Difference between Absolutes and Essential Oils.

What is the difference between absolutes and essential oils?

Something that you may not know is that aromatherapy isn’t always all about using your sense of smell as a means of improving your body, mind or your soul.

When you practice the art of aromatherapy, one thing to keep in mind is the importance of smell when it comes to essential oils.

Nowadays beside essential oils, absolutes are becoming a part of aromatherapy cause its scent can awaken our feeling and emotion just like essential oils

So what exactly is an absolute?

Absolute is a concentrated semi-solid material obtained by solvent extraction.

Absolutes are actually quite similar to essential oils in the fact that they are extracted from plants. There is a difference between absolutes and essential oils in terms of the method that is commonly implement during the extraction process.

Essential oil is an aromatic liquid compound which extracted from parts of the plants - leaves, wood, barks, seed, flower and even peel. And mostly they are extracted using steam distillation process.

But not all oils are using steam distillation process. Some of the low concentrate oils like Jasmine, Neroli, Oak moss, Tuberose and Rose are extracted by solvent

Solvent extraction is very gentle. It is a procedure by which aromatic compounds are drawn out of the plant material using volatile solvents such as petroleum, ether, benzene, resulting in a concentrate called “essence concrete”. The solvents are separated from the concrete and the remaining solvent mixed with alcohol and heated to undergo a filtering process in which the waxes and alcohol are removed. But some of waxes cannot be removed. This final end product is called absolute.

Another difference between absolutes and essential oils is: Absolutes sometimes tend to carry a more true to nature fragrance than Essential Oils. This is because they contain many of the non-volatile constituents of the plant such as tannins and pigments that are not made available by distillation means. Rose Absolute is a great example of this, displaying its vivid colour and exquisite fragrance.

This is one major reason why absolutes have been used mostly in fragrance and perfume industries. They can be and have been used successfully in the area of aromatherapy, but you need to be extremely careful when using these absolutes for that purpose. It’s important to keep in mind that any of these absolutes can trigger an allergic reaction for some people who come into contact with it.

While essential oils are pure oils, when in steam distillation process, there is no contact with any contaminants, so essential oils can be used for therapeutic purposes.

Conclusion :

The Difference between Absolutes and Essential Oils are based on two things.

1.The method that is used during the extraction process. Essential oils mostly used steam distillation, while absolute used solvent extraction.

2.The purity of oils. Essential oil is pure oil, while absolute still contain residue from the extraction process.

Click here to see some example of aromatherapy absolutes

Please read about essential oils information to make you more understand about the Difference between absolutes and essential oils.

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