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Topic: Why can some things be EOs & others... not?  (Read 1258 times)
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RavingRosemary
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« on: March 04, 2010 05:37:34 AM »

The story (feel free to skip down to The Question):
Last night, the BF's mom asked me about EOs versus FOs (as the incredibly patient BF sighed in the background and clicked through Gizmodo).  I gave her the basic rundown--synthetic v. natural, etc.  But then she asked, "Are there coffee EOs?"
"I don't think so," I said.  "You'd have to use an FO."
"Why not?" she asked.

And... I had no idea.

The question: Why not?  Coffee beans are oily.  Why are some things EOs but not others?  Why lavender but not gardenia?

I have a cabinet of these things but don't know how they're made or what makes certain ingredients (tulips, honeysuckle) unsuitable or impossible to make into EOs.

Enlightenment much appreciated!
« Last Edit: March 04, 2010 08:44:25 AM by RavingRosemary » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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Nymeria
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« Reply #1 on: March 04, 2010 07:54:59 AM »

Essential oils are extracted from plants/fruits, etc. As much as I hate Wikipedia, their essential oil page can give you more detailed information than I can. I'm not sure as to the rhyme or reason on why some plants and fruit (grapefruit, orange, lemon, lime, etc.) can be made into essential oils, and why some can't, but there is definitely a science there.

To answer the question I *can* answer, FOs are affordable for the same reason that most synthetic items are: they're cheap and easy to make. The ingredients are not expensive and easy to produce en mass. Vanilla EO, on the other hand, is the exact opposite. From my understanding, it takes an insane amount of vanilla pods to distill and create just 1oz. of vanilla EO. So it is very, very expensive. (Tamanu oil is similar: it takes so much time, effort and raw materials that 1oz. is very spendy)

Also, rosewater and rose essential oils are entirely different concepts. You can actually make rose water or rose syrup in your own kitchen! I'll post the recipe later (gotta dig out the book that has my favorite method) for you. But suffice to say, it's a cheap, easy, quick process where as essential oil is, again, the opposite. Smiley

To be honest, I'm not sure if gardenia, honeysuckle and orchid cannot be made into essential oils, or if they simply aren't because they lack any sort of healing/medicinal properties. Essential oils are still primarily used in that context, so maybe they just stick to flowers that are "useful?"
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« Reply #2 on: March 04, 2010 07:55:40 AM »

You can get a Coffee Absolute (coffee CO2)

Hydrosols are what is left of the distillation process ... basically a throw away product until they found a following for them.  They contain minute particles of the absoute.

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RavingRosemary
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« Reply #3 on: March 04, 2010 09:33:44 AM »

Neat.  Thanks, guys! 

Nymeria, I would love a rosewater recipe!  (It's probably easier for me to go to the middle Eastern market and buy a bottle than to find a bunch of rose petals, but I'm a DIY nerd & love weird recipes.  Woo!)

Looked through the article.  The vague answer to my question seems to be that "some plant hydrosols have unpleasant smells and are therefore not sold."  I'm not sure if there's more to it than that.

But now I've seen a whole frightening list of things my oils can do!  Lavender oil encouraging breast tissue growth in prepubescent boys?  EXCELLENT.  I have a cabinet full of evil scientist oils.  Tongue

Also: cannabis flower EO?  Who knew?
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« Reply #4 on: March 04, 2010 03:27:53 PM »


But now I've seen a whole frightening list of things my oils can do!  Lavender oil encouraging breast tissue growth in prepubescent boys?  EXCELLENT.  I have a cabinet full of evil scientist oils.  Tongue

Also: cannabis flower EO?  Who knew?

I should note that the lavender oil thing with boys was and experiment where boys were exposed to a TON of lavender oil over a long period of time. Like, way more than any normal person would EVER encounter. On an interesting note, paraben produces a similar result. But again, this was boys exposed to massive quantities. Everything in moderation. Smiley

Going to find my book right now!

ETA: Rosewater Method

Can't really call this a recipe or a method since it's basically like steeping tea, lol. This is a great use for roses you receive as a gift, or that you pick up at the store on a whim.

Take 5-6 full roses, or enough to tightly pack into a 1c. measure. Dump rose petals into a large heat-proof bowl (Pyrex bowl w/spout is best) and cover with 2c. boiling water. Let sit for 30 minutes or so. Cover your container of choice with cheesecloth and pour the water through the cloth to separate the petals. Now at this point you can go one of two ways:

1) All natural. Place bottle/container in fridge where it will keep for 7-10 days. It can be used in a variety of applications. It'll be preserved in lotions and soaps, but by itself it'll go bad, if that makes sense?

2) Touch of preservative. Add about 1T. of alcohol (vodka totally works) and mix well. Stored in the fridge it'll last for... eh, 4-6 weeks? About that.

Easy as pie! (mmmmmmmm...pie.... Grin)
« Last Edit: March 04, 2010 03:37:47 PM by Nymeria » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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« Reply #5 on: March 04, 2010 07:38:01 PM »

Hey Nymeria, can that recipe be used for dried rose petals or just for fresh?
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« Reply #6 on: March 05, 2010 06:14:48 AM »

Neat!  Thanks for sharing!
I've tried using rose water in CP before and the scent, retrospectively predictably, completely disappeared.  Would you recommend it for MP or liquid soap?  (Never made lotion--dying to try, though!)
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« Reply #7 on: March 05, 2010 08:34:58 AM »

MareMare -- hmmmmm I'm not sure honestly! I wouldn't see why dried petals wouldn't work. I've only done it with fresh. Could always give it a whirl?

RavingRosemary -- Never, ever, ever add water to MP soap. You will NOT be happy, lol. I've seen recipes around teh interwebs that tell you to add tea or rose water to MP soap and I can't imagine why. Not good! I've used it in lotions in the past and it works nicely, though the scent kind of gets swallowed by the oils.
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Miss Bloom
« Reply #8 on: March 19, 2010 04:45:06 PM »

The story (feel free to skip down to The Question):
Last night, the BF's mom asked me about EOs versus FOs (as the incredibly patient BF sighed in the background and clicked through Gizmodo).  I gave her the basic rundown--synthetic v. natural, etc.  But then she asked, "Are there coffee EOs?"
"I don't think so," I said.  "You'd have to use an FO."
"Why not?" she asked.

And... I had no idea.

The question: Why not?  Coffee beans are oily.  Why are some things EOs but not others?  Why lavender but not gardenia?

I have a cabinet of these things but don't know how they're made or what makes certain ingredients (tulips, honeysuckle) unsuitable or impossible to make into EOs.

Enlightenment much appreciated!

EOs are produced by steam distillation which has already been mentioned. Some plants don't produce enough EO to make distilling viable, and others are ruined by heat.

Absolutes are different from EOs in that they contain more of the non water soluble parts of the plant making them more *complete*, and they are produced using solvents. A lot of Aromatherapists won't use absolutes as they believe some of the solvent will be left in the resulting *oil* making it less therapeutic. They are used extensively in high end perfumery though. This method is often used with plants which don't yield good results from steam distillation such as jasmine and some rose. They are often extremely costly though as it take a lot of plant material to produce.

Some plants will not yield a good *oil* with either of these methods such as violet, and are being tested using different methods so maybe in the future...

A more recent method called CO2 extraction may provide better results and also something called "headspace" (I think?) extraction.

I have had relatively good results using an oil maceration with flowers such as violet and use the resulting fragrant oil as a base in some of my oil based perfumes and solids.
« Last Edit: March 19, 2010 04:49:54 PM by Miss Bloom » THIS ROCKS   Logged
MareMare
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« Reply #9 on: March 19, 2010 04:47:25 PM »

The story (feel free to skip down to The Question):
Last night, the BF's mom asked me about EOs versus FOs (as the incredibly patient BF sighed in the background and clicked through Gizmodo).  I gave her the basic rundown--synthetic v. natural, etc.  But then she asked, "Are there coffee EOs?"
"I don't think so," I said.  "You'd have to use an FO."
"Why not?" she asked.

And... I had no idea.

The question: Why not?  Coffee beans are oily.  Why are some things EOs but not others?  Why lavender but not gardenia?

I have a cabinet of these things but don't know how they're made or what makes certain ingredients (tulips, honeysuckle) unsuitable or impossible to make into EOs.

Enlightenment much appreciated!

EOs are produced by steam distillation which has already been mentioned. Some plants don't produce enough EO to make distilling viable, and others are ruined by heat.

Absolutes are different from EOs in that they contain more of the non water soluble parts of the plant making them more *complete*. This method is often used with plants which don't yield good results from steam distillation such as jasmine and some rose. They are often extremely costly though as it take a lot of plant material to produce.

Some plants will not yield a good *oil* with either of these methods such as violet, and are being tested using different methods so maybe in the future...

A more recent method called CO2 extraction may provide better results and also something called "headspace" (I think?) extraction.

I have had relatively good results using an oil maceration with flowers such as violet and use the resulting fragrant oil as a base in some of my oil based perfumes and solids.

Yay, I love having someone around who know about this stuff!
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