Scientific name: Lindera umbellata
Family name: Lauraceae
Extraction part: Branch and leaf
Extraction method: Steam distillation
Note: Middle note
Main components of essential oil: Linalool, alpha-pinene, geranyl acetate, 1.8 cineole, etc.
Place of origin: Aizu, Fukushima Prefecture
Kuromoji is written in Japanese as “black letters”. This is because of the black patterns on the green branches of the kuromoji.
Kuromoji is an aromatic tree endemic to Japan. It is widely distributed in Honshu, Shikoku, and Kyushu in Japan, but the fragrance of its essential oil is unique to each region. There are also many similar species and variants, such as the “Ooba-kromoji” species found in Minami-Aizu. It is distributed from north of Kanto to Tohoku and southern Hokkaido.
The trunk and branches of the tree are also used as an herbal medicine under the names of Usho and Choushou. Although it has not been used much in Chinese medicine, Japanese people are familiar with this plant and it has been used for various purposes since ancient times. Many of you may also know it as a high-grade toothpick.
You can also smell the fragrance from the trees that grow in the forest.
When you break a branch or rub its leaves, you can feel the fragrance of the kuromoji.
It is said that lumberjacks and hunters who work in the forest used to suck on the branches to relax in the forest and as oral care.
Black locust is a difficult material to collect and the oil extraction rate is not high. As a result, the essential oil of the kuromoji is very expensive.
In Jyuhachinichi(18th), we are allowed to collect the kuromoji while cutting down the trees, but it takes an adult man many hours of work to collect 100 kg of material.
It takes a grown man many hours of work to collect 100 kilograms of material, and only about 0.1 to 0.2 percent of the essential oil can be extracted from that material, which means that only 100 to 200 grams of essential oil can be extracted from 100 kilograms of material. You can see that essential oil is a very precious blessing from the forest.
The scent of kuromoji is woody, fresh, sweet, and gorgeous. Its scent is said to induce relaxation and help you sleep well. This fragrance is recommended when you want to spend a relaxing time.