What makes aromatherapy so attractive? Many people will say that smell can improve the body, mind and soul. That’s why it’s so important when practicing the use of aromatherapy to find one that smells attractive. Absolutes are only recently becoming part of aromatherapy. The highly-concentrated scent of absolutes can waken powerful feelings and emotions even in the busiest of lives.
So What Exactly are Absolutes?
Absolutes are basically a more concentrated form of essential oil extracted from plants. What actually makes them different is the process by which the oil is obtained. Essential oils are primarily extracted using a steam distillation process.
However, the process of extracting absolutes involves the use of chemicals and solvents. This extraction method creates a more concentrated version of the plant’s essence – one that is far more fragrant. The problem is that traces of chemicals and solvents can often be found in the end product.
This is why absolutes are generally used by perfume manufacturers, rather than aromatherapists. They can be used in aromatherapy but with extreme care because then can trigger an allergic reaction in some people.
On the whole essential oils are preferable over absolutes but sometimes it’s just not practical to use traditional distillation methods. Two examples of plants which need to go through the chemical extraction process are Jasmine and honeysuckle.
Some Popular Absolutes
Jasmine absolute – Extracted using solvents, Jasmine absolute offers an exquisite scent. Used for years in perfumes and therapy sessions, this sweet heady fragrance is among other things an effective aphrodisiac. If you suffer from irregular menstrual cycles, Jasmine is said to be able to help. It’s also helpful for relieving headaches, depression and also has antiseptic properties.
Lavender absolute – Extracted using alcohol, Lavender absolute has a sweet, floral and woody fragrance reminiscent of a lavender shrub. I’m sure you’ve seen plenty of soaps and creams with lavender in it
Oakmoss absolute – Extracted using solvents or alcohol, Oakmoss absolute has a rich scent that is both earthy and woody. Imagine the smell of damp oak along the seashore and this is what oakmoss absolute smells like – very comforting.
Rose absolute – Extracted from rose blossoms using chemical solvents, rose absolute is a feminine scent that is very intense. It’s perfect for relaxing after a hard day or for when you’re feeling particularly sexy. Something you don’t hear much about is that roses absolute also has anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties. The only downside is the price; it takes many rose blossoms to produce an absolute.
Lotus absolute – Extracted from either pink or white lotus flowers using solvents, lotus absolute has healing qualities. It can also help build confidence and self-esteem.