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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Muschio Bianco L`Erbolario
1.5016302016302
Epris Max Factor
1.500858000858
Khaltath Al Haramain Perfumes
1.500858000858
Ex`cla-ma`tion Noir Coty
1.5007722007722
Muschio L`Erbolario
1.5006006006006
Constellation Paloma Picasso
1.5005148005148
Mousse de Chêne - Oakmoss Outremer
1.500429000429
Zombi Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5002574002574
Deep in Earth Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5002574002574
Crown of Gold Anglia Perfumery
1.5002574002574
Riviera Palace L`Artisan Parfumeur
1.5000858000858
Patchouli Durance en Provence
1.5000858000858
Want DSH Perfumes
1.5
Gymkana Jean Dessès
1.5
Firefly DSH Perfumes
1.5
Cordial (Holiday no.12) DSH Perfumes
1.4428062016302
Hedera helix Roxana Illuminated Perfume
1.4286568000858
The Forest Library of Flowers
1.4283993998284
Amplexus Daniel Vaudd
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Intimate Jasmine Neil Morris
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Firdous Al Haramain Perfumes
1.4001716001716
Jazz Funeral Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.3860736014586
Lapsang Su Chong Tokyo Milk Parfumarie Curiosite
1.3847008000858
Rose Vert DSH Perfumes
1.3806946023166
BOSS The Collection Cotton & Verbena Hugo Boss
1.3778365924496
Mitsouko Eau de Toilette Guerlain
1.375
Agent XY LR
1.3644572033462
Chique Yardley
1.3617513333333
Acqua di Gio Giorgio Armani
1.3579054019734
Dakar Al-Rehab
1.357143
Secret No. 1 Nordic EDP Raunsborg
1.3514968026598
Feuille Verte Creed
1.3498562029172
Vu par Ted Lapidus Ted Lapidus
1.3478523213213
Bottega Veneta Bottega Veneta
1.3438723157443
Cristalle Chanel
1.3349632016302
Audace Faberge
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UNTITLED No. 1 by Yosh Han UNTITLED
1.3339336006006
Colonia del Forte 1265 Profumi del Forte
1.3339336006006
Garden State 100 Tokyo Milk Parfumarie Curiosite
1.333762000429
Champion Black Al-Rehab
1.3336762003432
Celui de Jean Dessès Jean Dessès
1.3336762003432
Memory & Desire No.1 DSH Perfumes
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Morass Teufels Kuche
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Twelfth Night (Holiday no.2) DSH Perfumes
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Infinitif Infinitif
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Ed Hardy Skulls & Roses Limited Edition Christian Audigier
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Epic Adventure Emper
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Red Gold Jivago
1.333333
No. 6 Luna + Azul Crow
1.333333
Camera On Max Deville
1.3292396023166
Diamella Yves Rocher
1.3216072505363
Aventus Creed
1.3186630544831
London for Men Burberry
1.314972003861
Patchouli Intense Parfums de Nicolaï
1.312929000429
Melodrama Space NK
1.3082068005148
Jacarandá Fueguia 1833
1.3082068005148
Pure Boadicea the Victorious
1.3075806014586
Golden Autumn Prince Matchabelli
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Arboretum Le Prince Jardinier
1.3036894036894
Lace Yardley
1.3007722007722
Eau du Soir 2008 Sisley
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Moss Portland General Store
1.3
CoolBleu - Cool Blues Ajne
1.2952994049764
Very Sexy Platinum for Him Victoria`s Secret
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Terre d`Hermes Parfum Hermes
1.2875158018018
Ferrari No 1 Ferrari
1.2874612046332
Enigma Dare to Dream Oriflame
1.2864004006864
Banded Sea Snake Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.2862288005148
Lasso Jean Patou
1.2858856001716
Rich Leather JoAnne Bassett
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Egoiste Platinum Chanel
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Cuba Brown Cuba Paris
1.2802334015444
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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Plaisir d' Amour Libertin Louison Technique Indiscrete
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Cuba Green Cuba Paris
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Ultraviolet Paco Rabanne
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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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Desir de Nature Yves Rocher
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Eucris Geo. F. Trumper
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Charlie Blue Revlon
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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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Moss and Mint Body & Soul Nest
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Eau de Monsieur Annick Goutal
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CK One Calvin Klein
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Chanel N°5 Chanel
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Quartz pour Femme Molyneux
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Age of Aquarius Tokyo Milk Parfumarie Curiosite
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Devil's Night Cap Lush
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Eau Fraiche Dior
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Dune Dior
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Ange ou Demon Givenchy
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Antaeus Chanel
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Autenthic Maroussia Slava Zaitsev
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Green Velvet The Rising Phoenix Perfumery
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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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VO by Victor Ortiz Eclectic Collections
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Omnia Crystalline Bvlgari
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Empreinte (new) Courreges
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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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R de Capucci Roberto Capucci
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Invitation Jean Patou
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Driftwood Arran Aromatics
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Paper & Cotton Tokyo Milk Parfumarie Curiosite
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Cool Water Davidoff
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Kapsule Woody Karl Lagerfeld
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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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Paco Rabanne Paco Rabanne
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Solstice Soivohle
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English Blazer Parfums Bleu
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Eau du Soir Sisley
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Eau des Merveilles Hermes
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Pearl Sage Machado
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Duc de Vervins Houbigant
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Aeroplane Detaille
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Style Lentheric
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Turtle Vetiver Front Les Nez
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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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Air de Cabochard Gres
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Mystere Novaya Zarya
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Design for Men Paul Sebastian
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Allure Pour Homme Chanel
1.2276936018876
Zombie for Her Demeter Fragrance

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