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Thread: Moss & Oakmoss

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  1. #1

    Question Moss & Oakmoss

    I've seen moss and oakmoss listed as fragrance notes. Is moss the same as oakmoss?


  2. #2
    moondeva's Avatar
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    Oct 2005
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    Default Re: Moss & Oakmoss

    Not exactly.

    Sometimes the terms are used interchangably but moss can also mean 'tree moss' which was / is often used to adulterate / mimic oakmoss in a scent.

    oakmoss is a lichen with a mossy but distinctly moist marine / sealike character - very dreamy and sensual when added to a blend.

    tree moss has a similar scent but is much drier, arid and earthier in character than the oakmoss.

    To me the differences are as distinctive as those between neroli and orange blossom.

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  3. #3

    Default Re: Moss & Oakmoss

    Oakmoss, Evernia prunastri, is a lichen and one of the most commonly used ingredients in both women's and men's fragrances. Lichen is a category of fungi that lives in a symbiotic relationship with hard porous surfaces like trees trunks, branches, etc. and rocks. Sometimes lichens can also co-exist with certain forms of algae.

    Tree Mosses, Evernia furfuracea and Usnea barbata are also used quite often in perfumery, but more so in men's fragrances. These are found growing on pine trees or spruce trees and are sometimes misleadingly called oakmoss, when in reality they should be called tree moss or fir moss. The reason they're mislabeled or misrepresented is because sometimes they are substituted as cheaper, inferior alternatives to true oakmoss, which grows only on oak trees, particularly the Quercus robur species of oak. Tree mosses tend not to have the complex scent profile of oakmoss but basically work the same way as a fixative to slow down the rate of evaporation of lighter more transient notes. They tend to provide a dry lichenous, mostly one dimensional background note for fragrances.


    Last edited by scentemental; 21st October 2007 at 03:41 PM.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Moss & Oakmoss

    Do both moss and oakmoss have a scent associated with them, while in nature? I ask because it strikes me as unusual how some of these things are in perfumery. Specifically, whatever drove someone to try moss in perfumes? I've always wondered about this.

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  5. #5

    Default Re: Moss & Oakmoss

    go sniif it at whole foods

  6. #6

    Default Re: Moss & Oakmoss

    Quote Originally Posted by supermarky View Post
    go sniif it at whole foods

    Interesting! I'll do just that the next time I'm there; thanks for the tip.

    "Why not seize the pleasure at once?"
    -- Jane Austen (Sun, and Mercury in Sagittarius)

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