Schinus molle EO

Produced by steam distillation from the fruits of Schinus molle and then rectified by fractional distillation to reduce the colouring especially for use in fragrances.  If you don’t mind some colouring and a slightly higher amount of methyl eugenol, you may wish to consider the cheaper non-rectified oil which we also stock.

Both varieties of this oil tend to produce clouding when dissolved in ethanol, particularly at concentrations above 2% and filtration is often required to manage this.

Despite that fact that at the time he was writing Pink Pepper Oil was almost exclusively regarded as a substitute for Black Pepper Oil Arctander devotes quite a bit of space to this material: “The oil is steam distilled from the fruits (berries) of a small or medium sized tree which seems to have originated in northern South America. The tree is also known as “Peruvian Pepper Tree”, “Peruvian Mastic”, “Californian Pepper Tree”, etc. and it grows wild in Mexico, Guatemala and other tropical areas. An intoxicating beverage is produced from the fruits of this tree in Central America. The tree has been introduced in North Africa where the author has had repeated opportunities to study it, knowing that its fruits served locally as a substitute for black pepper. It is known as “faux poivrier” in the French-speaking parts of North Africa. The tree grows now in most Mediterranean countries including Spain, and it is also found in South Africa. It is possible, however, that the tree actually originated in North Africa since there is no record of its ever having been introduced there.” 

He goes on to describe the oil: “Schinus Molle Fruit Oil is a pale greenish or pale olive colored, oily liquid whose odor is fresh, woody-peppery, warm-spicy with a some-what sharp or dry, smoky-woody undertone. The odor becomes less pleasant upon ageing of the oil. The flavor is warm, somewhat biting although not pungent, but less rich than that of black pepper. The overall organoleptic picture of the oil calls to mind the odor and flavor of the tail fractions of black pepper oil (the “heavy” fractions) with some resemblance to angelica seed oil, juniper berry oil and elemi oil. The peppery note is undoubtedly due to the presence in the schinus molle oil of large amounts of the unstable mono-terpene, Phellandrene, and perhaps also caryophyllene (a sesquiterpene).” 

Besides replacing black pepper oil, this sharper, brighter and smokier oil is also very useful in its own right and Arctander suggests that it “blends excellently with oakmoss products, clove oils, nutmeg, cinnamic alcohol, ionones, nitromusks, aldehydes, etc.”. We also find it an excellent accompaniment to juniper and citrus oils and as part of an incense accord.

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