Comforting and fruity
Cassie is called sweet acacia or prickly Moses.
Cassie is a member of the fascinating and acacia-genus of trees and shrubs which have many uses including food, perfume and timber. There are approximately 800 species in this group, which belongs to the pea (Fabaceae) family of plants.
In the south of France, Acacia farnesiana is cultivated for the perfume industry. The flowers are well known and highly esteemed for the perfume oil they yield. The flowers are globular and golden with a scent of violet and orange blossom. The odour is both spicy and floral.
The bark and pods yield a black dye; the seeds are pressed for cooking oil.
The trees usually start to flower after three years of growth and a mature tree produces about 1kg of flowers per season. Cassie absolute is processed from the flowers.
Aromatherapists use it for treating depression, nervous exhaustion and stress-related conditions where its beautiful, sunny note uplifts the spirits. Cassie absolute is a popular aphrodisiac - undoubtedly due to its beautiful aroma.
Acacia catechu produces a dark brown, sticky substance known as cutch, an important trade material between India and China in the 17th century.
Acacia senegal produces a resin which is known as gum arabic. Sudan produces 85% of the world's crop, which is uncultivated and collected in the wild. Gum arabic is used in chewing gum and confectionery. It is important in the food industry as a stabiliser, fixative, emulsifier, and a retardant for sugar crystallisation. It is listed as E414.