Cultivar: mainly Femminello
Geographical origin: Sicily (Syracuse, Acireale and Palermo)
Lemon Oil Sfumatrice (Raw):
Pale yellow mobile oil.
Zesty, green, true-to-nature, light sparkling topnote of extraordinary beauty and subtlety. This fleeting note rapidly vanishes giving way to an intense pleasant sweet citral-like body very characteristic of this oil. Basenotes are pleasant, green, slightly aldehydic, soapy, and quite longlasting.
The term ‘Sfumatrice’ refers to the machinery used for cold-extracting the essential oil from the fruit. If you are interested in knowing more about these machines I suggest you to take a look to these manufacturers:
Due to its furocoumarines content this product is limited to 2% in the finished product (leave-on products) by IFRA standards. You can download here the standard specific to this oil.
Furocoumarine-free – decolorized Lemon Oil:
Colourless mobile oil.
This quality closely resembles the cold pressed oil, especially in the middle notes, to a degree that is very difficult to differentiate between the two.
Light, green, subtle and natural refreshing topnote, a tad less sparkling than the ‘Sfumatrice’. Middle notes are typical sweet citral-like. Basenotes are less interesting and less longlasting than the raw oil, more citrusy, heavier and greener, but still refreshing and lemony in the overall aspect.
Free from any colour and phototoxic effect concerns.
To sum up: the two qualities are very close and almost equivalent. The ‘sfumatrice’ oil is more interesting (topnotes and dry-down in particular), however there may be phototoxic issues at high %. The FCF-decolorized oil is more versatile.
You might be interested in the supplier’s website (Simone Gatto), where you can find interesting information about citrus oils, varieties and extraction methods.
See the footnote on Bergamot Oil about old and oxidized oils.
I should add that, unlike oxidized bergamot oils, old oxidized lemon oils are much worse, smelling thicker, woody, almost caramelized. The light, fresh, joyful topnotes have disappeared completely. Basenotes smell turpentine-like.