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

1.5017505067256
Epris Max Factor
1.5011977151281
Muschio Bianco L`Erbolario
1.5008291873964
Khaltath Al Haramain Perfumes
1.5006449235305
Constellation Paloma Picasso
1.5005527915976
Muschio L`Erbolario
1.5005527915976
Mousse de Chêne - Oakmoss Outremer
1.5003685277317
Zombi Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5002763957988
Deep in Earth Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5002763957988
Riviera Palace L`Artisan Parfumeur
1.5002763957988
Morass Teufels Kuche
1.5000921319329
Want DSH Perfumes
1.5
Gymkana Jean Dessès
1.5
Firefly DSH Perfumes
1.5
Cordial (Holiday no.12) DSH Perfumes
1.4343464512622
Hedera helix Roxana Illuminated Perfume
1.4286631319329
The Forest Library of Flowers
1.4283867361341
Amplexus Daniel Vaudd
1.409091
Intimate Jasmine Neil Morris
1.4001842638659
Jazz Funeral Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.3945153747927
BOSS The Collection Cotton & Verbena Hugo Boss
1.3897006826976
Mitsouko Guerlain
1.3861812428598
Lapsang Su Chong Tokyo Milk Parfumarie Curiosite
1.3847071319329
Rose Vert DSH Perfumes
1.3750921319329
Umber: Bois de Rose DSH Perfumes
1.375
Agent XY LR
1.3647962773171
Chique Yardley
1.3617293333333
Acqua di Gio Giorgio Armani
1.357143
Secret No. 1 Nordic EDP Raunsborg
1.35022932541
Bottega Veneta Bottega Veneta
1.3497029579878
Vu par Ted Lapidus Ted Lapidus
1.3490134438917
Cristalle Chanel
1.335912694122
Feuille Verte Creed
1.3357284302561
Diamella Yves Rocher
1.3348071109268
Arboretum Le Prince Jardinier
1.3339779235305
UNTITLED No. 1 by Yosh Han UNTITLED
1.3339779235305
Garden State 100 Tokyo Milk Parfumarie Curiosite
1.3337936596646
Pure Boadicea the Victorious
1.3337936596646
Colonia del Forte 1265 Profumi del Forte
1.3337015277317
Celui de Jean Dessès Jean Dessès
1.3337015277317
Memory & Desire No.1 DSH Perfumes
1.3337015277317
Turtle Vetiver Front Les Nez
1.3335172638659
Twelfth Night (Holiday no.2) DSH Perfumes
1.3335172638659
Muschio di Quercia (Oak Moss) La Via del Profumo
1.333333
Red Gold Jivago
1.333333
No. 6 Luna + Azul Crow
1.333333
Camera On Max Deville
1.333333
Epic Adventure Emper
1.3214897525336
London for Men Burberry
1.3129606596646
Melodrama Space NK
1.3082447915976
Jacarandá Fueguia 1833
1.3033167495854
Lace Yardley
1.3008291873964
Eau du Soir 2008 Sisley
1.3000921319329
Moss Portland General Store
1.3
CoolBleu - Cool Blues Ajne
1.2946532008476
Very Sexy Platinum for Him Victoria`s Secret
1.2946403045882
Aventus Creed
1.290436532154
Terre d`Hermes Parfum Hermes
1.2899370058964
Eucris Geo. F. Trumper
1.2876487705915
Ferrari No 1 Ferrari
1.2875267285793
Enigma Dare to Dream Oriflame
1.2872802428598
Audace Faberge
1.2864510554634
Banded Sea Snake Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.2862667915976
Lasso Jean Patou
1.2858982638659
Rich Leather JoAnne Bassett
1.2801263672379
Duc de Vervins Houbigant
1.2799891663903
Cuba Brown Cuba Paris
1.2777328684356
Egoiste Platinum Chanel
1.2766911873964
U Black Hombre Adolfo Dominguez
1.2761486025428
Desir de Nature Yves Rocher
1.2729112638659
Lustrous Fire Antica Farmacista
1.2728191319329
Speakeasy Moonshine
1.272727
Root Library of Flowers
1.2707051109268
Chypre Novaya Zarya
1.2704542638659
Megumi Ayala Moriel
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La Collection Y Yves Saint Laurent
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Naiad Bud Parfums
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Ultraviolet Paco Rabanne
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Comme Une Evidence L'Eau de Parfum Yves Rocher
1.2643367138382
CK One Calvin Klein
1.2641714512622
Invitation Jean Patou
1.2636482756587
Bottega Veneta Eau Legere Bottega Veneta
1.262799256311
Empreinte (new) Courreges
1.2625288050488
Charlie Blue Revlon
1.2620677151281
Golden Autumn Prince Matchabelli
1.261822721393
Chanel N°5 Chanel
1.2611463957988
Moss and Mint Body & Soul Nest
1.2610137112585
Dune Dior
1.2591563364658
Ange ou Demon Givenchy
1.2586171109268
Dakar Al-Rehab
1.2574723747927
Age of Aquarius Tokyo Milk Parfumarie Curiosite
1.2565819086051
Antaeus Chanel
1.2529482218537
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
1.2517371162705
Omnia Crystalline Bvlgari
1.2511977151281
Cocktail B Never Too Busy To Be Beautiful
1.2508291873964
Lush Fig Nectar Bath and Body Works
1.2507370554634
Quince Mint & Moss Union
1.2505527915976
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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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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Aigner No 1 Sport Etienne Aigner
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Solo Soprani Green Luciano Soprani
1.25
Terra Firma Royal Apothic
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Aliage Sport Estée Lauder
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Paco Rabanne Paco Rabanne
1.2446957495854
Quartz pour Femme Molyneux
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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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Kapsule Woody Karl Lagerfeld
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Paper & Cotton Tokyo Milk Parfumarie Curiosite
1.2397902218537
Mystere Novaya Zarya
1.2392005831951
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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Eau de Monsieur Annick Goutal
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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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Style Lentheric
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Devil's Night Cap Lush
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Miss Dior Cherie Eau de Parfum Dior
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Eau des Merveilles Hermes
1.2314411453842
La Collection Pour Homme Yves Saint Laurent
1.2311375277317
Desarmant La Parfumerie Moderne
1.2310453957988
Sleza Yurate Faberlic
1.2309532638659
Lavender Noir Phoenix Botanicals
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1853 Lady Acqua di Genova
1.230769
Feuilles Vertes (Green Leaves) DSH Perfumes
1.2296684302561
Air de Cabochard Gres
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Plaisir d' Amour Libertin Louison Technique Indiscrete
1.2290235067256
Design for Men Paul Sebastian
1.2289476311037
Great Jones Bond No 9
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For Men Woods of Windsor
1.228671235305
Eau Fraiche Dior
1.2276486386586
Zombie for Her Demeter Fragrance
1.2263150364842
Allure Pour Homme Chanel
1.2259072773171
Halston Couture Halston
1.2258443176709
Private Collection Jasmin White Moss Estée Lauder

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