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Dear EG- What's the difference between absolutes and Essential Oils?

Dear EG- What's the difference between absolutes and Essential Oils?

If you’ve been apart of the aromatherapy world, you have likely seen the term absolute circulating, and perhaps already have a firm understanding of what this term means. However, for those of you who are unsure about what an absolute is or how they differ from an essential oil, Edens Garden hopes to increase your comprehension on the subject and help you along on your aromatherapy journey.

The difference between absolutes and essential oils is the method of obtaining the oil. Absolutes are obtained through solvent extraction. A solvent can be a chemical or alcohol. In solvent extraction, a solvent is combined with plant material. The solvent attracts the oil from the plant material, and the solvent and oil are then separated.

Solvent extraction is used on plant material that is more delicate and not easily distilled. An example being Jasmine. When Jasmine is steam distilled, very little oil is produced and the oil does not have as nice of an aroma as solvent extracted Jasmine.

Another example is Rose. Steam distilled Rose essential oil (also known as Rose Otto) has a very different aroma than Rose absolute, and is not as desirable in perfumery as Rose absolute is. Rose absolute is very high in a constituent called phenylethyl alcohol (PEA) which separates from the oil when steam distilled. PEA contributes in large part to Rose’s classic flowery aroma.

The method in which an oil is obtained can greatly affect the outcome of an oil, and this is how absolutes and essential oils differ.

Have a question for EG? Ask us in the comments section below!


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15 Responses

Edens Garden

October 17, 2018

Hi Juliet! There are no legal standards for what constitutes 100% pure oil, which is why we offer GC/MS reports on all of our single oil’s product pages under “Reports” so customers can review exactly what’s in each oil we offer. To take the guesswork out of reading these reports, we have essential oil chemists review each report to ensure 100% purity and quality of each batch of oil we offer. The difference between single oils and absolutes, is that in absolutes, a trace amount of the solvent may be present, though it would be less than 1%. Lastly, there is no pure honeysuckle essential oil to date.

Juliet Batten

October 17, 2018

I was pleased to read your article on the difference between absolute and essential oils, can you possibly tell me if there is also a difference in the % of 100% concentrated oil of say, Frankincense, put into 1. oils that are sold as essential oils and 2. oils that are sold as absolute oils? Are these concentrations met by any legal or other standards, if so is there such a thing as a “Kite” mark one should be looking for to ensure purchase of such a legistated product? Thank you, Juliet Further can you recommend a true to life essential oil for Honeysuckle?

Edens Garden

September 03, 2018

Hi José! Edens Garden Peru Balsam is actually steam distilled from the resin.


September 03, 2018

I wonder how is obtained de Peru Balsam Absolute as it has a very strong odor fixing capacity so the odor of the solvent will remain in the Aboslute.
Thank you,

Edens Garden

June 21, 2018

Hi Teresa! Jasmine almost never comes in the form of a distilled essential oil, because when distilled its aroma is ruined and becomes quite bad. The company you purchased Jasmine essential oil from either is mislabeling their product or is offering a fragrance oil. You may want to ask them this.

Absolutes can be used in Ultrasonic Diffusers, but not in Nebulizers, like our Thera Lux Nebulizing Diffuser because absolutes are thicker and will get clogged in the tubing.

Lastly, to get the most out of your Jasmine essential oil as a fragrance, try diluting it in grain alcohol and using it as a perfume. This will ensure a longer lasting aroma.

Teresa Riley

June 21, 2018

Can the absolutes be used in a essenential oil diffuser ? Cold air? I bought a Jasmine absolute oil recently , expecting it to be alot stronger than the regular essential oil. . To my surprise, its not. Its very light and when worn as a perfume after diluting it in jojoba oil, it faded completely within a few hours and i couldnt even tell i had put anything on. Thinking it sould be better served as an aromatherapy if possible..☹️

Edens Garden

June 11, 2018

Hi Lobus! Yes, depending on the diffuser you’re using, all of our essential oils and synergy blends may be diffused.


June 11, 2018

Can EG Essential ouls & Synergy Blend oils be used in diffuser? Fir examole “ Good night” Blend oils all along i used in diffuser ( mix few drops in water bowl) n diffuse it… or only certain few EO only are meant for diffusing? I didnot see in the instruction the Good night can be diffusing

Edens Garden

March 19, 2018

Hi Lupe! We recommend starting with a 1% dilution rate and working your way up to 3% at most if you want a stronger aroma.

1%= 6 drops of Rose oil per 1 oz of cream
3%= 18 drops of Rose oil per 1 oz of cream

Lupe Osness

March 17, 2018

I wish to make a body cream using Rose absolute. How much should I use with 4oz cream, as, I am very sensitive. I would like a it to be a light scent, but also therapeutic.

Thank You,
Lupe Osness

Edens Garden

January 22, 2018

Hi Crystal! It is separated using ethanol and vacuum concentration.


January 21, 2018

If an absolute oil is using chemical process to extract the essential oil how is that chemical then removed from the absolute oil… or does it remain behind?

Edens Garden

December 07, 2017

Hi Nicole! Yes, you can use Rose absolute


December 06, 2017

to make a facial serum that calls for 1 drop of rose in 15 ml can i use rose absolute instead of rose otto?


December 05, 2017

If my daughter wanted to scent lotions, or make her own perfume, would she want the absolute?

What “rose” would you recommend for a 16 year old who wants a soft “perfume”? Does she have to combine it differently? We usually put the EO of choice in a carrier oil and she is happy.