Brown Boronia

Boronia megastigma Neesboronia close up

Common Name(s): Brown Boronia

Distribution: Coastal swamplands of SW Western Australia. Now widely grown as a garden plant and in Tasmania and New Zealand for oil production.

Description of Plant: A small to medium upright shrub 1.5m x 1m with numerous minutely hairy branches. The leaves are green, compound and 1.5cm in length. Flowering is from later winter to early spring and the flowers are very fragrant , variable in boronia absolutecolour from dark reddish-brown to yellow-green outside, light yellow to yellow-green inside, bell shaped to 1cm in diameter.

Parts Used: Flowers – hand combed from shrubs

Major Chemical Constituents:beta-ionone, dodecyl acetate and the monoterpenes alpha-pinene, beta-pinene and limonene.

Recent research has shown an interesting trend where the yellow or luteal form of the species produces no beta-pinene and less limonene and higher amounts of beta-ionone and dodecyl acetate than the red form.

The odor of the dark orange viscous absolute is said to be: fresh, fruity green, sweet tea-like slightly spicy herbaceous in character.

Therapeutic Properties of Constituents: The current main use for Boronia absolute is in perfumery, cosmetics and in food flavouring, where it enhances most fruit essences. Unfortunately the product is extremely expensive at around $12,000/kg and so I cannot see it being used in Aromatherapy.

Blending: In perfumery blends well with sandalwood, mimosa, and other synthetic and natural flora aromatics.

Method of Application: Perfumery

Extraction Method: Solvent Extraction

Personal experience: The absolute is viscous and slightly overpowering in scent. When diluted substantially (1 drop absolute to 10ml jojoba) the true scent comes through. Sweetly soft, well rounded and floral.