A class or type of gum resins — naturally occurring substances that are a combination of alcohol-soluble resins and water-soluble gums. Various processes yield an array of different substances that have many specific, and often times general, uses in perfumery. A resinoid is derived from the natural resins through solvent extraction, and is often used as a fixative in perfumery. Steam distillation of the resin yields an essential oil: very sought after in perfumery, and admired for its almost vinaigrette-like aroma, that is warm yet at the same time notably sweet.
Opoponax oil is a sought after and valued material in perfumery, and embodies the balsamic sweetness that opoponax is notorious for. It is most often found as an ingredient in oriental fragrances, but is also commonly used as an additive to chypre scents, often acting as a top note. The absolute derived from the resin is featured as a base note in a wide variety of fragrances.
The scent is said to be very similar to myrrh oil, with a notable difference being that opoponax oil is more hearty and sweet, whereas the myrrh fragrance is sharp and fresh. Opononax is often called “sweet myrrh” due to its closeness in scent to that of myrrh’s.