Cistus and I haven’t always been on the friendliest of terms. I’ve had fresh distillations of the essential oil and of course hydrosol over the years, direct from source. Some of the best, I reckon. But I could never get around the scent – it was so cloying and just didn’t resinate with me at all. I felt like I needed to work at it a little more because this oil has serious history behind it. Every perfumery book I have ever read about natural perfumery prior to this, last and previous centuries includes the use of cistus. Where I live, cistus flowers grow everywhere and well I might add. I pick them until the resin sticks my fingers together which happens quick in Sacramento heat. Exploring the labdanum side of things, the resin didn’t bringing me closer to the cistus grail either. I brought in a few kilos in 2012, had a sniff and put it in the back of our apothecary. Thankfully, botanicals evolve and so can I. While doing inventory not so long ago (no small feat), I pulled out ole labdanum and got lost for a few days. No kidding. This pourable labdanum resinoid is that musky amber, deep sensual scent I’ve longed to experience my entire aromatherapy career. It is a thick blackish resin and almost soapy like a well made amber should smell. I have indulged in its magnificence for a good few weeks and I feel complete.
Suggested uses: In a natural botanical perfume blend, particularly a men’s oriental or fougère blend. Must have in an amber perfume.