From ArticleWorld

Some products used in aromatherapy are Absolutes. They are defined as being highly aromatic liquids extracted from plants in a complex process. The term must not be confused with the word absolute as Absolutes are substances similar to essential oils. The main difference between absolutes and essential oils stands in the manufacturing methods used. Absolutes are extracted directly by using special solvents while essential oils are created through distillation processes.

Some problems appear with these substances because of the solvent used in manufacturing. Although they are more concentrated than other essential oils they can sometimes contain some of the used solvents for extraction. This is against aromatherapy principles of purity in the usage of natural plant matter. Nobody should take absolutes internally because of that small trace of solvent that still remains in the composition.

The same plant can give both essential oils and absolutes which are used in perfumery applications. The reason behind this is that absolutes will maintain the original aroma of the plant much closer to the original. Some botanicals can not be processed properly through steam distillation. The needed aroma needs to be thus obtained by solvent extraction, creating absolutes. Examples of such two plants are jasmine and mimosa.

The most common absolutes are:

  • Jasmine absolute
  • Lavender absolute
  • Oak moss absolute
  • Rose absolute
  • Labdanum absolute
  • Lotus absolute.