July 6, 2006

Absolutely

There are essential oils and there are absolutes, which are made differently from essential oils.

The modern method uses CO2, in the past other more labor intensive methods were used.

This is necessary because it is much more difficult to get the frangrance from the most fragrant flowers and plants such as rose and narcissus, mimosa, hyacinth and jasmine, and others.

The absolutes contain elements of all of the plant material, even color and waxes and vitamins and minerals, and are a more complete composition. They are more expensive and actually have a fragrance much closer to the plant in nature, which is not always the case with essential oils.

They are very often used in fine perfumes because of the quality of the fragrance which is much more complete and full, hence "absolute".

They can be taken in through the nose, and through the skin. The nose has scent receptors and sensitive areas that are directly connected to the brain; the skin absorbs the components into the blood stream and therefore into all of the body.

These materials have an effect on the nervous system, mind and body, that people have observed to be potent.

Some speculate that the scent receptors in the brain developed in part to act as a way to inhale the calming and restorative, de-stressing chemical properties of plant and other materials.

There are also the personal mental associations with certain smells. Some are more uplifting, some more calming, with many variants and subtleties in between and across the spectrum.

Copyright 2006 Lucy Raubertas, All Rights Reserved.

5 comments:

Manuel Tendero Gil said...

una foto muy buena me gusta mucho eata planta

Anya said...

Hola, Luccia:

I love to make tinctures of both concretes and absolutes and then combine them. I feel that this reunites elements of the aromatic that were separated by the processes, creating a fuller, truer product. I've used some CO2s, but find them a bit flat. What is your feeling on this? Some CO2s are very nice and bright, but many are lacking in the fullness, the richness of the absolute or concrete. JMHO ;-)

Lucy said...

Your knowlege is far more comprehensive than my own, Anya, I thought the CO2 was the currently preferred method for creating an absolute -- obviously there is more to all this than meets the eye. I think each supplier of essential oils and absolutes and even probably each batch is different, at least that has been my experience so far, and the strength and quality varies so much, it really almost is a roulette as to what one gets sometimes...and I think your idea of blending the essence and the absolute is a really good one, or to blend diffent supplier's versions of say jasmine, for example could be a good idea to try...

Anya said...

Luccia,
natural aromatics can vary just as wine does from year to year, depending on climate, how it is harvested, and the processing. Every distiller or concrete/absolute manufacturer has a different "touch". I wrote on the NP group that I wanted to harvest a lot of my full moon flowers for tincturing -- but rain diluted the essences from the petals so much I didn't bother. That's how it goes with nature! ;-)

Here's a great tip regarding the blending of the concrete or absolute with the EO, that goes beyond the odor profile: if you have a particularly thick and unmanageable concrete or absoute, the EO, which is a natural solvent, will help liquify it a bit, making the process easier.

Lucy said...

That's a great idea, Anya, definitely will try that soon...
Great to have someone with all your knowledge as a resource...