Cascarilla Bark Essential Oil


Cascarilla Bark (Croton eluteria) essential oil. Steam-distilled from wild-crafted and hand-processed Bahamian shrubs. Very unique aroma; woody, a little spicy, sweet and astringent. You may recognize the aroma as the unique flavor/aroma of Campari liquor. *This batch is not for topical use; diffusing and sample uses only (see why in the full description below).*

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Batch CE-001 (August 2019)

The Cascarilla (Croton eluteria) shrub is native to the Bahamas and its botanical name was inspired by the island of Eleuthera. Its unique and intoxicating aroma drifting into the Atlantic Ocean from Samana Cay is rumored to have drawn in and been remarked upon by Christopher Columbus when he first made landfall in October, 1492.

Cascarilla Bark essential oil is rare and only available by a few distillers, mainly in El Salvador, where a larger and slightly less fragrant variety of the plant is cultivated alongside coffee plantations. Yet the Bahamas is its native land and it grows prolifically on the Bahamas’ outer islands.

The aroma of the bark is truly different; woody, spicy, sweet and astringent at the same time. It is used in the manufacture of Campari and Vermouth liquors to impart an interesting bitter herbal flavor. It is also used in its native lands as a mosquito repellant. This essential oil was a pilot batch in partnership with a small business in Nassau.

The Cascarilla shrub is a fast-growing perennial on its native islands and can be sustainably wild-harvested. The plants are heavily pruned and regrow from the roots each year. We work directly with small scale harvesters that cut Cascarilla branches from healthy and prolific wild populations on Acklins and Crooked Islands, Bahamas. They briefly soak the branches in sea-water to soften the bark before air drying them. The bark is then beaten off the branches with a stick.

*This batch of essential oil is for diffusing and sample purposes only. 

Not for topical or internal use. We had the essential oil chemically analyzed by a 3rd party testing firm and it came back with a 0.39% (3900 ppm) preservative contamination (BHA). We then did some deep diving and discovered that the contamination came from a U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) pesticide fumigation procedure when the bark arrived in the States. Methyl Bromide pesticide solutions are often used on food, wood and grain products. BHA and BHT preservatives are used as antioxidants in those pesticide formulations. All this even though Cascarilla Bark is characteristically insect-repelling!

The FDA doesn’t believe BHA is harmful to people when diluted in foods or cosmetics but most of Europe disagrees. Additionally, the Methyl Bromide would likely be present in the essential oil as well (although at lower concentrations than are identifiable with a traditional essential oil analysis). Therefore, we are selling this batch at a major discount for use in a diffuser or evaluation/sample purposes only. We are working with the USDA permitting department and CBP to ensure no future shipments are fumigated.

The bark is expensive and we are trying to pay the harvesters fairly while starting up this trade relationship, so please understand that another (non-fumigated) batch is forthcoming as interest in this product grows. If you are interested in larger quantities of this difficult to source essential oil or in purchasing the dried Cascarilla Bark, please reach out!

Cascarilla Bark EO – GC Chemical Analysis.

Major Chemical Constituents:

  • Para-Cymene – 14.09%
  • Cascarilladiene – 5.83%
  • α-Thujene – 5.21%
  • Myrcene – 4.64%
  • Linalool – 3.8%
  • α-Pinene – 3.7%
  • γ-Muurolene – 3.25%
  • β-Elemene – 2.98%
  • Limonene – 2.49%
  • β-Caryophyllene – 2.17%

Additional information


2ml Sample-size Bottle ($7), 5ml Euro-Dropper Bottle ($15), 10ml Euro-Dropper Bottle ($28)


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