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Mediterranean shrub

Cistus has been used in perfumery for a very long time.
It grows mainly around scrubland, therefore in Mediterranean regions.
Cistus needs heat to flourish.

Its name comes from the Greek “kisté” which means capsules, because of the shape of its fruits.
During the months of April, May and June, this small shrub is adorned with numerous white or pink flowers.
The particularity of this plant is that it is covered with a film of resin.
The latter’s role is to protect the plant and prevent it from dehydrating.
This resin is called “labdanum”.

Cistus, a plant adored by perfumers

It must be said that cistus is one of the rare shrubs to offer such an odor.
A very amber fragrance and above all very sought after by perfumers.
Amber, woody but also tenacious, this is what characterizes this little tree.
In perfumery, labdanum is used.

The latter is very appreciated for its accords of herbs, wood and resin.
A multitude of facets which often gives compositions an animal, powerful and warm note.
This is why we will find it mainly positioned as a base note.

Cistus labdanum is also used as a fixative, because it marvelously freezes the lightest volatile notes, such as citrus.
The use of cistus in perfumery dates back around 3,000 years.
Since then, cistus has continued to conquer the hearts of perfumers and is found today in very great feminine and masculine perfumes.
The association of cistus with the different olfactory families.

Thanks to its very particular amber smell, cistus is often included in oriental perfumes.
This is the case for “Absolu” by Rochas.
Positioned as a base note, cistus is accompanied by benzoin, which gives a very amber trail.
The heart is a blend of luminous and spicy flowers.
“Absolu” is a perfume with extreme fragrances for free, sensual and assertive women.
We also find cistus in chypre perfumes, because its warm note goes particularly well with white musk, sandalwood or patchouli.
This is the case for the perfume “Eau du Soir” by Sisley, where we actually find cistus in the base note, accompanied by amber, patchouli and white musk.
“Eau du Soir” offers great olfactory richness, which contrasts between citrus notes, floral accords and an animalistic amber base… A refined, elegant and above all timeless perfume.

It is essentially its resin that we use.
The latter offers amber, musky, warm and powerful fragrances.
Essentially present in base notes, cistus is also an excellent fixative.
It is found in great oriental, woody and chypre perfumes.

An essential ingredient in today’s world of perfumery.

Written by: Keevans
Category: Perfumes
Published: 05/21/2024
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