GRAND FIR [Abies
& Jeanne Rose
[fall 2001 issue of the Aromatic News]
This large, grand tree is Abies
grandis, the Grand
Fir that lives in the coniferous forests of the Northwest as well as
being used as a landscape tree in many places of the world.
, Grand Fir is used throughout the city for its shapely beauty and
scent. In Strybing
Arboretum, in the
(which 100 years ago was a lake on the edge of the Sunset District),
the Grand Fir has a prominent place.
When walking in the
, take along a 5 foot long hooked
cane so that you can pull down a branch of this handsome tree and
smell the needles. There is a confer and citrus note to the needles
that is particularly appealing.
History: Kwakwakawaku shamans wove its branches into headdresses and
costumes and used the branches for scrubbing individuals in
purification rites. The
Hesquiat tribes used its branches as incense and decorative clothing
for wolf dancers. Grand
Fir bark was sometimes mixed with Stinging Nettles and boiled and
the resulting decoction used for bathing and as a general tonic.
The Lushoot tribe boiled needles to make a medicinal tea for
colds (it contains vitamin C). The
Hesquait mixed the pitch of young trees with animal oil and rubbed
it on the scalp as a deodorant and to prevent baldness.
Abies alba which is
the tallest European tree and lives to 350 years is much grown for
construction work and telegraph poles and was favoured by the Greeks
and Romans for building fast warships, especially for oars of
triremes. But since 1900
this tree has been much attacked by aphids and has been replaced by A.
grandis (D. Don) Lindley (white or giant fir) from
. This tree reaches 100
meters and was introduced into
in 1834 and grew to a height of more than 62 meters by 1989.
Current Uses: Grand Fir has that delicious holiday Christmas tree
odor. It is green and
vegetative in its back note, slightly citrus in its subsidiary note
and strongly coniferous in the top note.
The smell is rich and sweet and joyous.
Grand fir is used at the holiday season to scent the air and
keep it fresh and airy or to aerate the sickroom. Use a mixture of
10% Grand fir to 90% water or a conifer hydrosol to spray the room
and scent the air or use 50•50 Grand Fir to Rosemary or mint
hydrosol water solution for refreshing the sick room.
When using at holiday time and this includes any time during
the season between All-Hallows and Valentines Day, spray the tree,
spray your rooms, spray the wreaths, spray the bathrooms, spritz the
decorations or the furniture, to keep everything fresh and smelling
Perfumery and Cosmetics: Grand fir can be added as a fresh note to
many different types of perfume blends. When one is traveling and
comes across those nasty smelling
amenities that smell of Bitter Almonds
it is only Grand Fir essential oil that can be added to the
shampoo or hand lotion samples that will negate the bitter almond
smell and add its own delicious sweet conifer note. Grand Fir
essential oil mixed with other essential oils can act either as
scent or therapy to all kinds of custom skin care products. Grand
Fir can also be used as an inhalant with other conifers for all
types of respiratory
problems and conditions.
Contraindications for this oil:
Rose Aromatherapy has a Holiday/Party Essential Oil
kit that contains this rare and beautiful oil for all your
environmental needs. The
kit normally retails for $45 + $8.50 for shipping and
handling. It contains 5 other essential oils, all pure and
undiluted and ready for use. The kit with its selection of
oils is packaged in a handmade tapestry bag with a holiday
motif and contains a laminated card with all directions for
219 Carl St.
All rights reserved 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006. No part of this article may
be used without prior permission from Jeanne Rose.
© Authors Copyright Jeanne Rose,