Week sixty-four: CHYPRE (probability 19726), by David Sutton

CHYPRE is a perfume made from sandalwood oils; it takes its name from the French word for Cyprus, the original source of the product. There are many other pleasantly exotic words for plant oils, resins etc; here are just a few of them:

CONIMAthe fragrant resin of a tropical American tree; this word is from the Carib language
COPAIBA, COPAIVAa transparent resin obtained from certain S. American trees, from the Tupi language
DAMAR, DAMMARa hard resin used in making varnish, from the Malay
ELEMIa fragrant resinous substance obtained from various tropical trees, from the Arabic al-lami via Spanish
GALBANUMa gum resin exuding from the stems of certain Asiatic umbelliferous plants, ultimately from the Hebrew helbenah
GARJAN, GURJUNa thin balsam or wood oil derived from an East Indian tree
LABDANUM, LADANUMa gum resin gathered from certain Oriental species of Cistus
OPOPANAXan aromatic gum resin formerly used in medicine; now used in perfume and some incenses. From the Greek opos, juice + panax, a panacea.
PROPOLISa word well-known to apiarists, the resin of tree buds collected by bees
SANDARAC, SANDARACHthe resin of a tropical tree, powdered to form pounce and used in making varnish. (Pounce in this sense is the stuff sprinkled over parchments to stop the ink running).


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