Shelf-life of adding sprigs of fresh herbs in a mixture of water and essential oils

by Charlene
(BC, Canada)

I'm thinking of making some air fresheners for gifts and would like to add a vanilla bean or sprigs of sage, rosemary, etc to the bottles for looks and of course added scent. My question is how long would these last? Is there some kind of product to add as a preservative?

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Mar 22, 2011
Shelf-life of sprigs of fresh Herbs
by: Penny Keay


I don't think your project will work using water and essential oils.

Water and oil do not mix. This in itself will cause the deteriation of the herbs as the essential oils will just float on top.

I'm sure you have seen these types of herb bottles but the liquid inside is usually a carrier or fixed oil. Typically it is Sweet Almond but others can be used.

It is possible you could use an alcohol base but it would not be recommended.

Using Sweet Almond or even Olive oil might work best. You would be making an 'infused' oil. These will be fragrant depending on how much herbs you use. Of course using a fixed oil as the liquid you can easily get essential oils to mix and diffuse slowly into the air.

Again, if any part of the herb get exposed to the air and is not completely submerged it will deteriorate.

Good luck, I'm sure there are others that can tell you if this is even possible. Personally I have only seen them as 'sealed' jar decorations or for use in the kitchen accompaning for use in salads or pasta dishes.

Birch Hill Happenings Aromatherapy, LLC

Mar 22, 2011
by: Charlene

Thanks for the tips Penny. I have done this before with flavored oils for salad dressings and the herbs inside did go 'off' when becoming exposed to air. I will experiment with some infusions and see what works best.

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