AB­SO­LUTES VER­SUS ES­SEN­TIAL OILS

Herbs & Superfoods - - Make Your Own Herbal Perfumes -

What’s the dif­fer­ence be­tween an es­sen­tial oil and ab­so­lute, be­sides the price tag? Es­sen­tial oils are cre­ated by steam dis­til­la­tion, a fairly straight­for­ward pro­ce­dure. How­ever, be­cause of the del­i­cate na­ture of many flow­ers (in­clud­ing lily, gardenia, jas­mine, jon­quil, mi­mosa, rose and tuberose, as well as oth­ers), steam dis­til­la­tion cannot be used for ex­trac­tion pur­poses be­cause the in­tense heat de­stroys the flow­ers. They are ex­tracted us­ing sol­vents in­stead, with­out heat. These oils are called ab­so­lutes. These aro­matic oils are highly con­cen­trated, even more so than es­sen­tial oils. Their high con­cen­tra­tion means they are of­ten sought-af­ter for per­fume-mak­ing. They are tech­ni­cally not con­sid­ered to be es­sen­tial oils, though they still have ther­a­peu­tic prop­er­ties. The method to ex­tract ab­so­lutes is more long-winded, the sol­vents are expensive, and the end prod­uct is more con­cen­trated, hence the higher price tag. How­ever, ab­so­lutes are of­ten sold di­luted in a car­rier oil to make them more af­ford­able.

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