Caution must be used though as many plants and herbs can be either benificial or harmful in their natural state. In the distillation of natural essential oils any biocides (including pesticides, herbicides, or fungicides) that have been applied while the plant is growing may be concentrated into the essential oil making the oil toxic. Unless the essential oil is distilled from a certified organic origin, it may be dangerous. Extreme care must be shown in the handling and use in all stages of preparations and processes of creating medicines and medicinal products from plants and herbs. Once taken beyond their environmental conditions and concentrated they are no longer considered natural in their effects untill they are once again diluted close to their original natural conditions! The making of perfumes and aromatherapeutic oils entails working with concentrated oils and plant products and must be handeled by professionals. Improper use of these products can result in medical conditions such as photo-sensitivity, skin irritations, nausea, headaches and considered toxic in extreme concentrated amounts!
Perfumes must contain 15% fixative in order to retain their scent. Angelica, calamus, orris, patchouli, rose, vetiver, and musk are all available in the oil form and are excellent perfume fixatives. If you cannot obtain fixatives in the oil form, an alcohol extract can be made from the dry material. Ideally, the fixative is combined with the oil or extract since it lends a scent of its own.
Table 1 - Non-animal sources - Plants and materials
Table 2 - Aldehydes - Organic Chemicals found in perfumes!
These are only a few of the organic chemicals found in many commercial grade perfumes that have a variety of different scents from florals to woody, and are often used as top notes. They are used to aid the fragrance in its lasting ability.
Caution - 884 toxic substances were identified in a list (partial) of 2,983 chemicals used in the fragrance industry: "Many of these substances are capable of causing cancer, birth defects, central nervous system disorders, breathing and allergic reactions and Multiple Chemical Sensitivities." (National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health report.). Neurotoxins: At Home and the Workplace, Report by the Committee on Science & Technology, U.S. House of Representatives, Sept. 16, 1986. (Report 99-827)
ACETONE (in: cologne, dishwashing liquid and detergent, nail enamel remover)
BENZALDEHYDE (in: perfume, cologne, hairspray, laundry bleach, deodorants, detergent, vaseline lotion, shaving cream, shampoo, bar soap, dishwasher detergent)
BENZYL ACETATE (in: perfume, cologne, shampoo, fabric softener, stickup air freshener, dishwashing liquid and detergent, soap, hairspray, bleach, after shave, deodorants)
BENZYL ALCOHOL (in: perfume, cologne, soap, shampoo, nail enamel remover, air freshener, laundry bleach and detergent, vaseline lotion, deodorants, fabric softener)
CAMPHOR (in: perfume, shaving cream, nail enamel, fabric softener, dishwasher detergent, nail color, stickup air freshener)
ETHANOL (in: perfume, hairspray, shampoo, fabric softener, dishwashing liquid and detergent, laundry detergent, shaving cream, soap, vaseline lotion, air fresheners, nail color and remover, paint and varnish remover)
ETHYL ACETATE (in: after shave, cologne, perfume, shampoo, nail color, nail enamel remover, fabric softener, dishwashing liquid)
LIMONENE (in: perfume, cologne, disinfectant spray, bar soap, shaving cream, deodorants, nail color and remover, fabric softener, dishwashing liquid, air fresheners, after shave, bleach, paint and varnish remover)
LINALOOL (in: perfume, cologne, bar soap, shampoo, hand lotion, nail enamel remover, hairspray, laundry detergent, dishwashing liquid, vaseline lotion, air fresheners, bleach powder, fabric softener, shaving cream, after shave, solid deodorant)
METHYLENE CHLORIDE (in: shampoo, cologne, paint and varnish remover)
a-PINENE (in: bar and liquid soap, cologne, perfume, shaving cream, deodorants, dishwashing liquid, air freshener)
g-TERPINENE (in: cologne, perfume, soap, shaving cream, deodorant, air freshener)
a-TERPINEOL (in: perfume, cologne, laundry detergent, bleach powder, laundry bleach, fabric softener, stickup air freshener, vaseline lotion, cologne, soap, hairspray, after shave, roll-on deodorant)
Table 3- Plants, Fruits, and Plant materials; Actions and Cautions
Allspice (fruit) - pimenta officinalis (cuba, india, jamaica, mexico, north america).This oil's aroma resembles a mixture of pepper, clove and cinnamon.
Almond, bitter (fruit) - prunus armeniaca (north america). crisp scent.
Ambrette (seed) - abelmoschus moschatus (france). woodsy scent; aphrodisiac.
Amyris (wood) - amyris balsamifera (west indies). woodsy scent.
Angelica (seed, root) - angelica archangelica (belgium, china, egypt, france, germany, holland, india, russia, spain). musky scent; aphrodisiac.
Anise (seed pod) - pimenella anisum (central america, china, india, indonesia, italy, morocco, south america, spain). a warm, spicy/sweet, licorice-like aroma; deodorant. anise solidifies, or freezes at 59° f, this is a criterion value of anise. during cold weather months the anise may become solid during shipping. do not be alarmed; this is actually a normal occurrence. if crystallization has occurred, it is your assurance of good value anise. if the anise has crystallized, warm the oil until it is liquefied and shake.
Armoise / aka: mugwort (whole plant) - artemisia vulgaris; alba (china, france, germany, hungary, india, japan, morocco). aromatic, camphorous, fresh, minty scent.
Balsam peru (bark) - myroxylon pereirae (el salvador). sweet, vanilla-like, woodsy scent. exotic aroma, imparts a rich, earthy scent to perfumes.
Basil, sweet (herb-whole plant) - ocimum basilicum (bulgaria, commores, europe, egypt, france, madagascar, north america, seychelles, vietnam). warm, licorice-like, spicy, herbal scent; deodorant.
Bay, laurel (leaf) - laurus nobilis (france). light, crisp, spicy, sweet aroma; aphrodisiac.
Bay rum (leaf) - pimenta racemosa (jamaica, puerto rico, south america, west indies). light, crisp, spicy, sweet aroma; aphrodisiac. amazingly similar to bay laurel but more robust.
Benzoin (resin) - benzoin styrax (borneo, china, sumatra, thailand, united arab emirates). sweet, vanilla-like scent; deodorant.
Bergamot (peel) - citrus bergamia (italy, morocco). a fresh, sweet citrus smell, (like orange and lemons with floral overtones); deodorant, most notably used in earl grey teas. known for its warm and balancing effect on emotions. extensively used as a fragrance, and for skin care.
Birch, sweet (bark) - betula lenta (united states). has a stimulating, even arousing effect on the spirits.
Birch, white (bark) - betula alba (germany, holland, russia). a minty, woodsy scent.
Black pepper (peppercorn) - piper nigrum (asia, brazil, india, indonesia, madagascar, malaysia). pungent, sharp, spicy, woodsy aroma; aphrodisiac. blends well with rose and other floral oils for the oriental fragrance industry. used extensively in the commercial food industry.
Cade (twigs/wood) - juniperous oxycedrus. tar-like smoky aroma.
Cajeput, rectified (bud/leaf) - melaleuca leucodendron (indonesia, north america). sweet, penetrating, camphorous, medicinal aroma.
Calendula / aka: marigold (petal) - calendula officinalis (egypt, south africa). it's impossible to distill calendula petals and most of what's available is the infused oil of calendula. the carbon dioxide-extracted calendula total co2 produces a high grade extract .
Camphor, white (leaf) - cinnamonum camphora (borneo, china, japan, sumatra). fresh, sharp, penetrating, pungent scent, mothball-like. it is most commonly inhaled or applied externally in rubs.
Caraway (seed) - carum carvi (asia, europe, holland, north america). minty fragrance.
Cardamom (seed) - elettaria cardamomum (central america, ceylon, el salvador, guatemala, india). a camphorous, floral, spicy, sweet scent. has many of the same qualities of nutmeg.
Carrot (seed) - daucus carota (france, hungary). sweet, earth aroma; aphrodisiac.
Cassia (leaf/twig) - cinnamomum cassia (china). cinnamon-like aroma .
Cedarwood, atlas (wood) - cedrus atlantica; deodora; mexicana (algeria, china, east africa, himalayas, lebanon, morocco, north america). rich, camphorous, dry, sweet, woodsy lead pencil-type aroma. aroma improves with age.
Cedarwood (wood) - juniperus virginiana; oregonia (united states). rich, sweet, woody aroma, reminiscent of sandalwood. adds body and warmth to fragrance blends. not considered a true cedarwood as is atlas. often added to wood (or cedar) chests to add cedar scent.
Chamomile, german / aka: chamomile blue (flower/leaf) - matricaria chamomilla (england, france, germany, hungary, morocco, russia, south america). sweet, fruity, apple-like fragrance.
Chamomile, roman (flower/leaf) - chamaemelum nobile (belgium, bulgaria, england, france, hungary, north america, yugoslavia). warm, sweet, and fruity (apple-like), woodsy scent. extensively used in cosmetics, soaps, perfumes and hair, massage and bath treatments. cherished for its gentle, relaxing and soothing effects.
Cinnamon (leaf) - cinnamomum zeylanicum (ceylon, india, madagascar, sri lanka). spicy, sharp, sweet, clove-like aroma; aphrodisiac. perfect for making soaps, candles, incense and scenting potpourri's. the oil can also be distilled from the inner bark of the tree. true cinnamon bark is becoming difficult to find in many countries.
Cistus / aka: labdanum (herb-whole plant) - cistus ladaniferus (spain). herbal, woodsy fragrance; aphrodisiac.
Citronella (grass) cymbopogon nardus (ceylon, china, madagascar, south america). fresh, grassy, lemon-like, woodsy aroma; deodorant. its most useful quality seems to be as an insect repellant.
Clary sage (flower/leaf) - salvia sclarea (europe, france, morocco, oregon-usa. russia). brisk, hay-like, herbal, nutty, sweet and spicy scent; aphrodisiac. traditionally used in treating digestive disorders, now most often mixed with other fragrances. noted for warming and ephoric properties.
Clove bud (bud) - eugenia caryophyllata (east indies, indonesia, madagascar, philippines, west indies). fruity, sweet-spicy, scent.
Clove leaf (leaf) - syzygium aromaticum. floral, fresh, sweet-spicy, penetrating aroma.
Coriander (leaf/seed) - coriandrum sativum (france, holland, india, italy, morocco, north america, russia, tunisia). balsamic, slightly pungent, sweet and spicy aroma; aphrodisiac, deodorant.
Cumin (seed) - cuminum cyminum (india, mediterranean, morocco, sicily). sharp, spicy scent.
Cypress (leaf/cone/twig) - cupressus sempervirens (france, mediterranean, spain). pleasant, pine-like, spicy, sweet, woodsy aroma; deodorant. cypress is lovely when used as a bath scent and in skin care products.
Dillweed (seed) - anethum graveolens (mediterranean, north america). peppery, pickle-like, spicy, warm scent.
Elemi (resin) - canarium luzonicum (france, india, philippines). balsamic, fresh, pungent, spicy, woodsy scent.
Eucalyptus (leaf/twig) - eucalyptus globulus (australia, china, portugal, spain, tasmania). cool, slightly bitter, and pungent, camphor-like quality; deodorant.
Eucalyptus radiata (leaf) - eucalyptus radiata (australia). see eucalyptus above .
Eucalyptus smithii (leaf) - eucalyptus smithii (china). see eucalyptus above .
Eucalyptus, lemon (leaf) - eucalyptus citriodora (china). see eucalyptus above .
Everlasting / aka: immortelle (flower) - helichrysum angustifolium (europe, france). fresh, richly aromatic fragrance, with the subtle scent of honey and flora. invigorate the mind, eases nervous tension, and uplifts the mood.
Fennel, sweet (seed) - foeniculum vulgare (europe, france, germany, india, japan, mediterranean, north america, poland, romania, russia, spain). sweet, floral, herby and slightly spicy aroma characteristic of the well known cooking herb. used extensively as a flavor and a fragrance.
Fir needle (needle) - abies balsamea; siberica (canada, east asia, siberia). clear, balsamic, and refreshing aroma, highly esteemed for its fragrant scent.
Frankincense (resin) - boswellia carterii (africa, china, ethiopia, india, oman, somalia). soft, rich, balsamic, woody scent. used since antiquity in incense. many people use this oil when they meditate to calm the senses. often used in perfumes.
Galbanum (resin) - ferula galbaniflua (france, lebanon, middle east). earthy, fresh, herbal scent.
Geranium (flower, leaf, stalk) - pelargonium graveolens (algeria, china, egypt, france, isle of reunion, madagascar, morocco, russia, south africa). floral, leafy, rose-like scent; the sweet aroma may help one achieve an overall feeling of peace, health, and emotional security.
Ginger (root/stem) - zingiber officinale (africa, china, india, jamaica, japan). smoky, spicy, sweet, woodsy aroma, with a hint of lemon; aphrodisiac.
Grapefruit, pink (peel) - citrus paradisi (florida-usa, israel). sweet, sharp, citrusy aroma.
Helichrysum - see everlasting . .
Hops (bud/flower) - humulus lupulus (europe, new zealand, north america, russia, spain). herbal scent.
Hyssop (flower/leaf) - hyssopus officinalis (brail, egypt, europe, france, india, italy, palestine). camphorous, fresh/herbal, sweet, spicy scent.
Jasmine absolute (flower) - jasminum grandiflorum (algeria, china, egypt, france, italy, morocco). sweet, floral, exotic aroma. called the "king of flower oils" has always had a reputation as an aphrodisiac.
Juniper (berry) - juniperus communis (africa, bulgaria, europe, italy, north america, north asia, siberia). fresh, pine-like, woodsy scent; deodorant, aphrodisiac
Lavender, french/fine (flower) - lavandula vera; augusytifolia; officinalis; dentata (bulgaria, france, spain). clean, fresh, floral, sweet scent, is gentle to the skin; deodorant. almost fruity sweet topnote; fresh herbaceous, overall coo; a pleasant, balsamic woody backnote. traditionally known to help soothe emotional extremes. when applied, may bring the aromatic influence of love and peace.
Lemon (peel) - citrus limonum (argentina, brazil, israel, california-usa). fresh, tart, citrus, scent. although lemon oil is usually pressed from the peel. the highest quality is obtained when the oil is distilled from the whole lemon.
Lemongrass (herb/leaf) - cymbopogon flexuous; citratus (brazil, central africa, ceylon, china, guatemala, haiti, sri lanka). fresh grassy-lemon scent. used extensively in soaps, perfumes and sprays; deodorant.
Lime (peel) - citrus aurantifolia (brazil, florida-usa, italy, mexico, west indies). fresh, sweet, green, zesty scent. like lemon, oil is usually pressed from peel, but this oil may also be distilled from the leaves and flowers or the whole fruit.
Litsea cubeba (fruit) - litsea cubeba (china). citrus and fruity fragrance with floral undertones. also known as may chang, it is know for its ability to anchor citrus notes.
Mandarin, red (peel) - citrus nobilis; reticulata (argentina, brazil, china, india, italy, spain). light, floral, citrus scent.
Marjoram (flower/leaf) - thymus mastichina (egypt, france, germany, hungary, portugal, spain). warm, herbal, pepper-like, spicy aroma.
Melissa / aka: lemon balm, sweet balm (leaf) - melissa officinalis (europe, france, mediterranean). sharp, floral, lemon-like arome. true melissa is distilled from lemon balm. most of the melissa essential oil offered is a mixture of lemon-scented oils which might even include citronella; this is considered "the most adulterated essential oil in the industry". it takes approximately 1.5 tons of the plant to obtain a pound of oil, thus the expensive price of the true, unadulterated essential oil
Myrrh (resin) - commiphora myrrha; molmol (africa, ethiopia, somalia). warm, balsamic, spicy, smoky and slightly musky in aroma, rare and precious, a traditional perfume which is easy on the skin; deodorant. often used in massage.
Myrtle (leaf/stem) - myrtus communis (spain). fresh, slightly sweet and penetrating scent.
Neroli / aka: orange blossom (flower) - citrus aurantium (egypt, france, italy, morocco, spain, tunisia). beautiful floral fragrance, both bitter and sweet; aphrodisiac, deodorant.
Niaouli / aka: gomenol (leaf/stem) - melaleuca quinquenervia viridiflora (australia, east indies, spain, tasmania). slightly sweet, penetrating aroma, eucalyptus/pine-like
Nutmeg (seed) - myristica fragrans (east indies, indonesia, sumatra, west indies). spicy, warm and nutty/ woodsy odor.
Oakmoss absolute (lichen-whole plant) - evernia prusnatri (spain). viscous liquid with an extremely intense aroma reminiscent of a damp forest floor; aphrodisiac.
Orange, bitter (peel) - citrus aurantium (brazil, france, central america, north america, south america, spain, west indies). brisk, refreshing, fruity; zesty, refreshing citrus fragrance.
Orange, sweet (peel) - citrus aurantium (brazil, france, central america, north america, south america, spain, west indies). tangy, bright refreshing scent; zesty, refreshing citrus fragrance.
Oregano (flower/leaf) - thymus capitatus, origanum vulgare (asia, egypt, europe, north africa, spain). from the greek oreganos, "delight-of-the-mountain". warm, herbaceous/woody, slightly spicy scent.
Palmarosa (herb-whole plant) - cymbopogon martini (brazil, central america, india). citrus, floral, grassy fragrance with a hint of rose.
Parsley (seed) - petroselinum sativum (india). fresh, grassy, somewhat herby aroma with spicy undertones; aphrodisiac
Patchouli (leaf) - pogostemon patchouli; cablin (china, indonesia, japan, madagascar). exotic, earthy, balsamic, spicy-sweet, woodsy scent, often prized as a personal fragrance; deodorant. an aphrodisiac; when diffused, this aromatic oil helps create an amorous atmosphere.
Pennyroyal (leaf) - mentha pulegium (morocco). herbaceous, minty scent
Peppermint (herb-whole plant) - mentha piperita (china, europe, united states). powerful sharp, minty scent; deodorant.
Pettigrain (leaf/stem) - citrus aurantium; hystrix (africa, europe, france, italy, morocco, paraguay, south america). strong citrus, sweet, woodsy; a fragrance that is alternately woody and floral; deodorant.
Pine (needle) - pinus sylvestris (bulgaria, europe, north america, russia). crisp, fresh, sweet scent; deodorant. pine needle oil differs from pine oil, which may utilize all or any part of the tree.
Ravensara (bark/leaf) - ravensara anisata; aromatica (australia, madagascar). eucalyptus-like, medicinal, woodsy scent, a mild version of rosemary.
Rose otto (flower) - rosa damascena; centrifolia (bulgaria, france, morocco, russia, turkey). intense, floral, sweet, honey-like, exquisite fragrance; aphrodisiac. also known as damask rose.
Rosehip co2 (seed) - rosa canina; rubignosa (chile, germany). the co2 extracted oil is not subject to the short shelf life usually associated with this oil .
rosemary (flower/leaf/twig) - rosmarinus officinalis (france, japan, morocco, spain, tunisia, yugoslavia). a strong, fresh camphorous, medicinal, woodsy scent; aphrodisiac. characteristic of this cooking herb. used as a fragrance and a flavor.
Rosewood / aka: bois de rose (wood) - aniba rosaeodora (brazil, peru). sweet, woody-floral scent with a hint of spice; aphrodisiac; deodorant. a popular fragrance extensively used in perfumes, soaps, massage oils and bath oils.
Sage, dalmatian (flower/leaf) - salvia officinalis (china, croatia, france, mediterranean, spain, yugoslavia). strong, camphorous, herbal scent; powerful and penetrating. also used in cooking.
Sandalwood (wood) - santalum album (europe, india, indonesia, north america). rare and precious, with a deep, soft, balsamic, sweet-woody scent; aphrodisiac; deodorant. one of the oldest known perfume materials with at least a 4,000-year history.
Spearmint (flower) - mentha spicata; viridis (china, europe, mediterranean, russia, usa). fresh, minty scent, very similar to peppermint, slightly sweeter; deodorant.
Spikenard (root) - nardostachys jatamansi (india). heavy, sweet, woodsy scent.
Spruce (needle) - tsuga canadensi (canada). fresh pine, bitter orange peel aroma
Tagetes (flower) - tagetes glandulifera (madagascar). minty, sweetish, fruity ordor. many people find the aroma somewhat disturbing.
Tangerine (peel) - citrus reticulata (brazil, florida-usa). fresh, light, sweet, citrus, tangy scented oil, similar to orange oil, but has its own unique fragrance.
Tea tree (leaf/twig) - malaleuca alternifoli (australia). herbal, spicy, medicinal, camphor-like, woodsy scent. a common ingredient in soaps, toothpastes, disinfectants, gargles, acne creams and even colognes.
Thyme, red (flower/leaf) - thymus vulgaris (egypt, hungary, mediterranean, spain). iintense, herbal, medicinal, spicy scent; deodorant, aphrodisiac; characteristic of the culinary herb. used both as a flavoring and a fragrance. also used in mouthwashes, toothpaste and cough lozenges.
Thyme, white (flower/leaf) - thymus vulgaris (spain). see thyme, red .
Vanilla absolute (bean) - vanilla planifolia (france, madagascar). sweet balsamic aroma; aphrodisiac.
Vanilla extract (bean) - see vanilla absolute above . .
Verbena / aka: lemon verbena (flower/leaf) - lippia citriodora (france, spain). light, fresh, citrus scent; smells of sweet lemons; aphrodisiac.
Vetiver / aka: vetivert (root) - vetiveria zizanoides (haiti, india, indonesia, japan, java, north america, philippines). heavy, citrus, slightly-sweet, smoky, earthy, tobacco-like, woodsy scent; aphrodisiac.
Violet absolute (leaf) - viola odorata (england, france, greece, italy). herbal, sweet scent.
White pine - see pine . .
Wintergreen (leaf) - gualtheria procumbens (china, north america). fresh, minty, sweet, woodsy scent.
Wormwood (herb) - artemesia absinthium (usa). . .
Yarrow / aka: milfoil (flower/leaf) - achillea millefolium (africa, bulgaria, europe, north america). rich, floral, dry herbaceous aroma; pale yellow to bright blue in color.
Ylang ylang I (flower) - cananga odorata var genuina (indonesia, madagascar, philippines). sweet, floral, heavy aroma. floral, heady, oriental, sweet exotic fragrance; aphrodisiac. tropical islanders have long credited the sweet, heady aroma of ylang ylang blossoms with the capacity to help ease the unpleasant effects of stress and nervousness. the oil is considered one of the most romantic essential oils. the distilled oil is collected in three stages. "type I" is the top or first run and is considered premium with a fuller, more complex nose. "type III" (below) is the last run. "complete" (also below) is a combination of all three stages.
Ylang ylang III (flower) - see ylang ylang I above. .
Yylang ylang complete (flower) - see ylang ylang I above
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