CAJEPUT ESSENTIAL OIL (MELALEUCA CAJEPUTI):
Botanical Name: Melaleuca cajeputi
Common Method of Extraction: Steam distillation
Part Typically Used: Fresh leaves and twigs
Color: Pale yellow
Perfumery Note: Middle
Strength of Initial Aroma: extremely pungent, has the odor of a mixture of turpentine and camphor.
The name “cajeput” is derived from its Indonesian name, “kayu putih” or “white wood“.
Cajeput essential oil, Melaleuca cajuputi, also called White tea tree essential oil, White tree essential oil, and Swamp tea tree essential oil, is closely related to other members of the Melaleuca group, notably eucalyptus, niaouli, and tea tree.
Cajeput oil is a volatile oil obtained by distillation from the leaves of the myrtaceous tree Melaleuca leucadendra.This tree is also called the Melaleuca cajeputi and the Cajeput oil tree. The trees yielding the oil are found throughout Maritime Southeast Asia and over the hotter parts of the Australian continent. The majority of the oil is produced on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi.
This tree has thick white wood. It is found in Australia, the islands between Australia and Malaysia and in Indonesia. Other species of Melaleuca may also be used to make cajeput oil, like Melaleuca minor. The oil is distilled from the leaves and twigs of this tree. However, before distillation, the mixture is fermented for some time. Since the oil is steam distilled, it is organic and retains its original nutrients.
The flexible trunk has a white spongy bark that flakes off easily. The trees, and especially the essential oils, are held in high regard throughout the East.
The oil is prepared from leaves collected on a hot dry day, macerated in water, and distilled after fermenting for a night.
Also sometimes referred to as the white tea tree, the cajeput tree originated from the Malayan coastal plains. An evergreen, vigorous growing tree, it can reach 30 meters and has a whitish spongy bark with a crooked trunk. It is known in ancient India as Kayaputi and was also revered in the East for all its uses.