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Elf's Compendium of Notes 4- Massoia Bark

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My tiny bottle of essential oil of Crytptocarya massoia bark from Indonesia has not gotten much use yet, and this hard-to-find, and very unusual note, takes getting used to. But itís a lot of fun getting used to it. Warm, buttery, and intense, massoia dominates a composition in the same way vetiver does. Even in a very weak dilution, once you know the smell, you can say, ďThatís massoia in there!Ē This is because C. massoia essential oil is full of lactones, which are only found in a handful of plants worldwide. Itís very distinctive, like cream and butter, coconut and rich oils, with an undercurrent of warm buttered toast. Some find it has a milk chocolate aspect. Iím taking my time figuring out what to do with it.

This aromatic bark has been traded for centuries. Javanese and Balinese women make bobory from it, a warming ointment. Massoia bark oil can be very irritating (warming, indeed!) to the skin. Today most massoia comes from Irian Jaya. This babyís banned by IFRA, by the way, as the C-10 and C-12 massoia lactones are so itchy for some of us. My skinís just fine with it, but a patch test might be a good idea for others who want to try it. And in the oil warmer, it really smells divine. Some perfumes that have/had the massoia note (most now either discontinued or reformulated) are Kenzoís Jungle le Tigre, Paco Rabanneís XS for Her, Ayala Morielís Cabaret, and Roma Uomo by Laura Biagiotti


  1. blupest's Avatar
    Sounds like an ingredient I must try. I adore the sort of notes you describe. Where did you obtain your sample from?
  2. Elf's Avatar
    It really is gorgeous. I got mine from Liberty Natural. It's not always available, so you could see if either Liberty or White Lotus Aromatics is carrying it. There may be other sources as well, as both LN and WLA have minimum purchase requirements ($50 for LN and $100 for WLA).


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