Labdanum resinoid has been used in incense and perfumes since antiquity for its complex, bewitching scent. Nowadays, it is often used in oriental-type fragrances and as a natural and vegan alternative to ambergris. A rich base note, it evokes pines but also leather, tobacco, pepper, or even coffee.
Growing under the hot sun of the Mediterranean basin, the evergreen leaves of Cistus ladaniferus coat themselves with a sticky, fragrant resin to prevent dehydration when the temperature rises. Also called gum rockrose, it is a pioneer plant - the first to spread on degraded soils after a fire, thus preventing erosion.
Lush purchase labdanum from two producers in Spain. To obtain the resinoid, the leafy branches must go through several steps of washing and extraction. The resulting paste is quite dark and thick and must therefore be diluted with dipropylene glycol and then stored in a warm room to be more pourable. It takes time and skill to incorporate it into our creams and perfumes.