Plant Species with Essential Oil for Perfume Production Part 4

Sandalwood

Common name: sandalwood
Scientific Name: Santalum album L.

Description

It is a small evergreen tree, sometimes reaching a height of 18 m and 2.4 m in girth. The leaves are opposite and decussate. Shape and size of leaves, however, vary considerably, all intermediate stages occurring frequently. The bark is reddish brown to dark brown.

Propagation

Sandalwood can be propagated by seeds. It produces seeds in numerous amounts. These are dispersed freely by birds and germinate immediately after monsoon. Fresh seeds are depulped, dried and sown in seedbeds. Seedlings are transplanted in polyethylene pots when they have 2 pairs of leaves. The optimum stage for outplanting is when the seedlings are 25­30 cm in height and with darker basal stem.

Root­suckers are freely produced when roots are exposed or injured or when the tree has been felled and the stumps grubled up. Young sandal trees coppice fairly well but older trees have little or no coppicing power except on moist soil.

Management

The are for planting is completely cleared of all vegetation, including removal of all roots. Pits of 30 cm x 30 cm are dug 4 inches deep or less.

Sandal seedlings along with the host seedlings are planted with spacing of 2.5 m up to 4 m. Weeding practices can also be done on the second year of establishment.

Economic Uses

Sandalwood oil is widely used in perfumery in the manufacture of soaps, face cream and toilet powders. Also for flavoring, to a very limited extent, certain types of candies used for washing bad breath. At present, hardly 10% of the oil is used for medicinal purposes.

Vetiver Grass

Common name: vetiver grass
Scientific Name: Vetiveria zizaniodes (L.) Nash

Description

Vetiver grass is a densely tufted, wiry, glabrous and a perennial grass. It has no rhizomes or stolons. The plant grows in large clumps from multiple branched root stock with erect culms 0.5­1.5 m high. The leaf blades are relatively stiff, 75 cm long, 8 mm wide, glabrous but rough along the edges. Panicles are 15­30 cm long, narrow, acute and flattened laterally with short, sharp spines.

Propagation

Vetiver can be propagated by using the clumps composed of several tillers. These tillers are used for planting in the field.

Management

Weeding and brushing of undesirable vegetation around the plants should be done to ensure good survival. Watering the plants as often as necessary to maintain moisture content of the soil.

Economic Uses

The commercial oil of vetiver grass is obtained by the distillation of its roots. It is mainly used as a fixative in perfumery and for blending in cosmetics and soap industry. The roots are used in making mats and fans.

In many countries, vetiver grass is an effective system for soil moisture and nutrient conservation. It is also used in slope and soil stabilization of upland farms, dams, canals, roadway and gullies. Young leaves of vetiver can be used as fodder. Vetiver grass can be used as windbreaks, firebreaks and field boundaries. It is also a good source of raw materials for rooting and livestock bedding.

Lemon Scented Gum, Citron Scented Gum

Common name: lemon scented gum, citron scented gum
Scientific Name: Eucaluptus citriodora Hook

Description

It is a large tree often attaining a great height with a smooth, whitish to pale pink bark. It can be easily identified by its characteristic fruit and lemon scented leaves.

Propagation

The plant is propagated by seeds, vegetative cuttings, grafting or air layering. Seeds are sown in polyethylene bags (22 cm x 16 cm size). Filled with pulverized soil having a good proportion of organic matter. The bags are kept in the nursery and partial shade is provided. Seeds germinate within 10 to 15 days.

Management

Seedling should be removed from the plastic bag without damage to the root system before placing in the pits. Staking of the plants is necessary to prevent wind damage and or replanting is done until the second year.

Economic Uses

Perfume manufacture – The oil which is obtained by steam distillation of the leaves is widely used in soap, perfumery and cosmetic industries and for the isolation of hydroxyl citronella used in the manufacture of high grade perfumes.

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