Select the first letter of the word from the list below to index to that
section of the definitions.
Absolute - Alcohol Extract -
Anhydrous - Attar
Balsam - Bergaptene Free - Bleached
Cohobation - Cold Pressed - Concrete - CO2 Extraction
Distillate Water - Distillation
Essence oil - Expression - Extraction - Exudate
Approved - FCC - Fixative - Folded Oil - Fixed Oil - Fractional
- Gum Resin Absolute
Hydrosol - Hydro Diffusion - Hydrospice
Natural - Natural Farming - Natural & Artificial - Nature Identical
Reco - Rectification - Refined - Resin - Resinoid
Sesquiterpeneless oils - SHU - Solvent Extractions
Terpene - Terpeneless - Tincture
Water Miscible/Dispersible - Water Distillation - Water and Steam
Winterized - WONF - Wax - Wheat Germ Oil
Absolute: Alcoholic extraction of a concrete or
other hydrocarbon to remove waxes and most odorless materials, producing an
alcohol soluble or semi-liquid oil. Absolutes are highly concentrated. Waxes, terpenes, sesquiterpenes
and most other odorless matters are eliminated from the concretes during
the preparation of the absolutes. Commonly used solvents are alcohol,
hexane, among others.
Alcohol Extract: Concentrated herbal tinctures.
Alcohol is used as a solvent to extract the herbal compounds. Glycerin
tinctures are obtained by removing the alcohol and then adding glycerin as a
Anhydrous: Produced without water; a
combination of extraction of raw material and molecular distillation.
Attar: Used in India to describe material
obtained from the co-distillation of Sandalwood and various other botanical
materials. Also used to describe the steam distillation of rose petals
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Balsam: Water insoluble, semi solid or
viscous, resinous exudate
of trees and bushes similar to gum resins. The balsam may be either a physiological
or pathological product of the plant. Example: Balsam Peru.
Bergaptene Free: Top & bottom note terpenes. Bergaptene
is found in Bergamot and is removed through re-distillation to prevent
UV skin sensitivity when applied to the skin and exposed to the sun.
Bleached: A material that has been filtered
with acidified clays, removing color pigments & some aromatic substances.
Cohobation: When rose oil is extracted
during water distillation, the one main constituent - phenyl ethyl alcohol -
dissolves into the water of the distillation still and does not form part of the
essential oil that is so extracted. The oil is not whole, as it is
deficient in the rose-smelling ingredient - and in order to produce a "complete"
oil, the phenyl ethyl alcohol needs to be distilled from the water in which it
dissolved and added back to the "incomplete oil". When this phenyl ethyl
alcohol is so distilled, it is added back to the original distillate, in the
correct proportion, to form a complete and whole rose oil, and is then called
Cold Pressed (CP): a pressing process of
extraction for citrus & fixed oils with minimized heat & deterioration, usually
under 120 degrees farenheit.
Concrete: Extraction of fresh natural plant
materials, usually with non-polar organic solvents (hexane) which yield, after
removal of the solvent a solid or semi solid wax. Concretes are representative
of the natural raw material in the sense that they contain all the hydrocarbon
soluble matter while water and water extractive matter have been left out.
CO2 Extraction: Extraction method using
carbon dioxide (CO2) as a solvent. There are two basic CO2
extractions. Low pressure cold extraction involves chilling CO2 to between 35-55
degrees F and pumping it through the plant material at between 800-1,500 psi. Supercritical Fluid
(SCO2) extraction involves heating the CO2 to above 87F and pumping it
above 1,100 psi. Usually this work is done between 6,000-10,000
psi. Supercritical Fluid CO2 can best be described as a dense fog whereas
the first method described uses the CO2 in a dense liquid state.
CO2 is the most desired of solvents as it leaves no toxic residues behind.
Low pressure CO2 extraction is often the best method for obtaining
high quality extracts.
Deodorized: The removal of unwanted
fragrance or flavor materials from a botanical product.
Distillate Water: Also known as hydrosol
and floral water. The by-product of steam distillation.
Distillation (Fractional): A heat-dependent
process for separation and purification of a liquid mixture based on differences
in vapor pressure of components of the mixture. The process involves
vaporization of the more volatile component(s) and then condensation of the vapor back to a
Enfleurage: Enfleurage is an extraction similiar to maceration,
but is done in a slightly different way. Glass plates in a frame
(called a chassis) are covered with highly purified and odorless vegetable
or animal fat and the petals of the botanical matter that are being extracted
are spread across it and pressed in. The flowers are normally freshly picked
before so encased in their fatty bed. The petals remain in this greasy
compound for a few days to allow the essence to disperse into the compound,
where the then depleted petals are removed and replaced with a fresh harvest
of petals. This process is repeated until the greasy mix is saturated
with the essence, and needs to be repeated a couple of times until saturation
is achieved. When the mix has reached saturation point the flowers
are removed and the enfleurage pomade - the fat and fragrant oil - then
washed with alcohol to separate the extract from the remaining fat, which
is then used to make soap. As soon as the alcohol evaporates from
the mixture you are left with the essential oil. This is a very labor-intensive
way of extraction, and needless to say a very costly way to obtain essential
oil and is nowadays only sometimes used to extract essential oil from tuberoses
Essence oil: An oil collected in the
water distillate during the production and concentration of fruit juices.
Example: orange oilphase
essence, lemon oilphase essence etc.
Essential oils: An essential oil is the
volatile material derived by a physical process (distillation or expression)
from odous plant material
of a single botanical form and species. Some technically argue that
essential oils are only those materials obtained exclusively through steam
Expression: A production method used to
obtain citrus oils (ie lemon)
and fruit juices. The expressed or cold pressed essential oils are obtained
from the peels of the fruits. Expression yields essential oils which can
contain a certain amount of non-volatile material. There are several
methods of expression: Machine
Abrasion - This method of expression extraction is very much like
the écuelle à piquer method, and is mostly used in the manufacture
of citrus essential oils. With machine abrasion a machine strips
off the outer peel, which is then removed by running water and is then
fed into a centrifugal separator. The centrifugal separation is done
extremely fast but it should be noted that due to the fact that the essential
oil is combined with other cell content for some time, some alteration
could occur due to enzymatic action. Sponge
Extraction - Most citrus essences are extracted by means of expression,
and in the past were done by hand where the fruit pulp was removed, with
the rind and pith then soaked in warm water to make the rind more pliable,
since the pith of the fruit absorbed the water. After the fruit has
absorbed the water and become more elastic, it was inverted which helped
to rupture the oil cells and a sponge placed next to the rind. It was then
squeezed to release the volatile oil, which was then collected directly
into the sponge.
As soon as the sponge became saturated with oil, it was squeezed and the
essential oil collected in a vessel and then decanted. Écuelle
à piquer extraction - This form of expression extraction
is used mainly to obtain citrus essential oils, and is a little less labor
intensive than that of the sponge method. This more modern way of
essential oil extraction is referred to as the écuelle à
piquer process (direct translation = basin, to prick/stick/prod) where
the fruit is placed in a device and rotated with spikes on the side puncturing
the oil cells in the skin of the fruit. This cause the oil cells
to rupture and the essential oil, and other material such as pigment, to
run down to the center of the device, which contains a collection area.
The liquid is thereafter separated and the oil is removed from the water-based
parts of the mixture and decanted.
Extraction (Solvent): A process of treating
a natural raw material that may be too delicate to be procesed with heat, with an organic solvent.
The solvent portion containing the extracted material is filtered and the
solvent removed. The extract will contain non-volatile as well as volatile
components. Oleoresins, resinoids, concretes, and absolutes are all produced
Exudate: Non-cellular, natural raw material
that is secreted by plants, either spontaneously or after wounding. Examples -
Balsam Peru, Balsam Copaiba, etc.
FDA Approved: Approved for a stated use by the Food and Drug Administration
of the United States.
FCC: Food Chemical Codex, the
industry-standard listing of food-grade ingredinets; indicates materials safe for use in food and cosmetics.
Fixative: The material which slows down the
rate of evaporation of the more volatile components in a perfume or natural
Folded Oil: An essential oil which is
concentrated by distillation. Example - removal of terpenes from citrus oils.
Fixed Oil: Non-volatile oils derived from
plant materials, commonly referred to as vegetable oils.
Fractional Distillation: In the fractional
steam distillation process, the essential oil is collected in batches over the
distillation period during given time intervals. Ylang Ylang is a material in
which the initial oil yield taken initially and is referred to as Ylang
Ylang 1st. The next is referred to as Ylang Ylang 2nd, and thereafter
Ylang Ylang 3rd. A blend of all the batches is referred to as Ylang
Gum: A water soluble exudate consisting mainly of polysaccharides
and used principally as a thickener and as a spray-dried carrier in the
manufacture of water soluble fragrance and flavor compounds (Gum Arabic,
Gum Resin Absolute: Oil soluble, purified exudate consisting mostly
of resinous constituents, gums and small amounts of volatile components
(Myrrh, Galbanum, Oppoponax).
Hydrosol: Also known as distillate water or floral water obtained
as the by-product of steam distillation.
Hydro Diffusion: A type of steam distillation, and only varies
in the actual way in which the steam is introduced into the still. With
hydro diffusion the steam is fed in from the top onto the botanical material
instead of from the bottom as in normal steam distillation.
The condensation of the oil containing steam mixture occurs below
the area in which the botanical material is held in place by a grill. The
main advantage of this method is that less steam is used, shorter processing
time and a higher oil yield.
Hydrospice: Water dispersible form of an oleoresin.
Isolate: Seperation of an aroma chemical from an essential oil
via distillation (mechanically) or hydrolysis (chemically), or by other
partitioning method. Example - Eugenol ex Clove Leaf.
Kaolin: A natural clay which aids the absoroption of oil secreted
by the skin. No toxicity on record when used externally.
Maceration Extraction: Flowers are soaked
in hot oil, which acts as a solvent, to have their cell membranes ruptured when
the hot oil then absorbs the essence. The oil is then cleared of the botanical
material and decanted.
Natural: Contains all natural ingredients.
Natural Farming: Similar to certified
organic farming. No use of chemical fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides or
fungicides. Although the farmer/distiller may not be a member of the certified
organic organizations, the planting, harvesting ad distillation are performed
according to old traditional natural methods without the use of chemical
Natural & Artificial: Contains natural and
Nature Identical: A component, natural or
artificial, which has chemical structure identical to that found in nature.
Oleoresin: Extraction, usually of natural
spice or flavoring materials, using selected solvents to remove the vital
components. An Oleoresin will contain the essential oil plus other important
non-volatile components which characterize the flavor, color and other aspects
of the starting raw material.
Reco : Reconstituted from natural
or synethic materials.
Rectification: A second distillation of an
essential oil to remove color, water, resinous matter, solvents and perhaps
unwanted top and bottom notes.
Refined: A material that has been processed
to remove impurities from the natural crud botanical.
Resin: This group of exudates includes both gums
and balsams. They are water insoluble, solid or semi-solid, and formed in nature
by the oxidation of terpenes.
Resinoid: Solid or semi-solid material,
prepared from exudates by extraction and purification with a solvent. These
products are similar to concretes, except that the starting materials are not
previously live, cellular tissue.
Sesquiterpeneless oils: Essential oils which have had the sesquiterpenic
hydrocarbons partially or completely removed to: a) improve solubility
in diluted alcohol or food grade solvents, b) improve odor and flavor of
the essential oil, c) lift the overall fragrance and flavor, since sesquiterpenes
have a fixative effect.
SHU: Scoville Heat Unit. A unit of measure of the degree
of heat of capsicum. Named after Wilbur Scoville. A quick
conversion from ppm to Scoville is to multiply the ppm by 15 to get the
Scoville Heat Unit.
Solvent Extractions: Oils may beextracted by using solvents such
as petroleum ether, methanol, ethanol or hexane and is often used on fragile
material such as jasmine, hyacinth, narcissus and tuberose, which would
not be able to handle the heat of steam distillation. A solvent extracted
oil is very concentrated and is very close to the natural fragrance of
the material used. Although solvent extraction is used extensively,
some people do not believe that it should be used for aromatherapy oils
since a residue of solvent could be present in the finished product.
Some reports site a solvent residue of 6 - 20% still present in the finished
extraction, but this was normally the case when benzene was the standard
solvent used. With hexane (a hydrocarbon) as the solvent material the solvent
residue goes down to about 10 ppm (parts per million) and this is a extremely
low concentration of solvent in the resultant product. As mentioned,
benzene is no longer used in the extraction method, since it is regarded
as carcinogenic (cancer forming). After the plant material has been
treated with the solvent, it produces a waxy aromatic compound referred
to as a "concrete".
Terpene: Fraction of an essential oil
consisting mainly of hydrocarbons, obtained as a byproduct from either
concentration or distillation of the oil.
Terpeneless: Essential or expressed oil in which monoterpenic
or hydrocarbons have been partially or completely removed.
Tincture: An alcoholic extraction with the
solvent left in as a dilutant.
Unrefined: The crude, natural, or virgin
first extraction of a botanical.
Water Miscible/Dispersible: Can be uniformly
mixed with water.
Water Distillation: Extraction of essential
oils wherein the botanic material is completely immersed in water and the still
is brought to boil. This method protects the oils so extracted to a
certain degree since the surrounding water acts as a barrier to prevent it from
overheating. When the condensed material cools down, the water is
separated from the essential oil.
Water Soluble: Can be dissolved in water.
Water and Steam Distillation: A combination
of normal water distillation and steam distillation. The botanical
material is immersed in water in a still, which has a heat source, plus live
steam is fed into the water and botanical material mixture.
Winterized: Cold filtered process removing
waxes & stearines
which cause cloudiness when termperatures drop.
WONF: An oil or flavor "With Other Natural
Flavors" added to enhance specific notes.
Wax: A low melting point organic
mixture or compound of high molecular weight, solid at room temperature and
generally similiar in composition
to fats and oils, except that it contains no blycerides.
Wheat Germ Oil: Natural oil obtained from
the embryo of the wheat kernel separated in milling. Natural source of
vitamins E, A, and D.