The Golden Fragrance of Osmanthus: Uncovering the True Value of Natural Perfumery

Hailing from warm, humid Himalayan regions, the Osthmanthus is a breed of flowers of the Oleaceae family, and is considered a little known species in terms of global recognition. But do you know that the Osthmanthus is in actuality weighted akin to gold in the perfumery field?


The word Osthmanthus is a portmanteau of the Greek words Osma (fragrant), and Manthus (flower), coined by Goa missionary João de Loureiro, in his book “Flora Cochinchinensis” in the year 1790. While the Osthmanthus is a more or less generalized term of reference, the earliest records of the species traces back to the writings, “Seas & Mountains” (localized Shan Hai Jing) of China’s Warring Periods, with records as follows: ”Many Osthmanthus grows on Mountain Zhaoyao”.

In the language of flowers, the osmanthus signifies true love and faithfulness. This translates even in perfumery; they evoke a kind of gentle, intimate, honeyed floral scent that speaks of closeness. Many from the west may hold the perception that the Osthmanthus doesn’t quite fit the image of an exotic species, hence it should be in a more or less affordable price range. The truth however is far from so when it comes to perfumery.

The osmanthus is one of the few rare cases of being a fruity note of natural origin. It only blooms from late summer to autumn, and withers very quickly. Farmers armed with long poles drop the flowers onto a large white sheet spread on the ground, which will then be soaked in a brine(salt) bath to preserve them, and are immersed  for 3 to 4 months before being washed before a first extraction.  This is followed by other steps such as clarification, filtration, etc. to finally obtain the concrete, which takes around 6 months. Osmanthus absolute is then obtained by ethanol extraction from the concrete. This time and labor intensive process results in a high price of around 4000 USD for a kilo of the Absolute.


It may come off as a surprise for first timers to find out that the osmanthus, like its history, possesses a unique olfactory profile that lasts for a significantly long time. There are also individuals who liken its scent to those of an apricot. In a mix as a base note, the milky and woody osmanthus embraces the wearer with a soft, sensuous scent, along with a hint of leathery nuance.  Osmanthus can also be used for a top note due to its fruity profile.

Best Match

The osmanthus works best with a wide range of citrus and milky notes, with the likes of lemon, lime, vanilla, sandalwood and musk being a few of the excellent combinations to go along with it.


Vital Nutrients

The osmanthus has always been a natural detox to rid the human body of toxins. It is also capable of relieving the body from fatigue and prevents drowsiness despite not being a caffeinated object.

Skin Improval

Osmanthus is known to enhance skin tone and replenish the skin’s color and glow. 

Lower Blood Pressure

Being consumed in the forms of both medicine and tea in China, it is proven that osmanthus are efficient at lowering both blood pressure and reducing feelings of bloating.

Diet Aid

The scent of osmanthus greatly aids the human body to curb binge eating, hence contributing to losing weight. According to a recent study by Scientific Reports, the aroma of osmanthus will decrease any appetite-suppressing brain chemicals, which will prevent you from overeating and binge eating.

Synthetic vs Natural

Due to the hoo hahs surrounding trade secrets, perfume manufacturers are not obligated to disclose every single ingredient used in their products. Likewise, notes represent what the product should resemble in scent, not necessarily in content. The osmanthus, being a labor and time intensive note, comes off rather difficult to obtain for most, so the approach of combining other ingredients to simulate its scent is not uncommon. Osmanthus is sometimes also blended together with synthetics to further draw out its peachiness.

Here, we present to you the S.L.A.P.- Pinpointers when it comes to identifying if a perfume containing osmanthus is synthetic or authentic. Do keep in mind that these pointers are applicable only when identifying for perfumes marketed as “natural”.


While there is no easy way to tell, having an experienced sense of smell is quintessential in identifying synthetics, or watered down bottles. The disparity between a pure natural extract, and the more alcoholic or artificial extracts is more than often obvious.

On a side note, if a perfume is marketed as “natural”, it does not contain additives usually involved in perfume productions to prolong shelf life, thus lasts shorter, and the scent should not come off as “too intense”. 


If a perfume is marketed with “using natural ingredients”, it should always have the scientific name of the element listed, and should be traced online with ease. If the name of the ingredient is not in Latin/ is in English instead (ex: Cedarwood instead of Cedrus Dedora); this is your cue to look elsewhere. The only osmanthus ever involved in perfumery is osmanthus fragrans. If the scientific name written on the label was remotely something else, it is likely the manufacturer is trying to pass off something as natural osmanthus. Likewise, although a hassle, always cross check the list of ingredients contained online to tell if it contains toxic or harmful chemicals.


Predominantly fruity osmanthus notes will usually be synthetic in origin. It can also be recreated in the form of an accord (combination of few raw materials to produce a precise scent), such as a raspberry composition (frambinone), or may be dressed up with synthetic almond notes (benzoic aldehyde/ benzaldehyde).


As essential oils from natural ingredients are more labor intensive to source, it is expected for products of this nature to be more expensive, and this is more apparent in the case of the osmanthus concrete involved in the perfume crafting. If your gut feeling or research makes it clear that the deal is too good to be true, it probably is.

At Precision Perfume, we aim to deliver extravagance with the utmost care to our customers. We source only the finest materials; and share those stories with you.