Balsam Fir sap vs. needles: an olfactory comparison of the different parts of the tree Abies balsamea
high fruity note like broken fresh white pine needles without the harsh edge, combined with green apple, and the straw, abstract apple scent of Roman chamomile;
benzoin amber without the burnt sugar note;
styrax liquidambar without the shoe polish top note.
fresh morning rose;
gumstope: the most overlooked (and perhaps defining) note in Abies balsamea needles is the scent of the starch-based adhesive placed along the interior of envelope flaps (the type you have to lick to seal). This odor is like the crust of its perfume, holding a pie jam center.
Photo: about 4 ounces of wild balsam fir sap I harvested this weekend. The sap erupts from blisters and drips down the trunk. I never puncture ("tap") trees, but instead collect the tears that have fallen by gently lifting them off of the bark, needles, and ground with a stylus.
© 2022, Abby Hinsman for Wild Veil Perfume.