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
1.5013144058885
Muschio Bianco L`Erbolario
1.5008762705924
Khaltath Al Haramain Perfumes
1.5007010164739
1747 Galimard
1.5006133894147
Constellation Paloma Picasso
1.5005257623554
Muschio L`Erbolario
1.5005257623554
Mousse de Chêne - Oakmoss Outremer
1.5004381352962
Zombi Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5002628811777
Riviera Palace L`Artisan Parfumeur
1.5002628811777
Deep in Earth Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5002628811777
Crown of Gold Anglia Perfumery
1.5000876270592
Want DSH Perfumes
1.5000876270592
Patchouli Durance de Provence
1.5
Cordial (Holiday no.12) DSH Perfumes
1.5
Gymkana Jean Dessès
1.5
Firefly DSH Perfumes
1.4286586270592
The Forest Library of Flowers
1.4283957458815
Amplexus Daniel Vaudd
1.409091
Intimate Jasmine Neil Morris
1.407739660007
Hedera helix Roxana Illuminated Perfume
1.4007886435331
Firdous Al Haramain Perfumes
1.4001752541185
Jazz Funeral Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.3949600494217
BOSS The Collection Cotton & Verbena Hugo Boss
1.386104660007
Lapsang Su Chong Tokyo Milk Parfumarie Curiosite
1.3847026270592
Rose Vert DSH Perfumes
1.3809183585699
Mitsouko Eau de Toilette Guerlain
1.375
Agent XY LR
1.3646160823694
Chique Yardley
1.3639967953032
Dakar Al-Rehab
1.3614593333333
Acqua di Gio Giorgio Armani
1.357143
Secret No. 1 Nordic EDP Raunsborg
1.3515534388363
Feuille Verte Creed
1.349918320014
Vu par Ted Lapidus Ted Lapidus
1.3485884605678
Bottega Veneta Bottega Veneta
1.3467694805468
Cristalle Chanel
1.3349979141255
Audace Faberge
1.3339463894147
Garden State 100 Tokyo Milk Parfumarie Curiosite
1.3339463894147
UNTITLED No. 1 by Yosh Han UNTITLED
1.3337711352962
Colonia del Forte 1265 Profumi del Forte
1.3336835082369
Champion Black Al-Rehab
1.3336835082369
Memory & Desire No.1 DSH Perfumes
1.3336835082369
Celui de Jean Dessès Jean Dessès
1.3335958811777
Morass Teufels Kuche
1.3335958811777
Infinitif Infinitif
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Twelfth Night (Holiday no.2) DSH Perfumes
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Epic Adventure Emper
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Camera On Max Deville
1.333333
Red Gold Jivago
1.333333
No. 6 Luna + Azul Crow
1.3291136764809
Diamella Yves Rocher
1.3203117753242
London for Men Burberry
1.3169686470382
Aventus Creed
1.3129381352962
Melodrama Space NK
1.3082177623554
Jacarandá Fueguia 1833
1.3082177623554
Pure Boadicea the Victorious
1.3073487788293
Golden Autumn Prince Matchabelli
1.3046072870662
Arboretum Le Prince Jardinier
1.3037679635471
Lace Yardley
1.3007886435331
Eau du Soir 2008 Sisley
1.3002628811777
Moss Portland General Store
1.3
CoolBleu - Cool Blues Ajne
1.2948796070803
Very Sexy Platinum for Him Victoria`s Secret
1.2906019782685
Terre d`Hermes Parfum Hermes
1.2875598611987
Enigma Dare to Dream Oriflame
1.287554168244
Ferrari No 1 Ferrari
1.2865026435331
Banded Sea Snake Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.2862397623554
Lasso Jean Patou
1.2858892541185
Rich Leather JoAnne Bassett
1.2831863329828
Eucris Geo. F. Trumper
1.2823902916229
Egoiste Platinum Chanel
1.2802315576586
Cuba Brown Cuba Paris
1.2800034058885
La Collection Y Yves Saint Laurent
1.2795345636172
Bottega Veneta Eau Legere Bottega Veneta
1.2766506435331
U Black Hombre Adolfo Dominguez
1.2744795411847
Cuba Green Cuba Paris
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Lustrous Fire Antica Farmacista
1.2728146270592
Speakeasy Moonshine
1.272727
Root Library of Flowers
1.272560828251
Courant Helena Rubinstein
1.2721830424115
Desir de Nature Yves Rocher
1.270720660007
Chypre Novaya Zarya
1.2704452541185
Megumi Ayala Moriel
1.2689453035401
Aquae Nobilis Profumum Roma
1.2683791037504
Ultraviolet Paco Rabanne
1.2671051352962
Naiad Bud Parfums
1.2627687259026
Charlie Blue Revlon
1.2613081352962
Moss and Mint Body & Soul Nest
1.2612460140203
CK One Calvin Klein
1.2596841847178
Eau de Monsieur Annick Goutal
1.2595603375394
Chanel N°5 Chanel
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Dune Dior
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Age of Aquarius Tokyo Milk Parfumarie Curiosite
1.256309148265
Eau Fraiche Dior
1.2562247094287
Devil's Night Cap Lush
1.2557525797406
Ange ou Demon Givenchy
1.2532782064494
Antaeus Chanel
1.2528916929548
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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Cocktail B Never Too Busy To Be Beautiful
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Lush Fig Nectar Bath and Body Works
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Desarmant La Parfumerie Moderne
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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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Pure Silk Mayfair
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Solo Soprani Green Luciano Soprani
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Terra Firma Royal Apothic
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Happiology Sunshower Illume
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Omnia Crystalline Bvlgari
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1960 Bogner
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Aigner No 1 Sport Etienne Aigner
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Empreinte (new) Courreges
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Duc de Vervins Houbigant
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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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Etoile d`Or Volnay
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Cool Water Davidoff
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R de Capucci Roberto Capucci
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Invitation Jean Patou
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Driftwood Arran Aromatics
1.2402536694707
Kapsule Woody Karl Lagerfeld
1.2401980494217
Paper & Cotton Tokyo Milk Parfumarie Curiosite
1.2396460658955
Mystere Novaya Zarya
1.239584660007
For Men Woods of Windsor
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Jil Sander Man III Jil Sander
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Braggi Charles Revson
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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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Quartz pour Femme Molyneux
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Eau des Merveilles Hermes
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Alliage Sport Spray Estée Lauder
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Aeroplane Detaille
1.2317328976516
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
1.230769
Feuilles Vertes (Green Leaves) DSH Perfumes
1.2301610532773
Eau du Soir Sisley
1.2299200823694
Pearl Sage Machado
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Air de Cabochard Gres
1.2291100609884
Allure Pour Homme Chanel
1.2290091352962
Plaisir d' Amour Libertin Louison Technique Indiscrete
1.2289692835612
Great Jones Bond No 9
1.2289379141255
Design for Men Paul Sebastian
1.2277337953032
Zombie for Her Demeter Fragrance

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