Divine scent from a sacred tree
The champaka flower is considered as one of the most precious among the Indian flowers, with its unique and divine scent elevating offerings in holy temples. In India, the flowers are used for decoration and their alluring scent is employed as a natural aphrodisiac perfume; its flowers exude a seductive fragrance that is deemed very pleasing to women, but also to the Gods.
This is why you will find it growing in temple gardens or near dwellings, so the sweet smelling flowers can bring sanctity and joy to all who pass nearby. Champaka is particularly sacred to Krishna, the Indian God of love and romance and it can be used to evoke sensuality, love and tenderness in all rites of love and also included in love charms and amulets. This sacred oil of the heart chakra, represents more than just worldly love, it symbolises unconditional, universal love tuning us into the vibration of divine love and beauty.
Fragrant tree of the mountains
Champaka is an evergreen or semi-deciduous tree that is a small to medium-sized and native to the Himalayan regions of northern India, the Philippines and Indonesian islands. It now grows in southeast China, Réunion and Madagascar. This plant, of the Magnoliaceae family, falls into a genus of about 45 Asian trees and shrubs that are closely related to the genus Magnolia. It boasts beautiful deep orange-yellow flowers that vary in colour according to locality and they are solitary or rarely in pairs. It was classified in the 18th Century and named for Florentine botanist; Peter A. Michel (1679-1737) the name 'champaka' is a specific epithet after the Hindu name.
Occasionally champaka is confused with champaca wood oil, which does not derive from the same tree, but is an alternative name for the South American guaiacum tree. Champaka is regarded as one of the most sacred trees of India and tropical Asia and all parts of the tree are considered medicinal and are utilised in various remedies.
Seductive sensual scent is magnetic
Champaka is highly sought after for its aroma and is primarily used to create exclusive, exotic perfumes. A solid “concrete” is obtained first by using solvent extraction, from which alcohol is separated to make the absolute; waxes and other impurities are extracted by using the freezing point operation. The resulting absolute is one of the most enticing, exotic floral scents imaginable, indeed a precious luxury perfume material. This sultry scent is deep, rich and intense with intoxicating, sweet floral notes layered beneath suave fruit and earthy tea-like tonalities. Its complex aroma has faintly minty and herbaceous notes that linger in the background and the dry down oozes forth notes of hay, dried fruits and hints of tobacco.
Champaka absolute is extraordinary and blends well with rose, jasmine, ylang ylang, neroli, sandalwood and other floral scents. It enhances all blends with a mysterious oriental quality that is pleasantly received by everyone and rounds out the bouquet. Thousands of fresh flowers are required to produce the absolute and accordingly the pure stuff is very expensive, and as usual, there are lots of synthetic mimickers on the market that do not measure up to the real thing. Indeed, the most costly perfume in the world, a fragrance known as ‘Joy’, which was created for the French fashion house Jean Patou in 1930, contains the essence of these flowers.
Euphoric antidepressant oil
Champaka oil is generally considered too expensive to employ in everyday medicinal products, however if you could afford to use it in exclusive bespoke massage oil blends, not only does champaka support healthy joints and muscles, but also it is also deeply relaxing and calming to the central nervous system.
Keep it for the “boudoir” for those special occasions when an alluring, voluptuous aphrodisiac is required and trust in its effectiveness.
Champaka excels when employed for psychotherapeutic blends and perfumes and is understood to be anti-depressant because of how well it it soothes and relaxes the body and reassures the mind. It is specially indicated for depression characterised by lethargy and indecision. It also strengthens the mind as it warms, calms, reduces stress, aids breathing and can induce a sort of euphoria. In India, champaka is used for relief of vertigo and headaches, which makes a champaka perfume quite useful - not just hypnotic and alluring. Champaka absolute is grounding, warming and enhancing for self-esteem. It is wonderfully healing for the psyche to assuage the malaise of those suffering from menstrual difficulty, PMT or menopausal issues.
Renders skincare exclusive and efficacious
Champaka is an excellent skin moisturiser and rejuvenator and a superb active ingredient for skincare products especially for dry, ageing or mature skin and it may be added to jojoba oil to use for the neck and décolletage (upper chest) areas. A few drops of champaka would render any cosmetic into an exclusive, high-quality facial product and would be a blessing for those wanting specific help for facial scarring or to calm irritated or inflamed skin. When added to facial oil it could help to release the often-tense temporo-mandibular muscles of the jaw and could be of help for those people who tend to grind their teeth. Indian women no doubt have used champaka for scenting hair-conditioning oils and so we too can add a small amount of this exquisite scent to shampoos and conditioners and revel in its exotica.
Rare and hard to come by
Most of the Indian producers make champaka into ”attar”, which means adding it to a sandalwood base. It is not commonly known in western aromatherapy, however those who have used in it perfumery are well aware of how extraordinary this absolute can be in a blend.
Champaka absolute is rare and hard to come by. Because the flowers have long been culturally significant in the devotional rituals of India, our supplier sources flowers that are carefully plucked from and with no damage to established trees in an area where new trees are continually being cultivated. Thus, our absolute represents a step in the right direction for sustainably sourced fragrance materials.
Indications: anti-depressant, induces euphoria, reduces stress; vertigo, headaches, calms nerves, aphrodisiac, moisturiser.