What Is The Difference Between Absolute Oil vs Essential Oil?
January 27, 2024
Absolute Oil vs Essential Oil
Two names in the world of aromatherapy and natural apothecary have been creating confusion - essential oil and absolute oil. They have often been interchangeably used and have made new as well as seasoned practitioners wonder about the difference. Even formulators who get wholesale essential oils in bulk are unsure about the distinction.
To answer what is the difference between absolute oil and essential oil, it is important to first understand both these oils individually.
Brief Summary Of Essential Oil
Essential oils are steam-distilled extracts from various plant parts like flowers, leaves, roots etc. They are non-soluble in water and hence are called hydrophobic. They carry the aroma as well as therapeutic properties of the botanical part they are extracted from. They are often used for aromatherapy, perfume making, massages, cosmetics etc. They are easily available and the massive explosion of online suppliers has made it accessible to buy essential oils wholesale from anywhere in the world.
Brief Summary Of Absolute Oil
Absolute oils are highly potent oils that are extracted through a process called solvent extraction. It is a more intense process and uses solvents like hexane. This extraction method is usually used for plant parts that are more volatile and can’t withstand the heat of steam distillation. They are mostly used for perfume making and aromatherapy.
Absolute Oil vs Essential Oil: Key Differences
The key difference between absolute oil and essential oil is that absolute oil is more concentrated, highly aromatic and has a higher density of plant compounds. This gives absolutes a stronger aromatic profile. The other differences are in terms of raw material, extraction process, consistency, price and applications.
Essential oils are extracted through the process of steam distillation. It is a simple ancient technique where plant parts and water are heated and the collected steam is then cooled down. Oil is then separated from water and we receive pure oil as an output. On the other hand, absolutes are extracted through solvent extraction. In this process, a solvent like hexane or ethanol is added to the delicate plant parts. The solvent captures the aromatic compound and then evaporates, leaving behind a concentrated extract called absolute.
Essential oils are extracted by using heat whereas there is no heat involved in the extraction of absolute oils.
Delicate plant parts like flower petals are used for absolutes. These parts can’t withstand the heat and might get damaged. On the other hand, essential oils are made with a wide range of botanical components like leaves, twigs, roots etc. The difference is also in the quantity of raw material required to make each of the oil.
Consistency and aromatic profile
Another difference between absolute oil and essential oil is that the former has a thicker consistency compared to the latter. Absolutes are more dense and viscous whereas E.O.s are thinner.
At Aromachology, we offer different types of oils from the same plant. For ex. We have rose absolute as well as rose essential oil. While both of them come from the same plant, you will notice stark differences in the aroma. This is due to chemical composition and the quantity of actives. The same is applicable to other fragrances like Jasmine, Neroli, Osmanthus, Lavender, Gardenia etc.
Essential oils are usually cheaper compared to absolutes. For example, 8.45 fl oz of rose E.O. will cost around US$ 73 and the same quantity of rose absolute will cost US$ 1,011.
There is also a difference in terms of the uses and applications. Absolute oils are mostly used for perfumery, flavorings and luxury cosmetic purposes whereas as their counterparts are used for aromatherapy, candle and soap making, massages, spas, diffusers etc.
The following table sums up all the differences between absolute oil and essential oil. Feel free to save it for your future reference as well.
Thick and more viscous
Thinner and less viscous
Denser, closer to the plant part
Delicate parts, mostly flowers
All plant parts
Perfumes, luxury cosmetics
Available at Aromachology
Both, Absolutes and essential oils are respected for their distinct profile, it is up to you to identify your intended usage to select the right oil. Purchasing from the right supplier is important to ensure you get what you pay for. Aromachology offers solvent extracted as well steam distilled oils with the right certificates. Essential oils are mostly used for wellness purposes, absolutes are great for perfume and cologne making.
What are absolute oils used for?
Absolute oils are used for making colognes, perfumes, and luxury cosmetics. They are also used for flavouring and aromatherapy.
Are absolute oils safe?
Yes,absolute oils are safe to use given that you follow the usage guidelines. They are potent oils and should never be used without dilution.
Can you use absolute oils in a diffuser?
Yes, absolute oils are an excellent choice for diffusers. They can be used to create a luxurious atmosphere and a single drop is sufficient to scent a whole room.
Are absolutes safe for skin?
No, absolutes should not be used directly on the skin as these potent oils can cause sensitivity.Dilute them properly and check with a medical expert if you intend to use them on the skin.
Where to buy bulk essential oil in best price?
You can bulk essential oil in best price from a wholesale supplier like Aromachology.