|The massoia tree
is a medium-sized tree of the Lauracean family from New Guinea. It has
optimal growth in rainforests between 400 m and 1000 m altitude. The
aromatic bark from the tree has been an article of commerce for
centuries. For example, it has been used by Javanese and Balinese
women to prepare a warming ointment, called bobory, with a pleasant
smell. It is said that white people get a scarlet blushing of the skin
from this remedy, and today the concentrated oil from massoia bark is
considered a skin irritant.
Massoia bark has a sweet, coconut-like aroma and is steam distilled to
yield massoia bark oil. The bark is obtained by cutting the tree at
the base, making circular incisions at one meter intervals, lifting
the bark off and allowing it to dry. Each tree yields on average 65 kg
of air dried bark. Current global supply of massoia bark oil comes
from Indonesia, primarily from Irian jaya which is the western half of
New Guinea. Its main use is in the flavour industry, where the major
constituent, 6-n-pentyl-5,6-dihydro-2-pyrone or massoia lactone (70 %,
sometimes more) is used as an additive in butter and milk flavors
(international FEMA code 3744) under kosher guidelines .
This lactone has also been identified in some flowers, e.g. tuberose.
|Botanical Name: Cryptocaria massoia
Country of Origin: Indonesia
Method of Extraction: Steam Distilled
Plant material: Bark of the tree
|Flash Point: >100 deg C.
This is a rich, quirky, moist, golden aromatic note.
Massoia has a fair amount of lactones and should be used with care. This is
not a problem as it is heavily aggressive and should be considered a
"flavoring" not main ingredient.
I want to stress that Massoia creeps up on a blend so stop even before you
think you have added enough.!
I am not a soaper.
In perfume applications, Massoia is definitely a base note. Add it to Benzoin,
Vanilla, Tobacco, Hay, Melilot, Broom, Liatrice and you have the richest, most
coconut/butterscotch like scent imaginable.
This is not too culinary either. The scent is suggestive of coconut without
creating the image of suntan lotion.
Massoia is a note for those that enjoy Florientals, and rich meadowy smells.
If you are careful, you can lighten it I think and blend it into a heart using
a sweet rather than camphoraceous lavender. Another idea might be Ho wood or
leaf, or a Geranium. A dash of Rose or Ylang can assist unifying the blend
If you dilute it down, and you are intrepid, try some coriander with perhaps a
dash of black pepper and sweet fennel or aniseed.
When topping off a composition built upon a Massoia base, I would think of the
Bitter or Blood Orange with judicious use of sweet orange and perhaps a drop
of bergamot would probably be a good place to start. If you use Orange Flower
absolute in the base with the Massoia, a top accord of a high toned Petitgrain,
Bitter Orange and bergamot might also really sparkle.
This is an oil that really sparks the imagination.