Fragrance oil

From ArticleWorld

Fragrance oils are aromatic compounds that are manufactured synthetically or essential oils which are natural. These oils are normally diluted with other carriers such as vegetable and mineral oils. Fragrance oils are also referred to as aromatic or aroma oils. These oils have several uses which include perfumery, cosmetics, aromatherapy and as food additives.


Fragrance oils are a type of aromatic compound and exhibit traits such characteristic odors. In order to have an odor these compounds have two conditions that must be met. These are that the compound must be volatile so that it can be transported to the olfactory system as well as it is required to be of a high concentration to react with the olfactory receptors. They are normally water hating or hydrophobic and extracted from plants. These oils may also be produced during natural ripening in fruits and in the fermentation of wine. They are also able to be produced synthetically. These compounds may be carcinogenic and can cause problems such as rashes or allergic reactions. It is normally recommended that they are diluted.


The extraction of these oils is typically done by distillation however the traditional method is by the use of plant presses. In Egypt, the traditional method is still utilized. The plant material is pressed and placed in a ceramic jar in which the water molecules are driven out leaving the oils.

Distillation uses a method whereby water is heated and steam allowed to pass through the plant material releasing the volatile compounds. This is then cooled and collected in a separate container. The container used normally has several taps that are used to drain the different fractions of the oil extracted as well as the water which is also used commercially.