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Home Page > Oil Profiles > Oakmoss Absolute

Oakmoss Absolute

Oakmoss - Evernia prunastri

Aromatically, Oakmoss Absolute is a base note that possesses a very deep, earthy aroma. Its primary benefit lies within its use as a natural fixative within perfumery and natural fragrancing applications. Within the scope of natural fragrancing, a fixative is an ingredient that helps to stabilize and prolongue the aroma.

Oakmoss Absolute

Back when I first began working with essential oils and absolutes, Oakmoss Absolute was much more commonly available. However, there is a high risk of skin sensitivity when using Oakmoss Absolute, so it's now commercially sold and used far less often. I'm keeping this profile available as a way to try to forewarn of the risks when working with Oakmoss Absolute. Please refer to the Safety Information section below for more information.

Botanical Name

Evernia prunastri

Common Method of Extraction

Solvent Extracted
What is an Absolute?

Plant Part Typically Used



Dark Brown


Medium - Thin

Perfumery Note


Strength of Initial Aroma


Aromatic Description

Rich, earthy, woody.

Oakmoss Absolute Uses

Used at very low dilution in perfumery for its earthy aroma and its properties as a fragrance fixative.

Major Constituents

Methyl B-orcinolcarboxylate
Ethyl everninate
Ethyl hematonmate
Ethyl chlorohematommate

[Y. Terajima, H. Ichikawa, K. Tokua, et al. Quantitative Analysis of Oakmoss. (In: B.M. Lawrence, B.D. Mookherjee, J.B. Willis (Eds.) Flavors & Fragrances: A World Perspective. Amsterdam: Elsevier, 1988), 685-695. D. Joulain, R. Tabbacchi. Lichen Extracts as Raw Materials in Perfumery. Part 2: Treemoss. (Flavour & Fragrance Journal 24, 2009), 105-116. Sources cited in Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young, Essential Oil Safety (Second Edition. United Kingdom: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier, 2014), 368.]

Safety Information

Tisserand and Young warn that there is a high risk of skin sensitization associated with Oakmoss Absolute and that it should be avoided by those with hypersensitive/diseased/damaged skin and in children 2 and under. They recommend a dermal maximum of 0.1%. Reading Tisserand and Young's full profile is recommended. [Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young, Essential Oil Safety (Second Edition. United Kingdom: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier, 2014), 368.]

Shelf Life

View Shelf Life Information

Important Information About the Profiles

The essential oil information provided on AromaWeb is intended for educational purposes only. This data is not considered complete and is not guaranteed to be accurate. The oil photos are intended to represent the typical and approximate color of each essential oil. However, oil color can vary based on harvesting, distillation and other factors. Profiles for several absolutes are included within the directory, and are denoted as such.

General Safety Information

Do not take any oils internally and do not apply undiluted essential oils, absolutes, CO2s or other concentrated essences onto the skin without advanced essential oil knowledge or consultation from a qualified aromatherapy practitioner. If you are pregnant, epileptic, have liver damage, have cancer, or have any other medical problem, use oils only under the proper guidance of a qualified aromatherapy practitioner. Use extreme caution when using oils with children. It is safest to consult a qualified aromatherapy practitioner before using oils with children. For in-depth information on oil safety issues, read Essential Oil Safety by Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young.

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Wendy Robbins (Cert. Aroma ACHS), Founder of AromaWeb, is a Professional Level Member of the Alliance of International Aromatherapists and the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy.

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