Ambrette seed or muskdana
Ambrette seed or muskdana (Abelmoschus moschatus) is a native annual herb. Its seeds possess arom similar to that emitted by muskpoda produced by male musk dear. The seed coat contains an essential oil which essentially is a mixture of farnesol and ambrettolide besides a few other minor aroma-compounds. The crop is cultivated in small pockets all over the subtropical tracts in India. Its aromatic oil is used in perfumery, cosmetics and scents. It imparts musky odour to products like sachets, pan masala and insense-sticks. A large part of seed crop is exported to European countries.
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Aromatically, Ambrette Seed Absolute is a rich, woody, musky oil that is wonderful to work with and experiment with when creating exotic, oriental or masculine blends. It is also said to act as an aphrodisiac.
Ambrette is and erect, annual herb covered with hispid hair. It grows up to 2m tall over rich fertile land. Leaves are palmately lobed with long petioles and bear flowers in upper axil of leaves. The petals are yellow with deep purplish spots at the base. It forms fusiform, 5-chambered capsules (like okra) which contain ovoidreniform muskscented black seeds. The seeds,seed oil and its concrete are traded. Sub-humid climate. But it prefers well-drained loamy t osandy loam soils of 6 to 8.5 pH of medium fertility. The crop is raised in kharif season from seed, sown in well-prepared fields. The farmyard manure (5 to 6 tons/ha) is mixed at land preparation. The seed rate is 1.5kg/ha. Seeds are sown in rows 1cm deep by dibbling at 40cm x 30cm spacing. Seeds treated with Carbofurn produce high seed yield. The crop is a heavy feeder of fertilizers. A dose of 40, 30 and 30kg of N, P and K is applied basally, whereas 40kg each is given 40 and 90 days after germination. The crop shold be kept weed-free. Two weeding-cum-hoeings are recommended. It needs 5 to 6 irrigations at 20 to 30 days interval. The moisture in soil at flower bud opening stage is essential for higher seed yield.
If the crop produces heavy vegetative growth, the growing plants may be topped at 60 days age to induce early pod formatin. Its plants flower in October and set fruits simultaneous. Rending of pons starts in November and may continue till March-end. The pods should be plucked at weekly interval when three-fourths of them turn blackish-brown. The pods are covered with itching hairs making its picking rather cumbersome and laborious.
The seed oil is extracted through solvent extraction which allows an improved recovery of odoriferous principles (over hydro-distillation procedures). The concrete is required to be stored well under low temperature as it is prone to rancidity on keeping. The natural floral note of the concrete is obtained from freshly harvested seeds.