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  1. #1

    Default Using a Soxhlet to extract fragrance oils

    I have a Soxhlet extractor and was thinking of using it to see what interesting fragrance compounds I can obtain from common plants. I'm UK based btw - need to get that flag sorted.

    Anyway, I was wondering if anyone else has tried this or had any suggestions?

    There's a birch tree in my garden, perhaps the bark might yield something interesting? Or maybe larch needles?

    As 'The fresh needles of the European larch (Larix decidua) in Spring, a deciduous conifer, when crushed smell of freshly cut grass with a hint of pine.'

    I'm thinking of using isopropyl alcohol as the extraction medium.


  2. #2

    Default Re: Using a Soxhlet to extract fragrance oils

    I haven't used one for this purpose but I don't see why you can't create a good extract, with the less temperature sensitive aroma compounds. A soxhlet allows you to reuse the solvent over and over again, so it will save you some money. Birch and larch sound like good materials to use. Larch turpentine is produced from the sap and it makes an excellent fragrance fixative.
    Last edited by Pears; 8th January 2013 at 10:44 PM.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Using a Soxhlet to extract fragrance oils

    Thanks for the larch turpentine link. I think some experimentation is in order, though I'd better check the literature for toxins before I attempt to extract from some plants. eg an extract of yew bark would be a bad idea...

    A non polar solvent such as hexane would probably be better that IPA, though I don't currently have a source for this in the UK.


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