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  1. #1

    Default Absolutes vs Oils and more...

    If there is a choice to get the oil of a plant, the absolute, or perhaps a C02 extraction, is one category of these typically more beneficial to the natural perfumer, or is it more of a case by case basis with the plant in question?

    I know this is a broad question, but I just wonder if there are any general 'rules' on the subject. I mean, I can get Champa flower oil for relatively cheap, while the absolute is about 5x more. I know they will smell different, but I don't know if I can (or should) justify spending so much more for an absolute when I can get it as an oil or CO2 extraction as well.

    I'm about to place a very large order for supplies, and don't know if I should go for more diversity with cheaper oils or more absolutes and 'finer grade' materials at the cost of diversity.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Absolutes vs Oils and more...

    Each type of extraction yields a different odor profile from the same plant material - you can't really say one type is always going to be better or more beautiful than another. For example, a rose otto vs rose absolute vs rose concrete vs hydrosol all retain different proportions of the molecules comprising the rose scent, and none of them completely match the headspace of the living flowers. As your obsession grows you may find you need to experience all of them

    Re: Champaca, I don't have it in EO ... I have some concrete and attar from White Lotus Aromatics and some CO2 from Eden; they're very different and I prefer working with the CO2 but that's just a single case.

    Do you belong to any of the natural / botanical perfumery groups? You can elicit much more varied and detailed feedback from multiple perfumers on questions like this; very helpful when you're starting out.

    In general, it's good to try to obtain the best quality materials you can ... their beauty will inspire and gratify you, while the deficits in poor quality materials will only frustrate your desire to create something beautiful out of them. A 1-ml sample of something gorgeous will be worth more to you than 30 ml of something mediocre that you never end up using.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Absolutes vs Oils and more...

    lol, that's the reply I expected, unfortunately. It's not that it isn't a good answer, it is, I was just hoping by some miraculous stroke of luck that it would be easier than that.. "usually the absolutes are preferred in perfumery." Something like that - though I knew it wouldn't be that easy.

    I'm planning on picking up small quantities of many many essential oils that aren't typically used in perfumery. I figure that a dash of them here or there may really complement a blend and also bring something unique to the table. Anyways, thanks for the advice - I have a feeling this is going to be more costly than collecting actual frags.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Absolutes vs Oils and more...

    OH yes ... it will be more costly!

    In many cases, the absolute will have more depth and longevity than the EO, but CO2s can be comparable to the absolute - not the same, but offering nearly as much complexity and depth and sometimes more brightness than the absolute - and I've found many CO2s that are really lovely. Concretes can be surprisingly wonderful and rich, too, considering their lower (than absolutes) cost ... you just have to filter the jus after maturing to get the solids out. Try an ylang ylang concrete for example.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Absolutes vs Oils and more...

    Just echoing what caribou55313 mentioned, you should try to join a group such as the natural perfumery group on yahoo. There is an incredible amount of information in the archives, and a great group of folks who are not only very knowledgeable, but willing to share their information with all of us just starting out.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Absolutes vs Oils and more...

    Thanks for the recommendations. I'll be joining soon!

  7. #7

    Default Re: Absolutes vs Oils and more...

    IME, the CO2 extractions are usually the most faithful to the original material, and the EOs the least.. of course, this is untrue for some oils (notably citrus). Whether you want something more faithful or more abstract is another matter...

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