Oakmoss

Fragrance Families: chyprefougère
Characteristics: mossy, earthy, aquatic
Fragrance Examples: Houbigant – Fougère Royale, Nobile 1942 – Fougère Nobile

A lichen species that originates in Europe, it is frequently used in the perfume industry for its aromatic qualities. Various compounds are extracted from the moss for use in perfumery, and oakmoss derived products have historically made up the bulk of all chypre and fougère family fragrances. The scent is bitter and sharp, but pleasant, with significant inky qualities, being slightly sweet as well as woody. It makes for an excellent fixative, and the raw materials are often used as base notes in many different types of fragrances. Fairly recent regulations have made it harder for oakmoss products to be used in perfumery due to health concerns, which has increased the need for a synthetic variant.

Depending on what tree the moss grows on, determines the depth of flavors that will arise. Oakmoss that grows on pines are said to create extracts with a distinct turpentine aroma, which is becoming somewhat of a sought after commodity in certain sections of perfumery.