Plant of the month – March: Peru Balsam

Balsam of Peru is used in the heart of orientals to accompany vanilla and woody accords. Its gourmand facet blends perfectly with chocolate and caramel accords. The more cinnamic and animal notes add a rounder touch to tobaccos and leathers.

The harvest takes place over seven months of the year, with peak production from December to May during the dry season. The collectors climb ropes to a height of more than 20 meters to remove the bark from the tree. The wound is burned with a flaming stick to stimulate exudation of the balsam. The balsameros (harvesters) apply cloths to the incision to absorb the secreted balsam. After a few weeks, the cloths saturated with the precious resin are pressed and the balsam filtered.

We process the balsam ourselves at our production center in Seville by distillation under vaccum. Its main constituents are benzyl benzoate and trans-benzyl cinnamate.

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