Description and usage notes:
Strong, smoky material with a leathery quality. Paler in colour and less bonfire-like than Cade Oil but still potent and dark brown.
According to Payan Bertrand this material is “Obtained by rectification of crude birch oil which is obtained by slow destructive distillation from birch bark (Betula pendula R.).”
Crude Birch Tar should not be used in fragrances.
Arctander describes the product like this: “Rectified Birch Tar is a pale yellow to brownish yellow, clear and oily liquid, The odor description, ‘like Russian leather’, is conventional, but somewhat incorrect. Russian leather smells of birch tar because the leather is tanned with the tar products which also preserve this special type of leather. This circle of odor association is similar to the well-known: vanillin smells of chocolate!”
He goes on to talk more about the odour: “… distinctly phenolic, very penetrating and diffusive, obviously reminiscent of tar, charred wood and smoke (all of which have their odor from components of the birch tar oil!) However, the most characteristic feature in the odor pattern of birch tar oil is the sweet-oily undertone which appears distinctly on the smelling blotter when the first empyreumatic notes have faded away. These notes caught the immediate interest of perfumers long ago… ”
This material does not contain any of the 26 potential allergens that must be declared on the label under EU regulations and has been prepared in accordance with the requirements of the IFRA specification standard for this material, with a maximum usage of 0.2% of the finished product in most categories (see certificate for details) – in practice far more than you are ever likely to want to use.
Please note however that it is not food grade in the EU.