The Amazon is the world's richest forest. The history of the Amazon is filled with stories of over exploitation of her riches. The story of the Rosewood tree – one of the world's best smelling trees – is no exception.
These trees were once ravenously consumed, even pulled up by the roots, to feed the world's desire for its essential oil and wood.
Floracopeia is extremely proud to support a project that is working toward a more hopeful future for this amazing tree. We are excited to offer this exquisitely healing essential oil for the enjoyment of our customers, while simultaneously working to help this precious botanical to flourish once again.
Our Rosewood Essential Oil is CITES certified.
The Rosewood Tree
Palo rosa, or Brazilian rosewood, was named for the amazingly rich floral aroma in every part of the tree. It is a large canopy tree. When the perfumery industry discovered the amazing scent of this tree, it was exploited nearly to the point of extinction. Because every part of this majestic tree is aromatic, they were literally ripped from the ground – roots and all – to feed the industry.
Entire populations of the rosewood tree were "harvested", with the wood being shredded and chipped and distilled in the middle of the jungle. Of course, the raw materials were limited, and soon the perfumery industry was forced to turn to synthetic, chemical equivalents for their product. This meant that the brief boom in prosperity for the people of the region was gone. Tragically, so was this precious tree.
Fortunately, today the trade of the precious wood and oil from this tree is protected by CITES regulation.
Regeneration and New Hope
Our partners in Peru consider finding the rosewood seeds a "holy grail" for their project. They are on a mission to protect and restore the most endangered trees of the Amazon. Due to the incredibly endangered state of this tree, it took them five years to source the seedlings! Now, baby rosewoods are carefully cultivated in their nurseries, in order to be planted at their reforestation center at the start of each rainy season.
In addition, this project has teamed up with another initiative in order to cultivate seedlings and bring them to the native peoples of the Amazon. Thousands of seedlings are being brought home to once indigenous regions.
The most exciting part of this project is that our partner has worked to refine the process of collecting material for essential oil distillation. Because the rosewood produces essential oil from literally every part of the plant, they are able to carefully prune branches to distill. This is actually beneficial, rather than harmful, to the plant.