Labdanum in perfume industry and waxes and saops

Labdanum is a sticky brown resin .

Labdanum is produced today mainly for the perfume industry. An absolute is also obtained by solvent extraction. An essential oil is produced by steam distillation. The raw gum is a dark brown, fragrant mass containing up to 20% or more of water. It is plastic but not pourable, and becomes brittle with age. The absolute is dark amber-green and very thick at room temperature. The fragrance more refined than the raw resin. The odour is very rich, complex and tenacious. Labdanum is much valued in perfumery because of its resemblance to ambergris, which has been banned from use in many countries because its precursor originates from the sperm whale, which is an endangered species: although the best-quality ambergris is found free-floating or washed up onshore (long exposure to sunlight, air and water removes offensive-smelling components of the fresh substance), and thus has no ethical objections, a lower-quality version can also be recovered from some fraction of freshly-slaughtered whales, and so may encourage poaching of sperm whales. Labdanum's odour is variously described as animalic, sweet, woody, ambergris, dry musk, or leathery.

Labdanum concrete is a sticky waxy, green to olive green or browni
sh green mass of sweet and pleasant, balsamic Amber-like odor with a tenacious backnote of rich, herbaceous character. This is an odor which is quite familiar to anyone who has visited the Mediterranean countries or islands during the months of March to July. Labdanum is used in soap perfumes where its alcohol insoluble matter is no serious drawback. It may at times even be an advantage through the fixative effect of the waxes and resins.

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