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INCI: Saussurea costus
CAS: 8023-88-9
EINECS:  639-571-1
Flavouring according to EC regulation 1334/2008

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Saussurea costus (Asteracee)

Type: Conventional
Origin: India

Also known in Hindi as "Kuth", the Costus originates from northern India and southwestern China where it is endemic between 2,500 and 3,000 meters of altitude. It consists of a big erect perennial plant that can reach two meters in height; the leaves have serrated edges, numerous dark-colored flowers and a tap root which in the East has been used for millennia - as well as to extract the precious essential oil - both as incense and as an herbal remedy in the treatment of digestive disorders and respiratory ailments.


The essential oil is obtained by steam distillation of the roots of the plant previously dried and macerated in hot water. It is presented as a dark liquid (sometimes almost viscous) of a reddish brown color that releases a peculiar "animal" note that reminescent of leather, very tenacious, with a subtle woody-moldy undertone.
It combines well with the essential oils of: Agarwood, Ambrette, Balsamo of Per˙, Ethiopian olibanum, Labdanum, Patchouli, Rose, Sandalwood, Sweet myrrh, Vetiver, Ylang ylang well as with the Oakmoss absolute.

(according to
popular herbalist tradition)

Costus essential oil has always symbolized a raw material that is as coveted as it is unavailable, representing - even today - a very rare and precious product; not surprisingly, since ancient times, it has been counted among the most adulterated raw materials of all.
Non-toxic and - except in exceptional cases - non-irritating, it has pronounced fixing properties, as well as anticancer, antiseptic, antiviral, stimulating and tonic properties.
The very little pure and natural distillate in circulation finds classic use in perfumery both as a fixative both as a fragrance component, especially when a warm and persistent note is required.
Unusual its use in the food industry which used it as a flavoring for sweets and for alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.

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