Apparently there is more than one kind of Camellia oil. I purchase a bodhran a few months ago and I contacted the maker on how to take care of the drum skin especially in Arizona’s dry climate. He recommend Camellia oil and sent me this link.
Since the supplier was in Germany and didn’t want to pay international shipping and went to Amazon and after much research and reading reviews of Camelia oil I found this.
I received it today and opened it. I did not put any on the drum skin as it is in good shape. I started to write the maker an email that I found a source of oil in the US. Then I noticed something. I figured what I’d found was just a different brand. I bought Oshima Tsubaki Camellia Hair Care Oil. He recommended Sinensis® Camellia Oil. The descriptions were similar, but as I read over his email he said to use a verbal oil free of acid. The description of the tsubaki oil said it had Omega-9, an oleic acid. I still don’t know what a verbal oil is. Perhaps it was a typo and he mean herbal oil.
Then I realized the oil I purchased was light yellow and the one he recommended was white. The oil I bought was made from the seed of the Camellia japonica. The one he recommended was made from Camellia sinensis. There is a third camellia seed oil made from Camellia oleifera.
I strongly suspect that there isn’t much difference between japonica and sinensis oil and I could use it on my drum skin, but I’ll be purchasing sinensis oil from another vendor I found in the United States. Both are used for hair and skin care, but the latter is also used for keeping knives rust free. As for the third oleifera that is used for cooking oil in Asia. I can still use the oil I bought, either on my hair or my wife can use it. Camellia is a genus of plants and camellia sinensis is the plant where tea comes from and it is also known as tea seed oil which is not the same as tea tree oil (from a different genus altogether). However, you can buy tea seed oil in some stores like Whole Foods and it is usually camellia oleifera.
Anyway, here’s more than you ever wanted to know about the Camellia genus http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Camellia