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Wednesday, June 3, 2009

a little better than before

When I found out that Brazilian Rosewood was endangered due to its key role in the perfume industry and farming, I decided not to use it.  The sad thing is, I'd gone through about 16 ounces of it before I happened upon this discovery, as it was not my suppliers who made this information available.  None of my suppliers made it known and they still carried it and one still does.  *email sent*   This species has been on the CITES endangered list since 1992, yet "finished goods" from the Rosewood tree are completely legal even if obtained outside the law, based on what I've read.  I have found sustainable Rosewood, but am sad that irresponsible harvesting is still supported.  There is just no substitute for this amazing oil and I can't imagine never being able to smell it again.  From Herbal Gram - The Journal of the American Botanical Council:

"There have been numerous efforts to find alternative sources of linalool. Many have been found which are suitable for various consumer products; however, the linalool from rosewood is irreplaceable for perfumery, at least with respect to efforts to maintain the original formula for some market leaders like Chanel No. 5. This is due to the unique combination of percentages of (+) and (-) linalool. A major part of linalool used commercially for various purposes (home products, some lower-cost perfumes) is synthetic, and a racemic mixture of (+) and (-) isomers. What gives rosewood essential oil its unique smell is the unique combination of the percentages of the (+) and (–) isomers, which are difficult to obtain via commercial synthesis or from alternative plant sources. This means that in terms of conservation, major commercial users need to use the synthetic and alternative natural sources, while those that for whatever reason still must use the original essential oil must invest in sustainable management of existing rosewood trees as well as reforestation of new trees. (E. Elisabetsky, e-mail, July 7, 2006.)"

"Some scientists, meanwhile, have noted that natural rosewood oil can be obtained through sustainable means. Stems and leaves of rosewood trees also produce an oil rich in linalool, meaning that distillation of these regenerative tree parts can derive the fragrant oil previously extracted only from the destruction of full rosewood trees.3 AVIVE plans to employ just such methods in the production of its own rosewood-scented products (B. Schmal, e-mail, March 13, 2006). For this purpose, the women of AVIVE have planted and are tending a plantation of 2,000 young rosewoods. They have further engaged in partnerships with Precious Woods Amazon, a supplier of sustainably sourced exotic wood, and with land owners in their district, which has resulted in cooperative management of forest areas and has enabled AVIVE’s sustainable use of those areas’ non-wood forest products."

On a related note, I'm also happy to report that I get my Palm Oil from a supplier who sells RSPO certified Palm.  You can read more here

All the problems are not solved, but with each step, we get closer and closer to leaving a smaller footprint.  Now that you're conscious and aware, I'd like to introduce the new organic carrot juice & fair trade shea butter facial bar with sustainable Rosewood, Patchouli and Tea Tree.


holly wynne said...

That blend sounds like heaven. Will hopefully be purchasing--once I finish all the awesome swag I got for free :). (Loving it all, by the way!)

FuturePrimitive said...

Kat, have you tried Ho Wood as a replacement...s'nice x

kat said...

I actually read about Ho Wood while writing this post. Perhaps I shall. Thanks Tiggy!

Kim said...

Awesomeness: you has it.