Oakmoss is a dark green lichen with a beautiful forest-like, mossy aroma. It is used in perfumery to add deep, earthy tones to a fragrance or product.
Oakmoss is a species of lichen, that usually grows on oak trees but also fences, walls, rocks and soil and can be found throughout central and southern Europe. Lichens are mysterious and fascinating, they are different types of organism living in symbiosis, and we still have a lot to learn about them.
Oakmoss absolute and oil form the basis for the chypre fragrance family and are also popular in oriental perfumes. It blends extremely well with earthy and floral essential oils such as patchouli and jasmine, as well as citrus fruits and vetivert oil.
The way to obtain the absolute is a bit different from the traditional method as the lichen needs to be wet and heated first, using steam. Then, it goes through the usual process: the damp moss is transferred to the extractor for several hours where it's washed with a solvent called hexane. After some time oakmoss concrete is produced which is then turned into the absolute, during the final stages of the manufacturing process.