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
1.5014915999372
Muschio Bianco L`Erbolario
1.5008635578584
Muschio L`Erbolario
1.5007850525985
Le Smoking DSH Perfumes
1.5007850525985
Khaltath Al Haramain Perfumes
1.5006280420788
Programme Homme Cologne Lancome
1.500549536819
Constellation Paloma Picasso
1.5004710315591
Mousse de Chêne - Oakmoss Outremer
1.5002355157796
Zombi Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5002355157796
Deep in Earth Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5002355157796
Crown of Gold Anglia Perfumery
1.5001570105197
Jazz Funeral Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5001570105197
Riviera Palace L`Artisan Parfumeur
1.5000785052599
Firefly DSH Perfumes
1.5000785052599
Patchouli Durance en Provence
1.5000785052599
Want DSH Perfumes
1.5000785052599
Cordial (Holiday no.12) DSH Perfumes
1.5
Caspian Angela Flanders
1.5
Gymkana Jean Dessès
1.5
Cathode Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5
Purple Orchid Shirley May
1.4814012103941
Clubman Pinaud Clubman
1.4286495052599
The Forest Library of Flowers
1.428571
Invictus Silver Cup Collector`s Edition Paco Rabanne
1.4284139894803
Amplexus Daniel Vaudd
1.4172950420788
Champion Black Al-Rehab
1.409091
Intimate Jasmine Neil Morris
1.4007065473387
Firdous Al Haramain Perfumes
1.4003140210394
Vetiver Murdock London
1.3859495894175
Lapsang Su Chong Tokyo Milk Parfumarie Curiosite
1.3833071577956
BOSS The Collection Cotton & Verbena Hugo Boss
1.3751570105197
Mila Schön Uomo (Original) Mila Schön
1.375
Dragon Noir Dragon Parfums
1.375
Agent XY LR
1.369360760716
Mitsouko Eau de Toilette Guerlain
1.3637930105197
Ed Hardy Skulls & Roses Limited Edition Christian Audigier
1.3600873333333
Acqua di Gio Giorgio Armani
1.3587916104569
Hedera helix Roxana Illuminated Perfume
1.3580412419532
Chique Yardley
1.3574570210394
Precious One Angela Flanders
1.3542556946145
Dakar Al-Rehab
1.351506178835
Feuille Verte Creed
1.3498436946145
Vu par Ted Lapidus Ted Lapidus
1.347645820851
Very Sexy Platinum for Him Victoria`s Secret
1.3441554157639
Bottega Veneta Bottega Veneta
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Cristalle Chanel
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Aventus Creed
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Audace Brut Parfums Prestige
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Garden State 100 Tokyo Milk Parfumarie Curiosite
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UNTITLED No. 1 by Yosh Han UNTITLED
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Colonia del Forte 1265 Profumi del Forte
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Celui de Jean Dessès Jean Dessès
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Jil Sander Man II Jil Sander
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Memory & Desire No.1 DSH Perfumes
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Twelfth Night (Holiday no.2) DSH Perfumes
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Secret No. 1 Nordic EDP Raunsborg
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Infinitif Infinitif
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Morass Teufels Kuche
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Epic Adventure Emper
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Camera On Max Deville
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3rd Eiger Ajne
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Red Gold Jivago
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No. 6 Luna + Azul Crow
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Rose Hubris Ex Nihilo
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Diamella Yves Rocher
1.3267940310881
London for Men Burberry
1.3158675052599
Rose Vert DSH Perfumes
1.308241536819
Jacarandá Fueguia 1833
1.3040037682525
Vintage Tabarome Creed
1.3039252629926
Lace Yardley
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Arboretum Le Prince Jardinier
1.3006280420788
Lace Fine Fragrances & Cosmetics
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Miss Dior Original Extrait de Parfum Christian Dior
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Moss Portland General Store
1.3
CoolBleu - Cool Blues Ajne
1.3
Safary Night Shadow Parfums Louis Armand
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Chypre Novaya Zarya
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Golden Autumn Prince Matchabelli
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Terre d`Hermes Parfum Hermes
1.2923735473387
Plaisir d' Amour Libertin Louison Technique Indiscrete
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Patchouli Intense Nicolai Parfumeur Createur
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Ferrari No 1 Ferrari
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Banded Sea Snake Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
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1747 Galimard
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Lasso Jean Patou
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Rich Leather JoAnne Bassett
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Linden & Dark Moss Voluspa
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Cuba Brown Cuba Paris
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Egoiste Platinum Chanel
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Eucris Geo. F. Trumper
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U Black Hombre Adolfo Dominguez
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Cuba Green Cuba Paris
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Bottega Veneta Eau Legere Bottega Veneta
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Au Dela - Narcisse des Montagnes Bruno Fazzolari
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Speakeasy Moonshine
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Root Library of Flowers
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Wisdom No 26 Tokyo Milk Parfumarie Curiosite
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Curzon Cologne Geo. F. Trumper
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Mystere Novaya Zarya
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Charlie Blue Revlon
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Naiad Bud Parfums
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Jade Yardley
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Ultraviolet Paco Rabanne
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Courant Helena Rubinstein
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La Panthere Cartier
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La Collection Y Yves Saint Laurent
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Embruns Keiko Mecheri
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Eau de Monsieur Annick Goutal
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Desir de Nature Yves Rocher
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CK One Calvin Klein
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Antaeus Chanel
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Age of Aquarius Tokyo Milk Parfumarie Curiosite
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Driftwood Arran Aromatics
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Megumi Ayala Moriel
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Eau Fraiche Christian Dior
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Chanel N°5 Chanel
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Dune Christian Dior
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Devil's Night Cap Lush
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Empreinte (new) Courreges
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Enigma Dare to Dream Oriflame
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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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Ange ou Demon Givenchy
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Eau du Soir 2010 Sisley
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Lush Fig Nectar Bath and Body Works
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Chique Milton Lloyd
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Green Velvet The Rising Phoenix Perfumery
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Pure Silk Mayfair
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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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Terra Firma Royal Apothic
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X Series Flash Avon
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Happiology Sunshower Illume
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Earthtones #4: Red Sky Neil Morris
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VO by Victor Ortiz Eclectic Collections
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Mokara Voluspa
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Green Oakmoss Soivohle
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Quartz pour Femme Molyneux
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Tobacco Rose Papillon Artisan Perfumes
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Alliage Sport Spray Estée Lauder
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Omnia Crystalline Bvlgari
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Invitation Jean Patou
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Cool Water Davidoff
1.2403140210394
Musk Denim
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Invisible Monster CB I Hate Perfume
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Paper & Cotton Tokyo Milk Parfumarie Curiosite
1.2397525241011
Paco Rabanne Paco Rabanne
1.2391940736379
Masculin Acier Bourjois
1.2386476209766
Peony & Moss Jo Malone
1.2380164947401
Vague de Folie Verte Le Cercle des Parfumeurs Createurs

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