Sunday, May 13, 2007

Pau Rosa (Rosewood)

Rosewood (Aniba rosaeodora) is certainly one of the most famous of all the trees in the Amazon. In the 18th century this species was almost cut into extinction, not for the wood, but for the natural oils used in the perfume business. I shouldn't seclude it to the perfume industry because back in those days it was added to soaps, shampoos and everything else that needed a fragrance. The most noted scent using rosewood oil was that of Chanel No. 5, a perfume concocted by a Russian perfume maker around 1920. It became legendary in the 1950s when Marilyn Monroe touted it at a press conference as the only thing she wore when going to bed. You'll get the rest of the story when you do a tour at the Bosque.

The sample of rosewood in the image was given to me by my friend João at the Muiraquitão Arts and Crafts store in Santarém. I understood that it was left over from a stock of the wood he had kept in the store for many years.

No comments: