Oil of guaiac

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Oil of guaiac is a fragrance ingredient used in soap and perfumery. Despite its name it does not come from the Guaiacum tree, but from the palo santo tree (Bulnesia sarmientoi).[1]

Oil of guaiac is produced through steam distillation of a mixture of wood and sawdust from palo santo. It is sometimes incorrectly called guaiac wood concrete. It is a yellow to greenish yellow semi-solid mass which melts around 40–50 °C. Once melted, it can be cooled back to room temperature yet remain liquid for a long time. Oil of guaiac has a soft roselike odour, similar to the odour of hybrid tea roses or violets. Because of this similarity, it has sometimes been used as an adulterant for rose oil.[2]

Oil of guaiac is primarily composed of 42–72% guaiol, bulnesol, δ-bulnesene, β-bulnesene, α-guaiene, guaioxide and β-patchoulene. It is considered non-irritating, non-sensitizing, and non phototoxic to human skin.

Oil of guaiac was also a pre-Renaissance remedy to syphilis.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Guaiac Wood perfume ingredient, Guaiac Wood fragrance and essential oils Bulnesia sarmienti". Fragrantica.com. 1921-04-04. Retrieved 2016-01-14.
  2. ^ Guenther, Ernest (1992). The Essential Oils: Individual Essential Oils of the Plant Families. Krieger Publishing Company. p. 28. ISBN 9780894647734. Retrieved 19 October 2017.

Further reading[edit]

  • D.L.J. Opdyke, 1974, Food Cosmet. Toxicol., 12 (Suppl.), 905