The sweet almond (Prunus amygdalus dulcis) is an 8-10m high, deciduous plant or shrub, whose oblong-lanceolate leaves, which have a serrated edge and are 7-12 cm in length, grow alternately. Its blossoms, which its well-known sweet almond nuts grow from, are pink to white, with a broad bell shape, and measure 3-3.5cm in width. The blossoming season is from February to April.
The almond has been cultivated for a long time in the Mediterranean area as a fruit and ornamental tree, being known in Greece, for instance, since 5 BC. Its seeds are used in pastries and the oil pressed from them (Amygdalae oleum) is processed in the pharmaceutical, cosmetic and food industries.
Sweet almond oil is rich in unsaturated fatty acids like oleic and linoleic acid. It is very gentle on the skin, but is also one of the most expensive oils in existence. Consequently, almond oil is regarded as the embodiment of high quality, intensive body care.