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Aromatic Isolates & Precious Oil Glossary

While maintaining a healthy life there is no place for artificial
and that’s why at Prima Essence we are completely
transparent about our ingredients.

This page has been created to feature rare essential oils that are not typically used in commercial aromatherapy products. As well to describe Natural Isolates that are often use in natural perfumery.

Chemists are capable of isolating specific or single substances from an essential oil. Linalool is a good example, it actually occurs in hundreds of different aromatic plants such as clary sage, ho wood, lavender, neroli, nerolina, michelia alb, palmarosa and neroli.  Linalool has a sweet soapy floral aroma and is a common ingredient in fragrant products, such perfumes, soaps, deodorants and body care products.  Linalool can be extracted from natural sources and it can also be produced synthetically.

The Isolates that I work with are all derived from Natural Sources. 

Amber (see liquidamber)

Amyris – to come

Alpha Ionone a natural isolate of Litsea cubeba (Origin: France)
In my mind it is reminiscent of the colour of mauve and baby pink, like the delicate powdery scent of violets and cotton candy.  It is an invaluable additive when creating light floral perfumes. Not used in traditional Aromatherapy but is a revered perfume ingredient.

Balsam peru (Myroxylon balsamum var. pereirae) (Origin: El Salvador)
A steam distilled resin, Balsam peru is often used in both Aromatherapy products and in natural perfumes to provide an affordable alternative to vanilla.  I find that it imparts a warm sweet fruit like aroma similar to a cherry cola.

Benzyl Acetate a natural isolate obtained from Ylang Ylang (Origin: France)
This isolate enhances Jasmine and casts a gardenia and lily-of-the-valley like aroma making it a suitable additive to fruity and floral perfumes.  Not used in traditional Aromatherapy but is a revered perfume ingredient.

Birch Tar – to come

Black Currant Bud (Ribes nigrum L.) (Origin: France)
A solvent absolute extracted from flowers and buds. A woody shrub that is native to northern distilled from berries before turning to flowers. Black current bud oil smells very earthy green, with a mint citrus wine undertone. Not used traditional Aromatherapy but extensively used by perfumers for its animal like notes that provoke an erotic effect on neural pathways.

Butyrum (butter) a Co2 extract of butter milk fat. (Origin: Belgium)
This creamy extract is used extensively in skin care products and in perfumes.  Yes, it smells like butter and adds depth to florals and character to base notes. Not used in traditional Aromatherapy but is a revered perfume and skin care ingredient.

Carnation (Dianthus caryophyllus L) (Origin: Egypt)
A solvent absolute extract from flowers. Carnation absolute is not used in traditional Aromatherapy but is a revered perfume ingredient providing a honey scent that is faint of spice.  It is often used as a modifier in flower perfumes due to its mint-like herbaceous base.

Champaca (Michelia champaca L.) (Origin: India)
A Co2 extraction, Michelia champaca is a slender tree that bears fragrant flowers and is native to South Asia, Southeast Asia-Indochina and southern China. In the area where it is native, the flowers are often used during ceremonial worshipping.  Champaca possesses a floral tea like aroma that is slightly spicy with notes of apricot.  Not used in traditional Aromatherapy but is a revered perfume ingredient.

Cognac, Green (Vitis vinifera L.) (Origin: Romania)
Distilled from wine sediment, this essential oil is not used in traditional Aromatherapy, however is vital to the natural perfumer as it possess a tenacity that is dry and tart with an oak finish and it helps to lift fruit and floral notes.

Davana (Artemisa pallens Wall) (Origin: India)
Distilled from leaves and twigs, used in very minute concentrations this boozy aromatic is penetrating and possesses a sweet balsamic herbaceous aroma. Not used in traditional Aromatherapy but is a revered perfume ingredient.

Damascenone a natural isolate of Anise Hyssop (Origin: France)
This isolate possesses a tenacious fruity licorice aroma that exudes colourful rich tones of plum and grape.  It is extremely useful in the blending of fruits and florals within the same mixture. Not used in traditional Aromatherapy but is a revered perfume ingredient.

Ethyl Phenylacetate a natural isolate obtained from Neroli (Origin: USA)
This isolate works fabulously as a floral base note that is sweet and honey like. Not used in traditional Aromatherapy but is a revered perfume ingredient.

Frangipani Absolute – to come

Geraniol a natural isolate of Palmarosa (Origin: France)
This isolate is a monoterpenoid and an alcohol that occurs naturally in many other essential oils such rose, geranium and citronella.  It is commonly used in floral perfumes to cast a rose like scent from top to bottom of the mixture.  Not used in traditional Aromatherapy but is a revered perfume ingredient.

Hay absolute – to come

Heliotropin a natural isolate obtained from sassafras (Origin: USA)
This isolate possesses a very light cherry candy aroma that softens fruity top notes.  Not used in traditional Aromatherapy but is a revered perfume ingredient.

Jasmine, grandiflorum – to come

Jasmine, sambac – to come

Linalool a natural isolate that occurs in more than 200 aromatic plants (Origin: France)
Classified as a middle note it is fresh and soft (soap like) reminiscent of lavender, rosewood, ho wood and blends well with just about every aromatic substance.  Not used in traditional Aromatherapy but is a revered ingredient in many aromatic products ranging from perfumes, body care products, soaps and detergents.

Linalyl Acetate a natural isolate that also occurs in many aromatic plants (Origin: France)
This isolate is used as both a flavour and fragrance agent.  Its aroma is sweet and fruity with a hint of floral synonymous of bergamot and lavender. Not used in traditional Aromatherapy but is a revered perfume ingredient.

Linden Flower (Tilia Cordata) (Origin: France)
An absolute that is rich with green notes of tea with an underlying floral heart that is warm and honey like. Not used in traditional Aromatherapy but is a revered perfume ingredient.

Liquidambar (Amber styraciflua L.) (Origin: Honduras)
A natural oleoresin extracted with ethanol (no hexane). At first the aroma of Liquidambar is somewhat metallic, yet sweet, somewhat spicy and with balsamic earthy tones.  Amber is not used in traditional Aromatherapy, however is commonly used in the perfume industry as it acts as an odor fixative.

Neroli (Citrus aurantium var. amara L.) (Origin: Egypt)
An extraordinary oil (and probably my very favourite next to Patchouli) distilled from Orange blossoms.  True Neroli is used extensively in Aromatherapy, in high quality perfumes and skin care products. When you see Neroli being used in commercial products such as soaps, candles, linen sprays, and body care products – you can be guaranteed that an artificial version of Neroli is being used because it is very expensive.  True Neroli is also often adulterated with Petitgrain (its cousin) which is a distilled oil from the leaf of the orange tree.

Neroli possesses a light sweet floral tone with a faint green crispness while at the same time is rather dusty and tobacco like.  A number of studies have been conducted with Neroli pointing to its profound effect on stress, anxiety, fear and its ability to relax patients in hospital settings.

Please visit this blog post for more information about Neroli.

Nerolidol a naturally occurring sesquiterpene alcohol found in many essential oils (Origin: Egypt)
Nerolidol occurs specifically Neroli (orange blossom), ginger, jasmine, cannabis sativa, lavender and lemongrass.  It possesses a fresh slightly green wood aroma that is barely noticeable. I like to use it as a fixative to extend citrus top notes in a mixture without changing the direction of the composition. Not used in traditional Aromatherapy but is a revered perfume ingredient.

Oak Moss – to come

Patchoulyl Acetate a natural isolate derived from patchouli leaf oil (Origin: Indonesia)
This isolate possesses an utterly exquisite sweet, warm aroma that is less complex and cleaner than whole patchouli oil.  It is a versatile additive to assist with the blending of base notes.  It is especially useful in earthy rich and exotic mixtures. Not used in traditional Aromatherapy but is a revered perfume ingredient.

Pepper, pink – to come

Pink Lotus – to come

Petitgrain (Organic Citrus aurantium var. amara) (Origin: Egypt)
Distilled from bitter orange leaves, twigs.  This particular petitgrain is high in linalyl acetate and according to many Aromatherapy theorists has a calming and balancing effect on the nervous system. Its aroma is leafy green with a citrus twist and possesses a much stronger but similar scent to Neroli blossom which is also derived from the bitter orange tree. For more information on Neroli and Petitgrain please visit my blog at www.livelovesmell.com

Even on the gloomiest days when you smell a Rose, even if just for a moment, the aroma will elicit feelings of encouragement, hope, joy and relaxation. Rose essence is one of the most popular aromatics in the perfume industry.

There are distinctive aromatic variations between different species of roses. Some persons are capable of differentiating between a natural rose essence and one that is a synthetically contrived. A natural rose that is still intact (growing on the bush) possesses natural aromatics notes that are earthy, muddy, mossy, and faint of spiced tea - many of these aromatic nuances are lost in a synthetic rose scent.

Rose (Rosa Damascene Absolute) is obtained via a solvent extraction. Those who claim to be experts in aromatherapy and handcrafted skin care may be using a Rose Absolute in their products and that’s ok - BUT ONLY IF they are looking to achieve a natural aroma in their product.

In my opinion ROSE ABSOLUTE should NOT be used in skin care products because the solvents used to capture the aroma destroy the natural antioxidants that occur in a true rose essential oil. Therefore you will only find Rose Absolute in my Natural Perfumes.

Rose Otto (Rosa x damascene Mill.) petal oil obtained via Hydrodistillation is more suited to skin care products, as it is not processed with solvents. Beauty care chemists indicate that the unique antioxidants of citronellol and geraniol which occur naturally in rose oil help to diminish the signs of aging and slows down free radical damage and may be beneficial in supporting broken capillaries, healing scars and soothing skin that is inflamed and dry.

Yuzu (Citrus junos Sieb. ex Tanaka) (Origin: Japan)
Distilled from fruit peel. A hardy evergreen that is native to Tibet, Japan and Central China extract that bears a citrus fruit that possess a strong lemony aroma with characteristics of balsamic sweet notes which distinguishes it from other citrus fruits.

The fresh juice and zest from the fruit are used extensively in Japanese and Korean cuisine.
From a Japanese cultural perspective dating back to the early 18th century on the night of the winter solstice, the whole fruits are wrapped in cheesecloth and then submerged in a hot bath in order to release the strong aromatic properties. This cultural practice is said to help prepare the immune system against colds while warming the body and relaxing the mind.

Tonka Bean – to come

Vanilla absolute – to come

Vetiver – to come

Violet Leaf – to come 


These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration or by Health Canada. These ingredients are cited here merely from a general interest perspective and are not substances that are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.