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  1. #1
    Scentronic's Avatar
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    Default Extraction of oakmoss and others

    With all these ridiculous guidelines coming out that will probably put an end to most of the fragrances I hold dear, I'm thinking of giving DIY perfumery a try. But not just from the standpoint of mixing oils - I want to grow or obtain the raw materials myself and do the extraction.

    I've got a piece of lake property that is just overflowing with real live oakmoss. And what the heck... why not grow some jasmine and roses while I'm at it? Add some vanilla and lime extracts, and I've got something along the lines of my cherished Feuille Verte. Of course, it's not quite that simple. But I could see myself getting into this. A niche perfumery specializing in all natural ingredients including oakmoss and jasmine. I could just keep it small and sell to friends.

    So I'm already reading up on the different methods of extraction, including solvents and macerations etc.

    Does anyone here do this?
    Lately I've been wearing:
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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Extraction of oakmoss and others

    Oakmoss absolute

    Preparation of Concrete
    Concrete is prepared by extraction (benzene) with yield 2-4%. Product will be dark green in colour.
    To improve yield, moss is immersed in water for 6 hours and dried before extraction
    Preparation of absolute
    Obtained via alcoholic extraction of concrete for 6 hrs. Yield is approximately 60% and the colour will be dark green.
    The mixture was cooled down in iced water bath before vacuum filtration to remove all insoluble impurities. Mixture can be decolourized by adding activated charcoal powder followed by ashless powder before vacuum filtration. Ashless powder will aid in filtration. Repeat Filtration as many times as needed (if the black particle is still around, filtration has to be repeated)
    The liquid product was distilled under vacuum with high bp, odorless solvent and codistilled to give better color and yield of product.

    When you are handling benzene and the product, please be extra careful. Benzene is carcinogenic and it is relatively volatile. Please discard organic solvent properly. As you know, oakmoss is an allergen, at the concentration you are handling, you should handle it carefully. There is a article on the production of oakmoss absolute with reduced allergic side effects (International Journal of Cosmetic Science # 14, Issue 3, p 121).



    Fenaroli's handbook of flavor ingredients
    By George A. Burdock, Giovanni Fenaroli
    Edition: 5, illustrated
    Published by CRC Press, 2004
    ISBN 0849330343, 9780849330346
    2009 pages
    Last edited by ultranova3; 20th April 2009 at 04:26 PM.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Extraction of oakmoss and others

    couldn't have put it better myself for the oakmoss the trickiest part is going to be evapping the benzene and recollecting it (you should recollect it to use again)

    maybe look into trying enfleurage for the jasmines, although to be fully realistic about the time considerations involved, its a hell of a job!

  4. #4

    Default Re: Extraction of oakmoss and others

    When you are handling benzene and the product, please be extra careful. Benzene is carcinogenic and it is relatively volatile
    Benzene is significantly carcinogenic and dangerous. I would strongly recommend against working with benzene. In fact benzene is now considered to be so toxic that I doubt anyone still uses it for oakmoss extraction.
    Last edited by dcampen; 26th May 2009 at 04:41 PM.
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  5. #5
    gido's Avatar
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    Default Re: Extraction of oakmoss and others

    what about oakmoss infusion? no one does that anymore, but i've read that coty used it in his original chypre formula.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Extraction of oakmoss and others

    Quote Originally Posted by dcampen View Post
    Benzene is significantly carcinogenic and dangerous. I would strongly recommend against working with benzene. In fact benzene is now considered to be so toxic that I doubt anyone still uses it for oakmoss extraction.
    !!!!

    Benzene causes cancer in about 100% of those who come in contact with it.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Extraction of oakmoss and others

    Infusions are very uncommon in modern perfumery. Before the introduction of solvent extraction these were used a lot. I don't think infusions are commercialy available anymore.

    More usual solvents these days are pentane, hexane and alike solvents. Alcohol is used directly when the extracting material contains no or little water.

    As far as I know there are no rules that prohibit the trade in fragrance materials like oakmoss extracts, so purchasing them is probably the best way to get some.

  8. #8
    gido's Avatar
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    Default Re: Extraction of oakmoss and others

    i am definitely going to purchase some, actually from you, jan.
    but i thought it might be fun and interesting to collect some oakmoss on a dry winterday, and to try to make a infusion like they did in the old days of the original chypre. do you know if the result would be any different from what you get with solvent extraction?

  9. #9

    Default Re: Extraction of oakmoss and others

    According to the classic German perfumerbook H. Mann / F. Winter (Die Moderne Parfumerie = "The modern perfumery") an infusion = extract = lavage is made from a pommade. A pommade is the result of enfleurage. When you soak oakmoss in alcohol, you will not get an infusion, you will get a tincture.

    The formula from this book for tincture of oakmoss is simple:
    250 gram Oakmoss (dry, pulverised)
    1.25 liter Alcohol

    Extracting time: 14 days

    Btw "modern" means in this case: 1932

  10. #10
    Asha's Avatar
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    Default Re: Extraction of oakmoss and others

    According to my herb books, infusion is actually like making a tea. You can infuse plant ingredients by putting them in boiling water, steeping, then straining.

    Tincture can be made with oil or alcohol, is done at room temperature and is allowed to "steep" for an extended period (days, weeks, months).

  11. #11
    Scentronic's Avatar
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    Default Re: Extraction of oakmoss and others

    Quote Originally Posted by janmeut View Post
    According to the classic German perfumerbook H. Mann / F. Winter (Die Moderne Parfumerie = "The modern perfumery") an infusion = extract = lavage is made from a pommade. A pommade is the result of enfleurage. When you soak oakmoss in alcohol, you will not get an infusion, you will get a tincture.

    The formula from this book for tincture of oakmoss is simple:
    250 gram Oakmoss (dry, pulverised)
    1.25 liter Alcohol

    Extracting time: 14 days

    Btw "modern" means in this case: 1932
    Ok, so what's next? I'm totally new to this! I'm assuming some sort of draining/separation/skimming? What will these quantities yield? What kind of alcohol should I use?
    Lately I've been wearing:
    Windsor, Bois de Santal, Original Santal, Elixir, Douro, Endymion, Reflection, Arcus, Marwah

  12. #12
    Asha's Avatar
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    Default Re: Extraction of oakmoss and others

    Scentronic, I think you should use perfumer's alcohol, and let it steep in a closed bottle, in the dark, for several weeks. If I were doing it, I probably would fill a mason jar with the herb, and then pour the alcohol in until full. When you are ready to strain, you can use a collandar or food strainer with cheese cloth for the first pass, then a fine filter paper for the 2nd. I suppose if you want to be more scientific about it, you should record how many grams of plant material fills your jar, and how many ml of alcohol you pour in.

  13. #13
    Scentronic's Avatar
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    Default Re: Extraction of oakmoss and others

    That sounds like it would yield about as much alcohol as you poured in, right? So then what do you do with that solution?

    Isn't the idea to get it down into a concentrated oil? Fill in the gap...
    Lately I've been wearing:
    Windsor, Bois de Santal, Original Santal, Elixir, Douro, Endymion, Reflection, Arcus, Marwah

  14. #14
    Asha's Avatar
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    Default Re: Extraction of oakmoss and others

    No, because if you had an EO or absolute, you would dilute it. The tincture when finished should be ready to use, unless you want to dilute further for composing your fragrance.
    Last edited by Asha; 28th November 2009 at 12:55 AM.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Extraction of oakmoss and others

    You can filtrate the tincture, and that 's it, ready to use.
    250 gram oakmoss + 1.25 liter alcohol will yield about 1.25 liter tincture.

    You could of course let the alcohol evaporate. I think you should do this in vacuum. Unless you know exactly what you do this is potentially dangerous, hot evaporated alcohol is -combined with air- explosive. In the end you will get a sticky mass that you could either call resinoid or absolute. The yield will be probably not more than a few grams.

  16. #16

    Question Re: Extraction of oakmoss and others

    Quote Originally Posted by janmeut View Post
    You can filtrate the tincture, and that 's it, ready to use.
    250 gram oakmoss + 1.25 liter alcohol will yield about 1.25 liter tincture.

    You could of course let the alcohol evaporate. I think you should do this in vacuum. Unless you know exactly what you do this is potentially dangerous, hot evaporated alcohol is -combined with air- explosive. In the end you will get a sticky mass that you could either call resinoid or absolute. The yield will be probably not more than a few grams.

    Hi janmeut,
    can you name some of the alcohols that can be used for the process, is it necessary to evaporate the alcohol for the tincture process.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Extraction of oakmoss and others

    Quote Originally Posted by gido View Post
    what about oakmoss infusion? no one does that anymore, but i've read that coty used it in his original chypre formula.
    I was also under the impression that the original chypre used an oakmoss infusion - but, that is completely false. In fact the original Chypre was made with a very large quantity of Oakmoss absolute from Yugoslavia - considered the finest grade of oakmoss absolute. Perfectly legal to replicate today in most countries but totally impossible if you follow IFRA regulations.

    In fact, as far as I can recall from what I have learned of the original formula, there was nothing in Chypre which could not be used today in the same quantities (except for IFRA members of course) except possibly iso eugenol from a carnation base but a skilled perfumer would doubtless be able to create a fairly good replica using other materials.
    Currently wearing: 1000 by Jean Patou

  18. #18

    Default Re: Extraction of oakmoss and others

    I forgot to say in my last comment that while Coty didn't use oakmoss tincture in Chypre, oakmoss tincture is a beautiful material. I have purchased tinctures and I have tinctured my own - it is absolutely beautiful - soft and luxurious.
    Currently wearing: 1000 by Jean Patou

  19. #19

    Default Re: Extraction of oakmoss and others

    Quote Originally Posted by janmeut View Post
    You can filtrate the tincture, and that 's it, ready to use.
    250 gram oakmoss + 1.25 liter alcohol will yield about 1.25 liter tincture.

    You could of course let the alcohol evaporate. I think you should do this in vacuum. Unless you know exactly what you do this is potentially dangerous, hot evaporated alcohol is -combined with air- explosive. In the end you will get a sticky mass that you could either call resinoid or absolute. The yield will be probably not more than a few grams.
    Don't forget that oakmoss resin and oakmoss absolute are two different things - oakmoss resin is cheaper and has a lot of non-odiforous particles in it. When that is washed to remove those particles you are left with oakmoss absolute which is extremely thick and rather difficult to work with. Resin is much more liquid - so much so you can use transfer pipettes with it.

    The resin is excellent for soaps but the absolute is a must for fine fragrance.

    Also, my experience has been that while it may be a sensitiser, I have had no problems having my hands smeared in the stuff (which happens far more often than I would like when I transfer portions from my 1kg bottle). It is horribly hard to get off your hands but other than stains I haven't found it to be a problem.
    Last edited by jfrater; 1st March 2016 at 07:26 AM.
    Currently wearing: 1000 by Jean Patou

  20. #20

    Default Re: Extraction of oakmoss and others

    This is a fine old timely resurrection.... I was just playing with my oakmoss today. I do gather and infuse it and use it in my own blends.
    I have some absolute but not resin. I now need it having read this.... So off on the hunt to smell it. Where is yours from?
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  21. #21

    Default Re: Extraction of oakmoss and others

    Quote Originally Posted by mumsy View Post
    This is a fine old timely resurrection.... I was just playing with my oakmoss today. I do gather and infuse it and use it in my own blends.
    I have some absolute but not resin. I now need it having read this.... So off on the hunt to smell it. Where is yours from?
    I got my resin from John Steele - it is listed in their price guide as $18 per 3ml but the price gets significantly better the more you buy (I buy it by the kg). I use John Steele for a huge number of my naturals as I have found them superior in pretty much every instance. I got my oakmoss abs. (non-IFRA) from Christine at PerfumerSupplyHouse.
    Currently wearing: 1000 by Jean Patou

  22. #22
    Basenotes Member
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    Default Re: Extraction of oakmoss and others

    I might as well give some input here too. I found oakmoss tincture to be extremely easy and fun to manage myself. Also I wanted some local magic with swedish ingredients in my blends. We dont have a lot of them up here; angelica, some herbs, pine of course. But oakmoss is magical, and I harvest mine infact, in an oak grove inside a viking burial site. Its atmosphere, I like to think, id transferred to my scents.

    /Pelle

  23. #23

    Default Re: Extraction of oakmoss and others

    Quote Originally Posted by Filipsson View Post
    I might as well give some input here too. I found oakmoss tincture to be extremely easy and fun to manage myself. Also I wanted some local magic with swedish ingredients in my blends. We dont have a lot of them up here; angelica, some herbs, pine of course. But oakmoss is magical, and I harvest mine infact, in an oak grove inside a viking burial site. Its atmosphere, I like to think, id transferred to my scents.

    /Pelle
    Now that is a really fine piece of marketing copy: “scents enhanced with oakmoss harvested by hand from a grove of oak trees growing in a viking burial ground”. Epic!
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  24. #24
    Basenotes Member
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    Default Re: Extraction of oakmoss and others

    Now that is a really fine piece of marketing copy: “scents enhanced with oakmoss harvested by hand from a grove of oak trees growing in a viking burial ground”. Epic!
    Haha, well, Im not entirely unaware of the possibility

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Extraction of oakmoss and others

    I'm curious why the 6-hour water soak before drying; mentioned in post #2 above. Any ideas how that would improve the yield? I have some oakmoss to tincture, just haven't done it yet. Now I'm wondering if I should try soaking it first?

  26. #26

    Default Re: Extraction of oakmoss and others

    I don't think that a straight tincture of Oakmoss is particularly good. Having smelled a couple of tinctures and being somewhat disappointed. Tincturing does not work for everything. That's why Concretes and Absolutes are made. I guess that by soaking the raw moss in water for 6 hours, the cells containing the aromatics will be put under stress, and may burst, thus making it easier to extract using alcohol.

  27. #27
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    Default Re: Extraction of oakmoss and others

    Ok, that makes some sense, thanks. Although I have to wonder, if that's true then how can oakmoss stand to be rained on for six hours? I assume that happens in nature? Hmmm. You've given me something to think about, anyway. Thanks again!

  28. #28
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    Default Re: Extraction of oakmoss and others

    I don't think that a straight tincture of Oakmoss is particularly good. Having smelled a couple of tinctures and being somewhat disappointed. Tincturing does not work for everything. That's why Concretes and Absolutes are made. I guess that by soaking the raw moss in water for 6 hours, the cells containing the aromatics will be put under stress, and may burst, thus making it easier to extract using alcohol.
    That makes sense. My own experiments tends to give a fairly unpleasant top note unfortunately, with a sour, damp scent. Earthy/mossy in a negative meaning. But after a few minutes the oakmoss tone develops really nicely. Its spicy but mild. I get both a babyskin- and a deep masculine tone. To me its very pleasant. Also very long lasting. I let it develop for a few months before I use it, of course. So my only problem is masking the top note.

    /Pelle

  29. #29

    Default Re: Extraction of oakmoss and others

    Quote Originally Posted by Toujours Mink View Post
    Ok, that makes some sense, thanks. Although I have to wonder, if that's true then how can oakmoss stand to be rained on for six hours? I assume that happens in nature? Hmmm. You've given me something to think about, anyway. Thanks again!
    Big difference between the living lichen, and the dried dead stuff you work with. Maybe.

  30. #30

    Default Re: Extraction of oakmoss and others

    Quote Originally Posted by Filipsson View Post
    That makes sense. My own experiments tends to give a fairly unpleasant top note unfortunately, with a sour, damp scent. Earthy/mossy in a negative meaning. But after a few minutes the oakmoss tone develops really nicely. Its spicy but mild. I get both a babyskin- and a deep masculine tone. To me its very pleasant. Also very long lasting. I let it develop for a few months before I use it, of course. So my only problem is masking the top note.

    /Pelle
    Very often a newly made extract, whether oil or absolute, has a bad smelling Top note. I was going to suggest you leave it for a couple of months; but then read that that is what you do. Does the unpleasantness not get weaker?

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