Cassia (Cinnamomum cassia)

Description: Cassia, also known as Chinese cinnamon, is derived from the bark of the Cinnamomum cassia tree. This tree is native to China and the bark is typically harvested in the autumn when the aromatic compounds are at their peak.

Extraction Method: The essential oil of cassia is obtained through steam distillation of the bark. This process results in a potent, spicy, and warm oil that is rich in cinnamaldehyde, which gives cassia its characteristic fragrance.

Characteristics: Cassia essential oil has a warm, sweet, and spicy aroma that is very similar to cinnamon but stronger and more intense. The oil is typically a golden yellow to reddish-brown color and is known for its robustness and tenacity.

Uses in Natural Perfumery: In natural perfumery, cassia is valued for its rich and complex scent profile. It is often used to impart warm and spicy notes to oriental and gourmand fragrances. Due to its strong aroma, cassia is typically used in small amounts as a base note or heart note to add depth and warmth to a composition.

Blending Suggestions: Cassia blends well with other spice oils such as clove, nutmeg, and ginger. It also complements the sweetness of vanilla and the richness of patchouli and sandalwood. In floral compositions, cassia can add an exotic and spicy undertone when used judiciously.

Safety Considerations: Cassia essential oil is very potent and can be a skin irritant if used undiluted. It should always be diluted in a carrier oil and used in low concentrations in perfumery. Additionally, it is important to perform a patch test to ensure there are no allergic reactions.

Reference: Steffen Arctander, Perfume and Flavor Materials of Natural Origin

Cassia, with its warm and spicy aroma, is a powerful and evocative ingredient in the natural perfumer's palette, capable of adding depth and complexity to a wide range of fragrance compositions.

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