differences and similarities between sage and clary sage


Basenotes Junkie
Aug 10, 2007
Hi id just like to know if anyone can school me on the differences and similarities between sage and clary sage, I can only source clary sage locally - can it be a useable stand-in for sage?


Basenotes Institution
Jul 2, 2005
Clary sage is sweeter and 'fresher' than Dalmation Sage, which smells just like sniffing a jar of crushed sage you'd use to flavor meat.

The clary sage has a hint of peppermint in the mix, too. Clary sage absolute is even more 'pepperminty' and fresh and sweeter than the clary sage oil. Both of those are, as mentioned, sweeter, and fresher than the dalmation sage, which has that bitter, biting, aromatic edge to it.

Clary sage and dalmation sage are quite different both chemically and aromatically. The dalmation sage is high in thujone (which is also quite prominent in the various artemisia oils (wormwood, absinthe, etc), and also in cedar leaf oil. Be careful, as thujone is a neurotoxin. You wouldn't want to use clary sage as a stand in for dalmation sage if you are looking for the scent of sage you smell in a spice jar.
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