Labdanum absolute is a thick, resinous substance with a sweet, earthy, musky, woodsy aroma. It is a component in most amber accords and is wonderful in the base of orientals, chypres, and woodsy fragrances. The absolute is very different than the essential oil from the same plant, Cistus ladaniferus or rockrose. Most cistus oil smells less amber-like and more herbal than labdanum absolute.
I source an exceptionally fine labdanum with a rich, delicious scent and long-lasting drydown; it gives perfumes like Ambre Noir and Incense Pure a beautiful rich amber color. I also use a special cistus fraction that smells more like labdanum than regular cistus does; this cistus fraction has a wonderful incensy character and a light smoky undertone. The cistus combines with the warm, sweet labdanum absolute in Incense Pure to make a delicious and lasting resinous base accord.
Cistus Ladaniferus is shown.