How to trap a lichen in a bottle? By the way what exactly is this ‘lichen’? Lets start with ‘Photosynthesis’. Photosynthesis is a process used by plants and other organisms to convert light energy, normally from the Sun, into chemical energy. This chemical energy is stored in carbohydrate molecules, such as sugars, which are synthesized from carbon dioxide and water. This energy is later released to fuel the organisms' activities. So most of the species in the plant kingdom are able to photosynthesize. Higher plants, some bacteria and most of algae are the only organisms having the ability to photosynthesis. Some bacteria called Cyanobacteria, also known as Cyanophyta, is a phylum of bacteria that obtain their energy through photosynthesis. They are often called blue-green algae. A bacteria called an algae. Bit confusing! There is another large group of organisms that includes micro-organisms such as yeasts and molds, as well as the more familiar mushrooms. Yes, some of them are edible, one that we eat commonly. Genetic studies have shown that fungi are more closely related to animals than to plants. This group do not have the capability of photosynthesis. Fungi cannot make their food from sunlight, water and carbon dioxide as plants do. This is because they lack the green pigment known as chlorophyll, which plants use to capture light energy. So, like animals, they must obtain their food from other organisms. They do this in three ways. They may break down or 'rot' dead plants and animals. Secondly, they may feed directly off living plants and animals as 'parasites'. Thirdly, by a symbiotic relationship with another plant. The fungi extract food (sugars) that they need from the plants, and in return they supply the plants with some of the nutrients and water which they may require. Thus both the fungi and the plants flourish because of the association. One such symbiotic relationship is called ‘lichen’. This is a symbiotic relationship between fungi and plants or algae and/or cyanobacteria that can carry out photosynthesis. Like all fungi, lichen fungi require carbon as a food source; this is provided by their symbiotic algae and/or cyanobacteria that are photosynthetic. One such lichen is oak moss lichen. This lichen prefers the bark and branches of the sturdy oak, although it can also be found on other deciduous trees and some conifers, like the bark of other deciduous trees and conifers such as fir and pine. It grows in mountainous temperate forests areas throughout much of the Northern Hemisphere. Parts of France, Portugal, Spain, North America, and much of Central Europe have them in abundant. Oakmoss is commercially harvested in countries of South-Central Europe and usually exported to the Grasse region of France where its fragrant compounds are extracted as oakmoss absolutes and extracts. So either oakmoss is collected from the wild or cultivated commercially. Now we got to make something special from them. What we get from oakmoss is an absolute. The process used commonly is called solvent extraction. Solvent extraction is a method for separating a substance from one or more others by using a solvent. It relies on variations in the solubility’s of different compounds in different substances. In most cases, the substance to be extracted, which may be a solid, a liquid or a gas, is dissolved in a liquid, along with other substances, and a liquid solvent is used for the extraction — this is sometimes called liquid-liquid extraction. At times vacuum distillation is also used. The product we get from solvent extraction is called oakmoss absolute. Oakmoss absolute is dark green or even brown in color. It is a very viscous liquid. It has a sweet, strong, natural, earthy-mossy scent with a slight leather undertone. Some describes it as the scent of the wet forest floor. NOW it is ready to be trapped in a bottle. Oakmoss absolute blends well with all other essential oils. It has a high fixative value. The maximum use of this absolute is in perfumery. In perfumes it lends body and a rich natural undertone. Oakmoss is found in many famous brand perfumes such as Paloma Picasso, in the floral-woody-green composition of Chanel #19, in Miss Dior by Dior. If you have used any of these perfumes, you would understand the smell that oak moss imparts to these perfumes. This is how you can trap the oak moss lichen in a bottle.