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Musk, Amber, Animalic Smells
Among the fragrant materials that lend themselves to freshness and our desire to indulge ourselves when we want the fading light, the balms of Tolu and Peru stand out for their refined and gentle atmosphere. The fragrances that contain them give off a warm, majestic, mellow character . . . BUT WHAT ARE BALMS? The distinction between resin and balm in perfumery is a distinction of form, at a fundamental level: In simple and generalized terms, resinous materials appear in the form of solidified tears resembling gum oozing from the circulating elixir vitae. in the bark of large trees. , such as Boswellia Carterii which produces frankincense. Balms on the other hand are delicate materials, not necessarily tree secretions, often coming as they do from flower pods or bushy twigs like vanilla orchids or Mediterranean rockrose. Balm simply means a resin rich in essential oil. When it comes to a tree, the trunks are marked with cuts that excrete a viscous, dark resin. It is then generally steam or vacuum distilled to obtain the oil we call balm. ORIGIN AND USE: MYROXYLON BALM Peruvian balsam comes from the Myroxylon tree, literally fragrant wood in Greek, or Quina / Balsamo, which also produces Tolu balsam; the latter differs in its production and olfactory profile, being a little sweeter and fresher than Peruvian balsam. The species is also known as Myroxylon toluiferum HBK which is mainly used for the production of Tolu's balsam as the name suggests, M. balsamamum L. Harms, and Myroxolon Pereirae i. e. say from Peru, which is mainly used for the production of Peruvian balsam. The plant is mainly cultivated in South America and the West Indies, although it has also spread to other parts of the world. Today, El Salvador is the main exporter of balsam from Peru. Myroxylon tree by mauroguanandi Interestingly, the name Peruvian balsam is a misnomer, as it was originally assembled and shipped to Europe from the ports of Callao and Lima, Peru, even though the species is not native to Peru; however, it is a very invasive species when introduced to tropical countries where it is not native due to the absence of natural enemies and its increased adaptability to different lighting conditions. The balsam of Tolu owes its name Tol in the singular and Toles in the plural from the name of the indigenous pre-Columbian people who were once the inhabitants of the same place where today Tol is located, a small town and municipality in the department of Sucre, in the northern Colombia South America by the Caribbean Sea. Toles were indeed the first people reported to use Tolu's balm in the first Spanish chronicles. Indigenous use of Myroxylon led to its export to Europe in the 17th century, where it was first documented in the German Pharmacopoeia. The use of these balms in anti-rash ointments, soaps, detergents, creams, body lotions, hair toners, dandruff preparations, cough syrups and feminine hygiene sprays n is only a small part of the beneficial role they play. Peruvian balsam has been used successfully by dentists for post-extraction dry socket, while the Myroxylon plant has been reported to inhibit Mycobacterium tuberculosis responsible for lung disease as well as the common bacteria causing ulcers. , H. pylori in test tube studies PERFUMED PROFILE Tolu's balm is composed of 3/4 of a fragrant resinous compound, containing about 15 percent free cinnamic acid and benzoic acid and about 40 percent of the benzyl and related esters of these free acids. A volatile oil is present in small quantities from 1. 5 percent to 7 percent. Traces of styrene, coumarin and vanillin are also present. Tolu resin is taken from the trunk of the tree through incisions in the bark, dripping yellow-brown semi-fluid or nearly solid material in thick drops and collected. The cold material fractures like flint and is stored for use in pharmaceuticals and perfumery. The dry resin has a complex aroma consisting mainly of cinnamon and vanilla, while having an inviting and sweet floral aroma. Peruvian Balm, on the other hand, is a thick dark brown liquid also with cinnamic and vanilla facets and with a sweet base note of green olive that is more earthy and bitter. The manufacturing process from the Myroxylon tree differs: The balm in the bark is obtained by boiling. After the strips of bark are removed from the tree, the exposed wood secretes balsam. The material soaks up in rags wrapped around the tree, which are then boiled in water. The naturally heavier balm sinks to the bottom and the water on top is discarded. About 1 kg of balm per tree is produced annually. Peruvian balm, photo from perubalsam. org These two materials have a soft tone, while being slightly enveloping and have a pronounced character. They fix the flowers longer and thanks to their properties when used in large quantities, they produce Semi-Oriental or Floriental that is to say in association with rich floral essences. PERFUMES ENHANCING THE BALM OF TOLU AND PERU An excellent example of a perfume containing large amounts of balm is the Tolu perfume from Ormonde Jayne. The opulence of the balsamic note softens the rest of the composition, giving the golden glow of a multi-faceted citrine. Compare and contrast with Guerlain's Vol de Nuit balsamic base which contains a generous portion of Peruvian balsam; the oriental accord gives it its opulence under the green top note. In the classic Shalimar Eau de Cologne, a hint of Peruvian balsam gives a darker vanilla character that remains however lighter than the smoky, dense and leathery vanilla of the extract; the same effect is repeated in the coagulated, dark and intense 1950s icon Youth Dew of Lauder. Baume Tolu d'Esteban highlights the amber facets of Baume de Tolu. Peruvian balsam for its part provides the anchoring of the Elixir des Merveilles Herm�s, as well as the Parfum des Merveilles, solidifying a soft, mysterious, almost chypre character under the unisex and lighter top notes. Patricia de Nicolai uses Peruvian Balm in both Sacrebleu and Sacrebleu Intense, giving us modern, wearable Orientals that don't shy away from the great tradition of classics. Benzoin and Tolu's balm make up the astonishing monastic backdrop of Jean Desprez's Bal Versailles, combined with the austerity of cedar. The marmoreal quality of these somnobulent resins is regal and resembles the most luxurious cashmere shawl imaginable in shades of rich burgundy or shaded olive. ALLERGEN CONTROL The main contact sensitizers of Peruvian Balm and Tolu Balm have been identified and include cinnamates, benzoates, and terpenoids, making them ingredients on the IFRA-approved list of potential skin sensitizers when used. used in perfumery. Therefore, additional patch testing is recommended in susceptible individuals to trace how sensitization is acquired. Ref: Hausen BM. Contact allergy to Peruvian balm. II. Patch test results in 102 patients with selected components of Peruvian balsam. Am J Contact Dermat. 2001; 12: 93-102
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