Amyris oil appears to lack the well documented, historically rich background of other essential oils. This is largely due to the fact that the botanical origin of the tree that is used to produce amyris oil, was not truly identified until 1886. Until that year, it was mistakenly considered to be sandalwood. It wasn’t recognized as a separate plant species until two people named Kirby and Holmes completely a microscopic evaluation of amyris leaves, thus allowing the botanical name to change from Schimmerelia oleisera to Amyris balsamifera. Since that time it has also been called Candle Wood, West Indian Sandalwood and Poor Man’s Sandalwood. Amyris oil is obtained by steam distillation of the wood from this tree, belonging to the Rue family. Some people refer to it as candle wood, because the wood contains such a high level of oil, that it is said to burn like a candle. Amyris balsamifera is an aromatic, medium-sized tree standing 16 to 43 feet (5 to 13 meters) tall. It is bushy in nature and produces a white flower.
As a note, amyris oil is a bottom (base) note. Bottom notes describe scents that remains after all other scents have evaporated. On a paper scent strip, this scent may last for several months. These essential oils are typically sweet and earthy scents that may promote inner strength and a sense of grounding. Commonly found in this category are amyris oil, amber oil, cedar wood oil, cinnamon oil, patchouli oil, sandalwood oil, fir oil, pine oil, juniper oil and vetiver oil. Middle notes are essential oils that possess flowery or spicy scents and may promote emotional balance. Top notes are essential oils that are refreshing and mentally stimulating. Amyris oil also helps anchor top and middle notes for the purpose of perfume making.
The sweet, balsamic, wood-like fragrance of Amyris oil allows it to blend well with geranium oil, pine oil, spruce oil, cedar wood oil, myrrh oil, galbanum oil, frankincense oil, cypress oil, clove oil, aniseed oil, lemon oil, orange oil, cistus oil and rose absolute oil. It is a less expensive often used replacement for Sandalwood oil, but it many say the scent is not as appealing. Amyris oil has also been used in soap and in a more limited capacity to flavor liquors.
Therapeutically, amyris oil has historically been associated with antiseptics, wound cleaners, childbirth recovery, diarrhea and influenza. In 2006, a study titled “Adult Repellency and Larvicidal Activity of Five Plant Essential Oils Against Mosquitoes” was conducted by Junwei Zhu, Xiaopeng Zeng, YanMa, Ting Liu, Kuen Qian, Yuhua Han, Suqin Xue, Brad Tucker, Gretchen Schultz, Joel Coats, Wayne Rowley and Aijun Zhang. This study compared the repellency of 5 plant essential oils: thyme oil, catnip oil, amyris oil, eucalyptus oil, and cinnamon oil. 3 mosquito species were tested and “amyris oil demonstrated the greatest inhibitory effect”
Chemically, 95% of Amyris oil’s composition is comprised of fifty-six constituents. Of these 56 constituents, Amyris oil is dominated by sesquiterpene alcohols. Of the sesquiterpene alchohols, valerianol makes up 43.8%, with a lesser amount of ?-eudesmol making up 15.4%.
Dilute to 5% or less in a carrier oil before skin application. Keep out of eyes and keep out of the reach of children.