Ingredient 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.

Below is a list of my favourite ‘Common Essential Oils’ (EO’s) that I like to work with and further down the page are what I call ‘The Special Ones’. To describe each of the Common EO’s would be exhausting and not-too-mention redundant because there are plenty of resources about essential oils in published books and online. However, I highly recommend to my readers and followers; when you are researching information about EO’s to be conscientious about sifting through the GOOD SOURCES and weeding out the ‘Not-So-Good Sources’.  Be cognizant that many references online are simply marketing ploys luring the reader into believing that EO’s play a vital role in health care or that a particular brand is better or more therapeutic.

✿ Sure, there are many EO’s that provide symptomatic relief from mild conditions, but there is very little empirical evidence that the wholeness of an essential oil will prevent or cure serious health conditions or illnesses.  

✿ Absolutely, there are many EO’s that possess anti-microbial properties when you diffuse them into your air-space and many can be used as additives to natural cleaning products.

✿ Some EO’s essential make for good additives to massage oils due to their warming, cooling and anti-inflammatory affects.

✿ Then there are a handful of EO’s that are safe to use in skin care products and there is some research indicating that some may help to support the integrity of the skin.

✿ Finally there are some EO’s that smell fabulous on their own, but mostly they smell better when mixed together.

Depending upon the application, sometimes it’s best to keep blends simple and just use 2 to 5 EO’s in a formula.

When it comes to creating an Environmental Scenting Product or a Natural Perfume than go a head and use a larger smattering of EO’s and other natural essences – but having an excellent repertoire of the qualities of each essence is key, because:

some will amplify and punctuate a specific aroma
some will round out the edges in a formula
some will muddy the waters
some will completely modify the potion
some are susceptible to oxidation and in high volumes can irritate the skin
some are hot and will irritate the skin, and
some are very expensive.

For those who are very keen about Aromatherapy, Aromachology and Essential oils please visit my other pages: Aromatherapy/Aromachology & FAQs

My Favourite Common Essential Oils

Basil (Ocimum basilicum L.) (Origin: Egypt) distilled from leaves.

Birch, sweet (Betula lenta) (Origin: Canada) distilled from inner bark.

Bergamot (Citrus bergamia) (Origin: Italy) cold pressed from fruit peel.

Cardamon (Elettaria cardamomum) (Origin Sri: Lanka) distilled from seeds.

Cedarwood (Cedrus deodor) (Origin: India) distilled from wood.

Cedarwood (Cedrus atlantica) (Origin: Morocco) distilled from wood.

Cinnamon Bark (Cinnamomum zeylanicum) (Origin: Sri Lanka) distilled from bark. (very hot use sparingly)

Chamomile, Roman (Anthemis nobilis L.) (Origin: United Kingdom) distilled from flowers.

Clary Sage (Salvia sclarea L.) (Origin: France) distilled from leaves and flowers.

Clove (Eugenia caryophyllata (syn. Syzygium aromaticum L.) (Origin: Indonesia) distilled from dried fruit.

Coriander (Coriandrum sativum L.) (Origin: Egypt) distilled from leaves and stems.

Eucalyptus, dives (Eucalyptus dives) (Origin: Australia) distilled from leaves and wood.

Eucalyptus, globulus (Eucalyptus globulus) (Origin: Australia) distilled from leaves and wood.

Eucalyptus, radiata (Eucalyptus radiata) (Origin: South Africa) distilled from leaves and wood.

Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare dulce) (Origin: Hungary) distilled from seeds.

Frankincense (Boswellia carterii) (Origin: United Arab Emirates) distilled from resin.

Frankincense (Boswellia serrata) (Origin: India) distilled from resin.

For information Frankincense please visit my blog at

Grapefruit, Pink (Citrus paradisi) (Origin: Argentina) cold pressed from fruit peel.

Helichrysum (Helichrysum italicum) (Origin: Bosnia) distilled from flowering tops.

Ho wood (Cinnamomum camphora) (Origin: China) distilled from twigs and bark.

Lemon (Citrus limon) (Origin: Italy) cold pressed from fruit peel.

Lemongrass (Cymbopogon flexuosus) (Origin: India) distilled from leaves/grass.

Lavender (Lavendula angustifolia) (Origin: France) distilled from flowers.

Lavender (Lavendula angustifolia) (Origin: Bulgaria) distilled from flowers.

Lime (Citrus latifolia Tanaka) (Origin: Brazil) cold pressed from fruit peel.

Litsea cubeba (Litsea cubeba) (Origin: Vietnam) distilled from fruit peel.

Mandarin (Citrus reticulata) (Origin: Italy) cold pressed from fruit peel.

Myrrh (Cammiphora myrrha) (Origin: Somalia) distilled from resin.

Nerolina (melaleuca quinquenervia ct. nerolidol) distilled from leaves and twigs.

Orange (Citrus sinensis) (Origin: Brazil) cold pressed from fruit peel.

Palmarosa (Cymbopogon martini var motia) (Origin: India) distilled from grass.

Patchouli (Pogostemom cablin) (Origin: Indonesia) distilled from leaves.

Pepper, black (Pepper nigrum) (Origin: Sri Lanka) distilled from dried fruit.

Peppermint (Mentha piperita) (Origin: India) distilled from leaves.

Petitgrain (Citrus aurantium L.var amara). (Origin Italy) distilled from leaves and twigs.

Rosewood (Aniba rosaeodora Ducke) (Origin: Brazil) distilled from leaves and twigs.

Rosemary, Spanish (Rosmarinus officinalis ct. camphor) (Origin: Spain) distilled from leaves and stems.

Sandalwood (Santalum album linn) (Origin: India) distilled from wood

Sandalwood (Santalum spicatum) (Origin: Australia) distilled from wood

Wintergreen (Gaultheria fragrantissima Wall) (Origin: Nepal) distilled from leaves and twigs.

Ylang Ylang I (Cananga odorata var. genuine) (Origin: Madagascar) distilled from flowers.

The Special Ones

Amber (see liquidamber)

– 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 (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.

For more information on Linalool please visit my blog at

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.

For more information on Neroli and Petitgrain please visit my blog at

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

Just about every human on the planet has smelled a beautiful flower, but the aroma of a rose is known the world over.  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, and then there are those noses who are capable of distinguishing between a rose absolute and a rose otto. And to further complicate the novice nose regardless of whether the rose fragrance is a synthetic, or a natural – a rose that is still intact (growing on the bush) possesses natural aromatics notes that are earthy, muddy, mossy, and faint of spiced tea.

Rose (Rosa damscene absolute) obtained via solvent extraction. (Origin: Maldova)
Typically rose absolutes possess rich and deep aromatic qualities that have a honey undertone, with a very faint indole, an aromatic compound that is responsible for the not-so-nice smell of certain bacteria, feces and coal tars.  Rose absolute is one of the most popular aromatics in the perfume industry. Other than the perfume industry there are many Aromatherapists and cosmetic companies who use Rose absolute essence in their products to encourage feelings of happiness and contentment.  In my opinion Rose absolute should not be used in skin care products, therefore you will only find Rose absolute in my natural perfumes.

Rose otto (Rosa x damascene Mill. Oil) obtained via Hydrodistillation and Cohobation (Origin: Bulgaria)
The psychological effects of Rose otto are similar to Rose absolute.  However, distilled Rose otto is much more suited to skin care products, as it is not processed with solvents. Beauty care chemists and 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 and or substances are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.