Hero BotanicalWhy We Love Labdanum!

Why We Love Labdanum!


Labdanum, also known as rockrose (Cistus ladaniferus, Cistaceae), is a sticky shrub that can reach a height of 10 feet. It has lance-shaped leaves and belongs to the Cistaceae family. Additionally, this shrub is commonly referred to as cistus, and its leaves are used for steam distillation to extract an essential oil known as Labdanum Absolute. Another form of Labdanum, called gum, is obtained by boiling the plant in water. The resulting oleoresin is a dark brown mass.

The five-petaled flowers of Labdanum are white and often feature tear-drop-shaped purple/maroon dots at the center, accompanied by yellow/orange stamens and pistils. This plant is native to the Middle East and the Mediterranean region. In ancient times, people would gather labdanum by extracting it from the beards and thighs of goats and sheep that had fed on this particular shrub.


Due to the banning of Ambergris, an ingredient derived from the endangered sperm whale, in many countries, Labdanum has gained significant value in perfumery. Labdanum shares similarities with Ambergris and serves as a substitute in perfume formulations. In fact, Labdanum is the key component used to recreate the scent of amber in perfumes. The aroma of Labdanum is characterized by notes of amber, sweetness, woodiness, ambergris, dry musk, and leatheriness.

Labdanum, in addition to its role in the perfume industry, was historically utilized for medicinal purposes, including the treatment of colds, coughs, menstrual problems, and rheumatism. Nowadays, Labdanum is primarily produced for the perfume industry, with the extraction processes yielding both labdanum absolute through solvent extraction and Labdanum essential oil through steam distillation.


The raw gum obtained from Labdanum is a fragrant, black (sometimes dark brown) mass with a water content of up to 20% or higher. It possesses a plastic consistency but lacks pourability, gradually becoming brittle as it ages. On the other hand, the Labdanum Absolute, characterized by its dark amber-green color, is notably thick at room temperature. In terms of fragrance, the absolute offers a more refined aroma compared to the raw resin. The scent of Labdanum is incredibly rich, complex, and long-lasting.

Prized for its rich, sweet and vegetal mossy aroma, Labdanum is commonly used in modern perfumery to render leather or Ambergris notes. As you explore the world of perfumery, immerse yourself in the resinous delight of labdanum-infused scents and discover the captivating allure it brings to perfumes.

Smell Labdanum in:


Labdanum, with its captivating scent and versatile characteristics, has become a cherished ingredient in the world of perfumery. It is often used as a base note in perfumes, providing a solid foundation for the fragrance. Its long-lasting and fixative properties allow the scent to linger on the skin, enhancing the overall longevity of the perfume. Labdanum pairs beautifully with Bergamot, Yuzu and other Citrus oils, floral scents like Boronia, Geranium & Mimosa, Cinnamon and other spice oils, Woody notes like Cypress, Patchouli and Cedarwood (Atlas), and Incens-y notes Elemi and Frankincense. Labdanum is an essential component in chypre blends. From anchoring the base notes to infusing warmth and depth, Labdanum enhances compositions, showcases perfumers’ creativity, and creates a unique sensory experience for fragrance lovers.

Want to Learn More? 
Create your own fragrance at one of our upcoming events. We even offer virtual workshops and deliver materials to your door.    
Fragrance speaks the loudest on a subliminal level. 
– Marian Bendeth

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