Information submited: March 12, 2014 Modified: March 23, 2018 By: OperaDreamhouse
Botanical Name: Magnolia × alba
Common Method of Extraction: Steam Distillation
Part Typically Used: Blossom
Color: Pale green in hue
Perfumery Note: Top
Strength of Initial Aroma: Light, fruity-floral with sweet buttery undertones, a little sharp edge, intensely green and herbaceaous.
There are more than 200 different species and it is not easy to discern exactly which is which. The plant is considered to originate in Central Asia, the Americas and West Indies. In the Himalayas, China and Japan it has a long history of use in traditional medicine. Later it was brought to many other countries and continents to finally be introduced to Europe in the 17th century. Magnolia is believed to be one of the most ancient flowering plants, fossilized specimens have been dated as far back as 95 million years. The tree existed well before the bee and pollination was, and still is to a degree, done by beetles.
White Champaca, the leaves, flowers, and form of which resemble Magnolia, but the blossoms off Michelia generally form clusters among the leaves, rather than singly at the branch ends as Magnolia does. It does belong to the Magnolia family. It is sometimes known as Michelia Alba or White Sandalwood. Magnolia (Michelia x Alba) is a cross between Magnolia champaca and Magnolia Montana, with a fragrance similar to Magnolia champaca. It is a tall, evergreen tree with creamy white flowers.
The essential oil of Magnolia comes mainly from China. Michelia x alba (also called “White champaca”, “White Jade Orchid Tree”, “Bai Yu Lau”) and Magnolia fargesii are the main species, from which the flowers are distilled. The flowers are picked at night, when the scent is at its peak and the scent is absolutely divine. The flowers start emitting the perfume early in the morning, the fragrance becoming more intense during late afternoon and by night fills in the entire space around.
Magnolia × alba matures to 30 meters with evergreen leaves. The flowers have a count of 12 sepals. Magnolia × alba is widely cultivated as an ornamental in Asia, particularly tropical and subtropical regions of China and Southeast Asia for the strongly fragrant flowers. Plant magnolias in full sun or partial shade. The more sun light, the more flower production, but many species are subject to leaf sunburn in hot areas. Most magnolias prefer full sun.
An essential oil is extracted from the flowers. In China, where it is known as bai lan, the flowers are used to prepare yulan tea. Michelia x Alba is a symbol of one of the largest cities in the world Shanghai, the Capital of economic zone of China.
Owing to its exotic and beautiful fragrance, the flower extract is used as a primary ingredient in various most expensive perfumes of the world.