In a previous study of the chemical composition of the essential oil derived from the Algerian cypress, we compared the oil with oil obtained by steam distillation of the terminal branches of cypress trees from the Grasse area. We then noted some differences that affected the relative proportions of certain constituents. The richness in high constituents, in particular, prompted us to begin the study of this higher fraction. Cypress essential oil possesses a dry-down odor which is both woody and amberlike and is greatly appreciated by perfumers; this also makes it worth studying.
We have already shown that fractions with a high boiling point which are very rich in cedrol contain a characteristic odorous constituent: deca-2(E)-4(Z)-dienyl isovalerate (I) and also diterpenic constituents; among the latter sandaracopimaradiene (II), dehydroabietane (III) and manoyl oxide (IV) have been identified (see fig. 1).
Deca-2(E)-4(Z)-dienyl isovalerate contributes to the woody and fruity note of cypress essential oil, which is reminiscent of the odor of juniper berries. However, we have not been able to single out the constituent or constituents with an amber-like odor responsible for the amber-like feature in cypress essential oil.