Linden Blossom – The Complex Essential Oil

Linden tea is widely available.
The essential oil, not so.
The scent of the essential oil of Linden Blossom (also called Lime Blossom) is delicate and Spring-like, yet so complex that you'd swear you are sniffing a mixture of several scents that have been carefully composed to create an experience of smelling sweet Spring air. Perhaps this is why Linden is coveted as a perfume ingredient and predominantly used as such. When added to the right mix, it brings sweetness and lightness.

I started looking for it years ago after noting it on numerous ingredients lists from one of the priciest cosmetics brands on the market. My (naive) thought was that "it must be a vital and an enormously powerful active ingredient if this upscale, super-pricey brand has it in almost everything they produce". It wasn't until I got my first whiff of the essential oil that I realized it was being used mainly for fragrance. I promptly forgave the company, though. The scent was absolutely intoxicating.

More Than Just a Pretty scent
Traditionally used as an herbal remedy, Linden (INCI: Tilia Cordata) was used for respiratory problems (colds, flu, sore throat, coughs) and taken as a tea. For skin care, Linden is an anti-inflammatory and conditioning agent that soothes and relaxes. It is said to help release tension in the face, making it an ideal ingredient for any facial product. But I'll be quite honest – the fragrance is so delicious that I would forgive it for doing nothing but smell great. At the same time, it is a scent that should be taken 'in small doses' as it has the ability to become cloying if over-used.

Exclusive and Elusive
Although Linden is widely availably as an herbal tea, the essential oil is difficult to sourceBoth essential oil and hydrosol are made by steam-distilling the blossoms, and has to be processed immediately upon harvesting (if memory serves, within a single day). Cultivation is also limited. The Linden I use is produced in France, and to my knowledge, this is the only country in the world that produces the essential oil. 

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