What Are Absolutes
Absolutes are plant-based fragrance oils that have been processed using the solvent extraction method. Generally, essential oils are extracted using the steam distillation method; however, the heat and steam method can be damaging to the fragrance properties in some organic plant matter. Therefore,
they must use the solvent extraction method to separate the fragrance from the other properties. Solvent extraction uses hydrocarbons (such as hexane) to extract the volatile compounds without degrading them in the process. Once the solvent is removed, the resulting
product is known as a concrete. The extract contains the volatile aroma/flavor molecules in addition to chlorophyll and other plant tissues, resulting in a highly colored and viscous extract. Concretes also tend to be more stable and enduring than essential oils.
Absolutes are a further derivation of concretes that result when concrete is subjected to a secondary solvent extraction process with ethanol. The solids (waxes, oils, fats, and so on) dissolve in the alcohol. The alcohol is then removed through a process of evaporation. The remaining “essence” is called an absolute.
How To Use Absolutes
Absolutes are thicker and have more concentrated aromatic properties and fragrance than essential oils that have been extracted by steam distillation. Therefore, it is important to dilute absolutes. They should be diluted to 10% (sometimes even 1%). You can dilute absolutes by using 10 drops of the oil to 90 drops of a carrier oil. Using this ratio will make a 10% blend.
Absolutes are available in a variety of oils and each has its own beneficial uses. Depending on the oil and what you’re trying to accomplish, here are some common uses:
BATH TIME: Add five to six drops of an absolute oil in a teaspoon of carrier oil or in a full-fat milk, and then add to your bathwater.
MUSCLE RELIEF: Create a soothing massage oil by diluting two to three drops in three tablespoons of carrier oil.
AROMATHERAPY: Get rid of unpleasant odors, or use to relax and rejuvenate your mind or body. Add two to four drops of essential oil to a burner,diffuser, aroma stone, or aroma steam, and inhale its invigorating scent.
PERFUME: Add a few drops of fragrance in your DIY perfume or cologne.
Absolutes can used like any essential oil. It is just important to take into consideration that an absolute is stronger and has a more concentrated fragrance, so use less of it in your recipes or be sure to dilute it. Diluted absolutes can also be applied topically, to treat skin conditions, or added to any DIY body butter, creams, lotions, perfumes, or soaps.