Family: Zygophyllaceae.

Oleum Ligni Guajaci. - Guajakholzol. - Essence de Bois de Gayac.

Origin and Production. According to Grisebach3), Bulnesia Sarmienti, Lor., is a tree 40 to 60 ft. high which belongs to the family Zygophyllaceae and which is native to the Argentine province Gran Chaco along the middle course of the Rio Berjemo.

1) Watt, Commercial Products of India. London 1908, p. 525.

2) Report of Schimmel & Co. April 1904, 97.

3) Abhandl. d. Konigl. Ges. d. Wissensch. zu Gottingen. Vol. 24, p. 75.

The wood, which is very similar to the common guaiac wood from Guaiacum officinale, L, has been an article of commerce since 1892 under the name of Palo balsamo. It is solid and tough and when exposed to the air assumes a greenish-blue color thus indicating the presence of guaiac resin. When distilled, the wood yields 5 to 6 p.c. of an oil which was first prepared in 1891 by Schimmel & Co.1), and placed upon the market as guaiac wood oil2).

Properties. Guaiac wood oil is a very viscid liquid. When standing at ordinary temperature, it solidifies gradually to a crystalline mass, white or yellowish in color. Having solidified, it melts again between 40 and 50°. The odor of the oil is very pleasant, reminding of violets and of tea. 0,965 to 0,975; aD- 3 to - 8°; nD30o1,503 to 1,504; A. V. 0 to 1,5; E.V. 0 to 5; E. V. after acetylation 100 to 153; soluble in 3 to 5 volumes or more of 70 p.c. alcohol.

Composition. The crystalline constituent of the oil is a sesquiterpene hydrate C15H260, known as guaiac alcohol or guaiol3). This is a tertiary alcohol4) which is odorless and crystallizes in large transparent crystals which melt at 91°5). Under ordinary pressure it boils at 288°, in a vacuum of 10 mm. at 148°. Its chloroformic solution is Isevogyrate. With dehydrating agents a hydrocarbon C15H24 is formed with which is admixed an intensely blue substance. When boiled with acetic acid anhydride a liquid acetyl derivative is formed which boils at 155° under 10 mm. pressure.

The odoriferous substance has not yet been examined.

In perfumery guaiac wood oil is used to produce the tea rose odor. In Bulgaria it has occasionally been employed as an adulterant of oil of rose (p. 574).

1) Report of Schimmel & Co. April 1892, 55; April 1893, 42; April 1898, 26; October 1898, 29 and October 1908, 73.

2) The name "champaca oil" was later applied to this product though it has no similarity with the genuine champaca oil from Michelia Champaca, L (Report of Schimmel & Co. April 1893, 42.)

3) Wallach, Liebig's Annalen 279 (1894), 395.

4) A. Gandurin, Berl. Berichte 41 (1908), 4359.

6) The name champacol (Chem. Ztg. Repert. 17 [1893], 31) for this alcohol is as little justified as the name champaca oil for the oil.