This isn’t a true balsam but an oleoresin produced from various trees in the Copaifera genus. It is one of the cheapest natural fixatives and it is for that value that it is mainly used.
Arctander describes it thus:“one of the most “natural” (unprocessed) of all the natural perfume materials. It is used in perfumes exactly as it comes out of the tree, exactly as it occurs in nature . . .blends well with cinnamic alcohol, styrax, amyris oil, coumarin, lavandin oil, cedarwood oils, ionones and methylionones, nitromusks, and numerous other common perfumery materials. It is often used as a fixative . . .The odor of the oleoresin is is very faint, mild-woody, slightly spicy-peppery and modestly tenacious.”
I have a Copaiba Balsam (Copaifera officinalis) from EdensGarden.com, which I'm under the impression is a real essential oil. When I first smelled it out of the bottle, I was mortified to find that it had a pickle-ish odor to it! As it was my first real experience with essentials, I told myself that this was due to a lack of experience with smelling undiluted oils. As the months have gone by I have gotten use to this oil both diluted and neat, and have fallen in love with the rich-yet-soft, slightly woody, almost grassy/hay-like and honeyed notes of Copaiba, yet the pickled note has yet to disappear, although it's faded significantly, and is only perceivable in the neat form. Does anyone else experience this?