Title: Balsam

Balsam refers to a natural resinous substance exuded by certain trees and plants. This material can be a physiological product of the plant’s normal growth processes or a pathological product resulting from injury or disease. Balsams are known for their aromatic properties and have been used in perfumery and medicine for centuries.


  • Appearance: Balsams typically have a viscous, sticky texture and can range in color from golden yellow to dark brown.
  • Fragrance Profile: They are renowned for their rich, warm, and sweet aromatic properties, often with notes of vanilla, cinnamon, or honey. The scent can be both soothing and uplifting.
  • Composition: Balsams contain a mixture of essential oils, resin acids, and other volatile compounds that contribute to their complex aroma.

Examples of Balsams:

  • Peru Balsam: Extracted from the Myroxylon balsamum tree, it has a sweet, vanilla-like scent.
  • Tolu Balsam: Derived from the Myroxylon balsamum var. pereirae tree, known for its warm, spicy, and cinnamon-like fragrance.
  • Benzoin: Obtained from the Styrax benzoin tree, it has a sweet, vanilla, and almond-like aroma.

Country of Origin:
Balsams are typically sourced from tropical and subtropical regions, including Central and South America, Southeast Asia, and parts of Africa.

Perfume Type and Combinations:

  • Usage in Perfumery: Balsams are prized for their fixative properties, helping to stabilize and prolong the life of a perfume’s aroma. They are commonly used in oriental, woody, and amber fragrance compositions.
  • Blending: Balsams blend well with other resins, spices, and floral notes. They are often combined with ingredients like vanilla, frankincense, sandalwood, and rose to create rich, complex perfumes.

Applications in Natural Perfumery:
Balsams are valued in natural perfumery for their depth and longevity. They add warmth and sweetness to blends and are used in both top-end luxury perfumes and therapeutic aromatherapy products.

Traditional and Medicinal Uses:
Historically, balsams have been used in traditional medicine for their healing properties. They are known for their antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, and soothing effects, making them useful in treating wounds, respiratory issues, and skin conditions.


  • Steffen Arctander; Perfume and Flavor Materials of Natural Origin.

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