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Thread: Peru Balsam

  1. #1
    Asha's Avatar
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    Jan 2008
    Los Angeles

    Default Peru Balsam

    Compiled from the Note Identification Project thread:

    Peru Balsam
    : faint, sweet, pine resin, overrripe peach

    Peru Balsam, unknown origin, Eden Botanicals Ė Complex, sweet, woody, dry paper, amber, clashing evergreen or juniper undertones. Iím not fond of this one. A bit of urine odor.

  2. #2
    Aiona's Avatar
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    Sep 2006
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    Default Re: Peru Balsam

    My peru balsam samples come from various essential oil shops, and I am unsure of their origins prior to those shops.

    Sticky. No matter where I get my samples from, they are always STICKY. Difficult to work with for that reason, and so the first shop owner I bought from recommended reconstituting in a bit of ethanol.

    The smell? Not the kind of balsam-wood smell you get from those pieces of balsam that one can purchase from Hobby Lobby or Michael's craft shops that one could use to made model planes. Deep, sour, smell. Reconstituted it is a little easier on the nose, less sour and dark.

    I guess because of the stickiness, it is useful as a base note, lending longevity to lighter more volatile oils.

    Still because of its sour smell, I use it sparingly. I am unsure if a higher quality resin would have a less sour smell. Some say it has a vanilla undertone. I guess. Still, its sour nature overpowers whatever vanilla I might enjoy in it. Asha is correct in that it's almost urine-like.
    Last edited by Aiona; 2nd January 2011 at 04:41 PM. Reason: typo
    "Embrace those things which give you pleasure, after all, there is so much mediocrity to endure elsewhere." -- Inselaffe

  3. #3

    Default Re: Peru Balsam

    i love balsum of peru mixed with benzoin, vanilla and sometimes a touch of labdanum, it extends the vanilla well and anchers the benzoin, but i heat it on a radiator or in hot water to use it as it is so viscous.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Peru Balsam

    Peru Balsam essential oil, Eden Botanicals: Sweet, mellow and vanilla-like, with a faintness similar to Mysore sandalwood oil (in terms of general performance). It also possesses subtle woody and urinal nuances that don't intrude too much.

  5. #5
    hednic's Avatar
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    Oct 2007
    Reside in McLean, Va., Manhattan NYC, Manuel Antonio Costa Rica & Bķzios Brasil

    Default Re: Peru Balsam

    It's funny that someone should mention "sour". That's exactly how my wife described this.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Peru Balsam

    The Peru Balsam I have from Eden is soft, warm and lightly woody with a fairly strong vanilla scent. The second vial I bought has a very faint sour smell that goes away completely with blending. I use it extensively as a vanilla note instead of real vanilla (too ubiquitous and dominating) in my amber accords.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Peru Balsam

    Quote Originally Posted by hednic View Post
    It's funny that someone should mention "sour". That's exactly how my wife described this.
    I agree with this. I LOVE Peru Balsam, but I always think of it as the "sour one" of my resins.

    A very deep, thick, vanilla, sour, woody resin.

  8. #8
    Dependent NebelGeÓst's Avatar
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    Jan 2016

    Default Re: Peru Balsam

    Peru balsam raw:
    Very ambery, resious, balsamic sweet with a bit of vanilla. The top notes and early heart notes are wonderful, the drydown becomes thin. I haven't found a way yet to preserve this beautiful amber tones till the very drydown showing almost leathery aspects. Very sticky, highly viscous, dark brown.

    Peru balsam resinoid:
    Similar to the raw balsam, but way more vanillic. the vanillic notes with some amber and resin facets last longer than the raw balsam (which surprised me). Again, very sticky, highly viscous and very dark.

    Peru balsam essential oil:
    Has more of the amber nuances of the raw balsam and less vanilla than the resinoid, but smells faint. It as well becomes a bit thin in the drydown, again faint leathery nuances and of benzyl benzoate, but is a nice material. Unless the other Peru balsam materials the steam distilled oil is clear and with very light color. Often absolutes or resinoids or even raw resins are sold as Peru balsam eo, but these other materials are not clear and of dark color..
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  9. #9

    Default Re: Peru Balsam

    Can anyone verify something for me? I bought some Peru Balsam from a neighbor who is getting out of soapmaking. Her original source was New Directions Aromatics. It smells *exactly* like Bazooka bubble gum. I have not been smelling things intentionally for very long but I was able to place the smell within seconds. Is this actually Peru Balsam? It does also smell like the descriptions online - Vanilla, a bit cinnamony, very sweet. And Peru Balsam is used as a flavoring agent in gum sometimes, so I'm guessing that's right, but I just can't believe no-one else has mentioned this anywhere, its the most easily placeable smell of all time to me.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Peru Balsam

    That sounds too sweet. The vanilla and spice notes, while easily detectable live behind a smooth, creamy woody note. No bubble gum should be detectable.

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