Birch Tar Essential Oil

Price: $5.50
Birch tar being cooked down in a tin over a campfire

Betula alba steam distilled from the bark, from India

Aroma: The scent is reminiscent of tar, charred wood and smoke. Many have compared it to the scent of a campfire.

Common Uses: Birch Tar Essential Oil has been traditionally used as the active ingredient in tar soap and ointments at 10% for the treatment of eczema and psoriasis. When mixed with other essential oils, it has also been used as an insect repellent. I use it as a fixative in perfume.

History: The well-known scent of Russian leather is due to the use of Birch Tar in its processing. It imparts durability to leather, and bookbinders have long used it because books bound in Russia leather are not liable to become moldy.

Main Constituents: Cadinene: 20-27%

Colour: Dark brown to orange liquid.

Consistency: Thick and viscous

Note: Base

Strength of Aroma: Medium

Blends well with: Cananga, Benzoin, Sandalwood and Rosemary.

Cautions: May cause irritation to sensitive skin. Avoid use during pregnancy.

Photo thanks to Jorre, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons


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