What Are Essential Oils?

What do want to smell today? Essential oils can play a role in the fragrance you want to create.

Essential oils are the volatile, aromatic oils obtained by steam or hydrodistillation of botanicals. Most essential oils are primarily composed of terpenes and their oxygenated derivatives. Different parts of the plants can be used to obtain essential oils, including the flowers, leaves, seeds, roots, stems, bark, wood, etc.

Certain cold-pressed oils, such as the oils from various citrus peels, are also considered to be essential oils but these are not to be confused with cold-pressed fixed or carrier oils such as olive, grapeseed, coconut etc. which are non-volatile oils composed mainly of fatty acid triglycerides. Other aromatic, plant-derived oils, which technically aren’t essential oils because they are solvent extracted, include Absolutes (hexane followed by ethanol extraction), CO2’s (liquid carbon dioxide used as the solvent) and Phytols or Florosols (fluoro-hydrocarbon solvent).

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