Fir Needle, Siberian Pine Needle Oil, Abies Sibirica, Citrus Oils

Fir Needle (reconstitution)


Siberian pine needle oil (truly a Fir). This essential oil is steam distilled from the twigs and leaves (needles) of Abies Sibirica, a tree that grows abundantly in the northeastern parts of the U.S. S. R., Mongolia, and has been introduced into various European countries, particularly Finland. Smaller amounts of the oil are produced in Tyrol (Austria), Germany, Poland, Sweden and, occasionally, in Norway. Siberian Fir Needle Oil is undoubtedly the most popular type of “fir” needle oil in Europe, and one of the most pupolar in the U.S.A. also. It is a colorless to very pale yellow or pale olive-yellow, oily liquid, occasionally turbid or opalescent. Its odor is refreshingly balsamic, slightly fatty or oily with a powerful pine-forest odor, and a peculiar fruity-balsamic undertone.

The oil is probably produced in quantities of several hundred metric tons annually, but the amount of adulterated and out-and-out artificial oils sold under the same name is overwhelming.

Furthermore, the majority of all genuine lots of this oil derive from the U.S. S. R., and these factors make it difficult to give more than an approximation of the actual production figures.

Apart from the high amount of bornyl acetate (about 40%), the oil contains a number of terpenes. It is conceivable that camphene, myrcene and phellandrene play a more important role in the particular fragrance of this oil than does the pinene which was once considered its main monoterpenic constituent. Bisabolene, a sesquiterpene, may also contribute to the tenacious, balsamic sweet dryout notes in this oil on a perfume blotter. Trace amounts of certain aliphatic aldehydes (dodecanal, etc.) may be responsible for the freshness of this odor, and possibly one or more compounds related to larixinic acid (commercially known under the brand name of “palatone”, etc. contribute to the balsamic and “jam’’-like, fruity sweetness of the odor of this oil. The latter material has been identified in the bark from this tree and from other conifers. The presence of dodecanal is perhaps more surprising, but it is certainly characteristic of the odor of Siberian Pine Needle Oil. The oil blends well with other pine or “fir” needle oils, amylsalicylate, coumarin, oakmoss products, nitromusks, diphenyl oxide, citrus oils, rosemary oil, juniper berry oil, labdanum extracts, patchouli oil, lavandin oil, etc. The particular odor and aldehydic topnote of this oil makes it an interesting material for use in “unconventional” perfumery.


  • Fir Needle - Reconstitution -

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