quantity in basket: none
code: 11270


Latin Binomial: Pimenta racemosa
Extraction: Steam Distilled
Growing Practice: Ethical
Country of Origin: Jamaica
Odor Type: FRUITY


Odor Chracteristic: The odor is described by some as being "obnoxious", with a 'sickly' sweet characteristic. To others, it is fresh, sweet and strongly aromatic. It is phenolic.

Refractive Index: 1.50500 to 1.51700 @ 20.00 °C.
Specific Gravity: 0.94300 to 0.98400 @ 25.00 °C.
Appearance: yellow to amber brown clear oily liquid
BioChemical Class: Phenol ethers
CAS No: 8006-78-8

About the Plant

The bayberry or bay rum tree Pimenta racemosa is a broadleaved tropical evergreen native to the islands of the Caribbean West Indies, also northern S. America, now widely cultivated. The genus contains two species: the bay rum and allspice Pimenta dioica. These spicily scented trees are members of the Myrtaceae, the myrtle family. It is a short to medium sized tree, growing to 20-30 ft. in height with obovate to oblanceolate leaf blades, finely veined with 5-lobed white flowers. It grows in dry and moist forests and open ares up to 3,000 ft. elevation.

According to the British Pharmaceutical Codex of 1911, the essential oil of bay rum has two distinct fractions upon distillation of the leaves. The first fraction distills out quickly and is a light weight oil that floats on water. The second fraction distills more slowly and is a heavy weight oil that sinks in water. The two oils were recombined to make oleum pimentae foliorum, oil of pimento leaves. Arctander reports that it is customary to add salt to the distillation. The oil can have quite variable qualities and is frequently adulterated.


Bay rum was a popular aftershave in the early 20th century. It was literally made by distilling the leaves of the tree and rum. Consequently, the aftershave has its spicy notes from the bay and its smoky, woody tones from the rum aged in casks. Although now uncommon, the aftershave is still available from St. Johns and other islands. The real bay rum aftershave does not come cheap, but with its wonderful scent, it is worth it. And, no, once made into aftershave, the mix should not be imbibed. Long before bay rum was a toiletry, it was used to ease pain. Bay rum probably first came about as a 'rub' for sore muscles, strains, and sprains. Additionally, it was discovered that the essential oil contains a diterpene that has anti-bacterial properties.
Aromatherapy: Bay Rum has been suggested as an aromatic additive to help moderate the intense and strong odor of some Eucalyptus oils. Bay Rum oil is also suggested, diluted, as a stimulating scalp tonic.

Perfumery This oil is used extensively in hair products, after shave lotions and other men's fragrance lines.

R.I.F.M. reports a 1971 study of no irritation or sensitization on humans using a 10% dilution. Possible cross-sensitization with Costus root oil. Handbook of Cosmetic Materials, 1954, suggests dermatitis in hypersensitive individuals.

The information provided on these pages is not a substitute for necessary medical care, nor intended as medical advice. Always keep aromatic extracts tightly closed and in a cool, dark place, out of reach of children. Never ingest aromatic extracts. Always dilute aromatic extracts when applying topically and avoid areas around eyes or mucous membranes. If redness or irritation occurs, stop using immediately and contact your health provider if necessary.