SAMA emphasises the ethical sourcing of natural ingredients and is committed to providing highly-effective compounds and delivering the highest quality standards. At SAMA, we select herbal ingredients grown organically in the most suitable locations around the world, harvested at their maturity peak and when the concentration in active ingredients reaches its highest levels. The plants are usually extracted on a small scale by local producers. SAMA develops sustainable partnerships with such producers and, in some cases, even commits to acquiring their annual production, in order to build even stronger relationships. SAMA is thereby able to control the entire supply chain, to source quality ingredients in an ethical manner, to ensure traceability and to enjoy exclusivity for some very rare extracts such as sandalwood, oudh, jasmine, magnolia, immortelle, rose, pomegranate, sea buckthorn, pistachio nut oil, prickly pear seed oil or labdanum resin.
Sandalwood from Australia
Sandalwood is a very precious wood. It has been used as ceremonial incense in India and China for many centuries. It is so precious in fact that it has long been vastly overexploited, and is almost extinct in India and in most of the Pacific islands.
In Australia, sandalwood forests are managed in accordance with the principles of sustainable development, and in partnership with the local communities. Harvesting of wood is strictly regulated, and new trees are regularly being planted, so that native Australian sandalwood remains a renewable natural resource for the future.
Australian sandalwood essential oil is a major ingredient in most of SAMA’s perfumes.
Vanilla from Madagascar
Vanilla is a sacred plant of the ancient Mayas. It originated from Mexico or Guatemala but today, the island of Madagascar has become the world’s leading specialist in growing vanilla. Vanilla is actually an orchid growing as a vine (see picture) in the hot and humid tropical undergrowth.
SAMA purchases natural, organic vanilla pods from fair trade participants only, and uses traditional methods of extraction to obtain the purest, most unadulterated vanilla extract.
Tincture of vanilla is used in most of SAMA’s perfumes, granting them their beautiful amber hue, as well as an intense and lasting scent.SÉRUM SACRÉ derives its subtle fragrance and skin-soothing properties from an infusion of vanilla in virgin oil.
Labdanum from Morocco
Labdanum is an aromatic resin extracted from a purple-pink cistus that grows in the wild in the Rif Mountains of Morocco. In times gone by, it used to be collected with a comb from the fleece of goats that became coated with the resin exuded by the plant’s leaves while pasturing among cistus.
Nowadays, commercially available labdanum is obtained through an extraction method that uses chemical solvents such as hexane or ether, and then distilled into an “absolute”. SAMA refuses to use these so-called labdanum “absolutes” in its formulas and undertakes to produce traditional labdanum in Morocco, in form of a tincture obtained by infusing the fresh, natural leaves in organic grain alcohol.Labdanum is a key note in our AMBAR YAAR Eau de Parfum, to which it gives its warm, amber colour.
Rose from Afghanistan
Every year in Jalalabad, Afghanistan, a Pashto poetry festival takes place around the time when the orange trees are in full bloom. The region is where Mathieu, one of the founders of SAMA, has decided to establish an essential oil distillery in the spring of 2005. In the surrounding valleys, where opium poppies used to grow during the dark years of the war, one can now contemplate the sight and smell the scent of blooming of roses.
Rose and orange blossom essential oils are extracted from the fresh flowers through a steam distillation process. The flowers are hand-picked individually, involving labor-intensive and tiring work.
Celebrated for their anti-ageing properties, rose and orange blossom essential oils are also invaluable for luxurious facial skin care treatments. To this effect, they are formulated into our SÉRUM SACRÉ. The essential oil of orange blossom (also know as neroli) is combined with iris root extract to compose the floral heart note of our JARDIN D’IRIS Eau de Parfum. As for rose oil, it is the shining star of the AMBAR YAAR Eau de Parfum.
Jasmine from Egypt
Jasmine is considered by some to be the queen of flowers.
Jasmine flowers cannot be processed through distillation and they do not yield enough essential oil. In the South of France, jasmine “absolute” was once produced though a traditional method called “enfleurage”, a maceration process involving animal fats. But nowadays, jasmine absolute is usually extracted using chemical solvents such as hexane or ether. SAMA is not willing to use these so-called absolutes for its fragrances, and uses instead an entirely natural jasmine extract, now available in Egypt. It is produced using only natural solvents and is organically certified.
This extract of Egyptian jasmine is combined with magnolia essential oil to make up the “white flower” heart note of our OUDH JASMIN Eau de Parfum.
Oudh from Laos
Oudh is the most precious incense wood in the world. It appears already in humanity’s most ancient writings, the Vedas (“visions” or “sacred knowledge” in Sanskrit), under the name “aguru”. The name survives today in the Indian designation “agar wood”. In Arabic, oudh simply means “wood”.
When the tropical tree called Aquilaria (also called eaglewood or aloeswood) becomes infected by a specific parasite mushroom, it fights back by producing a dark aromatic resin. The resulting heartwood is traditionally collected to be used as incense in a number of countries such as India, Indonesia, Vietnam, Malaysia and New Guinea.
Today, the eaglewood populations are endangered in most of these countries, due to overexploitation and to the loss of their natural habitat. SAMA gets its supplies of sustainable oudh from Laos, where state-of-the-art eaglewood plantations have been established. The cautious inoculation of the parasite mushroom insures a lasting and sustainable production of the precious resin.