A client referenced moss for her personalized blend and it got me thinking of whether there were any essential oils made from moss, and that's how I stumbled upon Oak Moss (Evernia prunastri). First Oakmoss is/was difficult to procure - it isn't sold by my go-to supplier. I ended up ordering it from two different suppliers because I wanted to compare one that purported to be undiluted and the other which was diluted. Oak Moss isn't readily available because there is a high risk of skin sensitivity due to atranol (a known contact allergen). And, most Oakmoss oils are restricted for use by the the International Fragrance Association (IRFA) but there are Oakmoss oils that are IFRA-compliant.
Second, Oakmoss is bit of a misnomer - the essential oil is made from the Evernia prunastri lichen (not moss) that mostly grows on Oak Trees. Turns out, moss and lichens are not the same: lichens are a type of fungus, while moss is a type of plant. But unlike most fungus, lichen cannot survive without algae or cyanobacteria. So there you have it.
I was very intrigued because I read that this oil is referred to as "faerie wood"," which captures the "the mysterious menagerie of moss, wood, decaying leaf, fungus, lichen, and damp earth notes." It seemed perfect for what my client had in mind. The oil to me has a lovely smell, and I am still processing it, but my initial impression is that, I definitely like it, but it is a lot sweeter than I imagined it would be. I am diffusing it by itself right now and I will see how it evolves for me.
Also, when I started this blog I committed to posting a blend everyday, which I have. But I am not including the blend formula for this because it is for a client and I would like to keep her blend all for herself. So moving forward, I will continue to post everyday, but it may or may not be a blend, but it will definitely be something I learn along the way.