Oak in perfumery

Oak in perfumery

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Its typical fragrance, discovered in fine perfumery thanks to oak moss, is now diffused in certain fragrances thanks to oak absolute. The oak wood note is a woody scent less strong than the moss and more syrupy which embellishes our senses with a woody, smoky but also delicately vanilla touch.

His majesty the oak, legendary tree and protector of the forest

The oak is of course the most symbolic tree of our European forests. It occupies our wooded and forest areas with its high stature that can reach up to 35 meters and lives up to 500 years, sometimes even some trees reach the age of 1200!

Many varieties of oak cover the world, however the oak essence used in perfumery, the pedunculate oak or Quercus robur, is with the sessile oak a typically French species. France is indeed the leading producer of oaks in Europe with 4.5 million hectares of the venerable tree, so it is logically associated with our French forest landscapes. Sometimes called common oak, gravalin or even Marie-Antoinette oak, we could still admire the ancestor of French oaks planted in 1681 in the park of the Palace of Versailles. Unfortunately despite its strong symbol of longevity and power, the pretty oak of Versailles bowed out in 2005.

The common oak has been used for centuries in the manufacture of multiple constructions and productions, including the famous of course wine barrels, a specialty that is also very French! It is also in these wines that we often have the pleasure of discovering the fragrance of oak, and it is this same smoky and slightly syrupy scent that is made to work with fragrances in fine perfumery, both for men and for men. female.

Oak wood extract in fine perfumery

A note of oak wood is extracted from the shavings of oak used in perfumery in oriental, woody or even aromatic or citrus juices. There is no question of confusing it with the very green and very woody oak moss because the oak wood note is more delicately woody while having slightly smoky facets reminiscent of the dried fruit note. 

This notable difference between the two perfumery products is also noticeable in the use of the oak note which applies to oriental feminine perfumery where the foam rarely enters the compositions. Thus Eau des Merveilles by Hermès, Ange ou Démon by Givenchy, use for oriental scents sometimes the note of oak as a top note and sometimes the note of oak as a base note. For Hermès it is married to other precious woods such as Atlas cedar or Peruvian balsam, for Givenchy it is combined with vanilla, rosewood and tonka bean.

Of course, the oak note is present in woody or aromatic male citrus. For Chêne by Serge Lutens it is thus unveiled as a heart note alongside beeswax, birch and rum, as in the beautiful mixed fragrance from the same designer Miel de bois. In Ck free by Calvin Klein, oak wood combines with azobé and Texas cedar woods to coat white musk and patchouli. Finally, the lovely woody-oriental A * Men Pure Wood offers a note of raw oak associated with cypress.

The oak wood absolute obtained thanks to its bark therefore makes it possible to highlight and combine with a wide range of olfactory accords. Moreover, this broad complementarity is demonstrated by the audacity of certain compositions which dare to associate a note of oak with a fruity floral scent for example, such as Lost Cherry by Tom Ford, or with a citrus accord, as in Azure Lime by Tom Ford.

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