You may be familiar with essential oils and how they’re distilled, but what about absolute oils?
Absolute oils are collected from plants that don’t produce enough oil through steam distillation or are too delicate to undergo this process. Absolutes can be processed using two different methods: enfleurage and solvent extraction.
Enfleurage, which is done at a lower temperature than steam distillation in order to preserve these delicate plants, results in a more concentrated and fragrant liquid. This was the first method used to extract oils from these plants, but due to its costly and time-consuming nature, it has been generally replaced by solvent extraction.
Solvent extraction involves incorporating other chemicals, such as CO2, into the oil. These are extracted during the final stages of production.
Since absolute oils are so concentrated and volatile, it’s particularly important to store them properly so they don’t degrade or have the potential to harm you. Like essential oils, they should be stored in a dark glass bottles in a cool, dry place.
Knowing how delicate the process is, and how much of a given flower goes into making absolute oils, it should come as no surprise that they are generally much more expensive than traditional essential oils.
Although we do not currently offer any absolute oils, here are a list of some popular ones and their essential oil substitutes.