One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Any of certain epiphytic lichens frequently associated with oak trees; specifically those used to form a basis for perfumes, especially Evernia prunastri. Also (frequently in form oakmoss): the perfumed extract from such a lichen.
Early 18th century; earliest use found in Richard Bradley (?1688–1732), botanist and writer. From oak + moss.
oak moss/ˈəʊk ˌmɒs/
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