A term used to describe sweet, warm, soft, yet sharp and clean aromas, reminiscent of balsam. Often times the aromas are derived from extracts that hail from balsams, but sometimes they are yielded from unrelated types of resins. Oriental perfumes are especially known for their balsamic inspired aromas and ingredients, and the oud essential oil is perhaps quintessentially signature of what a balsamic aroma profile entails. Balsam is also a term used to refer to gummy, resinous compounds of various trees and shrubs.
The difference between what actually constitutes a balsam, and what simply remains to be a resin, is the place of which the compounds are derived. Balsams are materials that whilst are trickily and syrupy in makeup, are ultimately not the secretions of trees in the same way resins are. They often come via flower pods and twigs, although this fact isn’t set in stone.