This section is from the book "The Volatile Oils Vol2", by E. Gildemeister. Also available from Amazon: The Volatile Oils.
From the bark of Cinnamomum Oliveri, Bail., a tree known in Australia as black, brown or white sassafras, R.T.Baker1) obtained 0,75 to 1 p.c. of oil upon distillation with steam. The oil had a golden yellow color and a very pleasant odor, d 1,001; aD + 22 to + 22,3°. Upon distillation the oil passed over between 213 and 253°, 54 p.c. distilling between 230 and 253°.
The lowest boiling fraction afforded the iodol-cineol reaction. With caustic alkali a small amount of phenol, which turned ferric chloride a blue color - presumably eugenol - was isolated. Bisulphite extracted about 2 p. c. of an aldehyde with the odor of cinnamon, presumably cinnamic aldehyde.
When cooled to - 12° the oil separated crystals which, however, melted as soon as the oil was removed from the freezing mixture (safrol?). The leaves of this tree, formerly erroneously named Beilschmiedia obtusifolia, yielded an oil2) (770 oz. from a ton) with a decided sassafras odor. According to Baker3) it contains a relatively large amount of camphor*).
1) Proceed. Linnean Soc. of N.S.W. 1897, Part 2, p. 275; Pharm. Ztg. 42 (1897), 859.
2) Bericht von Schimmel & Co. April 1887, 38.
3) Journ. Soc. chem. Industry 20 (1901), 169.
4) The Cinnamomum species of Australia have been described by R. T. Baker in vol. 13 of the Australasian Association for the Advancement of Science (May 1, 1912). Baker bases his classification not only on morphological characteristics, but also on the anatomy of the bark and the chemistry of the oils obtained from the wood, the leaves and the bark. As had previously been pointed out by Baker and Smith in connection with the species of Eucalyptus, Baker found that in the case of the Cinnamomum species relations between the ribs of the leaves and the chemical composition of the leaf oils exist that are of great practicaljmportance. In connection with the Cinnamomum species thus far examined in Europe and Australia, it was observed that those which contain camphor are penniveined, whereas the species with trinerved leaves yield oils free from camphor. The importance of this distinction is apparent. In its Cinnamomum trees Australia possesses a domestic source for camphor that has not yet been utilized. Thus the leaves of C. Olivieri yielded a large amount of camphor. The wood also contains this substance. The oil from the bark still awaits examination. C. Laubatii (see footnote 1, p. 442), a species little known as yet, also several other species appear to contain camphor. These observations have led to the planting of Cinnamomum trees along the northern coast for the production of camphor and oil. As yet no reports have been received as to the success of this experiment. Report of Schimmel & Co., April 1911, 38.
According to the same author1), the bark of Beilschmiedia obtusifolia is odorless.