Broom (Genêt) in Perfumery

English name "Broom" is literally derived from a broom being made from the plant’s twigs. There are several shrubs of the genus Genista (hence, the French name “Genêt” and “Ginster” in German). Of several species of Spartium (fam, Ieguminosae), known as broom, Spartium junceum L. is used in perfumey. It grows wild in the Mediterranean countries. According to Guenther, the yellow-golden flowers possess an odor “reminiscent of orange blossoms and grape.” Another source describes the genêt flower odor as “dusty-sweet, somewhat leathery and neroli-like.”

Mode of Production, Type of Oil, Yield

Natural broom flower oil is produced in the Grasse region of Southern France and Italy. In the past, enfleurage (cold fat) was the method used for obtaining the flower oil. Alcohol extraction produced infusions or extracts, which were numbered according to the concentration of the flower oil they contained. A more modern method is the extraction with volatile solvents, resulting in broom concrete, and on treatment with alcohol, in broom absolute. The absolute can be further treated to obtain a decolonized absolute.

About 1,200 kg of flowers are required to yield 1 kg of concrete which gives 0.30 to 0.35 kg of alcohol-soluble absolute. The absolute is viscous oil of a dark-brown color.

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