The raw materials falling under the umbrella of resins and balsams are among the most ancient components of perfumes, often the basis of the Oriental family of scents. They are classified into different olfactory profiles according to their aromatic properties.
Soft balsamic-smelling ingredients include vanilla, benzoin, Peru balsam, Tolu balsam (close to Peru but a little sweeter and fresher). They have a gentle tone, while at the same time they’re softly enveloping and have a pronounced character. They fix flowers into lasting longer, and thanks to their properties when used in large quantities, they produce the semi-Orientals or the florientals (in conjunction with rich floral essences).
Resinous balsamic ingredients include opoponax, frankincense/olibanum, myrrh, birch tar, elemi and styrax. These materials are deeper, with a lingering trail which adds originality and projection to a composition. Since they themselves come from the bark of trees in the form of crystalised resin “tears,” they pair very well with woody scents.