All forms of castor oil are derived from the seeds of the Ricinus communis, castor plant. Its how the seeds are processed that give the finished oil its different qualities. Standard (or clear) castor oil is pressed from fresh seeds, whereas Jamaican black castor is pressed from roasted, boiled and pulverized seeds. Its through this unique processing, that gives this oil its dark color and and "ash-like" scent.
This type of castor oil is quite popular in beard oil and hair care formulations, but can of course be used in any beauty care. Because of the way the castor beans are processed, this produces an oil with a slightly higher pH value. Our Black Castor tests at 7 to 7.5 pH. Many claim that the benefits of having a slightly higher pH are beneficial to hair care products, hence why this oil is often used in these types of formulations. Keep in mind that the ash-like scent may pass into the finished product, depending upon the ratio used. I would classify this products smell as quite similar to unrefined shea butter.