Resins augment and help give lasting power to the other ingredients contained in perfume compositions. Plant resins vary greatly in consistency, and may be extracted by means of multiple methods to ensure maximum yield and optimum fragrance quality. Balsams are soft resins containing benzoic or cinnamic acid. Oleoresins are semi-soft resins and are mixtures of oil and resin. Gum-resins are semi-solid resins that are mixtures of gum or mucilaginous substances and resin. Resinous exudates, sometimes referred to as tears, are used as protective and healing elements in plants, a particular necessity when living in harsh, desert terrain. In their natural state, resins could be viewed as a botanical slice of life – the aromatic molecules are frozen in time until they are liberated by various extraction methods.
Another type of aromatic oil comes from the traditional destructive distillation method that gives rise to Fossilized Amber Oil. In destructive distillation, the starting material (such as Benzoin resin) is super-heated and cooked until an oil substance is obtained from the solid starting material. Thus, oil can be obtained from something that didn’t really have oil in it in the first place.