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What is Cistus Labdanum?

Labdanum is a dark sticky resin from the cistus shrub. In English this shrub is called ‘rock rose’. Another fragrance component can also be extracted from the same plant. The small twigs, leaves and flowers are used for this. The outcome is what we call cistus. Cistus can be used as an (essential) oil and as an absolute in perfume.

These plants mainly grow in the Mediterranean area. 80% of all cistus labdanum products come from Spain, mainly from Andalusia. Smaller production takes place in Morocco, Portugal and Corsica.

How is Cistus Labdanum used in perfumery?

Labdanum is often used in perfumes to create a warm and sensual amber accord. It is often combined with vanilla. Also, labdanum is usually a part of classic chypres. The full resin is a deep base note in the perfume composition of chypres.