The odors occurring in plants have their seat mostly in peculiar
receptacles called oil glands in which the aromatic substances are
stored and seem to take no further part in the vital processes of the
plant. As has been intimated, the parts of the plant in which the
aromatic substances are stored differ greatly; but in general it may be
said that in most cases the flowers and fruits contain the odors; more
rarely they may be found in the roots, in the bark, or in the wood,
and in very few instances equally distributed throughout the whole
plant. In some cases, however, we can obtain totally different odors
from various parts of the same plant; this applies, for instance, to
the orange-tree, whose blossoms furnish a different odor from the ripe
fruits, and the latter must be distinguished from that obtainable from
the leaves. The odorous substances occurring in the vegetable kingdom
are either mobile liquids (essential oils), or they have a thicker
consistence ranging from that of cream to that of soft cheese (balsams
or gum-resins), or they are solid (resins). Aside from the fact that
the term “essential oils” is quite incorrect, since the substances
called by that name have nothing in common with oils except perhaps
the liquid state, we are forced from a chemical standpoint to include
among them even solid substances; the well-known camphor, a firm and
waxy-looking body, belongs according to all its chemical properties
into the same group as the so-called essential oils. The name
“essential (or volatile) oils” is due to the fact that the volatile
vegetable aromatic substances cause a stain on paper similar to that
produced by oils and fats; but the stain made by the former disappears
spontaneously after some time, while that due to true oils and fats
persists. The disappearance of the stain depends on the evaporation
of the vegetable aromatic substances—a quality not possessed by fats.
Hence the volatile vegetable aromatic substances, in contradistinction
from non-volatile fixed or fatty oils, have been designated as
essential or volatile or ethereal oils. Inasmuch as the latter terms
are the ordinary trade names for these substances, we are compelled to
retain them despite their incorrectness. The French name for essential
oils is _essences_; “essence de lavande,” for instance, is the French
name for essential oil of lavender, and not for an alcoholic solution
of the oil, as might be inferred from the usually accepted meaning of
the English terms “essence of lavender,” “essence of peppermint,” etc.,
which mean solutions of these essential oils in alcohol.

As the localities where the raw materials—that is, the aromatic
plants—are cultivated on a large scale naturally constitute the places
of manufacture of essential oils, we find in southern France and
in England the most extensive factories devoted exclusively to the
preparation of perfumes. In the countries named, a favorable influence
is exerted, too, by their situation near the sea, as well as by their
trade with tropical lands from which additional aromatic plants are

We have stated above that the manufacture of essential oils forms
almost a monopoly in France and England; but there is no doubt that
this country (the United States) likewise possesses many localities
favorable to the cultivation of certain aromatic plants and the
preparation of essential oils from them, so that this branch of
industry could be carried on at a profit. For this reason we have in
our descriptions devoted some attention to the conditions of growth
required by such plants as might be raised here. We even find that some
advantages are derived from the hot-house cultivation of some tropical

An exact knowledge of the chemical properties of a substance is in all
cases the first and fundamental condition for its preparation; it would
appear necessary, therefore, that we should endeavor to gain complete
information about the nature of vegetable aromatic substances before we
enter upon the description of the various methods of their preparation.


The sources of the odors derived from the vegetable kingdom can be
divided, as stated above, into so-called essential oils, balsams,
gum-resins or soft resins, and hard resins. Since the latter bear a
certain relation to the essential oils from which they are formed
through chemical combinations, we must consider them first.

The flowers, the fruits and their rinds, or even the wood of some
plants form the receptacles of essential oils; if they are liquid they
are called essential oils _par excellence_; if they are firm they
are called camphors. Besides, there are intermediate states between
them: oil of rose is always viscid and solidifies even at temperatures
considerably above the freezing-point of water (see under Oil of Rose).

The bodies which are generally called essential oils are usually
mixtures of a hydrocarbon with an oxygenated body, or an unchanged oil
with another which has become altered by the influence of the oxygen of
the air—a condition to which we shall recur later on. With reference
to their elementary composition, essential oils may be divided into two

1. Non-oxygenated essential oils.

2. Oxygenated essential oils.

The non-oxgenated essential oils consist only of two elements—carbon
and hydrogen; the other group, as the name indicates, contains a third
element in chemical combination, and consist of carbon, hydrogen, and
oxygen. Most of the essential oils of the first group have the same
chemical composition: C_{10}H_{16} (10 atoms of carbon combined with
16 atoms of hydrogen). Despite the like chemical composition, all the
essential oils display different physical qualities; they vary in
density, in refractive power, in boiling-point (often by many degrees),
and, a matter of the greatest importance for our purposes, in their
odor. We may state at once that but few essential oils can be said
to have a pleasant odor; that of most of them is even disagreeable
and narcotic to the olfactory nerves; it is only after the oil has
been extremely diluted that the odor begins to become pleasant and to
resemble that of the plant from which the oil was derived.

According to their physical qualities, essential oils may be described
as fluids of a specific narcotic odor, colorless but very refractive,
and easily inflammable. Only a few essential oils can be produced
in such a state of purity as to appear perfectly colorless; usually
they are more or less dark yellow in color, and some even possess a
characteristic tint; thus oil of acacia is reddish-brown, oils of
rose and absinth are green, oil of chamomile is blue. But a simple
experiment will show that the color is not inseparably connected with
the oil, for certain tinted oils can be obtained perfectly colorless
by being distilled with another, less volatile oil which retains the
coloring matter.

The boiling-point of essential oils is in general very high —between
160° and 288° of the centigrade thermometer (C.), or 320° to 550°
F. The fact that we smell the essential oils in aromatic plants so
distinctly despite their high boiling-point is an evidence of their
exceedingly strong influence on the olfactory nerves.

A peculiar property of essential oils, which is of great importance
in their preparation, is that of distilling over in large quantities
with steam—both ordinary and superheated—that is, at temperatures
at most only slightly exceeding 100° C. or 212° F. For this reason
essential oils are usually obtained in this way, since they are but
slightly soluble in water. Still, most of the oils dissolve in water in
sufficient amount to impart to it their characteristic odor and thus
to render it often very fragrant. Aqua Naphæ triplex (orange-flower
water), rose water, etc., are such as have been distilled over with the
essential oils, contain a small quantity of the latter in solution, and
hence have a very agreeable odor.

All essential oils dissolve readily in strong alcohol, petroleum ether,
benzol, bisulphide of carbon, in liquid and solid fats, in glycerin,
etc.; we shall again recur to this important subject under the head of
the preparation of the essential oils.

If a freshly prepared essential oil is at once excluded from the air
by being placed in hermetically sealed vessels which it completely
fills, and is kept from the light, the oil will remain unchanged for
any length of time. But if an essential oil is exposed to the air, a
peculiar, chemical alteration begins, which proceeds more rapidly and
obviously if direct light acts upon the oil at the same time. The odor
becomes less intense, the oil grows darker in color and more viscous,
and also acquires a peculiar quality: it has a strong bleaching
effect which is easily seen on the cork closing the bottle, which is
beautifully bleached. After a certain time the oil changes to a viscid,
less odorous mass, into balsam, and the latter, after the prolonged
influence of the air, finally changes into a brownish, odorless
substance, into resin.

These remarkable physical and chemical alterations depend on the fact
that the essential oil absorbs oxygen from the air, which it puts into
a peculiar condition in which it exerts increased chemical activity
and is termed ozonized oxygen. One of the most marked of these effects
is the uncommonly strong bleaching power of ozonized or active oxygen.
When an essential oil that has altered so far as to contain ozonized
oxygen—which is shown by its bleaching vegetable coloring matters such
as the juice of cherries, red beets, tincture of litmus, etc., agitated
with it—is cooled, we notice the separation from it of a usually
crystalline, colorless, and odorless body called stearopten, while the
remaining liquid part is called elæopten. Stearopten always contains
oxygen, while elæopten still consists only of carbon and hydrogen.

In the formation of the stearopten we distinctly see the beginning
process of resinification, which, therefore, is nothing but an
oxidation (combination of the essential oil with oxygen). It should,
however, be stated that as to many essential oils this is not proven
by actual observation. Many of them are not known to us as naturally
existing without any stearopten. Balsams are essential oils which
have to a great extent changed into resin, which they contain in
solution, and thereby have become more or less viscid. If the process
of oxidation goes still farther, eventually the greater portion of the
essential oil becomes oxidized, the entire mass grows firm, and then
possesses only a very faint odor which is due to the last remnants of
the unchanged essential oil.

Since aromatic substances during evaporation become mixed with air, it
appears probable that they act upon the olfactory nerves only at the
moment when they become oxidized.

The entire process of resinification of oil of turpentine can be
followed very clearly on the pitch pine (Pinus austriaca, or other
species of Pinus), just as oil of turpentine in general can be taken
as an example of an essential oil on which the peculiarities of the
non-oxygenated essential oils may be easily studied. In many localities
the pitch pine is partly deprived of its bark when it has reached a
certain age. From the trunk exudes oil of turpentine which in the air
becomes more and more viscid by the absorption of oxygen and changes
into balsam, called turpentine. The latter is collected and distilled
with water, when the unchanged oil of turpentine passes over with the
steam, while the odorless resin (rosin or colophony) remains behind in
the stills.

The above-mentioned qualities of the essential oils indicate naturally
how those used in perfumery, which are often very costly, are to be
preserved. For this purpose small strong bottles should be chosen which
are closed with well-fitting glass stoppers, over which is applied a
glass capsule ground to fit tightly over the neck of the bottle. _These
bottles should always be completely filled_ (hence small bottles should
be selected), _and kept tightly closed, in the dark_. As the action of
oxygen is retarded by low temperatures, it is advisable to keep bottles
containing essential oils in a cool cellar. But care must be had never
to pour out an essential oil in the cellar near an open candle light.
The vapors are very apt to take fire, as they are quite inflammable.

As there are a great many aromatic vegetable substances, so there
are numerous odors, or, to retain the customary though incorrect
appellation, numerous essential oils. All of these, however, cannot be
used in the art of perfumery, as some of them do not possess a pleasant
odor, as is the case, for instance, with oil of turpentine. (We may
state here, however, that very pure oil of turpentine, distilled from
certain Coniferæ, has an agreeable, refreshing odor which at present
has found application in perfumery under the title of forest perfume
or pine-needle essence.) Besides, there are numerous essential oils
which, while possessing a very pleasant odor, still cannot be used in
perfumery except for very cheap preparations, though they are employed
in much larger quantities in the manufacture of liqueurs. Such oils
are: oil of cumin, fennel, juniper, absinth, etc.

As we shall return to this subject in connection with the essential
oils which are used in perfumery in general, we will now consider at
greater length the aromatic vegetable substances which are employed for
the manufacture of fragrant odors.

Every fragrant portion of a plant can be used for the preparation of
an aromatic substance, and therefore for the manufacture of a perfume.
Hence we are unable, in the following enumeration of the aromatic
vegetable substances, to make any claim to absolute completeness; for
every new scientific expedition may acquaint us with hitherto unknown
plants from which the finest odors may be obtained. We have said above
that we have not yet even fixed in our perfumes all the odors of the
known aromatic plants, and therefore there is still a large field open
to the progressive manufacturer.

In the following pages we must restrict ourselves to the description of
those aromatic vegetable substances which are used in the laboratories
of the most advanced and scientific perfumers for the manufacture of
odors. At the same time we lay particular stress on the fact that the
knowledge of these raw materials is a matter of the greatest importance
to the manufacturer of perfumes because it enables him to appreciate
the differences, often very minute, between fine and inferior
qualities. Every manufacturer who aims at the production of fine goods
must make it the rule to use nothing but the best raw materials.

The price of the latter is apparently disproportionately high; for
all that, only the most expensive materials should be bought, for it
is the only kind that can be used. Let us give but two instances in
illustration. We find in the market, grades of vanilla the prices of
which are as one to four; the latter is fresh and contains the aromatic
substance in large amount; the former is old, dry, and worthless, with
an artificial glossy surface and little odor. The differences in the
price are still greater in an aromatic substance of animal origin,
musk, the cheapest grades of which are altogether artificial and
perfumed with a mere trace of genuine musk.

Of course, the same remark applies to the raw materials of animal
origin and to the chemical products, all of which should be of the
greatest purity obtainable.

The aromatic substances at present employed in perfumery for the
extraction of odors are the following.


_Latin_—Pimenta; _French_—Piment; _German_—Piment; Nelkenpfeffer.

This spice consists of the fruit berries, at first green, later black,
of the Eugenia Pimenta, indigenous to Central America and the Antilles.
It is chiefly used in the manufacture of liqueurs, less in perfumery,
though it may be employed as an addition to certain strong odors,
particularly that of oil of bay; it serves very nicely for scenting
cheap soap.


_Latin_—Pimpinella Anisum; _French_—Anis; _German_—Anis.

This well-known plant, which is cultivated in many localities on a
large scale, belongs to the Order of Umbelliferæ. The seeds contain
about three per cent of a very aromatic essential oil which finds
application in the manufacture of soap and in cheap perfumery; it is
chiefly used as a flavoring for liqueurs. Good anise must have a light
green color, an agreeable sweetish odor, and a sharp taste. In order to
increase the weight, anise is occasionally moistened with water; such
seeds look swollen, are apt to become slimy, and then furnish a less
fragrant oil. Anise is not to be confounded with star-anise, which will
be mentioned hereafter.


_Latin_—Melissa officinalis; _French_—Melisse; _German_—Melissenkraut.

Melissa officinalis, an herbaceous plant with large, beautiful flowers,
which grows wild in our woods, contains a very sweet-smelling oil in
small quantities. This can be extracted by distillation from the fresh
herb, and furnishes very fine perfumes.

Oil of Melissa of the market is, however, usually an East Indian oil,
derived from Andropogon citratus. See under Citronella.


_Latin_—Laurus nobilis; _French_—Laurier; _German_—Lorbeerfrüchte.

The fruits of the bay-tree contain much essential oil which is used
less in the manufacture of perfumery than for scenting soap. Venice is
the most important point of export. See the next article.


_Latin_—Myrcia acris; _French_—(Huile de) Bay; _German_—Bay (-Oel).

The essential oil obtained from the leaves of this tree, a native of
the West Indies, possesses a very aromatic, refreshing odor somewhat
resembling that of allspice. It is known in the market as bay oil or
oil of bay. During the last decade or so its use has largely extended,
and, while formerly almost unknown on the continent of Europe, has
become an important article for the perfumer. An alcoholic distillate,
prepared by distilling the fresh leaves with the crude spirit from
which rum is otherwise obtained, is known as bay-rum, and is used as a
pleasant and refreshing wash for the skin. Bay-rum may also be made by
dissolving the oil, together with certain other ingredients, in alcohol.


_Latin_—Benzoinum; _French_—Benjoin; _German_—Benzoëharz.

This gum-resin, which possesses a pleasant vanilla-like odor, comes
from a tree belonging to the Order of Styracaceæ, the Styrax Benzoin,
and probably another species of Styrax, indigenous to tropical Asia,
especially Siam and Sumatra. The collection of benzoin is very similar
to that of pine resin; the bark of the tree is cut open, the exuding
juice is allowed to harden on the trunk, and is thus brought into
commerce. Benzoin differs according to its origin, the age of the tree,
etc., and in commerce a number of sorts (Siam, Penang, Palembang, and
Sumatra) are distinguished. As a rule, benzoin comes in lumps ranging
in size to that of a child’s head. They are of a light gray color and
inclose white, almond-shaped pieces. The finest quality, known as Siam
benzoin after its source, usually is in small pieces (Siam benzoin
in tears) which are translucent, light yellow to brown externally,
but milky white on fracture, and have a strong vanilla odor. Less
fine but still very good is Siam benzoin in lumps, consisting of
large reddish-brown pieces inclosing white particles. All other kinds
mentioned above come from the island of Sumatra, in lumps the size of a
fist. What was formerly known as Calcutta benzoin formed large friable
pieces of a dirty reddish-gray color. Siam as well as Penang benzoin
often contains, besides benzoic acid, also cinnamic acid; it is not
known why it is not a regular constituent. The worst quality is sold
as “benzoin sorts,” consisting of brownish pieces without white spots;
they are often mixed with splinters of wood, bast fibres, and fragments
of leaves, and can be used only for cheap perfumes.

Good benzoin, besides the qualities named, must have a sweetish and
burning sharp taste, it should be very friable, and when heated in a
porcelain capsule should emit vapors (benzoic acid) of an acrid taste
and a pronounced aromatic odor; it should dissolve completely in strong
alcohol. In perfumery, benzoin serves for the preparation of many
odors, washes, and the manufacture of benzoic acid. The latter will be
further discussed under the head of aromatic substances obtained by
means of chemistry.


_Latin_—Citrus Bergamia; _French_—Bergamote; _German_—Bergamottefrüchte.

The bergamot is the fruit of a tree belonging to the Order of
Aurantiaceæ, which is cultivated in Calabria. The tree is unknown in
a wild state. The golden-yellow or greenish-yellow fruits, resembling
a lemon in shape, have a bitter and at the same time acid pulp; the
thin rind contains a very fragrant oil which is used largely in the
manufacture of fine perfumery and soaps, and is exported chiefly from
Messina and Palermo.


_Latin_—Amygdala amara; _French_—Amandes amères; _German_—Bittere

The well-known fruits of the bitter almond-tree (Amygdalus communis,
var. amara). There are no definite botanical differences between the
sweet and the bitter almond-tree. The only distinct difference is the
character of the respective fruits. The aromatic substance obtained
from bitter almonds is not present fully formed in the fruits, but
results from the chemical transformation of the amygdalin they contain;
the latter body is absent in sweet almonds.


_Latin_—Folia Cajuputi.

The leaves of Melaleuca Cajuputi, a tree found in the Indian and Malay
Archipelago, which have an aromatic odor resembling that of cardamoms.
In the Orient the leaves are used as incense and for the extraction of
the oil they contain.


_Latin_—Lignum Camphoræ; _French_—Bois de camphre; _German_—Campherholz.

The wood of the Camphor-tree, native of China and Japan, is exceedingly
rich in essential oil, the firm, white, and strong-scented camphor.
The latter is usually prepared from the wood at the home of the tree,
especially in Formosa and Japan, so that the wood hardly forms an
article of commerce and is here enumerated only for completeness’ sake.
In China and in Japan, however, it is largely used for the manufacture
of cloth-chests, trunks and wardrobes, as these are never invaded by


_Latin_—Semen Carvi; _French_—Carvi; _German_—Kümmelsamen.

This plant, Carum Carvi, which is largely cultivated in Germany,
contains in its seeds from four to seven per cent of essential
oil which is extracted by distillation. Genuine caraway seed is
brownish-yellow, pointed at both ends, quite glabrous on examination
with a lens, and marked with five longitudinal ribs. Caraway is
occasionally confounded with cumin seed, from Cuminum Cyminum, which
is easily recognized with a lens: the seeds of the latter plant have
fourteen longitudinal ribs and are hairy. The use of caraway in
perfumery is limited to ordinary goods, but in the manufacture of
liqueurs it is largely employed.


_Latin_—Cortex Cascarillæ; _French_—Cascarille;

This is the bark of a West Indian tree, Croton Eluteria, belonging to
the Order of Euphorbiaceæ, native of the Bahamas. It occurs in commerce
in the shape of pieces the length and thickness of a finger; externally
it is white and fissured, internally of a brown color and resinous.
Good qualities should be free from dust and fractured pieces (sifted
cascarilla), of a warm aromatic taste, and a very agreeable odor which
becomes more marked on being heated. Another variety of cascarilla
derived from South Africa, Cascarilla gratissima, has very fragrant
leaves which can be used immediately as incense, just as cascarilla in
general is employed in perfumery chiefly for fumigating powders and


_Latin_—Acacia farnesiana; _French_—Cassie; _German_—Acacie.

The flowers of Acacia farnesiana (Willd.), one of the true acacias,
native of the East Indies, which flourishes farther north than the
other varieties, cultivated largely in southern France for the
delightful odor which resembles that of violets but is more intense.
The flowers are collected and made to yield their odorous principle
by one of the methods to be described hereafter. The plant which is
generally but falsely called Acacia in this country, viz., Robinia
pseudoacacia, likewise bears very fragrant flowers which undoubtedly
can be made to yield a perfume by some one of the usual methods; but
so far we know of no perfume into which the odor of Robinia flowers
enters. Moreover, it is not alone the flowers of Acacia farnesiana
which may be utilized for the preparation of the cassie perfume; the
black currant, Ribes niger, contains in its flowers an odor closely
resembling the former; this is actually used in the preparation of an
oil sold under the name of “oil of cassie.” The latter plant flourishes
in our northern States and would answer as a substitute for Acacia
farnesiana, which cannot stand our northern winters.


_Latin_—Lignum Cedri; _French_—Bois de cèdre; _German_—Cedernholz.

The wood met with in commerce is derived from the Virginian juniper
tree, Juniperus virginiana, which is used in large quantities for
inclosing lead pencils. The chips, the offal from this manufacture,
can be employed with advantage for the extraction of the essential oil
contained therein. Long uniform shavings of this wood are also used for
fumigation, and the sawdust for cheap sachet powders. Cedar wood is
reddish-brown, fragrant, very soft, and splits easily. In the perfumery
industry it usually passes under the name of the “cedar of Lebanon,”
although the wood from the last-mentioned tree (Cedrus libanotica) has
quite a different agreeable odor, is very firm, reddish-brown, and of a
very bitter taste—qualities by which it is readily distinguished from
the other.


_Latin_—Cinnamomum; _French_—Canelle; _German_—Zimmtrinde.

Cinnamon consists of the bark of the young twigs of the cinnamon-tree,
Cinnamomum zeylanicum, indigenous to Ceylon. Good cinnamon consists
of thin, tubular, rolled pieces of bark which are smooth, light brown
(darker on fracture), of a pronounced characteristic odor, and a
burning and at the same time sweet taste. The most valuable in commerce
is that from Ceylon; the thicker bark is less fine.

Chinese cinnamon or cassia (French, Cassie; German, Zimmtcassia)
consists of the bark of the cassia-tree, an undetermined species of
Cinnamomum indigenous to Southern China; this is grayish-brown and
has the general properties of true cinnamon, but it as well as the
oil extracted from it has a less fine odor than cinnamon or oil of
cinnamon. A very fine kind of Cinnamon has for a number of years past
appeared on the market under the name of Saigon cinnamon. It is very
rich in oil, and is exported from Cochin-China. Besides the true oils
of cinnamon and cassia, other essential oils are met with in commerce
under the names of oil of cinnamon flowers and oil of cinnamon leaves,
but their odor is not so fine as that of the former. The so-called
cinnamon flowers are the unripe fruits of various cinnamon laurels,
collected after the fall of the blossoms. They form brownish cones the
length of the nail of the little finger, and furnish an essential oil
whose odor resembles that of cinnamon.


_Latin_—Fructus Citri; _French_—Citron; _German_—Citronenfrüchte.

The fruit of a tree, Citrus medica, indigenous to northern India, but
largely cultivated in the countries situated around the Mediterranean
and in other countries. It is cultivated both for the pleasant acid
juice of the fruit and for their fragrant rinds. Only the latter are of
value for our purposes. It occurs in European commerce under the name
of Citronat or citron peel. Good commercial citron peel should be in
quarters and as fresh as possible, which is shown by its softness, the
yellow color, and the strong odor. Old peel looks shrunken and brownish
and has but little pleasant odor.


_Latin_—Flores Citri; _French_—Fleurs de citron;

The flowers of the citron-tree (Citrus medica) are white, fragrant,
and contain a very aromatic essential oil; but as the oil is always
extracted from the fresh flowers, the latter do not form an article of


_Latin_—Folia Laurocerasi; _French_—Laurier-cérise;

The leaves of this tree (Prunus Laurocerasus), which is largely
cultivated for officinal purposes, furnish an odorous substance
completely identical with that contained in bitter almonds, or, rather,
formed in them under certain conditions. As the extraction of the
odorous substance from bitter almonds is much cheaper, cherry-laurel is
but rarely used.


_Latin_—Andropogon Nardus; _French_—Citronelle; _German_—Citronella.

This grass, which, like the oil prepared from it, is called citronella,
is a native of northern India, and is largely cultivated in Ceylon,
where large quantities are worked for the oil; for this reason the
grass itself is seldom met with in commerce. Its odor is somewhat
similar to that of the Indian lemon grass, that of verbena, and that
of several other aromatic plants, in place of which citronella is
frequently employed.

Much confusion exists in much of the current literature regarding the
source and synonymy of the Indian grass oils and allied products. The
following list contains the most important ones:

1. _Andropogon citratus_ DC.—Lemon Grass. The oil is known as Lemon
Grass Oil, Indian Verbena Oil or Indian Melissa Oil, or simply Oil of
Verbena or Oil of Melissa.

2. _Andropogon laniger_ Desf.—This is the Juncus odoratus or Herba
Schoenanthi of older pharmacy. No oil is prepared from this.

3. _Andropogon muricatus_ Retz.—Cuscus or Vetiver. Source of Oil of

4. _Andropogon nardus_ L.—Citronella. Source of Oil of Citronella.

5. _Andropogon Schoenanthus_ L.—Ginger Grass. The oil is known as
Oil of Ginger Grass, Oil of Geranium Grass, Oil of Indian Geranium
or simply Oil of Geranium, also Oil of Rose Geranium [“Rose” is here
a corruption of the Hindostanee name of the plant, viz., Rusa], Oil
of Rusa Grass, Oil of Rusa, Oil of Palmarosa.—The two terms “Oil of
Geranium” and “Oil of Rose Geranium” should be abandoned for this oil,
to avoid confusion with the “Oil of (Rose) Geranium” obtained from
Pelargonium. See under “Geranium.”


_Latin_—Caryophylli; _French_—Clous de girofle; _German_—Nelkengewürz.

This well-known spice comes from a tree, Caryophyllus aromaticus,
native of the Moluccas, and largely cultivated at Zanzibar, Pemba, and
elsewhere. It consists of the closed buds. The main essential of good
quality is the greatest possible freshness, which may be recognized by
the cloves being full, heavy, reddish-brown, and of a fatty aspect,
and they must contain so much essential oil (about 18 per cent)
that when crushed between the fingers the latter should be stained
yellowish-brown. Before buying, this test should always be made, and
attention paid to the fact whether the whitish dust is present in the
wrinkles about the head. We have found in commerce cloves from which
the essential oil had been fraudulently extracted with alcohol and
hence were worthless; such cloves may be recognized by the faint odor
and taste, but especially by the absence of the whitish dust.


_Latin_—Cucumis sativus; _French_—Concombre; _German_—Gurke.

The well-known fruits of this kitchen-garden plant, though not
strictly sweet-scented, possess a peculiar refreshing odor which has
found application in perfumery. Certain products belonging under this
head require the odor of cucumber, and therefore this plant is to be
included among the aromatic plants in a wider sense.


_Latin_—Cortex Culilavan; _French_—Ecorce culilaban;

The bark of Cinnamomum Culilavan Nees, a plant indigenous to the
Molucca islands, used to occur in commerce in the shape of long, flat
pieces of a yellowish-brown color, with an odor like a mixture of
cinnamon, sassafras, and clove oils. It is rarely met with now.


_Latin_—Semen Anethi; _French_—Aneth; _German_—Dillsamen.

This plant, Anethum graveolens, which is indigenous to the
Mediterranean region and southern Russia, contains in all its parts,
particularly in the seeds, an oil of a peculiar odor, which is used
as a perfume for soap, also in cheap perfumery, and especially as a
flavoring for liqueurs.


_Latin_—Flores Sambuci; _French_—Sureau; _German_—Hollunderblüthen.

This bush, Sambucus niger, which grows wild in Europe, bears umbellar
flowers which are officinal, but contain besides a pleasant odor which
can be extracted from them. The odor of the flowers deteriorates on
drying, hence in perfumery only the fresh flowers should be used. The
American elder (Sambucus canadensis) could easily be used in place of


_Latin_—Fœniculum; _French_—Fenouil; _German_—Fenchel.

This plant, Fœniculum vulgare, Order Umbelliferæ, is largely cultivated
in Europe. It contains an essential oil in all its parts, but
especially in the seeds. The plant is rarely used in perfumery, but
more frequently in the manufacture of liqueurs. The herb, dried and
comminuted, enters into the composition of some cheap sachets.

FRANGIPANNI (see Plumeria).


_Latin_—Pelargonium roseum; _French_—Géranium; _German_—Geranium.

This plant, originally indigenous in South Africa, contains in its
leaves an essential oil whose odor closely resembles that of roses. At
present it is cultivated on a large scale in many parts of France and
in Turkey, solely for the purposes of perfumery. This plant would grow
freely in our Southern and Middle States, and could be cultivated with
advantage for the extraction of its highly valued perfume.

The terms “Oil of Geranium” and “Oil of Rose Geranium” ought to
be restricted in commerce to the oil obtained from true geranium
(Pelargonium). Unfortunately, they are yet very commonly applied to
an East Indian oil obtained from a species of Andropogon (see under

=Hedyosmum Flowers.=

On the Antilles there are a number of bushes belonging to the Genus
Hedyosmum, Order Chloranthaceæ, whose flowers possess a magnificent,
truly intoxicating odor. Thus far these odors seem to have been
accessible only to English perfumers. The perfumes sold under this name
by Continental manufacturers are merely combinations of different odors.


_Latin_—Heliotropium peruvianum; _French_—Héliotrope;

The flowers of this plant, which flourishes well in all temperate or
tropic countries, possess a very pleasant odor, about the preparation
of which we shall have more to say hereafter. In Europe only French
perfumers have manufactured it; according to the author’s experiments,
however, its extraction presents no more difficulty than that of any
other plant.

A synthetic, chemical product, known as piperonal, related to vanillin
and cumarin, possesses the odor of the heliotrope in a most remarkable
degree. It is therefore much used to imitate the latter. In commerce it
is known as heliotropin.


_Latin_—Flores Loniceræ; _French_—Chèvre-feuille; _German_—

This well-known climbing plant, Lonicera Caprifolium, found in many of
our garden bowers, contains an exceedingly fragrant oil in its numerous
flowers, from which the author has prepared it. [Some of the American
species of honeysuckle would, no doubt, likewise yield an essential
oil.] The oil sold in commerce under this name is not obtained from
these flowers, but is an imitation of the odor conventionally accepted
for it. The true oil of honeysuckle, first prepared by the author, far
surpasses these imitations in fragrance.


_Latin_—Hyssopus officinalis; _French_—Hyssope; _German_—Ysopkraut.

Hyssop possesses a strong odor, a very bitter taste, and is used only
for cheap perfumery, but more frequently in the manufacture of liqueurs.


_Latin_—Jasminum odoratissimum; _French_—Jasmin; _German_—Jasminblüthen.

True jasmine—not to be confounded with German jasmine (Philadelphus
coronarius, known here as the mock orange, or the Syringa of
cultivation) which is likewise employed in perfumery—flourishes
particularly in the coast lands of the Mediterranean, where it is
cultivated as a dwarf tree. The odor obtained from the flowers is one
of the finest and most expensive in existence, and for this reason it
would be well worth trying the cultivation in our southern States. At
present nearly all the true jasmine perfume (pomade, extract, etc.)
comes from France.


_Latin_—Lavandula vera; _French_—Lavande; _German_—Lavendel.

True lavender, which belongs to the Order of Labiatæ that contains
many aromatic plants, is one of the most ancient in our art; it was
early used in Greece for purposes of perfumery. Although true lavender
flourishes throughout central Europe, its cultivation on a large scale
is carried on chiefly in England, and the oil of lavender from English
factories is most highly prized. Much lavender is also grown in France,
but the product, though very fine, has a much lower value.

True lavender is to be distinguished from spike-lavender (French,
aspic; German, Spik-Lavendel), whose odor is similar to that of true
lavender, but furnishes a much less aromatic perfume. The cultivation
of lavender in this country (U. S.) might give good results.


_Latin_—Citrus Limonum; _French_—Limon; _German_—Limonenfrüchte.

The fruits of the South European lemon-tree, not to be confounded with
citrons, resemble the latter in appearance, but they are smaller, have
a more acid taste and a thinner rind. The peel contains an essential
oil which is very similar in odor to that of the citron. Hence the oils
of lemon, limetta (from Citrus Limetta), and citron are used for the
same purposes; but when the three oils are immediately compared, an
experienced olfactory organ perceives a marked difference between them.


_Latin_—Andropogon citrates; _French_—Schoenanthe;

This grass, which bears a close resemblance to citronella, is largely
cultivated, especially in India and Ceylon, for the essential oil it
contains. The odor of the grass is similar to that of verbena, so that
its oil is often used as an adulterant or rather as a substitute for
the former. (Compare the article on “Citronella.”)


_Latin_—Flores Syringæ; _French_—Lilas; _German_—Fliederblüthen.

This plant, Syringa vulgaris, a native of Persia but fully acclimated
in Europe and in this country, has very fragrant flowers, the odor of
which can be obtained only from the fresh blossoms.

A recently discovered liquid principle, now known as terpineol
(C_{10}H_{17}OH), which exists in many essential oils, and in these, in
the portion boiling between 420° and 424° F., possesses the lilac odor
in a most pronounced degree, and to its presence in the lilac flowers
the peculiar odor of the latter is, no doubt, due. It is obtainable in
the market under the name lilacine.

The Syringa of the florists is not the true lilac, but the same as the
Mock Orange, viz., Philadelphus coronarius.


_Latin_—Lilium candidum; _French_—Lis; _German_—Lilienblüthen.

The remarks made under the head of Wallflower apply equally to the
blossoms of the white garden lily: strange to say, they are not used in
perfumery, and all the so-called odors of lily are mixtures of several
aromatic substances. The author has succeeded in separating from the
flowers, by means of petroleum ether, the delightful odor present in
large amount in the blossoms of this plant, and has employed it in the
manufacture of magnificent perfumes.


_Latin_—Macis; _French_—Macis; _German_—Muscatblüthe.

This substance is the dried arillus covering the fruits of Myristica
fragrans, the so-called nutmegs. The tree bearing them is indigenous
to a group of islands in the Indian Archipelago and is cultivated
especially on the Molucca islands. Although mace is in such close
relation with nutmeg, yet, strange to say, the aromatic substance
differs decidedly from that of the nut. Mace of good quality forms
pieces of orange-yellow color; they are fleshy, usually slit open
on one side, have a strong odor, tear with difficulty, and are so
oily that when crushed they stain the fingers brownish-yellow. Mace
is largely used in the preparation of sachets and particularly for
scenting soap. In England, soap scented with mace is well liked.


_Latin_—Magnolia grandiflora; _French_—Magnolia;

The magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora), indigenous to the warmer parts of
South, Central, and North America, bears large white flowers having a
delightful odor which can be extracted by means of petroleum ether.
In the same way, truly intoxicating perfumes may be obtained from
other varieties of magnolia. In our climate these plants flourish only
in conservatories, and in their home no steps have yet been taken
to utilize these natural treasures in a proper way; hence European
manufacturers invariably produce the perfume called magnolia by
combination of different odors.


_Latin_—Herba majoranæ; _French_—Marjolaine; _German_—Majorankraut.

This plant, Origanum Majorana (vulgare), frequently cultivated in
kitchen gardens, possesses in all its parts a strong odor due to an
essential oil. The latter, which is quite expensive, is but little
used, and probably only for culinary purposes.

“Oil of Origanum” in English-speaking countries is intended to mean Oil
of Thyme (from Thymus vulgaris), and never means Oil of Marjoram.


_Latin_—Spiræa ulmaria; _French_—Reine des prés; _German_—Spierstaude.

This plant is frequent in Europe on damp meadows, and contains an
aromatic substance closely allied to oil of wintergreen, which occurs
also in the Canadian variety.


_Latin_—Mentha; _French_—Menthe; _German_—Minze.

The varieties of mint claiming our attention are the following:
_Mentha piperita_, Peppermint (French: Menthe poivrée; German:
Pfefferminze).—_Mentha viridis_, Spearmint (French: Menthe verte;
German: Grüne Minze).—_Mentha crispa_, Crisp Mint (French: Menthe
crépue [or frisée]; German: Krause Minze).

All of the mints have a pleasant odor; besides the plants named above,
we may mention Mentha aquatica, whose odor faintly but distinctly
recalls that of musk. Like lavender, Mentha crispa and M. piperita are
cultivated particularly in England, and the English oils are the most
superior. Mentha piperita is also largely cultivated in the United
States. Mentha viridis and its oil are almost exclusively confined to
this country.


_Latin_—Semen Abelmoschi; _French_—Grains d’ambrette;

The tree, Hibiscus Abelmoschus, indigenous to Africa and India, bears
fruit capsules containing reddish-gray seeds with grooved surface,
so-called musk-seeds. They have an odor resembling musk, but much
weaker, though it becomes more pronounced when the seeds are bruised.
Besides this species of Hibiscus, other plants belonging to the same
order are aromatic and are also used in perfumery.


_Latin_—Myrrha; _French_—Myrrhe; _German_—Myrrhe.

The gum-resin which we call myrrh has long been known in the East,
where it was celebrated as one of the finest perfumes, along with
spikenard and frankincense. The tree, Balsamodendron Myrrha (or
Commiphora Myrrha Engler) is indigenous to the countries bordering
the Red Sea to about 22° N. Lat.; the gum exudes partly spontaneously
from the trunk. In European commerce myrrh appears in different sorts;
that called myrrha electa or myrrha in lacrimis is the most precious;
it forms tears of a golden yellow to brown color, traversed by white
veins; they have a pleasant smell. That called myrrha naturalis is
inferior, but on being heated develops the characteristic aroma. In
commerce a product is sometimes offered by the name of myrrh which is
nothing but cherry-tree gum scented with genuine myrrh.


_Latin_—Myrtus communis; _French_—Myrte; _German_—Myrtenblätter.

The leaves of this Southern European plant diffuse a pleasant odor;
the oil to which it is due can be extracted by distillation; yet the
perfumes usually called myrtle are not obtained from the plant, but are
made by the combination of several aromatic substances. The aromatic
water known, especially in France, as “eau d’anges” is obtained by the
distillation of myrtle leaves with water.


_Latin_—Narcissus poeticus; _French_—Narcisse;

The blossoms of this favorite garden plant, which is cultivated on a
large scale near Nice, have a pleasant, almost narcotic odor which may
be extracted in various ways; though the greatest part of the so-called
narcissus perfumes are made artificially.

Another species of Narcissus (Narcissus Jonquilla) is frequently
cultivated in warm countries for its pleasant scent; but the perfumes
generally found in the market under the name of Extract, etc., of
Jonquil are artificial compounds.


_Latin_—Myristica; _French_—Muscade; _German_—Muscatnüsse.

These nuts are almost spherical in shape, the size of a small walnut,
of a grayish-brown color externally, and usually coated with a
faint whitish-gray covering (which is lime). Internally they are
reddish-brown, with white marbled spots. Good fresh nutmegs should be
dense, heavy, and so oily that when pierced with a needle a drop of
oil should follow the withdrawal of the latter. Nuts which are hollow,
wormy, and of a faint odor cannot be used in perfumery. Oil of nutmeg
is used extensively in perfumery, but is rarely employed pure, more
commonly in combination with other strong odors.


_Latin_—Olibanum; _French_—Encens; _German_—Weihrauch.

This gum-resin, employed even by the ancient civilized nations of Asia,
especially as incense for religious purposes, comes from East African
trees, various species of Boswellia. Fine olibanum appears in light
yellow tears, very transparent and hard, whose pleasant though faint
odor becomes particularly marked when it is thrown on hot coals. In
perfumery olibanum is used almost exclusively for pastils, fumigating
powders, etc. Pulverulent olibanum constitutes an inferior quality and
is often adulterated with pine resin.


_Latin_—Resina Opopanax.

The root stock of an umbelliferous plant, indigenous in Syria, now
recognized at Balsamodendron Kafal, furnishes a yellow milky sap
containing an aromatic resin with an odor resembling that of gum
ammoniacum. At least the opopanax now obtainable in the market is
derived from this source. True opopanax resin, such as used to reach
the market formerly, is now unobtainable, and its true source is yet
unknown. Opopanax oil is used in perfumery to some extent.


_Latin_—Flores Aurantii; _French_—Fleurs d’oranges;

The flowers of the bitter orange tree (Citrus vulgaris), as well as
those of the sweet (Citrus Aurantium), contain very fragrant essential
oils, which differ in flavor and value according to their source and
mode of preparation. See below, under Oil of Orange. The leaves, too,
contain a peculiar oil used in perfumery.


_Latin_—Cortex Aurantii; _French_—Ecorce d’oranges;

The very oily rinds of the orange occur in commerce in a dried form;
such peels, however, can be used only in the manufacture of liqueurs;
in perfumery nothing but the oil from the fresh rinds is employed, and
this is generally obtained by pressure.


See Marjoram, and Thyme.


_Latin_—Radix Iridis florentinæ; _French_—Iris; _German_—Veilchenwurzel.

The Florentine sword-lily, Iris florentina, which often grows wild in
Italy but is largely cultivated, has a creeping root-stock covered with
a brown bark which, however, is peeled from the fresh root. Orris root
occurs in commerce in whitish pieces which are sometimes forked; the
surface is knotty, and the size may reach the thickness of a thumb and
the length of a finger. When fresh, the roots have a disagreeable sharp
odor, but on drying they attain an odor which may be said to resemble
that of the violet; but on comparing the two odors immediately,
a considerable difference is perceptible even to the untrained
olfactory sense. Orris root should be as fresh as possible; this may
be recognized by its toughness, the great weight, and the white, not
yellow color on fracture. It is very frequently used for sachets and
for fixing other odors.


_Latin_—Oleum Palmæ; _French_—Huile de Palme; _German_—Palmöl.

Palm oil, a fixed oil derived from Elais guineensis, possesses a
peculiar odor faintly recalling that of violets which is easily
extracted. Although not used thus far in perfumery, personal
experiments have convinced the author that the odor can be employed in
the manufacture of cheap perfumes.


_Latin_—Pogostemon Patchouly; _French_—Patchouly;

This herb, indigenous to the East Indies and China, in appearance
somewhat resembling our garden sage, is used in the countries named as
one of the most common perfumes; many East Indian and Chinese goods
(such as Cashmere shawls, India ink, etc.) owe their peculiar odor to
the patchouly herb which is very productive. In this respect it can be
compared only with the nutmeg, but exceeds even this in intensity. This
herb is not known very long in Europe, but at present it is imported
in large quantities from India; in commerce it occurs in small bundles
consisting of stems and leaves (collected before flowering).


_Latin_—Balsamum peruvianum; _French_—Beaume du Pérou;

This balsam, imported from Central America (San Salvador), is derived
from Toluifera Pereiræ; incisions are made in the bark and trunk of
the tree, from which the balsam exudes. Peru balsam is of a syrupy
consistence, thick and viscid, brownish-red in thin, blackish-brown in
thick layers. Its taste is pungent, sharp, and bitter, afterward acrid;
its odor is somewhat smoky, but agreeable and balsamic. Peru balsam is
often sophisticated with fixed oil; this can be readily detected by
agitation with alcohol, by which the oil is separated. But if castor
oil is the adulterant, this test is not applicable, as castor oil
dissolves with equal facility in alcohol.


_Latin_—Bromelia Ananas; _French_—Ananas; _German_—Ananas.

The fruits of this plant, originally derived from the East Indies, have
a well-known narcotic odor which can be extracted from them.

In commerce we often meet with a chemical product called pine-apple
ether which will be described at greater length under the head of
chemical products used in perfumery. Pine-apple ether has an odor
usually considered to be like that of the fruit, but when the two
substances are immediately compared a great difference will be
detected. Pine-apple ether finds quite extensive application in
confectionery for the preparation of lemonades, punch, ices, etc. If
the true pine-apple odor is to be prepared from the fruits, care must
be had to use ripe fruits; the unripe or overripe fruits possess a less
delicate aroma.


_Latin_—Dianthus Caryophyllus; _French_—Œillet; _German_—Nelkenblüthen.

The odor of this favorite garden plant can be easily extracted from
the flowers by means of petroleum ether; but the genuine odor of pink
is hardly ever met with in perfumery; the preparations sold under this
name being usually artificial mixtures of other odors.


_Latin_—Plumeria; _French_—Plumeria; _German_—Plumeriablüthen.

All the Plumerias, indigenous to the Antilles, contain very fragrant
odors in their flowers. To the best of our knowledge, these odors
have not yet been extracted from the flowers, and all the perfumes
sold under this name (sometimes also called Frangipanni) are merely
combinations of different odors.


_Latin_—Reseda odorata; _French_—Mignonette; _German_—Reseda.

This herbaceous plant, probably indigenous to northern Africa, but long
domesticated in Europe and cultivated in gardens, is well known for its
refreshing odor. The latter, however, is very difficult to extract and
is yielded only to the method of absorption (enfleurage). The true odor
of reseda, owing to the mode of its preparation, is very expensive, and
for this reason nearly all perfumes sold under this name are produced
from other aromatic substances.


_Latin_—Lignum Rhodii; _French_—Bois de rose; _German_—Rosenholz.

This is derived from two climbing plants, Convolvulus scoparius and
Convolvulus floridus, indigenous to the Canary islands, and is the root
wood of these plants. Its odor resembles that of the rose, and the wood
is frequently used for cheap sachets and for the extraction of the
contained essential oil which was formerly (before oil of rose geranium
was made on the large scale) employed for the adulteration of genuine
oil of rose.


_Latin_—Rosa; _French_—Rose; _German_—Rosenblüthen.

Horticulture has produced innumerable varieties from wild species
of roses, which differ in size, form, color, as well as in odor. We
instance here only the various odors exhaled by tea roses and moss
roses. Accordingly, perfumers likewise distinguish different odors of
roses. Cultivated on a large scale exclusively for the extraction of
the essential oil, we find different varieties of roses in India, in
European Turkey (Rosa Damascena), in Persia, and in Southern France.
In this country (U. S.), too, oil of roses could be manufactured with

The wild rose, sweet brier, French églantine, possesses a delicate
but very fugitive odor, and therefore the perfume sold as wild rose
is usually prepared from other substances with the addition of oil of
roses. The same remark applies to the odor called “white rose” and to
those sold as “tea rose,” “moss rose,” etc.


_Latin_—Rosmarinus officinalis; _French_—Romarin; _German_—Rosmarin.

This plant, indigenous to Southern and Central Europe, contains pretty
large quantities of an aromatic oil in its leaves and flowers; the
oil has a refreshing odor and therefore is frequently added in small
amounts to fine perfumes.


_Latin_—Ruta graveolens; _French_—Rue; _German_—Raute.

This plant, cultivated in our gardens and also growing wild here, has
long been employed for its strong odor; in perfumery rue, in a dry
state as well as its oil, is occasionally used.


_Latin_—Salvia officinalis; _French_—Sauge; _German_—Salbei.

All varieties of sage, the one named being found most frequently
growing wild in the meadows of Southern Europe, and extensively
cultivated in Europe and in this country, possess a very agreeable,
refreshing odor which adheres for a long time even to the dried leaves;
these are therefore very suitable for sachets, tooth powders, etc.


_Latin_—Santalum album; _French_—Santal; _German_—Santalholz.

The tree from which this wood is derived is indigenous to Eastern Asia,
to the Sunda Islands. The wood is soft, very fragrant, and is also
erroneously called sandal wood. The latter is of a dark reddish-brown
color, not fragrant, and is derived from Pterocarpus santalinus, a
tree indigenous to Southern India, and the Philippine Islands; it is
of value to the dyer and the cabinet-maker, but to the perfumer only
for coloring some tinctures. For the purposes of perfumery use can be
made only of santal wood (white or yellow santal wood) which possesses
a very pleasant odor resembling that of oil of rose. Formerly essential
oil of santal was employed for the adulteration of oil of rose. White
and yellow santal wood comes from the same tree—the former from the
smaller trunks of Santalum album.


_Latin_—Lignum Sassafras; _French_—Sassafras; _German_—Sassafrasholz.

Sassafras wood, derived from the root of the American tree Sassafras
officinalis, appears in commerce in large bundles. It has a strong
peculiar odor; in the bark of the root the odor is even more marked. In
the European drug trade Sassafras saw dust is also met with, but this
is not rarely mixed with pine saw dust which has been moistened with
fennel water and again dried. In perfumery sassafras wood is less used
for the manufacture of volatile odors than for scenting soap. Since the
principal constituent of oil of sassafras, viz., safrol, has been found
to be contained in the crude oil of Japanese camphor, the latter has to
a very large extent taken the place of the natural oil.


_Latin_—Nardostachys Jatamansi; _French_—Spic-nard;

This plant, belonging to the Order of Valerianaceæ, which generally
possess a strong and more or less unpleasant odor, forms one of the
main objects of Oriental perfumery; in the East Indies, where the
plant grows wild on the mountains, the odor is held about in the same
estimation as that of roses, violets, etc., in Europe. Spikenard was
probably known to the ancient Babylonians and Assyrians, for in the
Bible, in the Song of Solomon, we find this plant repeatedly mentioned
and praised for its pleasant odor. As the odor of spikenard is not
appreciated in Europe, the plant is rarely met with in commerce. All
parts of the plant are aromatic, but use is chiefly made of the root,
consisting of fine fibres which are tied in bundles the thickness of a


_Latin_—Illicium; Semen Anisi stellati; _French_—Badiane;

Star-anise occurs in commerce in the form of eight-chambered capsules,
each compartment containing one glossy seed, and is derived from a
Chinese tree, Illicium anisatum. The fruits are brown, woody; the seed
has a sweetish taste and an odor resembling that of anise. Outside of
perfumery star-anise is used in the manufacture of liqueurs. Recently
a drug has appeared in commerce under the name of star-anise which
possesses poisonous qualities, and is derived from another variety of
Illicium (Illicium religiosum). While this may be of no consequence
to the perfumer, it is important to the manufacturer of liqueurs who
always uses star-anise for fine goods and never oil of anise.


_Latin_—Styrax; _French_—Styrax; _German_—Storax.

This product which belongs among the balsams is derived from a small
tree, Liquidambar orientalis, and is obtained from the bark by
heating with water, and also by pressure. It forms a viscid mass like
turpentine, has a gray color, a burning sharp taste, an agreeable odor,
and is easily soluble in strong alcohol; but the odor becomes pleasant
only after the solution is highly diluted. Storax has the peculiar
property of binding different, very delicate odors, to render them less
fugitive, and for this reason finds frequent application in perfumery.

Oriental storax should not be confounded with American storax
which occurs in commerce under the name of Sweet Gum, Gum Wax, or
Liquidamber, and is derived from Liquidambar styraciflua. It is quite
a thick transparent liquid, light yellow, gradually becoming more
and more solid and darker colored, but is often used in place of the
former, though its odor is less fine.


_Latin_—Radix Sumbul; _French_—Soumboul; _German_—Moschuswurzel.

The Sumbul plant (Ferula Sumbul), indigenous to Turkestan and
adjoining countries, has a light brown root covered with thin fibres,
which has a penetrating odor of musk. Owing to this quality it is
frequently employed in perfumery, especially for sachets. In commerce
a distinction is made between East Indian and Bokharian or Russian
sumbul, due to the different routes by which the article arrives. The
latter, which possesses the strongest odor, probably because it reaches
the market in a fresher state, is the most valuable.


_Latin_—Amygdala dulcis; _French_—Amandes douces; _German_—Süsse

The almond-tree, Amygdalus communis, occurs in two varieties,
undistinguishable by botanical characteristics. One bears sweet,
the other bitter fruits (comp. Bitter almonds, page 24). Both are
odorless and contain much fixed oil. The special odor of bitter almonds
forms only in consequence of the decomposition of a peculiar body
(amygdalin), present in bitter almonds, when it comes in contact with
water. Good almonds are full, juicy, light brown, without wrinkles, and
have a sweet mild taste. A rancid taste characterizes staleness. The
fixed or expressed oil, both that of the sweet and that of the bitter
almonds (which are identical in taste, odor, and other properties), is
used in perfumery for fine hair oils, ointments, and some fine soft


_Latin_—Radix Calami; _French_—Racine de glaïeule;

The calamus root met with in commerce is the creeping root-stock of
a plant (Acorus Calamus), occurring in all countries of the northern
hemisphere, and frequent in European and American swamps. The
root-stock is spongy, about as thick as a finger, many-jointed, and of
a yellowish color, with many dark streaks and dots. Inside the color is
reddish-white. The odor is strong and the taste sharp and burning.


_Latin_—Lathyrus tuberosus; _French_—Pois de senteur;

Sweet-pea flowers, which have a very delicate odor, yield it to the
usual solvents. The odor bears some resemblance to that of orange
flowers, but is rarely used alone; it is generally combined with others
to make it more lasting.


_Latin_—Philadelphus coronarius; _French_—Seringat, Lilac;

The white flowers of this garden bush have a very pleasant odor which
resembles that of orange flowers, in place of which it can be used, in
the cheaper grades of perfumery. This plant which flourishes freely in
our climate deserves more attention by perfumers than it has hitherto
received, since it appears to furnish an excellent substitute for the
expensive oil of orange flowers, as above stated, in cheap perfumes.


_Latin_—Thymus Serpyllum; _French_—Thym; _German_—Thymian.

This well-known aromatic plant, which grows most luxuriantly on a
calcareous soil, has an odor which is not unpleasant but is in greater
demand for liqueurs than for perfumes. Here and there, however, it is
employed for scenting soap. Common thyme, Thymus vulgaris, is used for
the same purposes.

Under the name of Oil of Thyme, in the English and American market,
is generally understood the oil of Thymus vulgaris, which is largely
distilled in the South of France. This oil is commonly misnamed Oil of


_Latin_—Balsamum tolutanum; _French_—Beaume de Tolu;

This balsam is derived from a tree indigenous to the northern portion
of South America, Toluifera Balsamum, belonging to the Order of
Leguminosæ. The balsam, which is obtained by incisions into the bark of
these trees, is at first fluid, but becomes firm in the air owing to
rapid resinification; in commerce it appears in a viscid form ranging
from that of Venice turpentine to that of colophony. Its color varies
from honey-yellow to reddish-brown; the taste is at first sweet, then
sharp, it softens under the heat of the hand, and when warmed or
sprinkled in powder form on glowing coals it diffuses a very pleasant
odor recalling that of Peru balsam or vanilla. It shares with storax
and Peru balsam the valuable property of fixing volatile odors and is
often employed for this purpose, but is also frequently used alone in
fumigating powders, tooth powders, etc. Adulteration of Tolu balsam
with Venice turpentine or colophony is not rarely met with.


_Latin_—Fabæ Tonkæ; _French_—Fèves de Tonka; _German_—Tonkabohnen,

The South American tonka tree, Dipteryx odorata, bears almond-shaped
drupes almost as long as the finger, which contain seeds two to four
centimetres in length, the so-called tonka beans. These occur in
European commerce in two sorts, the so-called Dutch and English tonka
beans; the former are large, full, covered externally with a folded
brown to black skin, and white inside. The latter are barely two-thirds
the size of the former, almost black, and less glossy. The odor of the
tonka bean is due to a volatile crystalline substance, coumarin, which
often lies on the surface and in the wrinkles of the bean in the form
of delicate, brilliant crystalline needles. Coumarin exists also in
many other plants, for instance, in sweet woodruff (Asperula odorata),
deer-tongue (Liatris odoratissima), etc.


_Latin_—Polianthus tuberosa; _French_—Tubérose; _German_—Tuberose.

This beautiful and very fragrant plant is frequently cultivated in
Southern France; its pleasant odor, however, owing to its great
volatility, can never be used pure, but must always be fixed with one
of the above-mentioned balsams. As has been stated in connection with
several aromatic plants, tuberose could be grown in our southern States
with advantage for the extraction of its odor.


_Latin_—Vanilla aromatica, Vanilla planifolia; _French_—Vanille;

The vanilla, which may justly be called a king among aromatic plants,
is a climbing orchid indigenous to tropical America. It is cultivated
on a most extensive scale on the islands of Reunion and Mauritius;
largely also in Mexico, and in some other countries. The agreeable odor
is present in the fruit. These form three-lobed capsules about the
length of a lead pencil and the thickness of a quill. Externally they
are glossy brown, have a fatty feel, and show in the depression a white
powder which appears crystalline under a lens. Internally good fresh
vanilla is so oily that it stains the fingers on being crushed and is
filled with numerous shining seeds the size of a small pin’s head.
These properties, together with the plump appearance and great weight,
mark good qualities. Old vanilla, whose odor is fainter and less
fragrant, may be recognized by its wrinkled surface, the absence of
the white dust, the slight weight, and the bent ends of the capsules.
Fraudulent dealers endeavor to give such old goods a fresher appearance
by coating them with almond oil or Peru balsam. “Vanilla de Leg” is
recognized as the first quality of Mexican vanilla. Like most odors,
that of vanilla does not become pleasant until it is sufficiently


_Latin_—Verbena triphylla, Aloysia citriodora; _French_—Verveine;

The leaves of this Peruvian plant, especially on being rubbed between
the fingers, exhale a very pleasant odor which is due to an essential
oil. The odor resembles that of fine citrons, or rather that of lemon
grass; hence these two odors are frequently mistaken for each other.
Owing to the high price of true oil of verbena, all the perfumes
sold under this name are prepared from oil of lemon grass (see under
Citronella) and other essential oils.


_Latin_—Andropogon muricatus; _French_—Vétyver; _German_—Vetiverwurzel.

Vetiver, also called cuscus, and sometimes iwarankusa (though this
is more properly the name of Andropogon lanifer; see above, under
Citronella), is the fibrous root-stock of a grass indigenous to India,
where fragrant mats are woven from it. The odor of the root somewhat
resembles that of santal wood, and is used partly alone, partly for
fixing volatile perfumes. Shavings of the root are frequently employed
for filling sachet bags.


_Latin_—Viola odorata; _French_—Violette; _German_—Veilchenblüthen.

The wonderful fragrance of the March violet is due to an essential oil
which it is, however, difficult to extract. For this reason genuine
perfume of violets, really prepared from the flowers, is among the
most expensive odors, and the high-priced so-called violet perfumes are
generally mixtures of other fine odors, while the cheaper grades are
made from orris root.


This plant, Volkameria inermis, often cultivated in conservatories, has
a very agreeable odor. The perfume called by this name, however, is
not obtained from the plant, but is produced by the mixture of several
aromatic extracts from other plants.


_Latin_—Cheiranthus Cheiri; _French_—Giroflé; _German_—Levkojenblüthen,

The wallflower, a well-known biennial garden plant belonging to the
Order of Cruciferæ, according to recent experiments yields a very fine
odor to certain substances and may be employed in the manufacture of
quite superior perfumes. The preparations usually sold as wallflower,
however, are not made from the flowers of this plant, but are mixtures
of different odors.


_Latin_—Gaultheria procumbens; _French_—Gaulthérie;

This herbaceous plant, indigenous to North America, especially Canada
and the Northern and Middle United States, where it grows wild in large
quantities, has a very pleasant odor due to an essential oil and a
compound ether which can also be produced artificially. The odor of
wintergreen serves chiefly for scenting fine soaps.


This plant, Unona odoratissima, indigenous to the Philippine Islands,
contains an exceedingly fragrant oil. It is brought into commerce from

* * * * *

Owing to climatic relations, it is impossible for the perfumer to
procure all the above-enumerated substances in the fresh state; many
of them he is forced to purchase through the drug trade, and he should
bear in mind to give the preference always to the freshest obtainable
goods. At times it is not possible to utilize the materials at once
for the extraction of the odors and they must be kept for some time.
The vegetable substances should always be stored in an airy, not over
dry room; and the material should be often inspected. If a trace of
mouldiness shows itself, the material must be worked at once, since,
if the mould is allowed to go on, the fragrance will suffer and may be
destroyed altogether.

The aromatic substances here enumerated are those which have actually
found general employment in perfumery; but the list is not complete,
since every aromatic plant can be used for the extraction of its
odor. Of course, this is connected with some difficulties, but even
in the present state of our knowledge they can all be overcome. When
a new odor has been prepared, the art of the perfumer consists in
ascertaining by many experiments those substances which harmonize with
it; for with few exceptions the finest grades of perfumes are not
single odors but combinations of several which are in accord.

Even among our domestic plants there are numerous finds to be made by
the perfumer, and in this respect we refer particularly to some very
fragrant kinds of orchids in our woods and to the delightful odor of
the lily of the valley. As to the latter, a perfume is met with in
commerce under this name, but its odor bears no resemblance to that of
the flower.

A few facts appear to us of especial importance. In practical perfumery
many of the plants which are easily obtainable in large quantities,
such as the flowers of clover and trefoil, the primrose, the rock-rose
(Daphne Cneorum), dame’s-violet (Hesperis matronalis), and others
above named, have never been employed. As an actual curiosity we may
state that there is thus far no perfume containing the delightful odor
present in the flowers of the linden-tree, of the Robinia (erroneously
called Acacia), of the lilac, etc., at least not made from the plants
here named.

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