Living Libations Poplar Buds Absolute is a principle in natural perfumery. Captured from the resinous blossoms of the poplar tree, the buds also known as Balm of Gilead, have been used since Biblical times to ease tension headaches, soothe sore muscles, and alleviate common aches and pains. The buds of the poplar tree burst with magnificent fragrance and replenishing properties. In natural perfumery, Poplar Buds Absolute is used as a sweet, balsamic, honeyed middle note in floral and amber bouquets.
Botanical Name: Populus nigra
Extraction Method: Absolute
Part of Plant Distilled: Buds
Country of Origin: France
Cultivation Method: Wild
Scent Description: Sweet and spicy, rich and balsamic, with a complex bouquet of leather, vanilla, honey, apricots, figs, and freshly mown hay.
Blends with: jasmine, marjoram, lavender, hay, vanilla, tuberose, palmarosa, silver fir, vetiver, patchouli, sandalwood, lime, lemon, palo santo, orris root and cinnamon
This thick absolute is best experienced in dilution, bottled in 50% organic alcohol it is ready to go for use in exquisite perfumery and aromatherapy blends.
In ancient times, people would steep poplar buds in hot water to make a muscle relaxing medicinal tea. Poplar buds are also known as the Balm of Gilead, which is referenced throughout the Bible and many Arabic texts as a source of eternal healing. For centuries, the oil has been used to treat gout, digestive problems, urinary tract infections and liver issues.
Poplar buds naturally produce a sticky substance called salicin. During distillation, this substance is infused into the oil – along with its medicinal benefits. Salicin is traditionally believed to be a natural “aspirin”, offering pain relief and anti-inflammatory benefits for the muscles, organs, and the skin.
In addition to pain relief and medical applications, Poplar Buds Absolute offers targeted anti-inflammatory action for the skin. According to author Jennifer Peace Rhind, this oil inhibits an enzyme in the human skin known to cause inflammation. When exposed to UV rays, this enzyme, known as HLE, can cause inflammation that leads to skin damage like wrinkles.
Poplar Buds Absolute is also a wonderful oil for natural perfume making. Its complexity and tenacity make it a versatile choice for many blends – it can be used as a subtle base, a middle note, or a fixative. The spicy, balsamic nature of poplar buds make this essence perfect for floral bouquets, balsamic bouquets, forest and grass colognes, or adding subtle hints of fruit and leather to any blend.
Spiritually, Poplar Buds Absolute is associated with the freedom of the wild wind, because that’s how poplar seeds are spread. That wild, windy essence infuses this oil with eternal freedom and a longing to roam open plains and rustle forever in deep forests.
“The sun shone warm, the grass, wherever it had not been scraped away, revived and showed green not only on the narrow strips of lawn on the boulevards but between the paving-stones as well, and the birches, the poplars and the wild cherry-trees were unfolding their sticky, fragrant leaves, and the swelling buds were bursting on the lime trees.”
~ Leo Tolstoy, Resurrection
“Poplar bud absolute is an opaque, golden, viscous substance, with a tenacious, sweet, cinnamon-like, balsamic odour, with resinous and coumarinic undertones. Research has also demonstrated that poplar bud absolute showed strong inhibitory activity against an enzyme that is present in the skin, human leukocyte elastase (HLE), in vitro. This enzyme is important in the pathophysiology of inflammation, and is involved in the matrix proteins collagen and elastin. UV exposure will stimulate HLE activity, hence the ultimate visible effect of sun damage to the skin, including wrinkles and loss of elasticity.”
~ Jennifer Peace Rhind, Fragrance and Wellbeing: Plant Aromatics and Their Influence on the Psyche