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

1.5015903307888
Muschio Bianco L`Erbolario
1.5015903307888
Epris Max Factor
1.5008746819338
Muschio L`Erbolario
1.5008746819338
Ex`cla-ma`tion Noir Coty
1.5008746819338
Le Smoking DSH Perfumes
1.5007951653944
Khaltath Al Haramain Perfumes
1.5005566157761
Constellation Paloma Picasso
1.5004770992366
Mousse de Chêne - Oakmoss Outremer
1.5002385496183
Deep in Earth Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5002385496183
Crown of Gold Anglia Perfumery
1.5002385496183
Zombi Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5001590330789
Riviera Palace L`Artisan Parfumeur
1.5000795165394
Firefly DSH Perfumes
1.5000795165394
Cordial (Holiday no.12) DSH Perfumes
1.5000795165394
Cathode Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5000795165394
Patchouli Durance en Provence
1.5000795165394
Want DSH Perfumes
1.5
Purple Orchid Shirley May
1.5
Gymkana Jean Dessès
1.5
Caspian Angela Flanders
1.4811235954198
Clubman Pinaud Clubman
1.4286505165394
The Forest Library of Flowers
1.428571
Invictus Silver Cup Collector`s Edition Paco Rabanne
1.4284119669211
Amplexus Daniel Vaudd
1.4173031323155
Champion Black Al-Rehab
1.409091
Intimate Jasmine Neil Morris
1.400715648855
Firdous Al Haramain Perfumes
1.4003180661578
Vetiver Murdock London
1.4001590330789
Jazz Funeral Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.3903998142494
Hedera helix Roxana Illuminated Perfume
1.3859667811705
Lapsang Su Chong Tokyo Milk Parfumarie Curiosite
1.3846945165394
Rose Vert DSH Perfumes
1.3833374961832
BOSS The Collection Cotton & Verbena Hugo Boss
1.375
Dragon Noir Dragon Parfums
1.375
Agent XY LR
1.3701135038168
Mitsouko Eau de Toilette Guerlain
1.3637950330789
Ed Hardy Skulls & Roses Limited Edition Christian Audigier
1.3606393333333
Acqua di Gio Giorgio Armani
1.3580877608142
Chique Yardley
1.3574610661578
Precious One Angela Flanders
1.3573020330789
Secret No. 1 Nordic EDP Raunsborg
1.3542135954198
Dakar Al-Rehab
1.3513815292621
Feuille Verte Creed
1.3497220788804
Vu par Ted Lapidus Ted Lapidus
1.3457650992366
Bottega Veneta Bottega Veneta
1.3414564732824
Cristalle Chanel
1.3348438142494
Audace Faberge
1.3338896157761
Garden State 100 Tokyo Milk Parfumarie Curiosite
1.3338896157761
UNTITLED No. 1 by Yosh Han UNTITLED
1.3338896157761
Colonia del Forte 1265 Profumi del Forte
1.3338100992366
Celui de Jean Dessès Jean Dessès
1.3338100992366
Jil Sander Man II Jil Sander
1.3336510661578
Memory & Desire No.1 DSH Perfumes
1.3335715496183
Morass Teufels Kuche
1.3335715496183
Twelfth Night (Holiday no.2) DSH Perfumes
1.3335715496183
Infinitif Infinitif
1.3334125165394
Epic Adventure Emper
1.333333
Camera On Max Deville
1.333333
No. 6 Luna + Azul Crow
1.333333
Red Gold Jivago
1.3327012748092
Aventus Creed
1.3294675292621
Diamella Yves Rocher
1.3249218854962
London for Men Burberry
1.3199238600509
Patchouli Intense Nicolai Parfumeur Createur
1.3082486157761
Jacarandá Fueguia 1833
1.3038963104326
Vintage Tabarome Creed
1.3037372773537
Lace Yardley
1.3017493638677
Arboretum Le Prince Jardinier
1.3004770992366
Miss Dior Original Extrait de Parfum Christian Dior
1.3003180661578
Moss Portland General Store
1.3
Safary Night Shadow Parfums Louis Armand
1.3
CoolBleu - Cool Blues Ajne
1.2979658473282
Golden Autumn Prince Matchabelli
1.2966075216285
Terre d`Hermes Parfum Hermes
1.2949349592875
Very Sexy Platinum for Him Victoria`s Secret
1.2875428804071
Ferrari No 1 Ferrari
1.2863501323155
Banded Sea Snake Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.2861910992366
Lasso Jean Patou
1.2858730330789
Rich Leather JoAnne Bassett
1.2857935165394
Linden & Dark Moss Voluspa
1.2800839796438
Cuba Brown Cuba Paris
1.2785636412214
Charlie Blue Revlon
1.2784200203562
Egoiste Platinum Chanel
1.2766228524173
Eucris Geo. F. Trumper
1.276577648855
U Black Hombre Adolfo Dominguez
1.2763233994911
Bottega Veneta Eau Legere Bottega Veneta
1.2756361323155
Plaisir d' Amour Libertin Louison Technique Indiscrete
1.2745558804071
Cuba Green Cuba Paris
1.2728860330789
Lustrous Fire Antica Farmacista
1.2728065165394
Speakeasy Moonshine
1.272727
Root Library of Flowers
1.2711393969466
Chypre Novaya Zarya
1.2681155928753
Ultraviolet Paco Rabanne
1.2670645826972
Naiad Bud Parfums
1.266439562341
Mystere Novaya Zarya
1.2652626157761
Jade Yardley
1.2624396615776
Courant Helena Rubinstein
1.2599733969466
La Collection Y Yves Saint Laurent
1.259846562341
Autenthic Maroussia Slava Zaitsev
1.2597360992366
Embruns Keiko Mecheri
1.2595284961832
Eau de Monsieur Annick Goutal
1.2582817735369
La Panthere Cartier
1.2582281195929
Antaeus Chanel
1.2579381653944
Creation Ted Lapidus
1.2575633638677
Age of Aquarius Tokyo Milk Parfumarie Curiosite
1.2572051653944
Driftwood Arran Aromatics
1.2565690330789
Megumi Ayala Moriel
1.2563007073791
CK One Calvin Klein
1.2560432569975
Eau Fraiche Christian Dior
1.2555619262087
Chanel N°5 Chanel
1.2537998396947
Dune Christian Dior
1.2534987277354
Devil's Night Cap Lush
1.2526030305344
Desir de Nature Yves Rocher
1.2522384427481
Enigma Dare to Dream Oriflame
1.2516698473282
A Rather Novel Collection 5 O'Clock At Belvoir Castle by Stephen Nilsen Anthropologie
1.2515108142494
Cocktail B Never Too Busy To Be Beautiful
1.2512724300254
Ange ou Demon Givenchy
1.2509484096692
Alliage Sport Spray Estée Lauder
1.2508746819338
Eau du Soir 2010 Sisley
1.250715648855
Lush Fig Nectar Bath and Body Works
1.2506361323155
Chique Milton Lloyd
1.2506361323155
Green Velvet The Rising Phoenix Perfumery
1.2504770992366
7 Sinful Scents Lust Gendarme
1.2504770992366
Pure Silk Mayfair
1.2503180661578
Usain Ona Parfums et Senteurs du Pays Basque
1.2502385496183
Terra Firma Royal Apothic
1.2502385496183
Love Rose Reminiscence
1.2501590330789
X Series Flash Avon
1.2501590330789
Happiology Sunshower Illume
1.2500795165394
Earthtones #4: Red Sky Neil Morris
1.25
Mokara Voluspa
1.25
VO by Victor Ortiz Eclectic Collections
1.2499204834606
Vague de Folie Verte Le Cercle des Parfumeurs Createurs
1.2452746946565
Quartz pour Femme Molyneux
1.2449775165394
Umber: Bois de Rose DSH Perfumes
1.2430447379135
Omnia Crystalline Bvlgari
1.2429806157761
Pure Boadicea the Victorious
1.2416271246819
Empreinte (new) Courreges
1.2410337150127
Invitation Jean Patou
1.2401590330789
Invisible Monster CB I Hate Perfume
1.2401590330789
Musk Denim
1.2400033969466
Paper & Cotton Tokyo Milk Parfumarie Curiosite
1.2399214605598
Cool Water Davidoff
1.2396058142494
Wisdom No 26 Tokyo Milk Parfumarie Curiosite
1.2392082315522
Masculin Acier Bourjois
1.2390491984733
Jil Sander Man III Jil Sander
1.2386708804071
Peony & Moss Jo Malone
1.23803543257
Paco Rabanne Paco Rabanne
1.2376371653944
Eau du Soir 2008 Sisley
1.2370069974555
Kapsule Woody Karl Lagerfeld

Popular brands and perfumes: