Absolute Oils ~ What Are They

Absolute Oils ~ What Are They


Absolute Oil - perfume Absolutes are exotic oils that are perfect for Perfumery and skin care cosmetic formulation. Absolute oils are similar to Essential Oils, but because these essences are so minute in the plant part, they are much more difficult to extract. Their chemistry is so fragile that the method of extraction is more complex. They are typically extracted using a food grade solvent which is subsequently removed by evaporation to obtain a pure product. For example, it requires over 14,000 rose petals to produce 1 pound of Rose Absolute! These fragrances are very concentrated, hence a tiny amount will go a long way. Prices start in the hundred dollar range for a 5 - 15 ml size!

Solvent Extraction - Perfumers tend to use absolutes because absolutes can fix the aromatic palette so the odour profile of the fragrance does not change over time. Solvents like hexane are used because they make the extraction process less labor-intensive and more cost-effective. Hexane can also pull out waxes and pigments from the plant material giving the absolute a richer colour and viscous texture. This method of extraction is used to extract the aromatic molecules from delicate flowers and plant materials that are not capable of withstanding the heat from the steam distillation process.

CO2 supercritical carbon dioxide extraction utilizes the supercritical state of C02 when it acts as a gas & a liquid. This process is very expensive but the method yields a higher volume of essential oil and the extraction is done under high pressure and relatively low heat without the use of steam or solvents that can degrade the quality of the essential oil. Carbon dioxide also extracts a wider range of molecules than does steam for a complete, superior essential oil without any chemical residue. It is used for the more expensive and oil stingy plant materials such as Frankincense, Myrrh, Nutmeg, Ginger, Calendula blossom, and vanilla bean. Sea buckhorn oil is another example. The essential oil will have the C02 annotation.

Flower Essences involve extracting the non-aromatic essence of a plant -its vibrational and energy components. The plant material is placed on top of the water and allowed to float and left in the sunlight or moonlight for a period of time. The plant material is removed and the water remains charged with its energetic properties. This water is then preserved with alcohol, glycerin or vinegar.

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