglia Perfumery
1.5002592688618
Deep in Earth Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5002592688618
Riviera Palace L`Artisan Parfumeur
1.5000864229539
Patchouli Durance de Provence
1.5000864229539
Want DSH Perfumes
1.5
Gymkana Jean Dessès
1.5
Cordial (Holiday no.12) DSH Perfumes
1.5
Firefly DSH Perfumes
1.4428180361248
Hedera helix Roxana Illuminated Perfume
1.4286574229539
The Forest Library of Flowers
1.4283981540921
Amplexus Daniel Vaudd
1.409091
Intimate Jasmine Neil Morris
1.4007778065854
Firdous Al Haramain Perfumes
1.4001728459079
Jazz Funeral Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.3860841902169
Lapsang Su Chong Tokyo Milk Parfumarie Curiosite
1.3847014229539
Rose Vert DSH Perfumes
1.3805385738484
BOSS The Collection Cotton & Verbena Hugo Boss
1.3794002627258
Mitsouko Eau de Toilette Guerlain
1.375
Agent XY LR
1.3644814952035
Chique Yardley
1.3612883333333
Acqua di Gio Giorgio Armani
1.3579197279405
Dakar Al-Rehab
1.357143
Secret No. 1 Nordic EDP Raunsborg
1.351516111572
Feuille Verte Creed
1.3498773804338
Vu par Ted Lapidus Ted Lapidus
1.3475718666494
Bottega Veneta Bottega Veneta
1.345998758275
Cristalle Chanel
1.3349750361248
Audace Faberge
1.3339379606776
UNTITLED No. 1 by Yosh Han UNTITLED
1.3339379606776
Garden State 100 Tokyo Milk Parfumarie Curiosite
1.3337651147697
Colonia del Forte 1265 Profumi del Forte
1.3337651147697
Champion Black Al-Rehab
1.3336786918157
Celui de Jean Dessès Jean Dessès
1.3336786918157
Memory & Desire No.1 DSH Perfumes
1.3335922688618
Infinitif Infinitif
1.3335922688618
Twelfth Night (Holiday no.2) DSH Perfumes
1.3335922688618
Morass Teufels Kuche
1.3334194229539
Ed Hardy Skulls & Roses Limited Edition Christian Audigier
1.3334194229539
Epic Adventure Emper
1.333333
Camera On Max Deville
1.333333
Red Gold Jivago
1.333333
No. 6 Luna + Azul Crow
1.3292564197563
Diamella Yves Rocher
1.3202110977444
London for Men Burberry
1.3195233007519
Aventus Creed
1.3149136099732
Patchouli Intense Parfums de Nicolaï
1.3129321147697
Melodrama Space NK
1.3082105377236
Pure Boadicea the Victorious
1.3082105377236
Jacarandá Fueguia 1833
1.3075911902169
Golden Autumn Prince Matchabelli
1.3044991902169
Arboretum Le Prince Jardinier
1.3036297640653
Lace Yardley
1.3007778065854
Eau du Soir 2008 Sisley
1.3002592688618
Moss Portland General Store
1.3
CoolBleu - Cool Blues Ajne
1.2952491083744
Very Sexy Platinum for Him Victoria`s Secret
1.2908654277072
Terre d`Hermes Parfum Hermes
1.2875288820327
Ferrari No 1 Ferrari
1.2874948395126
Enigma Dare to Dream Oriflame
1.2864053836315
Banded Sea Snake Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.2862325377236
Lasso Jean Patou
1.2858868459079
Rich Leather JoAnne Bassett
1.281208457091
Egoiste Platinum Chanel
1.2802842656642
Cuba Brown Cuba Paris
1.2798989213551
La Collection Y Yves Saint Laurent
1.2797102039582
Bottega Veneta Eau Legere Bottega Veneta
1.2766398065854
U Black Hombre Adolfo Dominguez
1.2756049606776
Plaisir d' Amour Libertin Louison Technique Indiscrete
1.2744554590787
Cuba Green Cuba Paris
1.2743263558033
Ultraviolet Paco Rabanne
1.2728998459079
Lustrous Fire Antica Farmacista
1.2728134229539
Speakeasy Moonshine
1.272727
Root Library of Flowers
1.2726014952035
Courant Helena Rubinstein
1.2723577512747
Desir de Nature Yves Rocher
1.2713542953937
Eucris Geo. F. Trumper
1.2707001902169
Chypre Novaya Zarya
1.2704428459079
Megumi Ayala Moriel
1.2689139968024
Aquae Nobilis Profumum Roma
1.2670991147697
Naiad Bud Parfums
1.2628825706508
Charlie Blue Revlon
1.2613021147697
Moss and Mint Body & Soul Nest
1.2597221754386
CK One Calvin Klein
1.2596492656642
Eau de Monsieur Annick Goutal
1.2590644081756
Chanel N°5 Chanel
1.2575424590787
Age of Aquarius Tokyo Milk Parfumarie Curiosite
1.2574346492957
Quartz pour Femme Molyneux
1.2567338758966
Dune Dior
1.2563481870193
Devil's Night Cap Lush
1.2563088756374
Eau Fraiche Dior
1.253487993864
Ange ou Demon Givenchy
1.2528519574799
Autenthic Maroussia Slava Zaitsev
1.2528281748336
Antaeus Chanel
1.2518148820327
A Rather Novel Collection 5 O'Clock At Belvoir Castle by Stephen Nilsen Anthropologie
1.2516420361248
Cocktail B Never Too Busy To Be Beautiful
1.2507778065854
Lush Fig Nectar Bath and Body Works
1.2506913836315
1747 Galimard
1.2506049606776
Desarmant La Parfumerie Moderne
1.2505185377236
7 Sinful Scents Lust Gendarme
1.2505185377236
Green Velvet The Rising Phoenix Perfumery
1.2504321147697
Pure Silk Mayfair
1.2503456918157
Usain Ona Parfums et Senteurs du Pays Basque
1.2502592688618
Solo Soprani Green Luciano Soprani
1.2501728459079
Terra Firma Royal Apothic
1.2501728459079
Happiology Sunshower Illume
1.2500864229539
1960 Bogner
1.2497454392015
Omnia Crystalline Bvlgari
1.2455703772362
Empreinte (new) Courreges
1.2450708459079
Umber: Bois de Rose DSH Perfumes
1.243720344309
Wisdom No 26 Tokyo Milk Parfumarie Curiosite
1.2431778363149
Envol Ted Lapidus
1.2427696918157
Etoile d`Or Volnay
1.2419840329271
R de Capucci Roberto Capucci
1.2411234984012
Invitation Jean Patou
1.2409559024285
Cool Water Davidoff
1.2405185377236
Driftwood Arran Aromatics
1.2401691508945
Paper & Cotton Tokyo Milk Parfumarie Curiosite
1.2399086365051
Kapsule Woody Karl Lagerfeld
1.2391320754472
Braggi Charles Revson
1.2391320754472
Jil Sander Man III Jil Sander
1.2389592295394
Masculin Acier Bourjois
1.2388297279405
Peony & Moss Jo Malone
1.2383853462104
Paco Rabanne Paco Rabanne
1.2376198065854
Solstice Soivohle
1.236676767263
English Blazer Parfums Bleu
1.2342259181575
Pearl Sage Machado
1.234181865353
Eau des Merveilles Hermes
1.2337816288134
Eau du Soir Sisley
1.2335326099732
Alliage Sport Spray Estée Lauder
1.2334090297295
Duc de Vervins Houbigant
1.2322381902169
Aeroplane Detaille
1.2317196524933
Style Lentheric
1.2312875377236
Turtle Vetiver Front Les Nez
1.2310282688618
1853 Lady Acqua di Genova
1.2310282688618
Sleza Yurate Faberlic
1.2309418459079
Lavender Noir Phoenix Botanicals
1.230769
Feuilles Vertes (Green Leaves) DSH Perfumes
1.2295199968024
Air de Cabochard Gres
1.2291283804338
Mystere Novaya Zarya
1.2290014590787
Design for Men Paul Sebastian
1.2288765674531
Great Jones Bond No 9
1.2288536632962
Allure Pour Homme Chanel

Popular brands and perfumes: