The origins and silhouette of Peruvian balsam
The Peruvian balsam is a tree of the fabaceae family native to Central America. It grows more exactly in Mexico, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Colombia, Venezuela and Ecuador. Indeed, its name is misleading because it is not a tree found in the country of Peru. In reality, this product owes its name to the fact that the balsam of Peru once came from a port of this country which was used for its export. In its natural state, it is a tree measuring between 15 to 20 m in height and whose slender trunk is covered with a grayish bark. Its leaves, meanwhile, have about ten leaflets and are alternate. Likewise, the balsam of Peru is characterized by the presence of white flowers, quite small and united in clusters. These are accompanied bya fruit, a sort of flattened and winged pod, swollen at its end which itself contains a seed. These pods are 5 to 6 cm long. Also, if the balsam of Peru quickly became famous, it is quite simply because its plant contains secretory channels expelling a liquid resin of red brown color: the famous balsam of Peru. This contains many aromas and an intense fragrance. However, it is also very allergenic and can cause redness, itching, blistering and eczema. However, this balm does not only have flaws, far from it. It is also recognized for its antiseptic, healing, pain relieving, anti-rheumatic and antispasmodic properties. Likewise, Peruvian balm stimulates the heart, increases blood pressure and decreases mucous membrane secretions. At last,an Amerindian legend says that it is about a tree emerging from the earth when warring tribes finally make peace.
Peruvian balm and its sweet, balsamic scent
Peruvian balsam is a natural balsamic resin producing essential oil. The latter is obtained by steam distillation of the balm or by extraction with volatile solvents of its resinoid. The balm, meanwhile, is extracted directly from the trunk of the balsam of Peru which is collected either by partially burning its bark to easily detach it, or by wrapping a cloth around an incision previously made in its trunk. the linen is impregnated with the balm, it is enough just to recover it by heating it. In perfumery, Peruvian balsam is considered to be an excellent fixer. It is mainly used in amber, leather or vanilla fragrances.
Peruvian balm is very popular for its sweet scent reminiscent of caramel. It is notably present in Eau de Lacoste, Eau des Merveilles d'Hermès and Love Chloé Eau Intense by Chloé fragrances.