MASSOIA ESSENTIAL OIL PROFILE
A Compilation of Sources
COMMON NAME/NAMING INFORMATION ~ Cryptocarya massoia, Other Names include Massoy, Massoïa
Family ~ Lauraceae
COUNTRIES OF ORIGINS ~ The genus Cryptocarya of the family Lauraceae is comprised of more than 350 species distributed throughout the tropics, subtropics, and temperate regions of the world. “Several species from this genus have been used extensively as traditional medicines in a number of ethnobotanical practices. The Massoia tree, C. massoy, is a species endemic to the island of New Guinea between 400 m and 1000 m altitude”.3
ENDANGERED OR NOT ~ Some species of Cryptocarya are in danger of extinction due to loss of habitat. Massoia oil and massoia lactone, a creamy scent from the bark, has been largely superseded by a synthetic alternative because the extraction process is expensive and the process of removing the bark kills the tree.1
GENERAL DESCRIPTION OF Massoia tree HABITAT AND GROWTH ~ The Massoia tree, C. massoy, is a species that grows best in rainforests and is endemic to the island of New Guinea between 400 m and 1000 m altitude”.3 It grows also in Sumatra. The aromatic bark from the tree has been an article of commerce for centuries.
See #6 Reference.
EXTRACTION ~ the BARK IS USED FOR BY CO2 EXTRACTION OR DISTILLATION. ~ Massoia oil comes from the bark that has been dried for several days and then ground to a powder.
Massoia bark has a sweet, coconut-like aroma and is steam distilled or CO2 extracted to yield Massoia bark oil. The bark is obtained by cutting the tree at the base, making circular incisions at one-meter intervals, lifting the bark off, and allowing it to dry. Each tree yields on average 65 kg of air-dried bark.
Robertet’ Massoia wood grows in Papua as well as Sumatra where seeds are imported. “The bark is dried for several days before being reduced to powder in order to be distilled. We were told that delightful chocolate, butter, and caramel notes are spread all over the factory each time a distillation is realized. As a result, essential oils, (occur) with pleasing milky coconut signature.”2
YIELD ~ A recent investigation by Rali et al. showed that exhaustive hydro-distillation of the bark; heartwood and fruits of the Massoia tree afford pale, yellow-colored oils in 0.7, 1.2, and 1.0 % yields,
CAUTIONS ~ It is a slight stimulant but also can be an irritant to the skin. Use in moderation.
SOURCE (S) ~ My favorite place to purchase quality essential oils and absolutes is Prima Fleur Botanicals in Petaluma. They have an excellent quality selection of skincare, haircare, body care, and aromatic therapy from true plant-based ingredients.
ORGANOLEPTIC CHARACTERISTICS of MASSOIA CO2 ~ Organoleptic properties are aspects of these essential oils and absolutes as experienced by the senses including sight, taste, smell, touch, and texture. And I include both the intensity and tenacity of the odor. These properties include a way to discriminate and describe these substances. Another way to define the term organoleptic is what a person experiences via the senses. “Sensory Evaluation is a scientific discipline used to evoke, measure, analyze, and interpret those responses to products that are perceived by the senses of sight, smell, touch, taste, and hearing. The terms Organoleptic and Sensory were, historically, interchangeable.”5
- Color – medium-yellow
- Clarity – clear
- Viscosity – non-viscous
- Intensity of odor – 5-7
- Tenacity of odor – 5-6
ODOR DESCRIPTION/ AROMA ASSESSMENT – MASSOIA CO2 ~ Smells Like Coconut, some say creamy Chocolate, but I say Coconut. Massoia Bark essential oil is considered an oil for perfumery. It has a deep, rich, warm, buttery, intense aroma with coconut tones. This oil is high in lactones which gives Massoia its distinctive aromatic notes. In perfumery use it as a base or fixative.
CHEMISTRY ~ Detailed chemical evaluation of these distillates using GC/MS revealed the major components in the bark and heartwood oils to be the C-10 Massoia lactone, or 5,6-dihydro-6-pentyl-2H-pyran-2-one, (65-68 %), and the C-12 Massoia lactone, or 5,6-dihydro-6-heptyl-2H-pyran-2-one, (17-28 %), while the major fruit oil constituent was benzyl benzoate (68%).3
PROPERTIES AND USES ~ The aromatic bark from the tree has been an article of commerce for centuries.
It has been used by Javanese and Balinese women to prepare a warming ointment, called bobory, and for some fair-skinned people, it causes a reddening of the skin from using this. Today the concentrated oil from Massoia bark is considered a skin irritant.
Caution ~ It is a slight stimulant but also can be an irritant. Use in moderation.
ENERGETICS AND BY INHALATION ~ If you use Massoia bark in a relaxing inhalation blend, inhale but without letting the blend touch your nose. This oil can be a skin irritant. The Massoia scent itself is stress-relieving, relaxing, and calming. Try a blend with Bergamot, Hay, and Roman Chamomile, and use Coconut oil as a carrier.
Diffuse/Diffusion ~ Not the best essence to use in a blend in a diffusor.
Smells like Coconut
BLENDING & PERFUMERY ~ Adds a coconut touch of scent to any perfume. Blend it with florals and woods such as Rose, Sandalwood, and Atlas Cedar. Combine with any fruity odors you might have such as Boronia, and possibly Davana, Owyhee, Raspberry seed extract, Osmanthus, Hay, and Roman chamomile.
It has a Coconut scent and works with Coconut oil and Coconut CO2 Extract, and has great tenacity in perfumery, and if diluted properly this is a good choice for scenting skin and for body care products.
[The coconut tree (Cocos nucifera) is a member of the family Arecaceae (palm family) and the only species of the genus Cocos. The term coconut can refer to the whole coconut palm or the seed, or the fruit, which, botanically, is a drupe, not a nut.]
This work is sponsored and supported by Prima Fleur Botanicals.
HYDROSOL ~ I have never seen the hydrosol of Massoia Bark. If I had it, I would be very careful in my usage.
PLEASE NOTE: A true hydrosol should be specifically distilled for the hydrosol, not as a co-product or even a by-product of essential oil distillation. The plant’s cellular water has many components most are lost under pressurized short steam runs for essential oil, or by using dried material. We recommend that the producers specifically distill for a product by using plant material that is fresh.
HERBAL USE ~ I personally have never had the Massoia bark in my hands or seen the tree with my own eyes, and thus am not comfortable recommending any particular herbal uses.
KEY USE ~ The oil is used in perfumery.
Massoia oil smells like Coconut.
It doesn’t smell like Walnut.
It sort of bites.
But not like mites.
You can add to Perfume if in a deep rut.
HISTORICAL USES ~ “Known in the late 18th and early 19th centuries as Massoy bark, Massoia essential oil was once widely used as a natural ‘coconut’ flavoring. [This aromatic bark from the tree has been an article of commerce for centuries.] Natural massoia lactone has been largely superseded by a synthetic alternative because the extraction process is expensive and the process of removing the bark kills the tree.”4
INTERESTING INFORMATION ~ Massoia bark oil is used in the flavor industry as an additive in butter and milk flavors (international FEMA code 3744) under kosher guidelines. The Massoia lactones are rare essential oil components and have only been found in a few other plants.
ScentIndonesia.com harvests massoia barks from their own regrown Massoia trees that have been planted on the remote higher ground in Papua New Guinea. This is with the help of local farmers without endangering the area from deforestation.
The current global supply of Massoia bark oil comes from Indonesia, primarily from Irian Jaya which is the western half of New Guinea. Its main use is in the flavor industry. Its main lactone has also been identified in some flowers such as Tuberose.
MASSOIA SCENT SNAPSHOT – 2009
- Robertet_group FB page
- Organoleptic Testing or Sensory Testing. Bob Baron, 4-1-21
Rose, Jeanne • Natural Botanical Perfumery. Published by http://www.jeannerose.net/books.html
Ultra National Indonesia Products.