Search Results for: Calendula

Calendula ~ When and How to Make infused oils

Jeanne Rose going to go back to herbal and gardening and perfumery basics of tincturing, infusing, weeding, blending with moon lore, and plant knowledge to make even better infused medicinal oils.



Jeanne Rose ~ circa 1972

Kingdom is Plantae
Order is Asterales
Family is Asteraceae
Tribe is Calenduleae
Genus is Calendula – referring to the first day of the month or here the long growing period.
species is C. officinalis – originally meaning used medicinally. The Pot Marigold “my thoughts are with you”


Contents: fresh Calendula flowers & Virgin Olive oil
figure 1. Calendula infused oil

           “I know that some will disagree with me on this subject but I strongly feel that distilling Calendula flowers is a waste of botanical product. Calendula Hydrosol is obtained from freshly picked Calendula flowers and distilled in a copper still. It produces a green and vegetative smelling hydrosol. It seems a waste of good Calendula flowers.” My suggestion is to not distil it but to infuse the fresh flowers in good-quality Olive Oil for an infused oil. This can be used in all skin care lotions. It works to smooth and soothe the skin, to heal small eruptions or sores. It makes a perfect infused oil. You use less resources when you infuse or macerate than when you distil.

When you distil the Calendula you will use (waste) up to 30 POUNDS of flowers (250 flowers per pound or 7500 flowers in 30 lbs.) to make ONLY 3 Gallons of hydrosol + all the water wasted going through the condenser. Though the hydrosol of Calendula is made from fresh flowers and is being used in new ways to combat old problems, The Hydrosol and Aromatic Waters Booklet details these uses and gives sources where you can purchase this new product, it is a serious waste of plant material.  When you distil for hydrosol you have to also think of the environmental impact of your work and the value of the water used.

Yes, there are some water-soluble compounds in the flowers but we can use the flowers more efficiently as a tea or compress. With the Calendula infused oil, you use 1 lb. of resin covered flowers to 1 gallon of good Olive oil. Nothing is wasted. I make my freshly picked Calendula infused oil from fresh flowers and not dried – it is a fantastic product.”

Sometimes an herbal product is a better choice of a product to use than a distilled product.


 Parts of Calendula Used. The flowers and leaves are used for distillation and only the flowers for infused oil.
Calendula Leaves – Gather these in dry weather, in the morning, after the sun has dried the dew — for tea. They can also be dried for tea. The leaves can be alternate, opposite, or whorled. They may be simple, but are often deeply lobed or otherwise incised, often conduplicate or revolute. The margins can be entire or lobed or toothed.

Calendula Flowers – The flowers are picked when they are covered with the resin and then used and if they will be dried, it needs to be done quickly in the shade, in a good current of warm air. They can be hung in mesh bags from tree limbs or spread out on sheets of paper, without touching each other. If they are dried and the flowers have been touching they will become discolored. Another method of drying is to spread them on screens in a warm dry attic or over a stairway. This has been described extensively in The Herbal Studies Course, chapters 31 and 33.   
          The flowers and leaves are used for distillation and only the flowers for infused oil.

Calendula resin: When you pick Calendula, your fingers will be sticky from the resinous bracts which form the green base of the flower head. This resin is an important part of Calendula’s healing and is a good indicator of strength. If you are buying Calendula, make sure you purchase the bright yellow or orange flowers which is a good barometer of its freshness and medicinal quality. If picking fresh flowers, the stickier (with resin) the better. The leaves and the stems very often contain secretory canals with resin or latex. This is particularly common among the Cichorioideae).


Calendula Chemistry. The German herbal medicine manufacturer, Dr. Theiss, registered ‘Rinathei’ in 1998 for its own exclusive production use. This variety is claimed to be rich in faradiol triterpenoids believed to be most responsible for calendula’s anti-inflammatory activity. Intriguingly, a readily available dwarf ornamental variety, ‘Calypso Orange,’ is also rich in faradiols, having the highest content of 10 cultivars tested, as much as a third more than ‘Erfurter Orangefarbi.
The petals and pollen contain triterpenoid esters (an anti-inflammatory) and the carotenoids flavoxanthin and auroxanthin (antioxidants, and the source of the yellow-orange coloration). The leaves and stems contain other carotenoids, mostly lutein (80%) and zeaxanthin (5%), and beta-carotene. Plant extracts are also widely used by cosmetics, presumably due to the presence of compounds such as saponins, resins, and essential oils.

figure 2. fresh Calendula flower

 Calendula infused oil is a wonderful product to nourish dry skin. It also makes good carrier oil used in aromatherapy massage. To make this product use The Aromatherapy Book and refer to pages 249-250.  Calendula Infused Oil is a wonderful product to have on hand. During the summer when the flowers are available Jeanne Rose teaches both courses and classes making this wonderful infused oil for massage, blending or perfumery.
I do not recommend sun infusion ~ I AM NOT a proponent of letting something sit in oil for 4-6 weeks, hot during the day and cooler at night, as this is a perfect way to create spoilage. I use the hot maceration method and get my perfect Calendula oil or St. Johnswort Oil in about 2-3 days.


TO MAKE INFUSED OIL: To make this product use The Aromatherapy Book or the Aromatherapy Studies Course and read up on it. Use 1 lb. of fresh flowers to 1 gallon of organically grown Olive oil. Essentially, you have to get freshly picked flowers when they are ready and covered in resin; pick them in the morning when the dew is dry but the sun not yet high and infuse and macerate them slowly over a series of days in organically-grown Olive oil, heating gently but not boiling, cooling, heating and cooling until the flowers have exuded (sweated) their liquid moisture. Keep heating and cooling until the pot lid no longer collects the condensation, pouring off the condensate and drying the inside of the lid. During hot weather, this might be done in a day but here in San Francisco it takes about 3 days. Cool, and allow the oil to drain into a clean container.

         When pouring off the condensate, remember to not pour it back into the oil, but into a separate container. This liquid can be considered a perfect hydrosol of Calendula as it is the natural exudate from the flowers. Collect it and then use it as a facial tonic within the next three days.

After the oil has taken on the deep orange color of the flowers, (2-4 days of warm maceration), let it cool enough to pour into a glass jar. Use a funnel lined with a mesh bag and pour the oil through the bag into the jar. The mesh bag collects any stray bits of plant material. It is not necessary to use a filter or filter paper as that just adds another dimension to the product and does not remove any bacteria or yeast. If you have made the oil correctly it will be yeast and mold-free for up to a year and the filter paper doesn’t filter only makes a mess.

Now you will have to be patient and let the finished Calendula Infused Oil sit for a day or two and settle. Any liquid that may be left will drop to the bottom of the jar and the oil decanted into a clean container. If the oil is cloudy, however, you will have to heat it gently one more time to remove the fluid. My Calendula Infused oil is golden yellow-orange and clear and will stay pure for up to a year or more.

At this point, pour your oil into sterile quart or 8-oz. bottles. Label your product with its name, contents, the size of the container, and your name or phone number or website. Store them in a basement or wine cellar at about 45-55°. They will keep until you use or sell them.


      MEDICINAL ACTION AND USES. Used externally as a local application for sores, pus’y wounds, pimples or irritation. Fresh Marigold flower is a useful remedy for the pain and swelling caused by the sting of a wasp or bee when rubbed on the affected area. A lotion made from the infused oil, flower wax and an essential oil is most useful for sprains and wounds, and if you have a hydrosol water distilled from these flowers that is good for inflamed and sore eyes (but only used if kept sterile).


INGREDIENTS: Calendula infused (Olive) oil is a wonderful product to nourish dry skin. Olive oil by itself contains the phytonutrient, oleocanthal, which mimics the effect of ibuprofen in reducing inflammation in the body. Squalene and lignans are among the other olive oil components being studied for their possible effects on cancer.

Calendula officinalis (is used for the treatment of skin disorders and pain, and as a bactericide, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory.


USE. Used for dry or sensitive skin, baby care, and also good carrier oil used in aromatherapy massage. Essentially, you have to get freshly picked flowers, infuse and macerate in olive oil, heat gently and cool several times removing all condensate that collects on the lid. Then allow the oil to drain into a clean, sterile container. Only the common variety with deep orange color and sticky resin is of medicinal value. The yellow flower can also be used but it does not make as deeply colored infused oil and it seems of ‘lesser’ strength.  Calendula Infused Oil is a wonderful product to have on hand. During the summer when the flowers are available there are classes to teach the making of this wonderful infused oil.

figure 3. Bottles of Jeanne Rose Calendula Infused Oil


Medicinal Action and Uses. Calendula infused oil made from fresh flowers and organic olive oil is a wonderful product to nourish dry skin. It also makes good carrier oil used in blends, lotions, and massage.

The flowers also called Marigold are chiefly used as a local remedy. They have a stimulating action and are diaphoretic (makes you sweat) when taken as a warm tea. Given internally, it encourages a natural internal action and prevents suppuration (pus formation as in an abscess or a vesicle and the discharge of pus). The usual recipe for herbal infusion is of 1-ounce dried herb to a pint of boiling water, steep for 10-20 minutes and take internally, in doses of one tablespoonful, every hour; and used externally as a local application for sores, pus’y wounds, pimples or irritation. It is useful as an internal tea in chronic ulcer, varicose veins, etc. This infusion was formerly considered to have much value as an aperient (mild laxative) and intestinal cleanser in obstructions in the digestive system and for jaundice.

Fresh Marigold flower is a useful remedy for the pain and swelling caused by the sting of a wasp or bee when rubbed on the affected area. The hydrosol is made from fresh flowers and is being used in new ways to combat old problems. The Hydrosol and Aromatic Waters Booklet details these uses and gives sources where you can purchase this new product.


An infusion of the freshly gathered flowers, drunk hot is useful in summer fevers and cold, as it gently promotes perspiration – a decoction of the flowers has been used to treat smallpox and measles. Marigold flowers are very useful for children’s ailments.

The expressed juice of the flower or the dried powdered flowers, snuffed up the nose triggers sneezing and a discharge of mucous from the head. Years ago when I tried to express the juice of fresh flowers, I used a Champion juicer, got only a few drops of juice but used this, diluted by half with water, as nose drops for a client who had a hole in the septum.

The leaves when chewed at first taste gummy and sweet followed by a strong penetrating salty taste. The expressed juice of flowers and leaves, which contains the most of this pungent matter, especially with Rose petals has been given in cases of costiveness (retained feces), where it acts as an aperient and proved very useful for this problem. Since it is gentle, it can be used with children and in small doses for your pets.

The leaves and flowers can be eaten as a salad and also been considered a medicinal culinary herb, useful in skin diseases and swollen lymph nodes of children. Some of the stronger scented Calendula with lots of resin is recommended to remove warts.


Using the Moon to Make the Infusion:
Phases of moon

For instance, it is good to start a tincture on a New Moon in a Water sign (Cancer/Scorpio/Pisces).

If you want to weed a garden, or filter/strain your infused oil or Bruise Juice ~ do it in the last quarter leading to the full moon in an Earth sign (Taurus/Virgo/Capricorn).

If you want your blend/infusion to have a strong good scent or to boost the olfactory powers of a scent, make sure you pick the plants when they are ready. When they are ready means at the time when their scent is the best. For instance, Jasmine at night, Tuberose early in the morning or at dark, Chamomile types in the early morning, Roses when the dew is dried but before the sun is high.

Start blends in the New Moon/First Quarter in a Fire sign (Aries/Leo/Sagittarius).

The Llewellyn book on moon signs can be used for off-line reference, and there are online websites that have the phases and astrological signs.

 I am keeping my book, Herbs & Things open in my reading room because I want to be able to reference the formula and what I had to say then.  I already visit various moon lore and weather sites on the Internet for basic charts. When I make Bruise Juice, I pick and start work on a waxing to full moon when the herbs are at their fullest. Let it drain and bottle on a waning moon. For great moon information see — any weather or navy site or go to MoonMenu for a quick moon update.

 Jeanne Rose Aromatherapy • 415-564-6785 or

The Aromatherapy Book.
The Hydrosol and Aromatic Waters Booklet by Jeanne Rose. $24.50 from
 In-person Seminars, courses, and classes by home-study or Distance Learning
Calendula Infused Oil
1 quart = $150 + S&H
8 oz. = $45 + S&H 

Pictures During the Process of Making Infused Calendula Oil


~ JR ~

CO2 EXTRACTS for Perfumery & Skin Care


A Compilation of Data


Synopsis: Carbon dioxide extracts CO2 are closer in composition to the oil as it occurs in the botanical plant than those obtained by other techniques. Best as a flavor and wonderful perfume ingredient: no solvent residue, no off notes, more top notes, more back note, and better solubility.

11 selected CO2 Extracts Courtest Eden Botanicals
5 more CO2 Extracts


            CO2 extracts are another way for humans to ‘get’ the scent out of a plant. The more traditional way is to steam, or water distill or to extract via solvents.  But CO2 extraction tries to capture as much of the scent as possible as well as some of the plant compounds from a natural material by using a natural substance, carbon dioxide, to make a completely natural scent and flavor.  The CO2 extract is also called supercritical CO2 extraction and this process has many benefits over the traditional distillation processes. It is “supercritical” as the carbon dioxide has liquid properties while remaining in a gaseous state.

When choosing a scent whether a standard steam-distilled essential oil or other process, the way it is processed should be considered. Carbon dioxide extracts, CO2, are extremely pure and can be used in herbal medicine as well as aromatherapy and natural perfumery.

As David Moyler says, “they more closely resemble the aroma and taste of the botanical starting material than the steam distilled equivalent.” These carbon dioxide extracts, CO2, are closer in composition to the oil as it occurs in the botanical plant than those obtained by other techniques. Best as a flavor and fragrance ingredient: no solvent residue, no off notes, more top notes, more back note, and better solubility.

CO2 extraction also aims to capture as much of the scent as possible from a natural material.

“This technology uses carbon dioxide, which turns to a liquid at high pressure, and passes it over the natural material to extract all the scent components without damaging them. “

CO2 extracts express nature like no other extract,” says Bakouche. “They offer some facets that don’t exist in essential oils or absolutes — where the molecules are damaged or burned away.”4


During steam distillation, many artefacts are produced that do not occur in the natural botanical and can be easily detected even by simple odor evaluation. Essential oils have traditionally been obtained using either steam or hydro distillation, or extracted using chemical solvents such as hexane, heptane or ethanol.


How Is It Done: 

The CO2 extraction process consists of pumping pressurized carbon dioxide into an airtight chamber filled with plant matter. When carbon dioxide is subjected to pressure it becomes “supercritical” and has liquid properties while remaining in a gaseous state.2 Low heat is also applied to aid extraction.

“As the pressure inside the container rises, the C02 gas nearly liquifies, bathing the plant material in supercritical C02. The combination of high pressure and low temperatures encourages the plant material to releases its aromatic components. After a period of time, pressure is reduced and the supercritical C02 then changes back to its gaseous state, completely dissipating from the extracted material.” 6

Because of the liquid properties of the gas, the CO2 functions as a solvent, pulling the oils and other substances such as pigment and resin from the plant matter. Thus, the difference between CO2, or supercritical, extraction and traditional distillation is that CO2 is used as a solvent instead of heated water or steam. The temperature involved in the supercritical extraction process is around 95 to 100 degrees F. as opposed to 140 to 212 degrees F. in steam distillation.3

 The CO2 supercritical extraction process eliminates the need for potentially harmful solvents like hexane, avoiding unnecessary environmental pollution and potential human bodily harm. Another very important consideration is that the supercritical CO2 extraction process avoids heat degradation to the plant matter, producing an essential oil that is a more authentic version of the original plant matter. Many medicinal properties of the plant are thus kept intact in the oil, exemplified by German Chamomile extract. Another positive aspect to the CO2 distillation process is the aroma of the essential oil. The CO2 supercritical extract offers a more genuine aroma of the actual herb, spice or plant. The aroma of the CO2 extracts of Ginger, Cardamom and other spices are more natural, etheric and warm in nature rather than the somewhat harsh and intense aroma the same plants that have been steam distilled.5

 For instance, Eden Botanicals, love the spice oils derived using CO2 technology, and believe that they are superior to the steam distilled spice oils. Comparing like-named oils you will find quite different oils, with very different aroma profiles. As an example, in Patchouli, some people prefer the steam-distilled type with its more earthy, woody scent to the fresh, greener aroma of the Patchouli CO2 extract.  it always come down to personal preference.5


Some Perfumery Information ~ CO2 extracts should be stored in the refrigerator to extend use. They do contain some of the plant components and thus more easily succumb to oxidation. Some will crystallize a bit and will need to be warmed to use.  They are soluble in essential oils and carrier oils but often not soluble in alcohol. Some of the CO2 extracts, separate, and are clear to see through and called “Extra Select or Fine” and are somewhat soluble in alcohol.  If you are making a perfume product, the CO2 extract will usually drop out of solution and will need to be aged somewhat, stood upright for 24 hours for the plant solids to settle, then filtered or decanted before being used.


Total CO2 extractions are often more difficult to work with as they also contain plant solids as well as the essential oil and maybe thicker and require specialized consideration when diluting.


Agarwood CO2 Extract ~ Aquilaria malaccensis oil is produced from the infected decaying heartwood of cultivated trees. This heartwood is saturated with an oleoresin that when distilled is the basis of an incense or is extracted. Because the trees are cultivated it makes the process more ecologically sound. This oil is thick and opaque and requires gentle heating in order for it to be mixed into blends. It is a deep rich earthy and somewhat spicy odor that takes some getting used too. It can be used in perfumery in the base note or as a fixative.



Ambrette Seed CO2 Extract ~ Abelmoschus moschatus. Also called Hibiscus abelmoschus L. This musky oil is well known for its use, inhaled, to reduce stress, and fatigue. Marcia Elston said in 2010, “Ambrette seed CO2 has similar application to Ambrette seed absolute in fine, sophisticated perfumery to impart a note similar to animal musk. It is best aged for several months before use, which will subdue the initial fatty notes. It has a rich, sweet floral-musky odor, with a note similar to wine or brandy. Ambrette seed is very complex with an incredible tenacity (perceptible at .01-.04 mg%).” The odor is very memoristic, you will not forget it and is sort of like a warm toast with an earth and wood scent. It has an ‘exalting’ effect in a perfume.




Angelica root CO2 Select Extract ~ (Angelica archangelical) Angelica Root CO2 has an earthy, green herbaceous aroma with a spicy subsidiary notes and clean spicy, musky/woody back notes. Although it has a very fine, delicate aroma, it is extremely tenacious – a little goes a long way. Angelica Root is noted for its depth, tenacity and for one of its important constituents – cyclopenta-decanolide, a musk-like lactone, making it highly valued for use in natural perfumery. 3



Black Cumin seed CO2-Organic ~ (Nigella sativa L.) Black Cumin seeds have been cultivated since Assyrian times and were preserved in King Tutankhamun’s tomb. They are used to flavor bread and considered medicinal and the oil antibacterial. The extract is used in hair care products to stimulate hair growth and in skin care products to replenish tone ~ they contain essential fatty acids like linoleic and linolenic acids.


Black Pepper peppercorn CO2 Extract ~ (Piper nigrum) Black Pepper CO2 extracted from the dried unripe fruit is warm and spicy and also a fruity scent. In studies the CO  showed antioxidant activity.   Pepper should be diluted and used with caution, as the CO2 can be a skin irritant.


Butter CO2 ~ Sometimes called Butyrum (butter) and it is extracted from milk fat, has had all water content removed. A small amount of Rosemary antioxidant is added for shelf life stability. This is an oily/fatty smelling product that is buttery and creamy, and Eden Botanicals say that “… it can trigger olfactory memories of buttered popcorn and movie theatres”. In perfumery, it can be used in the base note or the fixative note. When used, the dry down in a perfume will leave a fatty note that is desirable in floral odors. This is one of my favorite additions to floral perfumes especially to the thick-flowers like Jasmine.  Formula: I also have made a delicious smelling accord that I call Breakfast with the CO2 of Chocolate, Coffee, Vanilla and Butter — it is just fantastic.


Calendula CO2 ~ Calendula officinalis is a thick viscous orange-colored product that needs to be diluted in cream, or oil to be used in products for the treatment of skin disorders. When diluted it is helpful for pain and is as an antiseptic and anti-inflammatory. The petals and pollen are extracted for the esters to be used as an anti-inflammatory and for the colorful carotenoids of flavoxanthin and auroxanthin as antioxidants. The leaves and stems contain mostly lutein (80%) and beta-carotene. This is a wonderful part of any skincare formula. I am particularly fond of this with a drop of Ambrette to enhance the lovely toast smell of both. Here is how to make your own Calendula Infused oil (when the flowers are blooming in summer).



Caraway seed CO2 ~ Carum carviCaraway seed smells like seeded rye bread. The scent is from carvone, which have isomers that produce both the Caraway scent and the Spearmint scent. Caraway is used in the pharmaceutical and food industries as a flavor ingredient, in body care products and perfumery is a spicy, green scent. CO2 extracts of spice oils are often preferable to the steam-distilled ones and they are preferred for natural perfumery purposes although they do have some of the plant particles in them as well.



Cardamom, Whole seed CO2 Extract ~ Cardamom seed (Elettaria cardamomum) via carbon dioxide extraction yields the aroma of fresh cardamom pods. A small amount goes a long way! It is wonderful to use in perfumery as a bridge note between the flowers and the roots of plants such as Jasmine and Vetivert. In South Asia, the seeds are used to treat infections in teeth and gums, to prevent and treat throat troubles, congestion of the lungs and pulmonary tuberculosis, inflammation of eyelids and also digestive disorders.


Chamomile, Blue flower CO2 – Organic ~ Matricaria chamomilla is a dark greenish-brown, opaque, thick and viscous product. It retains more of the natural floral odor of the flower sort of a green apple fruit scent and is a strong anti-inflammatory when added to any skin care product. Use it by taking a bit and working it well into some oil or your skin cream or lotion and then add more lotion until all is incorporated. In commercial products when Chamomile CO2 is used it is normally around 0.2±% of the total blend. In P. Davis book, she mentions that use of German Blue Chamomile can be especially helpful where skin conditions may be aggravated by stress, and indeed where stress may be the underlying cause.”


Champaca CO2 Extract ~ (Michelia champaca) Champaca has a delicious and captivating aroma, with a tangy citrus but highly floral odor. The plant is highly revered by the followers of Hinduism and Buddhism who use it during religious ceremonies. The extract from the flowers of Michelia alba is used in preparation of the famous ‘Joy’ perfume. Medicinally, the tree has wide applications; the bark is used to prepare a tonic, the oil extracted from flowers is used for aching muscles and for relieving gout.


Cinnamon Bark CO2 Extract ~ Cinnamomum zeylanicum) Eden Botanicals says their Cinnamon retains the true scent of dried cinnamon. You can add it to your products as part of your scent blend as an antibacterial and for that delicious spicy scent. Cinnamon oil and extract contains eugenol, it is antispasmodic, anti-infectious, antifungal and is indicated for tooth care, for respiratory blends, or the herb tea for sleepiness or depression. This is a skin irritant, use with moderation and with caution.


Clove Bud CO2 Extract ~ Syzygium aromaticum, are the sun-dried, unopened flower buds of the Clove tree, a warm, spicy and sweet aroma and used in many types of therapeutic formulas. This aromatic aid must be diluted as may cause skin and mucous membrane irritation. This oil is contraindicated during pregnancy.


Coconut Pulp CO2 ~ The coconut tree (Cocos nucifera) is a member of the family Arecaceae (palm family) and the only species of the genus Cocos. The term coconut can refer to the whole coconut palm or the seed, or the fruit, which, botanically, is a drupe, not a nut. Organic Coconut CO2 has a strong aroma of coconut and the extract has great tenacity in perfumery and is an excellent choice for soothing skin and body care products. This is a wonderful product to use.


Coffee Bean CO2 – Organic ~ Coffea arabica, grown organically in India, this super critical carbon dioxide extract has a wonderful stimulating odor, is used in perfumery in a base note and that can be used in an accord and works very well in SPA products for its stimulating scent. There is some stimulant action in any product with Coffee CO2.


Coriander Seed CO2 ~ (Coriandrum sativum) has long been cultivated for the seed and in fact is one of the earliest words recognized in deciphering early language, it was preserved in Tutankhamun’s tomb (1325 BC), one of the ‘bitter’ herbs prescribed by Jews at the Feast of the Passover, and now is one of the most heavily used herbs. For flavoring gin, bread, curry and especially nice for a green scent for perfume and soap. Very aromatic, the EO containing up to 75% linalool, used as an anti-inflammatory for blackheads and oily skin and inhaled for stress and anxiety. Carbon dioxide extracts CO2 are closer in composition to the oil as it occurs in the botanical plant than those obtained by other techniques. Best as a flavor and fragrance ingredient: no solvent residue, no off notes, more top notes, more back note, and better solubility.


Evening Primrose seed CO2 – Organic ~ Evening Primrose (Oenothera biennis), is a night-blooming, flowering plant with bright yellow and slightly fragrant flowers. It is not actually a Primrose. The plant is native to North America and was introduced to Europe in 1619, has since become common throughout the Mediterranean, is cultivated in other parts of the world and grows virtually anywhere.  Oenothera biennis is a seed oil with a warm and fatty scent that is best used in combination with other carrier oils. It is a rich source of gamma-linoleic acid (GLA), an essential fatty acid that the body cannot make on its own but that is of major importance to the health of the body. Evening Primrose oil is used in cosmetics, dietary supplements, skin care products, and for other uses.
Do not take Evening Primrose oil by those who are taking prescription blood thinners such as (aspirin, clopidogrel (Plavix).


Fenugreek seeds CO2 ~ Trigonella foenum-graecum is an annual plant in the family Fabaceae, with clover like leaves. It is cultivated worldwide as a semiarid crop. Its seeds and its leaves are common ingredients in dishes from South Asia and is has been known from at least 4000 BC and even found in the tomb of Tutankhamen. Fenugreek dried, or fresh leaves are used as an herb, the seeds as spice, and the fresh leaves and sprouts as a vegetable. When eaten it can cause a maple odor to urine and breast milk. It is used as food supplement and for flavoring food products.

Sotolon is a lactone and a powerful aroma molecule and the chemical responsible for Fenugreek’s distinctive sweet smell. At very low proportion it adds this sweet burnt sugar scent to a perfume. Eden Botanicals mentions its use in used in perfumery in extremely minute amounts, for its fresh, sweet, calming aroma that is warm, and powdery, with soft spicy-nutty-earthy undertones of maple (sotolactone) sweetness. Contains neryl acetate which also occurs in Helichrysum and is a wonderful substance for skin healing. The CO2 stabilized with Rosemary extract.


Frankincense CO2 Extract (Boswellia serrata from India and B. carterii from Somalia) from the resin. These are therapeutic extracts with a crisp fragrance and retains their ancient quality. They are great additions to perfumery and are used in the middle, base or fixative note depending on what you wish to achieve. “… both of our Frankincense CO2 oils offer the natural botanical perfumer a more complete aromatic profile with higher, brighter top notes and deeper, more complex bottom notes than the steam distilled Frankincense oils”5. Frankincense from Somalia is intense and tart and for me the B. serrata is more memoristic of the resin when it is burned.



Galangal CO2 select extra – organic ~ Has been also been incorrectly called Ginger Lily. Several different species whose rhizomes are used are called Galangal, including Alpinia galangal and Kaempferia galangal. This is a spice like ginger when used as the herbal part, the root, is an aromatic stimulant, carminative and stomachic. It is used against nausea, flatulence, dyspepsia, rheumatism, catarrh and enteritis. It has tonic, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory qualities and is used for these properties in veterinary and homeopathic medicine. (The several types of Galangal that I have smell identical to the Hedychium CO2 and I wonder if the growers are selling the same plant as two different items?) The scent has depth and tenacity, and woody and spicy. Soluble in carrier oils and neutral spirits. This is a beautiful addition to a floral perfume as it adds a depth and intensity. Kaempferia galangal is considered an endangered species.


Ginger root CO2 Extract (Total) ~ (Zingiber officinale) This total extract is dark and potent as well and more like the root in nature. The essential oil of Ginger does not have the irritating bite as does the herb itself and can be taken — 1-2 drops in Ginger ale for nausea. It is a pleasant addition to a drink. However, the extract of Ginger does have a ‘bite’. The scent of both is a warm, spicy, green odor and very good in all sorts of perfume combinations. A wonderful perfumery items.

The extract is true to the warmth and spice of fresh ginger root.


Jasmine CO2 ~ Jasminum grandiflorum, India, the CO2 is extracted from the Jasmine concrète flower, rather than the flowers themselves. The concrète is produced during the first stage of creating Jasmine Absolute, and then the oil from the concrète is extracted using modern CO2 technology. The result is a very viscous oil with the Jasmine aroma that is lighter, more delicate and more authentic than the Jasmine absolute.


Juniper Berry CO2~ Juniperus communis berry extract produces a rich green and deep conifer scent but also soft and pleasing. This can be used in all blending and perfumery. Use it in body care products an astringent cleanser for the skin and body and a wonderful odor in men’s products. I also like to use 5 drops of this with 1-oz. of 95% neutral spirits as a deodorant (of course, gin might work just as well!).




Kava Kava root CO2 ~ Piper methysticum (from the Latinized Greek meaning intoxicating pepper) is a specialty product from the root that contains a total of 70% kavapyrones, the constituents known for calming emotions and inviting restfulness. In very small quantities, this specialty oil is an excellent addition to relaxing blends, especially for massage. I have used the pepper in the long ago past but personally am having my first experience with the carbon dioxide extract and will write more about it at a later time.


Myrrh resin CO2 ~ Commiphora myrrha is extracted from the resin by supercritical fluid extraction with natural carbon dioxide. It takes 11 to 16 kilos of raw material to yield 1 kilo of product. The CO2 had a deeper yellow color than the steam-distillates and is clear, non-viscous, of low intensity in scent and bitter to taste. It is an earthy spicy scent with a back note of leather. This was most surprising to me as my experience from 1970 to just a few years ago is that Myrrh essential oil was always dark golden color, clear, viscous, and very very intense with more tenacity than the Myrrh extract. The significant history of Myrrh dates back thousands of years for its extensive use in healing preparations, perfumery, incense, and ritualistic ceremonies. Myrrh essential oil and CO2 can be used effectively in your aromatherapy and natural perfume blends.


Patchouli CO2 Extract ~ Pogostemon patchouli. This leaf extract yields a fresh, uplifting aroma that is very different from other Patchouli oils. It is less earthy than other oils yet provides an aroma that is more similar to that of fresh Patchouli plant leaves.


Pomegranate Seed CO2 – Organic ~ Punica granatum. CO2 seed extraction process for carrier oils ensures a product that more closely resembles that which is found in the raw plant material and has a longer shelf life than cold processed carrier oils. EO are soluble in this seed extract but this extract is not in alcohol. Best in use for skin care products rather than EO perfumery. Pomegranate Seed CO2 Extract is extracted in Germany, is highly recommended for use in moisturizing creams and lotions, anti-aging formulations, and formulations for dry, irritated, or chapped skin. It is very effective in softening dry, irritated and aging skin.


Raspberry Seed CO2 – Organic ~ CO2 extract from Rubus idaeus seed is a carrier oil and has a subtle fruity, fragrant scent that makes it a nice addition to a fruity perfume.  When mixed in with other fruity essential oils it won’t dissolve but if you leave it rest for a few weeks, the scent will transfer into the perfume and leave its nice fruity odor behind. In perfumery, it is always best to age the scent for a month or so before attempting filtering or decanting. In skin care products, this extract adds antibacterial and antioxidant properties, Raspberry Extract is recommended as part of the carrier blend; it is very soothing and relaxing for skin as it relieves irritation and improves tissue firmness.

Rose Hip Seed CO2 – Organic
~ (Rosa eglanteria aka Rosa rubiginosa aka Rosa canina) but not Rosa mosqueta, which is not a recognized species. This carrier oil from Rose Hips are the fruiting (seed-holding) bodies of the Rose that develop after the Rose has been fertilized, petals drop off, the hip (uterus) enlarges, and forms seeds. The hips are picked when ripe and are very high in vitamin C. The seed is removed and pressed and subjected to carbon dioxide to extract the oil, which is often deep red (when some of the fleshy hip is left) or clear. It often has a strong, almost fishy odor. It has been found to be a very effective skin treatment as it may promote tissue regeneration. Rose Hip Total is good used in lotion or cream for scars, burns, and wrinkles. Use by diluting with other vegetable oils and blends for skin treatment.


Carbon dioxide extracts CO2 are closer in composition to the oil as it occurs in the botanical plant than those obtained by other techniques.
Best as a flavor and fragrance ingredient:
no solvent residue,
no off notes,
more top notes,
more back note,
and better solubility.


Rosemary [Antioxidant] leaf CO2 – Organic ~ Rosmarinus officinalis. Rosemary CO2 has the true herbal scent of the Rosemary that is grown in the fog; it is one that is herbal, spicy and fruity, mild and delicious. It is used as an antioxidant as it contains 9-14% carnosic acid. Verbenone type CO2-6 is extracted in Spain and is used in skin care or for great Rosemary Garlic bread.

Formula: (Take a dab and mix with butter or Olive oil and apply to your bread and toast). Inhale and apply.


Sandalwood CO2 Extract ~ Santalum spicatum. This is a sustainable, plantation-grown, CO2 extracted from the Sandalwood Nut for face, hair and body care. This lightweight, ‘dry’ oil is ideal for many products for the hair and body; for facial rejuvenation creams and serums. It works well with Rosehip seed CO2 extract.


Sea Buckthorn [fruit pulp] CO2 Extract (Total) ~ Hippophae rhamnoides. This oil that has a woody aroma and a beautiful, deep red color. Sea Buckthorn is valuable and known for its ability to nourish, improve and restore the skin. It can also be used to add a red tint to your essential oil blends. Aside from erosion control, the plant is primarily valued for its golden-orange fruits, which provide vitamin C, vitamin E, and other nutrients, flavonoids, oils rich in essential fatty acids, and other healthful components. The leaves are now also being used for making a beverage tea; additionally, they contain triterpenes. It is an ingredient in sunblock products. Hippophae oil has UV-blocking activity as well as emollient properties-and it is an aid in promoting regeneration of tissue. Studies in China show that used as a moisturizer its treats eczema; for skin regenerating cosmetics; in face cream; as a nourishing night cream; emollient cream for eyes; tonic skin lotion; after shave lotion; and in shampoo and more.


Spikenard CO2 ~ Nardostachys jatamansi. Spikenard is an aromatic rhizome. The botanical name has its roots in the Hindu word Jatamansi which means “lock of hair.” Its use goes back in several cultures and religions. Medically it’s part of the Ayurveda and is traditionally considered to calm the nerves and promote awareness and strengthen the mind. It is in the same family as Valeriana jatamansi (Indian valerian) and was sometimes used treatment of hysteria. A very earthy grounding scent. Spikenard, is useful to use when you honor the ‘mother’, the Earth, and to consider how you can encourage protection and support of the environment. Use only a drop or two on your body or on a handkerchief, as you inhale this rooted scent.


Turmeric root CO2 – Organic ~ Curcuma longa. The herb (rhizome) is use for blackheads and good skin tone. Make a paste of with a pinch of turmeric powder or a drop of turmeric with some drops of Lemon juice and apply this paste on face. Keep until it is dry. Rinse thoroughly with warm water. Daily use definitely improves skin tone as well as helps to remove blackheads. Curcumin is the active ingredient in turmeric that has been shown to have a wide range of therapeutic effects. Curcumin is known for its antitumor, antioxidant, anti-amyloid and anti-inflammatory properties. Turmeric (Curcuma longa) is also known as tumeric or curcumin.


Vanilla Bourbon pod CO2 or Vanilla Bourbon organic ~ Vanilla planifolia is a creamy substance extracted with carbon dioxide with the true floral, woody, fruity, lovely Vanilla odor, it is pale yellow to tan, has a shelf life of about 3 years. This can be used as a flavoring agent as well as in solid perfumes. Just lovely especially in a foodie perfume with Coffee and Cacao CO2 and Raspberry, Ginger, Cardamom and Butter CO2’s.



> CO2 extracts are closer in composition to the oil as it occurs in the plant and has better solubility in the product, especially in carrier oil. These carbon dioxide extracts, CO2, are closer in composition to the oil as it occurs in the botanical plant than those obtained by other techniques. Best as a flavor and fragrance ingredient: no solvent residue, no off notes, more top notes, more back note, and better solubility. They are wonderful scented healing addition to any skin care application.<


There are many more carbon dioxide extracts available, I have listed just the ones that are my favorites. I would also like the thank Eden Botanicals and Prima Fleur Botanicals for the many samples they sent to me to explore.

All of these and more are available as CO2 extracts. Some are more easily obtained than others: Agarwood CO2, Ambrette Seed CO2 – Fine, Angelica Root CO2, Arnica CO2, Ashwagandha CO2, Bakul CO2, Black Cumin CO2 – Organic, Borage CO2, Butter CO2, Calendula CO2, Caraway CO2, Cardamom CO2 or Cardamom CO2 – Org, Carrot-jojoba CO2, Chamomile, Blue CO2 – Organic, Champaca CO2, Chia CO2, Chili/Sunflower CO2, Cinnamon Bark CO2, Coconut CO2, Coffee Bean CO2 – Organic, Coriander Seed CO2, Davana CO2, Elemi CO2, Evening Primrose CO2, Frankincense CO2, Galbanum CO2, Gotu Kola CO2, Hazelnut CO2, Jasmine CO2, Juniper CO2, Mace CO2, Marjoram CO2, Massoia Bark CO2,  Melissa Leaf CO2, Millet CO2, Neem CO2, Orris Rhizome CO2, Pomegranate Seed CO2, Raspberry Seed CO2, Rhatany Seed CO2, Rosehip Seed CO2, Rosemary Leaf CO2, Sage Leaf CO2, Sarsaparilla Root CO2, Saw Palmetto Seed CO2, Schisandra Fruit/Seed CO2, Sea Buckthorn CO2 Hippophae, Turmeric CO2, Usnea CO2, Vanilla CO2, Wheat Germ CO2.


Moyler, David A. Liquid CO2 extraction in the flavor and fragrance industries. Used with permission of David A. Moyler. October 1988. Chemistry & Industry Magazine
Rose, Jeanne. Aromatherapy Studies Course
  1. Moyler, David A. Liquid CO2 extraction in the flavor and fragrance industries. Used with permission of David A. Moyler. October 1988. Chemistry & Industry Magazine
  3. Eden
  4. Bakouche, Stephanie. Perfumer at Edmond Roudnitska Art et Parfum
  5. Eden Botanicals
  6. Pace, Sue. Plant Therapy “CO2 Extracts—What’s All the Buzz About?”, 2015.


Moderation in All Things.

Be moderate in your use of essential oils and carbon dioxide extract
as they are just not sustainable for the environment.
Be selective and more moderate in your usage.
Use the herb first as tea or the infusion. —JeanneRose 2014


Do not Ingest essential oils or CO2: Although some are important flavoring oils and extracts in the flavor industry and thus ingested in very small amounts in many foods, especially meats and sausages, it is not a good idea to use them yourself, do not take internally, either in capsules or honey.
Sustainability Issues: Essential oils and carbon dioxide extracts as ingredients in products are just not sustainable for the environment. A large quantity of plant material is used for a relatively small quantity of output. Be selective in your use of these ingredients. Be more moderate. Use the herbs instead.
Safety Precautions: Do not apply the product neat, especially to the underarms or delicate parts of the body. Most are probably not to be used on babies, children or pregnant women. Many aromatherapist suggest that there are some oils and CO2 extract not be used at all. However, as with many plants and essential oils, chemistry is subject to change depending on species and terroir.
Patch Test:  If applying a new substance to your skin always perform a patch test to the inner arm (after you have diluted it in a vegetable carrier oil). —Wash an area of your forearm about the size of a quarter and dry carefully. Apply a diluted drop (1 drop EO + 1 drop carrier) to the area. Then apply a loose Band-Aid and wait 24 hours. If there is no reaction, then go ahead and use the oil in your formulas. —The Aromatherapy Book, Applications & Inhalations, p. 64
DISCLAIMER:  This work is intended for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for accurate diagnosis and treatment by a qualified health care professional. Dosages are often not given, as that is a matter between you and your health care provider. The author is neither a chemist nor a medical doctor.  The content herein is the product of research and personal and practical experience. Institute of Aromatic & Herbal Studies – Jeanne Rose©


 “The pursuit of money interferes with a fulfilling life! “— Peter Coyote



FENNEL SEED Herb/EO/Hydrosol Profile

Synopsis: Fennel is an herb that is used in many ways, root in the kitchen, seed in the herbal formulary, pollen to make flavorful seasonings.


By Jeanne Rose ~ November 2017


Common Name/Latin Binomial ~ Fennel seed oil (Foeniculum vulgare) of the Family Apiaceae. A Mediterranean plant that is cultivated worldwide for food and medicine. It is mainly the oil of sweet Fennel seed or Roman Fennel seed that is steam-distilled while Guenther mentions an oil of Bitter Fennel seed that is cultivated and distilled in Romania and Russia but in other countries as well.

Countries of Origins ~ It is indigenous to the shores of the Mediterranean but has become naturalized world-wide.


Eden Botanicals Harvest Location ~ wild grown or cultivated in Egypt.


General description of Plant habitat and growth ~ A biennial or perennial herb up to six feet tall. Very pretty when given water, it has feathery leaves and a flower head that produces yellow pollen that has much use in culinary world. There are two varieties — Florence fennel (Foeniculum vulgare Azoricum Group; syn. F. vulgare var. azoricum) also called finocchio and is a cultivar group with inflated leaf bases which form a bulb-like structure that is a delicious edible and the other a highly aromatic and flavorful herb used both culinary and medicinally. Oil of Fennel is considered to be one of the most important all-around flavoring agents.


Portion of plant used in distillation, how distilled, extraction methods and yields ~ 800 pounds of seed can be produced per acre, dried and then is crushed or comminuted and then steam-distilled immediately for the essential oil.
Yield is 2 ½ to 5% depending on the quality of the seed.

Endangered or Not ~ Not at this time. Fennel is used as a food plant by the larvae of some butterfly species swallowtail and in North America it may be used by the anise swallowtail.


SUSTAINABILITY ~ Essential oils are just not sustainable for the environment in the amounts that we are now using. In my own lifetime, I have seen many oils be overused and then go out of use as they were not being replanted. Be selective in your usage of the plants essential oil. Be moderate. Often, the herbal use is preferred over the essential use.


Organoleptic Characteristics ~
Color –
colorless to pale, pale yellow
Clarity – clear
Viscosity – non-viscous
Intensity of odor – 4-5, depending on where harvested [the scale is 1-10]

Odor Description/ Aroma Assessment ~ The oil is pale, clear, gold colored and with sweet, honey and herbal licorice notes.

The sweet Fennel from Eden Botanicals is described as “very sweet-scented, anise/licorice-like, herbaceous and slightly camphoraceous and somewhat citrus back note, with earthy, peppery undertones; more intense and sharp than their organically grown Sweet Fennel –which is described the same but not as sharp as the conventional Sweet Fennel”.



Properties and Uses ~ The herb or seed tea is a mild carminative and the essential oil is a popular extract (diluted in alcohol) to flavor food. In this case it is often the herb tea that has the best medicinal benefits although the essential oil is used by inhalation for scent, relaxing the breathing, and helping lactation.

Application/ Skincare ~ Eating Fennel and adding the EO to a cream is considered to reduce hairiness or hirsutism. The cream was better than a placebo at 2%. (see Science Direct article in References).

SPA’s also use Fennel EO with herbs and other essential oils such as Star Anise and Sandalwood to make body scrub, skin-softening body mask, and facials and massage oils that will soothe sore joints, alleviate skin issues and warm the body. You can make these at home using unscented scrubs and masks to which you add your own essential oils.

Body Scrub.
70% by weight sugar, gritty sugar like Turbinado
30 % by weight oil such as Calendula Infused oil or any vegetable oil.
2% by weight of essential oils
This translates to about 1 cup of a nice gritty sugar like Turbinado + ½ oz. by volume of carrier oil (or more if needed) and 10 drops of essential oil blend (I have used 3 d. Fennel + 3 d. Star Anise + 4 d. Sandalwood).


‘Magical’ Fennel Seed Eyewash

  • Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) seeds are used in eyewash formulations. I discovered that a simple combination of Fennel seed and Comfrey root was effective where the other usually recommended herbs had not been in sty eye or eye stress or any eye irritation. This remedy has been previously discussed in much of my work, as it is really quite powerful in its uses. It can be used on any eye problem, for any first aid problem, and should be kept freshly made in the refrigerator at all times. Make a decoction by simply taking 1 t. of Fennel seeds and 1 t. of cut & sifted Comfrey root and put into a small pot with ½ cup of water. Bring to a boil and simmer 2-3 minutes, turn off heat and cool. Strain carefully through silk or tight muslin. Wash eyes using an eyecup. Store excess in refrigerator. Use 2-3 times per day. Replace with new decoction every 3 days. [this is a living herbal formula and will grow bacteria, so make it, use it, replace it, every 3 days]. (from Jeanne Rose Herbal Studies Course and more)


            Steep 1 teaspoon of crushed Fennel seeds in 1/2 cup of Witch Hazel extract (the kind that you buy in a drugstore) for 1 week.  Strain, bottle, and label.  Use this as a compress when your eyes are tired, or dilute 1 teaspoon with an equal amount of water and use this to wash the eyes. Alternatively, compress with Witch Hazel hydrosol. (you may substitute Witch Hazel hydrosol, but since this has no alcohol to preserve, it too will need to be remade every 3 days).


Fennel seed and Licorice root, together, as a tea will quickly aid digestion, ease the overfed digestive system, and cure flatulence. When I was pregnant in 1973, I used Fennel Seed tea with other herbs as a lactogogue. It was quite successful.


Diffuse/Diffusion ~ I have never had the desire to use Fennel oil in a diffuser. If you wish to try it, first dilute with other EO such as Lemon and Lavender as the Fennel scent is very penetrating.


Jeanne Rose’s experience with this EO: In 1977, this oil was about $1.77 per ounce in 2017 it is about $10.00 per ounce.


Emotional/Energetic/Ritual Use ~ Fennel seed has a long and interesting ritual use. Scott Cunningham wrote about it often and mentioned that the fresh stalks were woven into chaplets with were used to crown Greek athletes. Fennel is one of the nine plants invoked in the Anglo-Saxon Pagan Nine Herbs Charm, recorded in the 10th century. The other herbs being Mugwort, Mayweed, Thyme, Lamb’s Cress, Cockspur grass, Plantain, Nettle, and Crab-Apple. Cunningham mentions that the scent of the fresh seeds is thought to increase life-span, to produce courage, and to purify the inner self.


Culinary/Herbal Use ~ There is plenty to love about Fennel seed in foods and medicine. It has a nice licorice-like taste and seasons breads, bakery goods, and many foods. I am currently madly in love with the pollen that drops from the ripened heads and use it in a recipe called “Fennel Pollen Encrusted Salmon”.  Dredge the salmon in the pollen with salt and pepper and corn meal, place in a shallow pan with olive oil and gently roast over a low flame until the salmon is cooked and the outside is nicely browned.



Fennel pollen



The herb and its pollen is very popular in foods, breads and pastries. Grieve says that Fennel is one of the most important spices in Kashmiri Pandit and Gujarati cooking.


Culinary Use of EO:  Perfumer & Flavorist Magazine states that “the sweet, anisic notes of this EO make it a useful addition to soda flavors like root beer, cola, cream soda and ginger ales. Sweet spice flavors and blends can be applied, including those for gingerbread, anise, pepper, cinnamon, clove and Italian sausage. Other flavors where this material will add sweetness and depth are cherry, mint, licorice, vanilla and those for cordials like ouzo, absinthe, anisette, etc.”

Chemical Components: The chemistry depends upon the plant variety used and whether it is the herb or the seed that is distilled. The primary component for seed is delta-alpha-pinene, anethole and fenchone and Guenther mentions also phellandrene and limonene.


BLENDS ~ Add drop by drop to your blends, succuss after each addition and carefully smell the blend before adding more Fennel seed EO, until the desired effect is achieved. Fennel seed oil is not much used in perfumery.

            Blends Well ~ Basil, Cardamom, Clary Sage, Coriander, Rose Geranium, Lavender, most Citrus oils, Rose, Rosemary and Sandalwoods.


HYDROSOL ~ The hydrosol is very fragrant and I like to use it in the bath and on foods. It is useful as a digestive (use 1 t. per glass of water) and has other uses as well.
Harman shows the GC/MS of the hydro-distilled hydrosol to be mainly Estragol (60 mg/L), Fenchone (52 mg/L), Anisaldehyde (24 mg/L) and other components such as cinnamon aldehyde, cineole, and more.  Become a member of the Circle H Institute to get the full values and more information on the hydrosol.

PLEASE NOTE: A true hydrosol should be specifically distilled for the hydrosol, not as a co-product or even a by-product of essential oil distillation. The plant’s cellular water has many components most are lost under pressurized short steam runs for essential oil, or by using dried material. We recommend that the producers specifically distill for a product by using plant material that is fresh.


HISTORICAL USE ~ According to the Greek legend of Prometheus, Fennel was thought to have bestowed immortality. Fennel seeds are a common cooking spice, particularly for use with fish. After meals, they are used in several cultures to prevent gas and upset stomach. Fennel has also been used as a remedy for cough and colic in infants.

            A Modern Herbal by Grieve states that Fennel was well known to the Ancients and was cultivated by the ancient Romans for its aromatic fruits and succulent, edible shoots. Pliny had much faith in its medicinal properties, according no less than twenty-two remedies to it, observing also that serpents eat it ‘when they cast their old skins, and they sharpen their sight with the juice by rubbing against the plant.’


Interesting Information ~ In addition to its medicinal uses, aerial parts, namely, leaf, stem, and fruit/seed of F. vulgare, are extensively used as galactagogue not only for increasing the quantity and quality of milk but also for improving the milk flow of breastfeeding mothers. From ancient times, Fennel seeds have been used as an ingredient for removing any foul smell of the mouth. The natural light green dye obtained from leaves is used in cosmetics, for coloring of textiles/wooden materials and as food colorant. —


Contraindications ~ Tisserand recommends “We advise the use of Sweet Fennel for short periods of time and only when highly diluted – while it is safe and effective when properly administered, it should be avoided by those who are pregnant/breastfeeding, who have endometriosis, estrogen-dependent cancers, who take certain medications (diabetic, anti-coagulant, hormone replacement), who have peptic ulcers, hemophilia, other bleeding disorders, or who have had major surgery, and by children under five years of age (including herbal fennel tea).”


Key Use~ Digestive and to flavor liqueurs


Patch Test: If applying a new essential oil to your skin always perform a patch test to the inner arm (after you have diluted the EO in a vegetable carrier oil). —Wash an area of your forearm about the size of a quarter and dry carefully. Apply a diluted drop (1 drop EO + 1 drop carrier) to the area. Then apply a loose Band-Aid and wait 24 hours. If there is no reaction then go ahead and use the oil in your formulas. —The Aromatherapy Book, Applications & Inhalations, p. 64
Arctander, Steffen. Perfume and Flavor Materials of Natural Origin. Arctander. 1960
Circle H Institute at
Cunningham, Scott. Magical Aromatherapy. Llewellyn Publications, 1989.
Grieve, M. A Modern Herbal: the …Properties, …with their Uses. Brace & Company, Harcourt, 1931
Guenther, Ernest. The Essential Oils. Krieger Publishing. Florida. 1976
Harman, Ann. Harvest to Hydrosol.  IAG Botanics. 2015 (supporter of testing hydrosols)
Herbal Studies Course/ Jeanne Rose & Berkeley, California: North Atlantic Books, 1992
Mabberley, D. J. Mabberley’s Plant-Book, 3rd edition, 2014 printing, Cambridge University Press.
Rose, Jeanne.  375 Essential Oils and Hydrosols.  Berkeley, California: Frog, Ltd., 1999
Rose, Jeanne.  The Aromatherapy Book: Applications & Inhalations.  San Francisco, California
Perfumery & Flavorist. Vol. 42, June 2017
Tisserand, R. and Rodney Young. Essential Oil Safety, 2nd ed., 2014, pp. 277-8.
Antihirsutism activity of Fennel (fruits of Foeniculum vulgare) extract. Phytomedicine, vol. 10, 6-7, 2003. P. 455-458


Fennel from an old herbal

DISCLAIMER:  This work is intended for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for accurate diagnosis and treatment by a qualified health care professional. Dosages are often not given, as that is a matter between you and your health care provider. The author is neither a chemist nor a medical doctor.  The content herein is the product of research and personal and practical experience. Institute of Aromatic & Herbal Studies – Jeanne Rose©


Fennel – 40-year history with seed and pollen
Fennel EO 2000; Fennel seed 2017; Manheimer Fennel EO 1977; Eden Botanicals EO 2017;
Fennel Pollen & cut Fennel tops









~ JR ~

LAVENDER, Lavender, Lavender

An in-depth discussion of Lavender and all its forms and terroir differences and the effects of environment on scent and benefits.

INTRODUCTION ~ So much has been said about Lavender that it is somewhat taxing to try and find new information that can be used by consumers to assist and support one’s health. Lavender is a very common plant but in that commonness, lies the problem. Some folks think all Lavender is the same Lavender and forget to realize that there are many species and many varieties of each species and even many chemotypes (chemical types) of each species and that terroir* also make it a most complicated plant.

* [terroir = This is a French word originally applied to wine but that can easily be applied to the factors that affect an essential oil. The essential oil reflects the expression of the earth, or the particular planting site (its ecology), in the resultant essential oil.  Terroir is a factor of soil, shade, wind, water, rain and terrain.  Terroir is how a particular region’s climate, soils and aspect (terrain) affect the smell and organoleptic quality of an essential oil. One of the mystiques of essential oils is the variation available.]


COMMON NAME/LATIN BINOMIAL ~ Lavender comes in many species and many varieties and many chemotypes from many countries. Lavandula angustifolia is the species of choice, however, Lavandula x intermedia (Lavandin) is the one that is mostly in use for oil extraction and that is grown in vast quantities in both France and Bulgaria as well as other countries. When grown in the correct terroir, it has a chemistry very similar to L. angustifolia.

            Family ~ Lamiaceae or Labiatae. This family of plants contains a variety of trees, shrubs and herbs, that has been long-recognized for their medicinal and culinary quality with many used as flavorings, cosmetics, medicine, and for scent. This family includes Basil, Lavender, Marjoram, Mint, Oregano, Patchouli, Rosemary, Sage, Thyme, and much more.

            Other Common Name/Naming Information ~ Lavandula (common name lavender) is a genus of 47 known species of flowering plants in the mint family, Lamiaceae. Lavender is such a common name that all varieties are called Lavender.
A common name is just that ‘common’ and in no way, does it tell you anything about the plant. It is always best to know the Latin binomial (its proper name) and well as its common (everyday) name. The Latin binomial tells you something about the plant itself — as an example the genus name Lavandula is from the Latin word lavo (to wash) from its ancient use in soaps and the species name angustifolia means “narrow-leaved” as the leaves of this species are narrow. Latifolia means “wide-leaved”. [go to my book 375 Essential Oils and Hydrosols, chapter 2 called “Plant Names Mean Something” to find out more.

L. angustifolia has most of the common names and some of these names are garden Lavender or Lavender vera or common Lavender.

Lavandula stoechas is called stickadore or Arabian Lavender;

Lavandula latifolia is Lavender spica is and called Lavender flowers, male Lavender or Aspic.

Lavandula flores’ is the pharmaceutical name for Lavender or its oil.

Depending upon to whom you have spoken, will depend on what specific plant they are talking about.

See below the Species and Varieties of Lavender for the common names of other species and varieties of the Lavender.


SPECIES AND VARIETIES OF LAVENDER ~ There are 47 known species and endless varieties of each of these species as well as a variety of chemotypes of each. Each species is special and most interesting and if you spend some time learning about them, you will be better educated on how to use them and Lavender in general. Here are some of the best known and most used for herbal medicine or aromatic essential oil.

            Lavandula angustifolia with many varieties that are distilled including favorites like Munstead, Hidcote, Jean Davis, Lady, and Vera to name just a few. So-called ‘English Lavender’ alone has over 40 different named varieties of plants with the broadest range of color choices available from white Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia alba), to pink (Lavandula angustifolia rosea), then to the deepest royal purple (Lavandula angustifolia Hidcote) spanning the full Lavender color spectrum ….
            Lavandula dentata also one of the many so-called French Lavender but this one actually originated in Spain. It is an ornamental plant whose EO can be used in perfumery or as an herbal treatment for a stomach ache.

             Lavandula latifolia also called Lavandula spica, spike lavender, broad lavender or Portuguese Lavender. This is one of the parents of L. x. intermedia as it is rather easy to grow and will hybridize in the wild.

            Lavandula x intermedia also called Dutch Lavender is a sterile hybrid plant, a combination of L. latifolia and L. angustifolia. It was designed to grow quickly and produce lots of essential oil. Depending on its terroir, it can produce an EO that is quite an equal to the true Lavender or it can produce an EO that is very high in camphor. When distilled at low elevation it often contains large quantities of camphor and cineol; when grown and distilled at high elevation or in cool moderate climates, its scent can be favorably compared to a sweet true Lavender.
            In California, this hybrid more often than not produces a good quality oil that is low in camphor but may be high in borneol (which can degrade to camphor) or cineol. Several varieties are common such as Grosso and in the U.S., one called ‘Provence’.

                  Lavandula stoechas, also called French Lavender or Italian Lavender and works well to make herbal wreaths and in dried arrangements. It is considered a noxious weed in parts of Australia and Spain.
Lavandula viridis,
also called green or yellow Lavender. Produces heavily and can be distilled for a fine pine-scented hydrosol and an EO that can be used as an anti-fungal.

COUNTRIES OF ORIGINS ~ Lavender is native to the Old World and is found from Cape Verde and the Canary Islands, Europe across to northern and eastern Africa, the Mediterranean, southwest Asia to southeast India. Common names are given to various species of Lavender no matter where they grow or why they grow there. English Lavender does not necessarily mean Lavender raised in England – it actually does not mean much of anything and that goes for the other country names given to the various species; it is best to learn your plants first by their correct Latin binomial, then variety, then chemotype (chemistry) and then country where it was grown. If you do this then you will actually know something about the plant.
Tasmania is a very large island south of Australia and grows Lavandula angustifolia with a scent that is unique to the place and that can be described as spicy and floral. The main growing area is on the north side of Tasmania and is the Bridestowe Lavender Estate. This Lavender farm located in Nabowla, Tasmania, Australia is believed to be the largest commercial plantation of Lavandula angustifolia in the world.
Kashmir, India produces Lavender, much of it organically grown at an altitude of 5000 feet and more. Kashmir Lavender is a most treasured lavender. Its yield is 1.3% – 1.7% and chemistry is about Linalool 31% and Linalyl acetate is 44%.


HARVEST LOCATION ~ Eden Botanicals has many types of Lavenders and they come from many areas of the world including areas in Spain, Sicily, Bulgaria, France and Italy; some of which have organically grown plants and I have also studied and added the essential oils of Lavender from Tasmania, the United States, Croatia and Nepal and other places.
The terroir (see definition above) of Lavender and Lavandin is very important. It might grow just about anywhere but location is very important to its quality as an herb or for production of the essential oil. In very hot areas it may produce abundant growth but the quality of the oil may be lacking while in high elevation the quantity of growth may be lacking but the quality of the oil be readily apparent.
In the past I have had an essential oil kit that included Lavenders from six different areas to demonstrate to the user how important terroir is to the scent and use of a plant. The kit was called “A Flight of Lavenders”. It was a “training kit developed to introduce you to the different odors of our lovely Lavenders. They are all organically grown Lavandula angustifolia.  Inhale and waft the scent from each of the bottles and write down your impressions of the scent.  There are dozens of Lavender odors, each one separate and different from the last.  Only a Lavender oil with considerable camphor is considered a poor-quality oil.  The Croatian Lavender was the most camphoraceous in scent character.”
The Lavender EO I included were Bulgarian Lavender –The traditional soft, floral scent; Maillette Lavender from France — A floral, fruity odor; Portugal Lavender which was green and floral; California Lavender — Woody with a delicious floral back note, it contains borneol, an immune-stimulant; Croatian Lavender is herbaceous/camphoraceous and used in massage; and Tasmanian Lavender – sweet and spicy. I also included a sample of Lavender Hydrosol from California and Lavender Hydrosol from Tasmania. These demonstrate 6 of the 7 main scent characters used to describe odor: floral, fruity, (not citrus), green/vegetative, woody, herbaceous/camphoraceous and spicy.
Of course, there are more to try.

ENDANGERED OR NOT ~ NO it is not endangered. However, natural products such as “Lavender and other aromatic and medicinal plants along with their extracts have been used throughout history and form part of our common heritage. Their benefits have been proven over thousands of years. Today, under European regulations, these natural products have been placed in the same category as man-made chemical products and as such they are subject to restrictions which in practice make it impossible to continue their use. The only ones to benefit from this situation are the chemical industries who will have free reign to substitute their synthesized chemical products for the natural products. This will be detrimental to consumers’ health and at the cost of the disappearance of rural and agricultural lands. If you feel this is possible there are petitions that are available that will help to contribute to the preservation of natural products, those who cultivate them, and the environment in which they are cultivated.” —


GENERAL DESCRIPTION OF PLANT HABITAT AND GROWTH ~ A highly aromatic small evergreen shrub found in dry sunny soil or grassy slopes amongst rocks, in exposed (usually parched), hot rocky environments, often on calcareous soils (Plants for a Future 2012); it is also found in gardens and urban areas.  “An herbaceous bushy plant reaching a height of four feet. A woody plant with spike-shaped leaves of light grayish green.  They have a downy look, the flowers appearing in various shades of white to mauve to violet-lavender, which are tightly paced around a singular stem” Essential Aromatherapy, p. 142.
Lavandula x intermedia is a cross of two plants, Lavandula angustifolia, a Lavender species with narrow leaves, and Lavandula latifolia, a Lavender species with wide leaves.  The ‘x’ means it is a cross and non-fertile, it does not produce seeds.  There are many varieties of Lavandula x intermedia.

There is extreme variation in this plant and its species due to the influence of terroir. This is why you must try out more than one to experience the variety of scent that exists in the plant. More about the growth and ecology of Lavender is at


PORTION OF PLANT USED IN DISTILLATION, HOW DISTILLED, EXTRACTION METHODS AND YIELDS ~ Only the flower buds contain the essential oil of Lavender, and from this the characteristic scent and flavor of lavender is derived. So, when you harvest, cut only the flower tops and not the stems to get the best representation of the scent. Commercial farms cut the top third of the plant and that includes the stem because it is easier and prunes the plant at the same time; so, it is economical and no need to come back and cut the stems. However, for the home user, take only the flower tops for distillation or for drying.

An acre of true Lavender (L. angustifolia) produces from 300 to 1,800 pounds of dried flowers (12 to 15 pounds of essential oil – about 2 gallons). An acre of one of the Lavandin cultivars (L. x intermedia) yields from 3,500 to 4,500 pounds of dried flowers per acre (53 to 67 pounds of essential oil).

Yield is 1.4 – 1.6% for L. angustifolia and more for L. x intermedia.




  • Color …………………. Most Lavender is colorless to a light yellow. Some with high amounts of camphor are brownish. Absolutes are brown.
  • Clarity ………………. Clear
  • Viscosity ………….  Non-viscous for the steam-distilled and semi-viscous for the absolutes.
  • Intensity of odor. The intensity varies depending on the elevation and chemistry. Lavender can be of very low intensity (strength) like a 1-2 and sometimes exceed 5-6 or more when it is high in camphor.

Odor Description/ Aroma Assessment ~ Lavender and Lavandin represent a plethora of odors from the sweet soft floral scent of the high elevation Lavender to the hot camphor scent from inland desert areas; Lavender has every scent you can imagine. One of my most favorite is the spicy floral scent of Tasmanian Lavandula angustifolia. I am also partial to the very soft, floral odor of Lavender absolute. There are other Lavenders I like and it behooves you to get a sampling of this essential oil from various areas or terroirs and find the one that you prefer. You may wish to try the Lavender Sampler Pack from Eden Botanicals. It is a kit of 10 different Lavenders from various areas. You may like one for skin care, another for inhalation and then an entirely different one for perfume. Pictured below are 14 of my favorite Lavender oils.

Various Lavenders from L. x intermedia to L. angustifolia and from 7 different terroirs.
Eden Botanicals supplied Lavender absolute, Lavandula angustifolia organic from Bulgaria and France, L. angustifolia high elevation, organic from Italy and high-elevation organic from Italy, L. angustifolia Maillette from France and a wild type, L. stoechas ssp. Luisieri from Spain, L. x intermedia Grosso organic from Spain and L. x. intermedia sumian from Sicily, L. angustifolia from Tasmania (Natural Extracts) and L. angustifolia Blend from Prima Fleur.


Left nostril = the scent AND Right nostril = the intensity

Left side nostril smells the scent; right side nostril smells the intensity. So, smell on the left side, then smell on the right and then waft back and forth under the nose to get the entire scent experience.

“It has been demonstrated that sensory perception has an impact on aging in species that are unconnected by millions of years through evolution. This suggests that comparable effects might be seen in human beings as well. For human beings, it might not be the smell…. it might be our perception of danger or food. In this case, a smart program where we control our perceptions might form the foundation of an easy yet powerful program to prevent disease and promote healthy aging.” from AntiAging Forum



How to Start Using Lavender oil: If you have never smelled or used or applied Lavender oil the easiest method to learn about what it does is to rub 1-2 drops of Lavender Essential Oil in your cupped palms, inhale the scent, and then listen and feel what that is like. Does it affect your brain to calm the mind? Does it have any mental effects on you at all?  You can also rub it on the feet, temples, wrists (or anywhere) and get an effect. After you find out the effects, and you like them, then you can add a drop or two of Lavender to your own products and understand these effects on the skin. There are many ways to use Lavender oils, some are: Aromatherapy oil, Bath gels, creams, lotions, shampoos and herbally as the whole dried flower in extracts, infusions, lotions, teas, tinctures.
This is also the way to start using any essential oil — open bottle and inhale lightly. Write down what you feel.


General Properties and Uses: Lavender is analgesic and sedative (calming, sedating) and antiseptic (antibiotic, anti-infective, anti-parasite) and anti-inflammatory.
Lavandin is antitussive, nerve tonic, hypotensive, antidepressant, and respiratory tonic and by application an antibacterial.


Properties of Lavender/Lavandin (by AP=application, IG=ingestion or IN=inhalation):

            AP = Application: Antiseptic, analgesic, Muscle relaxant, anti-inflammatory, cicatrize, cytophylactic, antispasmodic, antiparasitic, anti-infectious, antivenomous, and antibiotic.

            IN = Inhalation: Sedative, tonic, analgesic (pain relief), calmative, antitussive (cough suppress), decongestant, antidepressant, and restorative (makes you feel better).

            IG = Ingestion:  antivenomous, antitoxic, diuretic. We suggest that you do not take the EO internally.


Physical Uses of Lavender & How used (IG or AP): Externally applied for burns, cuts, grazes, inflammatory conditions, arthritis, cramps, ulcers and skin conditions such as dermatitis, eczema, sunburn, rashes, acne, insect bites, infections, and for hair and skin care. Lavender is a common ingredient in soaps, shampoos, and sachets for scenting clothes.

            Application/ Skincare: Lavender is an indispensable plant whose herb, essential oil and hydrosol are used in skin care and cosmetics. It is ubiquitous in high end products as well as in low-end ones. However, there are few of these many offerings that actually use a true uncut totally natural Lavender or Lavandin. These oils are separated by their chemistry — if they are high in linalyl acetate and linalool they are soothing and sedating. The esters (linalyl acetate) are usually very soothing to the skin while the alcohols (linalool) are sedating to the mind.

Externally, a few drops in a hot footbath is used for fatigue, or neuralgia. A hot compress relieves toothache, sprain and rheumatism. Lavender oil can be rubbed on the temples for a nervous headache.

Emotional Uses of Lavender (AP or IN):        Inhaled for headaches, migraine, insomnia, depression, anxiety, nervous tension, panic, hysteria, comfort during childbirth, and for mental pain of dysmenorrhea (AP & IN).

Energetic/Emotional Use ~ Lavender may have earned its name of ‘to wash’ because it is frequently used in baths to help purify the body and spirit. If grown with care and attention, it is one of the purest and most highly evolved scents.

                     Uses: The oil and spirit/tincture are good when taken internally for all sorts of pains in the head and for the brain, as a restorative and tonic against faints, weakness, giddiness, spasms, colic, vertigo —and with oil of Rosemary for loss of memory or for anti-aging. Lavender relieves melancholy and raises the spirits.

                       Stress Formula for the Work Place is a combination of Lavender, Geranium, Bergamot, Spearmint. Use twice as much Lavender as you do the other oils, something like this: 10 drops Lavender and 5 drops each of Bergamot, Geranium and Spearmint.  Succuss the blend and then take a sniff. Adjust the ingredients to your liking. You can use this as an inhalant or in a skin care product for a fragrant ingredient blend that also soothes the skin.


Spiritual Qualities of Plants, especially Lavender ~ Organic refers to the method of growing without the use of synthetic chemical fertilizers, sprays or products using sound healthy agricultural methods. Organically grown is better for you, better for the animals and best for the planet. If you want to incorporate the spiritual qualities of plants they must be organically grown and you should use the ones that are locally sourced and better yet those that you have grown yourself with love and intent. For plants to have a spiritual quality there has to have been the intent to grow the best. If you do have a plant that you have grown with intent and wish to use it in your inner/spiritual work, think how to use it, work on the method of using and then go ahead and use it. In other words, be spiritual to use spiritually. I have a book called Ritual, How to” that outlines ways in which you can use plant in a wholesome, intent way.


DIFFUSE/DIFFUSION ~ You can put Lavender or Lavandin into a diffuser. Just remember that when you diffuse, keep in mind that you should have a purpose in mind for the desired results and diffuse with purpose and intent and for short periods of time — 5 minutes out of 15 as an example. Make sure your diffuser has an on-off cycle so that the air does not become saturated around you. If you want to be calm, Lavender mixes well with Bergamot or Chamomile, if you want a calm stimulation try Lavender with Jasmine. There are hundreds of combinations that one can try with Lavender, just be moderate in your use.


            My Favorite Use of Lavender Oil ~ I have never been as fond of Lavender oil as I have been of its complementary opposite, Rosemary. They are like the yin and yang of essential oils. Where Rosemary is stimulating, Lavender is calming and when Rosemary wakes up your skin, Lavender soothes it.  I will choose Rosemary over Lavender every time except when it is time to sleep. Then I use sweet Lavender hydrosol as a spray for the pillow case and inhale the scent of a combination of Bergamot and Lavender to sleep. Umm! Peaceful quiet sleep is the best on lovely linen sheets, feather pillows and with the sweet scents of Lavender and Bergamot.

PERFUMERY AND BLENDING ~ Lavender blends with well with most other essential oils especially other Mediterranean oils like Marjoram, Thyme, conifers of all types and in perfumery the citrus scents of Lemon and Bergamot, other florals such as Jasmine, Osmanthus and herbal florals like Rose Geranium. As Eden Botanicals says, “In aromatherapy, Lavender is one of (if not) the most commonly used essential oil due to its general availability, modest price, versatility and universally pleasant scent. Lavender has been an integral part of fine fragrances for centuries – it is a middle to top note, can be used as a perfume modifier, and can also help mask unpleasant aromas of oils you want to use in blends.”
In perfumery is where you want to get the benefits of the Lavender scent, use the lovely Lavender absolute. It is soft and floral and more like the best of the best Lavender scent. It works exceedingly well in floral perfumes and adds a rich deep soft floral note to them.

courtesy of Eden Botanicals



 Perfume of a 1000 Flowers
10 drops Lavender absolute
5 drops each of Bergamot, Jasmine abs, Rose abs, Neroli, Tuberose and Vanilla
5 drops of Rose Geranium and Ylang-Ylang complete
Make a synergy using succussion.
Age the blend 2-4 weeks.
Dilute with an equal amount of 95% neutral grape spirits.
Shake again. Age again.
Label your container.
Use Sparingly.


            HOW TO EXTRACT SCENT from Lavender: There are many methods that one can use to ‘get’ the scent out of a plant and these have been detailed in several books including my own Herbal Body Book.         One method is as follows:  Fill a large jar with flowers of the Lavender (and some Calendula).   Small flowers should be chosen, and they should all be stripped of their stalks and leaves to leave room for as many flowers as possible. Now fill with a light Olive oil, fill it up slowly. As the oil is absorbed into the flowers, you may need to add a bit more so that the flowers are always slightly covered with oil. Leave them to macerate for twenty-four hours in the oil, then pour the entire contents of the whole jar into a double boiler and heat the oil until is almost boiling. Let it cool and then strain. You will need a strainer lined with silk (or panty hose). Let the oil drip through without a lot of squeezing.  If you want the end result to be a one flower oil then you must start and finish with the same flower. This formula yields an infused or macerated oil.

There is an art to the extraction of scent from flowers and this art is much older than distillation. Distillation is generally used for the herbaceous plants but home-methods will yield a good quality infused oil if care is taken.



HYDROSOL ~ There are umpteen uses of Lavender hydrosol. They can depend on the variety or the chemotype that was distilled. Lavender is a true all-around product — use it in baths, in skin care, in skin products, as a facial or body spray, use the sweeter Lavender hydrosols for baby or elder care, carry in your car for a refreshing spray while you drive or to clean the baby’s skin after you change a diaper. There are extensive files at the “Hydrosols – Herbs&Aromatherapy” Facebook page if you want specific uses. And every book that discusses hydrosols also has many uses for Lavender hydrosol. Try my book, 375 Essential Oils & Hydrosols.

          Hydrosol of Lavender can be gargled for hoarseness, added to teas for flavor. The hydrosol is an antiseptic for swabbing pimples, wounds, acne, or sores. The hydrosol is used as a wash for puffy eyes, bruises, bites, and other minor external sores or blemishes to normalize the sebaceous glands and reduce puffiness, and as a hair rinse to reduce oiliness.

Lavender hydrosol is sprayed on the face for skin care, to relieve eyestrain, for cooling and soothing the temper.  It works just as well on seniors or for babies.


Jeanne Rose Lavender Hydrosol Recipe for the Skin:  Lavender Hydrosol ~ Use a true high-altitude Lavender to distil as that will have the chemistry Lavender is known for. Lavender hydrosol is known for its anti-inflammatory properties and can be used on all skin types. Perfect for use as a daily toner and light astringent, especially for acne-prone, troubled skin. It is pure and therapeutic.    Aromatic note: True Lavender hydrosol, unlike other hydrosols, should not have a camphor-type scent. This is because Lavender generally does not have as many aromatic particles that are water soluble, so the scent is earthy, sweet, and herbal.

Dilute hydrosols by at least 50-75% for children 6 and older;

Dilute further for ages under 6 or avoid altogether.

PLEASE NOTE: A true hydrosol should be specifically distilled for the hydrosol, not as a co-product or even a by-product of essential oil distillation. The plant’s cellular water has many components most are lost under pressurized short steam runs for essential oil, and by using dried material. We recommend that the producers specifically distill for a product by using plant material that is fresh to extract as much cellular water of the plant as possible.

 The perfect choice for a culinary experience — L. angustifolia Avice Hill to flavor a dessert
Courtesy of Evening Light Farms

CULINARY USES of Lavender ~ If you are using Lavender flowers and stalks in your cooking, please understand that whatever the chemistry is of that particular plant is what you will be eating. If your Lavender has a strong camphor odor then your food will also have that odor. It is best to use a ‘sweet’ culinary type Lavender that has little to no camphor/borneol odor, that is high in linalool and linalyl acetate instead.  Beware of plants that come from very hot or desert like areas as they will probably be very high in camphor. Smell the flower and stalk first before you use it in your grill.

The most unpleasant taste is a delicious steak or vegetable kebob that was speared onto a high camphor Lavender stalk or even a salad with camphoraceous Lavender flowers. Buy your culinary Lavender from Evening Light Farms — they grow particular types for particular culinary uses.
               You can infuse ‘sweet’ Lavender flowers in white wine for 24 hours, strain the flowers out and then drink the wine. You can make Lavender wine using grapes, yeast. Lavender buds and the fermentation process. See page 209-218 of The Herbal Guide to Food by Jeanne Rose.


HERBAL USES OF LAVENDER ~ A tea brewed from the tops is excellent to drink to relieve a headache caused from excess fatigue or exhaustion or for a slight stimulation to wake you up. Fomentation of Lavender in bags can be used as an analgesic to relieve pain or as a therapeutic mask for the face.

The dried plant is added to baths and facial steaming herbs to stimulate the complexion, cleanse the skin, and act as an aromatic astringent; it can be mixed with any other herb, especially Rosemary, Comfrey and Rose. It is commonly use in potpourris and sachets.

My Herbs & Things, Herbal Body Book and Herbal Guide to Food have many uses for Lavender herb. Read them for the formulas.


CHEMICAL COMPONENTS ~ To smell like Lavender your sample should exhibit high levels of the alcohol linalool and the ester linalyl acetate. Lavender should have linalool and linalyl acetate in it in a proportion of 2:1 or about 40:20. It should contain little to no Camphor.  If your Lavender has high quantities of camphor in it, then you have either the wrong plants or the wrong earth.  The essential oil is the expression of the earth in the plant.  Camphor can be in Spanish Lavenders and spike Lavenders but fine Lavender will have a soft and soothing scent.

Linalool is an alcohol like the alcohol in wine. The essential oil alcohols here are monoterpenols.  They are bactericides, anti-infectious, antiviral, stimulating to the skin to heal, good general tonics and free of hazards.

Linalyl acetate is an ester. Esters are somewhat fruity in scent, are gentle in action, soothing to the skin, anti-inflammatory, effective on skin rashes and other skin problems.  They can both calm and uplift and combined with the tonic virtues of alcohols are very balancing, especially to the nervous system.

Comparison of Main Components ~ There are many GC/MS available for Lavender and its derivatives.
Over the years, I have had many samples analyzed. Some years ago, I had 12 samples of California-grown Lavender analyzed and put together in a chart. This chart is available from me, if you wish to see it, just e-mail me,
Lavender oil gland

HISTORICAL USES ~ Lavender is involved with the history of Photography. The first permanent photograph was an image produced in 1825 by the French inventor Joseph Nicéphore Niépce. His photographs were produced on a polished pewter plate covered with a petroleum derivative called bitumen of Judea. Bitumen hardens with exposure to light. Niépce also experimented with silver chloride, which darkens when exposed to light, but eventually looked to the bitumen, which he used in his first successful attempt at capturing nature photographically. He dissolved the bitumen in Lavender oil, a solvent often used in varnishes, and coated the sheet of pewter with this light capturing mixture. He placed the sheet inside a camera obscura to capture the picture, and eight hours later removed it and washed it with Lavender oil to remove the unexposed bitumen.

Nicéphore Niépce’s earliest surviving photograph of a scene from nature, circa 1826, “View from the Window at Le Gras,” Saint-Loup-de-Varennes (France). The photograph was found to have been taken in 1825.


INTERESTING INFORMATION ~ The history of Lavender is long and varied and should include a bit about René Maurice Gattefossé who determined some interesting uses of the essential oil. He was born in 1881 and used essences (aromatic oils) during WWI as well as in skincare. He wrote a cosmetics manual and a Perfumery magazine in 1908 and he used Lavender oil for healing. In his words, “The external application of small quantities of essences rapidly stops the spread of gangrenous sores. In my personal experience, after a laboratory explosion covered me with burning substances which I extinguished by rolling on a grassy lawn, both my hands were covered with a rapidly developing gas gangrene. Just one rinse with lavender essence stopped “the gasification of the tissue”. This treatment was followed by profuse sweating, and healing began the next day (July 1910).” He wrote a book of his experiences, published in 1937, which I had the honor to translate in 1990 which later was made available to the public. Gattefossé died in 1950.


Prior to 1930, L. x intermedia or Lavandin was not available. Now, most of what people know and experience in France as “Lavender oil” is really Lavandula x intermedia. The discovery of this new variety of Lavandin was told by Pierre Grosso himself to Christiane Meunier in May 1985 and is reported in her book Lavandes & Lavandins (pp. 69-70). Mariuccia, Pierre Grosso’s sister, gives other details in Maritano’s book.

“Pierre began to cultivate Lavandin from his arrival in France, at the beginning of the thirties. Probably at the beginning of the fifties, he found an old abandoned Lavender field at Caseneuve (a township in Provence).  Here, among dead plants, there was just one still living, a beautiful Lavandin plant. He collected it, took some cuttings and in April the following year planted them out. He then began to produce and sell this new Lavender. People bought the Lavandin of the Grosso farm because it grew quickly and proved to be resistant to dèpèrissement, a progressive drying disease of plants, transmitted by insects. At the beginning of the seventies, Pierre Grosso decided to register his new variety at the Syndicat of Sault. From 1972-1975 the Lavandin ‘Grosso’ began to be planted in preference to the variety ‘Abrialii’. Now it represents about three quarters of the cultivated Lavender in Provence and is one of the best-known cultivars all over the world. Pierre’s Lavender farm went on to produce two or three million cuttings a year, prepared by French and Spanish female workers.”


KEY USE ~ Lavender is called ‘the Oil of First Thought’ because it is the first one anyone thinks about to use in just about any situation while Lavandin is called the ‘the Oil of Second Thought’ since you can use it if you don’t have Lavender.


SCIENTIFIC DATA ~ There are many articles regarding Lavender on the scientific websites. When you do your searches look for a website that is NOT selling you something. Look for ‘science’ in the title or look for the Journal of Essential Oil Research. Here is one about Lavender and the Nervous System . And look for specifics like Lavender and Fungus infection.

                                                        What is Lavender 40/42?
            This is a standardized oil with the same aroma every time you buy it. The numbers in Lavender 40/42 indicate the linalyl acetate + linalool content; in this case, they indicate the product contains 40%-42% of linalyl acetate and linalool. Lavender 40/42 is generally a blend of various lavenders in order to get a consistent scent from batch to batch, with processors adding linalyl acetate to cover the smell of camphor or borneol components of a given lavender. Properties: Because this oil is standardized it has a consistent aroma from lot to lot. It is low in therapeutic qualities. Benefits: We do not recommend using lavender 40/42 for therapeutic uses. It is an okay oil for perfume and fragrance applications, because it will have a consistent aroma for each batch that you make. Of Interest: To standardize this oil different lavender oils are blended together. A nature identical linalyl acetate is then added to the blend to create an aroma that is the same every time. Lavender 40/42 is actually a blend of various lavenders and ingredients and is thus a manufactured oil, not truly from an actual plant.


FORMULAS~ Lavender Luxuries


There are many books giving many recipes for making skin-care treatments including my own The Herbal Body Book (See Table 1) as well as Kitchen Cosmetics.  Use these for reference.  Read these books very carefully and practice making your own body-care products. Lavender is a well-known addition to any skin-care or beauty products. Lavandula angustifolia, the ‘true’ Lavender, with its high ester content is best in formulas for acne that is either pustular or dry, reddened or couperose skin, devitalized (skin with no life) skin, inflamed or irritated skin, oily skin, skin that is fully of water (edema) but dry and fatty and for wrinkles.

Lavender that is higher in camphor or borneol, Lavandula latifolia, the ‘Spike’ Lavender or certain chemotypes of Lavender can be used specifically for acne and dry acne. Know your Lavender, especially it is good to know what type of Lavender that you are using when you make a skin-care formula.

Refer to Table 1 of The Aromatherapy Book: Applications & Inhalations and Table 1 of The Herbal Body Book for your choice of essential oils.  Get the book from 41`5-564-6785 or


SIMPLE SCRUB as a cleanser or soap substitute ~ 1 T Oatmeal added to 1 T warm honey + 1 drop Lavender oil. Apply to moistened skin.


FACIAL OIL FOR SKIN ~ Make your blend of therapeutic essential oils using Table 1 of the Herbal Body Book or the chapter on Blending of the Aromatherapy Studies Course.  Add 4-6 drops of your EO. mixture to 1 oz. of herbal infused vegetable oil.  Particularly recommended is Lavender Infused Oil with your added essential Oils. Or use Olive oil for normal skin, Hazelnut oil for oily skin and Sunflower oil for dry skin.  Bottle, label and use.  Make only one ounce of facial oil at a time because as you treat your skin condition, it will change and so will your choice of essential oils.


STEAMING YOUR SKIN AS A CLEANSING ALTERNATIVE ~ Any mixture of herbs and essential oils will work.  But for simplicity sake use Lavender flower, Chamomile flowers, Rosebuds and Comfrey leaf.  Infuse 1 T of each in one cup of water, then heat this water just to boiling.  Remove the pot to a table and place face over pot and let the steam do its work.  Use only 1 drop of your choice of essential oil per steam.  See the Herbal Body Book and The Aromatherapy Book.

GENTLE MASKS for Stimulation ~ These were discussed at length in The Herbal Body Book and many examples are given.  The easiest mask and the most therapeutic besides the ones mentioned in the required readings is to simply take the simplest store-bought mask and make it therapeutic by adding high-quality Lavender oils and a bit of herbal Lavender infusion or hydrosol. Use no more than 1-2 drops essential oil per mask.  You may also use 1 t. clay + 1 t. hydrosol + a touch of Lavender/Chamomile essential oil.


HOT OIL TREATMENTS FOR SKIN AND HAIR ~ add 1 drop Lavender oil + 1 drop of Rosemary oil to 1 teaspoon Jojoba oil and rub into the scalp for a gentle treatment. Wear a hair cap or wrap your head in a hot towel until the towel cools. The wash hair as usual immediately or the next day. You can also make a Rosemary infused oil with Jojoba or Olive oil and to ½ oz. of this add 20 drops or more of Lavender oil. Rosemary and Lavender EO work well together.


SHAMPOO ~ Shampoo can be easily made from herbs, soap and essential oils.  However, if you don’t wish to do this, make herbal shampoo the easy way.  Make an herbal infusion using 1 oz. of mixed Lavender flowers to 2 cups of water.  Strain and add 1/2 cup of this floral infusion to 1 oz. of store-bought shampoo.  Add 3 drops of essential oil of Lavender.  Shampoo hair.  Dry by using a Linen or silk towel and rubbing the hair with the towel.  This will give a gloss to the hair.  With the rest of your Lavender herbal infusion you can steam your skin or add it to your aromatic Lavender bath or use as a hair rinse. The excess can be refrigerated or used in your bath.

BATHING ~ Bathing with Lavender herb and essential oil is an important part of any aromatherapist personal skin treatment.  Without a bath once a week for soaking and contemplating and herbal immersing, one’s personal cleansing ritual is not complete.  A shower is great for the morning hurry but in the evening, a bath is a spiritual and physical necessity.    I generally add Spikenard or Lavender/Chamomile EO. to a bath. Other bath treatments can be made with any number of herbal and essential oil ingredients.  Salt scrub baths made up of 1 oz. Sea Salt + 1 oz. Hazel nut oil + 5 drops Lavender essential oil is used as externally to exfoliate for dead skin cells.  A shower or soak follows the salt scrub (see The Aromatherapy Book: Applications & Inhalations).


A BLUE LAVENDER TOMATO TALE with a Formula Attached.

            When I first started working with Artemisia arborescens, nobody else much knew about it but I knew it produced a gorgeous dark indigo-blue oil. I had a large bag of the cuttings from my garden and my friend at the Alameda Distillery offered to distill it in his smallest still. I warned him about the blue oil that would be released from the plant – but he was undeterred. So, we went through the distillation process, got some beautiful opaque indigo-blue oil and lots of interesting hydrosol. Later when they distilled some grapes for the eau de vie, it came out blue as well. They were shocked but agreed that it was still tasty.

They called me about how to clean these azulene molecules from the still and I suggested running a load of Lavender. Thus, was Blue Lavender born. When made the same error some years later of running the Blue Artemis first, and then their Lavender they also got a lovely blue-colored Lavender oil. But in this case, they sold the blue-Lavender oil to fascinated customers and then began to make it into a healing salve.

The A. arborescens has an amazing healing EO that is used for serious skin disease. Unlike the Moroccan plant, West coast Artemisia arborescens does not contain thujone but it does contain camphor. This camphor in the Blue Artemis treats skin conditions such as skin tags while azulene is used as an anti-inflammatory for conditions like Rosacea. It is used externally. And when distilled prior to anything else, it leaves some of its healing qualities behinds that become incorporated into the final product. So, Lavender is often used to clean out the still from the blue azulene particles and then also lends itself to the healing qualities of the resultant oil, called Blue Lavender. The Lavender softens the strong herbal scent of the blue Artemis and is calming as well. makes a gorgeous healing salve of this oil.



Courtesy of Evening Light Farms

Lavandula angustifolia with many varieties that are distilled including favorites like Munstead, Hidcote, Jean Davis, Lady, and Vera to name just a few. So-called English Lavender alone has over 40 different named varieties of plants with the broadest range of color choices available from white Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia Arctic Snow), to pink (Lavandula angustifolia rosea), then to the deepest royal purple (Lavandula angustifolia Hidcote) spanning the full Lavender color spectrum.

French Lavender, Lavandula dentata, leaves are grayish green with a beautiful serrated edge which is why the name Lavandula dentata. The plants do very well in dried flower arrangements and can be distilled for a pale green, yellow oil. This oil on analysis has up to 40% cineol. Cineol is what makes Eucalyptus and Rosemary therapeutic. So, think of this oil as a sweet version of Eucalyptus and you will know how to use it. AND
Lavandula stoechas, the flower spikes have been used as tea internally for headaches, irritability, feverish colds and nausea, and the infusion externally used for wounds, rheumatic pain and as an insect repellent. Hydrosol can be used as a wound wash. The essential oil is used commercially in air fresheners and insecticides. The EO contains up to 40% pulegone.

Lavandula viridis oil vs. fungus, Lavender oil from green Lavender can knock out drug-resistant fungi called dermatophytes, lab-dish tests show. Distilled from the Iberian shrub Lavandula viridis L’Hérit, the oil inhibited dermatophytes by attacking their cell membranes. It also proved promising against Candida fungi. Dermatophytes cause athletes’ foot, ringworm and nail infections, while Candida causes yeast infections. Researchers at the University of Coimbra in Portugal report the results in an upcoming issue of the Journal of Medical Microbiology. The active ingredient in the lavender oil appears to be an organic compound called alpha-pinene, they note. More tests are planned. —Nathan Seppa AND
Lavandula x intermedia, a variety of Lavandin, is the very commonly seen and known plant grown in vast quantities in France and in the United States and has many chemotypes. Few of these chemotypes are suitable for EO use or for using the stems or flowers in cooking. In too many cases this plant is very high in camphor. That in itself is not necessarily bad, but in many cases, renders this oil unfit for fine skin care or emotional care.

~ ~ ~

CONTRAINDICATIONS: There do not seem to be any contraindications for the use of Lavender plant nor for the essential oil in perfumery or aromatherapy. There are no known scientific reports of interactions between Lavender and conventional medications. However, because Lavender promotes relaxation, it may make the effects of central nervous (CNS) depressants stronger.  There are some distillers and practitioners who have developed sensitivity to the scent and use of Lavender and are unable to be near it or to smell it without negative consequences.

 Patch Test:  If applying a new essential oil to your skin always perform a patch test to the inner arm (after you have diluted the EO in a vegetable carrier oil). —Wash an area of your forearm about the size of a quarter and dry carefully. Apply a diluted drop (1 drop EO + 1 drop carrier) to the area. Then apply a loose Band-Aid and wait 24 hours. If there is no reaction then go ahead and use the oil in your formulas. —The Aromatherapy Book, Applications & Inhalations, p. 64
Do not Ingest essential oils: Although some oils are important flavoring oils in the flavor industry and thus ingested in very small amounts in many foods, especially meats and sausages, it is not a good idea to use them yourself either in capsules or in honey to take internally.
Safety Precautions: Do not apply the essential oil neat, especially to the underarms or delicate parts of the body. Most oils are probably not to be used on babies, children or pregnant women. Many aromatherapist suggest that there are some oils not be used at all. However, as with many plants, essential oil chemistry is subject to change depending on species and terroir.

DISCLAIMER:  This work is intended for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for accurate diagnosis and treatment by a qualified health care professional. Dosages are often not given, as that is a matter between you and your health care provider. The author is neither a chemist nor a medical doctor.  The content herein is the product of research and personal and practical experience. Institute of Aromatic & Herbal Studies – Jeanne Rose©

Coombs, Allen J. Dictionary of Plant Names. Timber Press, Portland, OR. 1995.
Geuter, Maria. Herbs in Nutrition. New York. BioDynamic Agricultural Assn. 1962.
Herbal Studies Course/ Jeanne Rose & Berkeley, California: North Atlantic Books, 1992
Mabberley, D. J. Mabberley’s Plant-Book, 3rd edition, 2014 printing, Cambridge University Press.
Meunier, Christiane. Lavandes & Lavandins. Édisud. Aix-en-Provence. 1992
Nickell’s, J.M. Botanical Ready Reference
Rose, Jeanne.  375 Essential Oils and Hydrosols.  Berkeley, California: Frog, Ltd., 1999
Rose, Jeanne. Lavender, Lavender, Lavender. Sequim, WA. Sequim Lavender Growers Assn. 2003.
Rose, Jeanne. Natural Botanical Perfumery. San Francisco, Ca. 1999
Rose, Jeanne.  The Aromatherapy Book: Applications & Inhalations.  San Francisco, California.
Worwood, Susan. Essential Aromatherapy. New World Library, San Rafael, CA. 1995.
other books referenced are numerous.

Biography: Jeanne Rose has been teaching aromatherapy since 1972. Jeanne has written 25 books on herbs and aromatherapy and has two home-study courses; Aromatherapy and Herbal Studies Course and the Aromatherapy Studies Course, Practitioner.  For contact information on these courses and the books see:


Lavender Limerick
Lavender, Lavender, Lavender
It will soothe your psyche and make you Purr
I don’t like it it’s true
It’s all so new.
But I use it on all my friends with fur—JeanneRose2015


A single lovely Lavender flower stalk.



~ JR ~

PALMAROSA ~ Essential Oil – Plant Profile ~

Synopsis: An ambitious discussion of the essential oil of the grass oil Palmarosa, uses, growth, description, organoleptic qualities and uses of the essential oil.

 oils courtesy of Eden Botanicals & PrimaFleur Botanicals


 By Jeanne Rose ~ May 2017

Essential Oil Profile ~ Name of Oil: Palmarosa. PALMAROSA GRASS is a genus of the Gramineae (Poaceae) family of grasses. The genus Cymbopogon contains many species of grass that yield aromatic essential oils that are used in scent, ‘herbal’ insecticides, medicine and for flavoring foods. The species martini has also been separated into the areas in which it lives, its terroir, with the variety motia or mota, commonly called >Palmarosa or Geranium Grass< and harvested in the highlands of India or Nepal and the variety sofia or sofiya commonly called >Gingergrass< harvested in the lowlands of India.


Latin Binomial/Botanical Family: Cymbopogon martini var. motia syn. Andropogon martini ~ also Cymbopogon martinii of the Family Gramineae (Poaceae).

Naming: Cymbopogon martinii was named by W. Roxburgh after the shape and look of the plant, while the species was named after General Martin who collected the seeds in the highlands of India as he described…a long grass…so strong an aromatic and pungent taste, that animals taste of it.” — from “375 Essential Oils & Hydrosols”.


Essential Oil Plants of the Grass Family ~ Gramineae (Poaceae).

Chrysopogon zizanioides is commonly known as Vetiver, a bunch grass whose roots are used.
Cymbopogon nardus is Citronella grass.
Cymbopogon citratus
West Indian Lemongrass;
Cymbopogon flexuosus is East Indian Lemongrass
Cymbopogon martini var. motia is Palmarosa grass, syn. Andropogon martini or Cymbopogon martinii.
Cymbopogon martinii var. sofia is Gingergrass
Cymbopogon nardus is Citronella grass.


Countries of Origin: Palmarosa is native to India, now grown elsewhere. Palmarosa is wildly grown in wetlands in provinces of India, including Nepal. The Palmarosa oil is extracted from the stem of the grass by distillation of dried leaves. Once the stems and leaves have been distilled for two to three hours, to separate the oil from the Palmarosa, then the leftover distilled grass is turned into organic matter and becomes manure or is composted.” —Wikipedia

Palmarosa grass in the field – photo unknown

General description of plant, habitat & growth: Palmarosa is a wild-growing or farmed plant, native to India but now grown elsewhere. A green and straw-colored grass with long stems ending in tufts and whose grassy leaves are very fragrant and produce small, yellow flowers.

GROWTH: Eden Botanicals declares a non-GMO status for Palmarosa, Nepal and Palmarosa, Sri Lanka – They are organically grown.

 Portion of plant used in distillation, how distilled, extraction methods & yield: The essential oil is distilled from the leaves, stems and flower heads and the finest oils with the most effective components come from highland grown plants, var. motia. The plants yield up to 1.7% EO with the main components being citronellal, citral and geraniol being up to 85% of the total. Steam distillation is of fresh or dried grass before flowering.

Yield:  1.0-1.5% and up to 1.7% EO per weight                


Organoleptic Characteristics:

Color:                           Colorless to pale gold to yellow
Clarity:                         Clear
Viscosity:                    Non-viscous, watery
Taste:                          Mild, smooth, bitter, slightly analgesic, hot,
Odor Intensity:            4-5
Solubility:                    Insoluble in water, soluble in alcohol and fixed oils

Odor Description:       is woody, herbaceous, citrus and very occasionally fruity/floral. First, I want to say that Palmarosa highlands or Gingergrass lowlands do not smell like Rose or Rose Geranium or Ginger — not at all! I sampled four types.

            The Prima Fleur Palmarosa from Nepal had a soft intensity of 4 and had a Citrus Predominant note, Herbal Subsidiary note and Green Back note with floral, fruity, wood and spice missing.

            Eden Botanicals wild Palmarosa also from Nepal was slightly different with an intensity of 5 and Predominant Herbal note, subsidiary of Citrus and green Back note with floral, fruity, woody and spice missing.

            Eden Botanicals Palmarosa from Sri Lanka had a soft intensity of 4 with a Predominant Herbal note, subsidiary note of Citrus and green Back note with floral, fruity, woody and spice missing.

            CH Imports Gingergrass from India had an intensity of 5 and had a Predominant note of Spice, subsidiary note of Herbs and Back notes of Green and Citrus with no floral, fruity or wood notes.

In this selection of scents, I actually preferred the Gingergrass but all three Palmarosa were lovely.

Chemical Components: the main components being citronellal, citral and geraniol, Geranyl Acetate, Linaloöl, Alpha-Humulene, and Beta-Caryophyllene.

“Essential oils distilled from whole herb, leaf lamina, leaf sheath and inflorescence of Palmarosa plants cultivated in south India were analyzed by GC and GC/MS. Inflorescence (2.00%) and leaf lamina (1.40%) (flowers and leaf) produced significantly higher oil yield than whole herb (0.75%) and leaf sheath (0.33%). Palmarosa stem did not produce oil. Seventeen constituents accounting for 95.6–97.1% of the oils were identified. (E)-β-Ocimene (1.2–4.3%), linalool (0.8–2.0%), geraniol (70.1–85.3%), geranyl acetate (4.3–14.8%) and (E, Z)-farnesol (1.6–3.4%) were the major components. Whole herb oil was richer in linalool, β-caryophyllene and (E, Z)-farnesol. Leaf lamina and leaf sheath oils were richer in geraniol. Inflorescence oil was richer in (E)-β-Ocimene and geranyl acetate. To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this is the first report on the oil profiles of leaf lamina and leaf sheath of Palmarosa.” —JEOR

~ ~ ~

 HISTORY AND INTERESTING FACTS: Palmarosa has been used to adulterate Rose oil because the high geraniol content makes it smell ‘rose-like’ to some persons and in the past, it was called ‘Turkish geranium oil’. “It is shaken with gum Arabic solution and left in the sun—a process which makes it lighter in color, thus more like distilled Rose oil” Essential Aromatherapy, p. 156. According to Arctander, “Palmarosa oil is the best natural source of geraniol of all essential oils”.



Fine perfumes, candles, and herbal pillows with the pleasing smell of rose are often in fact scented with Palmarosa. It is also used to flavor tobacco. “Palmarosa oil has been shown to be an effective insect repellent when applied to stored grain and beans, an anthelmintic against nematodes, and an antifungal and mosquito repellent.”—Greenfield Agro Forestry

            Application: When applied in creams, lotion, products Palmarosa can be cellular regenerative particularly in herbal products with the herb Comfrey leaf; it is antiseptic; with Rosemary verbenone, Frankincense and Spikenard it is antifungal; in products, it helps to increase the antibacterial, analgesic, anti-infectious effects.

            Inhalation: In aromatherapy, the EO is used by inhalation as a tonic to the heart, antiviral, relaxing and soothing to the nervous system. Doulas and birth coaches have used Palmarosa as a relaxant in birthing.

            Uses: You can use Palmarosa in all sorts of skin care products. It works well to reduce acne, scar tissue, relieve dry skin, and reduce the look of wrinkles in old skin. It aids in the regulation of oil production of the skin. With other oils (mentioned above) it relieves athlete’s foot fungus.

“Palmarosa oil is also known as an antifungal that fights against Aspergillus niger, commonly known as black mold, Chaetomium globosum also known as moldy soil and Penicillium funiculosum, which is a plant pathogen.—Wikipedia


DIFFUSE/DIFFUSION: Because it is somewhat antiseptic and antifungal Palmarosa EO works very well in a diffuser to clear a sickroom. Diffuse no more than 5 minutes out of 30 and less if the scent is still strong after 15 minutes or if the ill person is a child (under 14) or an elderly or very sick person.

BLENDING: Samples of this oil can have a rich intensity or a very low intensity although the tenacity in a blend is quite pronounced. It works well with herbal scents like Geranium, Lavender and Rosemary, resinous oils such as Frankincense, citrus oils like Bergamot and Grapefruit and rooty oils such as Spikenard and Vetivert.

 HYDROSOL: Adding Palmarosa hydrosol to food and for healing skin is a gentle way to add a rosy note to dessert or cosmetics. It is a very potent healer. It does “open doors” for people who are new to hydrosols. Palmarosa blends well with other hydrosols and it’s great for a deodorant or body perfume. We have read it is good for gut flora and has antiseptic qualities.
The sweet freshening effect of Palmarosa hydrosol, is slightly astringent and used as a facial toner, hair tonic, mood lifter. This hydrosol can refresh a mood, the linen, or the inside of your car. C. Durney personally take a pint and pour it on her forehead to soak all the follicles on her head. This may thicken hair and tighten the pores and provide a delicate deodorizing affect to the entire system. This grass is beautiful and aromatic.

[see towards the end of the article for more information on the hydrosol]

Energetics-Emotional Use: it is used as a nervous relaxant and for stress-related problems. It is also used for physical exhaustion.
Used in ritual/energetic work to attract love—The Aromatherapy Book

Eden Botanicals customer has stated the following, “This Palmarosa, a relative of lemongrass creates a feeling of security. It is used to reduce stress and tension, and promotes feelings of well-being. This oil reduces nervous tension. Excellent oil for home diffusion.”

            Carmen Durney grows this grass and states that It is strong and has a gentle presence. Therefore, it really strengthens a soul, fortifies the source. Enjoy!


Internal Usage in humans: Not tested in humans, it is suggested that the EO not be taken internally. However, in 2014 after some testing Palmarosa herb/oil was considered safe for human consumption in low concentrations and in very small amounts; used occasionally it can assist in the removal of pathogenic intestinal flora. I would suggest adding a small amount of the hydrosol to water to drink and not drinking the EO. There are occasional recommendations that it can be used both as an inhalant and internally in anorexia.


KEY USAGE: Jeanne Rose states in the “Aromatherapy Course-Home & Family that Palmarosa oil is the “Oil of Antifungal”


Toxicity: If added directly to water the EO is moderately toxic-to-toxic to fish, fungi and mollusks. In other words, do not pour down the drain – dispose in a safe way.


SAFETY PRECAUTIONS: When used externally in moderation it is non-toxic and non-irritating.  Moderation in use is recommended. Do not diffuse or use for children.

Precautions: General Precautions for Essential Oils.
As with all essential oils, do not use undiluted, do not use directly in eyes or on mucus membranes. Do not take internally unless advised by a qualified and expert practitioner. Keep away from children.
 Patch Test:  If applying a new essential oil to your skin always perform a patch test to the inner arm (after you have diluted the EO in a vegetable carrier oil). Wash an area of your forearm about the size of a quarter and dry carefully. Apply a diluted drop (1 drop EO + 1 drop carrier) to the area. Then apply a loose Band-Aid and wait 24 hours. If there is no reaction then go ahead and use the oil in your formulas.


Science Abstracts: Abstract from Food and Chemical Toxicology Volume 68, June 2014, Pages 71–77. . —, Evaluation of toxicity of essential oils Palmarosa, citronella, lemongrass and vetiver in human lymphocytes “The present investigation was undertaken to study the cytotoxic and genotoxic potential of the essential oils (Palmarosa, citronella, lemongrass and vetiver) and monoterpenoids (citral and geraniol) in human lymphocytes. Trypan blue dye exclusion and MTT test was used to evaluate cytotoxicity. The genotoxicity studies were carried out by comet and DNA diffusion assays. Apoptosis was confirmed by Annexin/PI double staining. In addition, generation of reactive oxygen species was evaluated by DCFH-DA staining using flow cytometry. The results demonstrated that the four essential oils and citral induced cytotoxicity and genotoxicity at higher concentrations. The essential oils were found to induce oxidative stress evidenced by the generation of reactive oxygen species. Except for geraniol, induction of apoptosis was confirmed at higher concentrations of the test substances. Based on the results, the four essential oils are considered safe for human consumption at low concentrations.”


Distilling Palmarosa – photo courtesy of Kailash Dixit  of
Guenther, Ernest. The Essential Oils. Published by Krieger.
Journal of Essential Oil Research, Volume 21, Issue 6, 2009. Essential Oil Profiles of Different Parts of          —–Palmarosa (Cymbopogon martinii (Roxb.) Wats. var. motia Burk.)
Mabberley, D. J. Mabberley’s Plant-Book. 3rd edition 2008, reprinted with corrections 2014.
Rose, Jeanne. 375 Essential Oils and Hydrosols.
Rose, Jeanne. The Aromatherapy Book, Applications & Inhalations.
Sonali Sinha, Manivannan Jothiramajayam, Manosij Ghosh, Anita Mukherjee Food and Chemical Toxicology Volume 68, June 2014, Pages 71–77, Evaluation of toxicity of essential oils Palmarosa, citronella, —————-lemongrass and vetiver in human lymphocytes
DISCLAIMER:  This work is intended for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for accurate diagnosis and treatment by a qualified health care professional. Dosages are often not given, as that is a matter between you and your health care provider. The author is neither a chemist nor a medical doctor.  The content herein is the product of research and some personal and practical experience. Institute of Aromatic & Herbal Studies – Jeanne Rose©
This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.



Palmarosa grass, cut into lengths
Rosemary herb cut and sifted
Basil leaves, cut and sifted

Directions: Mix the herbs together, using any amounts you wish. Store the greater part of the product in an airtight container. When needed, shampoo hair, rinse, follow with this hair rinse using ½ oz. herbs simmered a few minutes in 2 cups of water. Strain. When cool enough to use, rinse through the hair repeatedly, catching the run-off and reusing.

Dosage: How much and when, how often
How much to take or do:
½ oz. by wt. of herbs per 2 cups by vol. water
When to take, or do: Use after each shampoo
How often to take or do: At least once per week
How long to take: Use at least for a month. Then try another formula and come back to this one every other month for 6 months.


this is anti-fungal, pro-growth, anti-aging and healthy for the scalp and hair.

Palmarosa oil 25%
Rosemary oil 25% (verbenone type)
Jojoba oil 50%

Directions:      Mix thoroughly. Shake, Use only 1-2 drops per application. Apply to brush and brush hair or apply by fingertips to the scalp and massage in at least twice/day.

Label: Put into 1-ounce bottle and label fully with full name of the product, ingredients, how to use and your contact information.


Antifungal Treatment

Frankincense, Palmarosa (Cymbopogon martini var. motia), Rosemary verbenone and Spikenard essential oils are used in equal amounts and at 10% of the total product. For instance, use 4 drops of each of the essential oils and add to 100 drops of a carrier, whether lotion or oil (40/20 Calophyllum/Sea Buckthorn + 40 Calendula Infused oil or Bruise Juice. Apply several times per day and before bed. Both Frankincense and the Rosemary chemotype verbenone contain verbenone an unusual ketone that is antifungal and Palmarosa is considered antifungal.



 Equal quantities of each of several of these carrier oils, especially Jojoba, Calendula, Gotu Kola, Calophyllum and Sea Buckthorn to equal 1 ounce of carrier oil.
Add to this EO
5 drops Blue Cypress
5 drops Helichrysum
10 drops Neroli
15 drops Palmarosa
10 drops Pelargonium RoseThis is a therapeutic 10% mixture of essential oils to carrier oil.
Dip your fingernails into the mixture and soak for a few minutes, then rub the excess into the nail bed carefully.  Repeat daily for a week.  Then weekly.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Palmarosa Grass Hydrosol 10-15-15
Cymbopogon martini variety unknown
Carmen Durney of Wai’iti Soaps and Botanicals

Palmarosa plant has physical attributes that is like in growth and development to lemongrass. I am not a big fan of the lemongrass hydrosol that we have made.  It is very harsh smelling. One time my partner asked me to do a co-distillation of lemongrass and Palmarosa grass together.  After I harvested the Palmarosa grass, I began to harvest the lemongrass but my shears broke.  SO, I only distilled about 7 oz. Lemongrass in 5 pounds Palmarosa grass and boy could you smell that lemongrass in there.  I didn’t like the lemongrass but I do like the Palmarosa grass.

As we have seen many varieties of lemongrass are propagated and cultivated, but this is the first Palmarosa grass I have ever grown.  When people purchase Palmarosa oil or the hydrosol it is commonly labelled a variety called sofia, of the highland terroir. The variety called motia is lowland terroir and termed Gingergrass. I’d like to get those seeds too to see the difference from a plant perspective.  It’s on the to-do list: find more seeds!

From a terroir perspective, Hawaii’s low altitude and reddish vibration of light may not render the constituents valued from a high altitude native India terroir Palmarosa grass, however, due to its lovely aroma and heartiness, we are eager to have our Palmarosa hydrosol tested in the future. Palmarosa is very gently but is pungent with its own character.  Not everyone is a fan at first, but the application in food and healing is promising. It is a very potent healer in any aromatherapist tool bag!

The grass is awesome for mulching weeds and putting into a stinky chicken coop. I believe everyone who lives in a subtropical climate would enjoy cultivating this herb.

Palmarosa has a great harvest to process to yield ratio. Most likely why it has always been quite an affordable essential oil. When I have distilled these cuttings of Palmarosa that I call “haircuts”, I have used fresh plant material, including the flowers & seeds.  I have also distilled just the reedy leaves with no flowers or seed.  I think I prefer the entire plant in the distillation. This requires very little processing.  We can distill the Palmarosa anytime whenever it gets a ‘haircut’.

The essential oil acquired during distillation is a lovely golden hue and has a distinctive aroma, possible due to its geraniol content. The oil is easy to separate unlike the heavier or delicate oils. Immediately after distillation, I have seen the appearance in some of the fractions some long whitish, shiny crystals abut a millimeter long. This kind of float and are suspended off the bottom while the hydrosol adjusts and cools. This could be due to the still temperatures.  It could be too low a temp?  Not sure about this….

Unlike the very strong citral scent that is almost vulgar to the senses of Lemongrass, Palmarosa grass’s unique smell, gently grows on the person. It smells much the same as it does in the field.

The distillations with seeds and that were not meticulously separated yielded a hydrosol with a much HIGHER quantity of essential oil. Therefore, I have preferred to distill the top portions of the plant with the stems.  The PH tests I have managed to attempt have delivered a 5.3 range approximately. It’s not extremely low though like the Hinano which had a pH about 4.3.

Since we have been able to successfully cultivate this lovely grass, the hydrosol is not one I have had to worry about storing like Hinano, Neroli, Pomelo or Ylang Ylang. These flowers come once or twice a year depending on our weather in Hawaii. Palmarosa can be distilled from the fresh perpetually flowering plant.

Use: I bathe my whole body with the Palmarosa hydrosol starting at the forehead and pouring on skin and hair.  All hydrosols are lovely in hair, but this one particularly is a lovely hair tonic. I feel like it can redden the complexion however.

I need to get a market going so I can sell quarts and distill more.

How else do you suggest that we use the hydrosol ~ the application in food and healing is a gentle way to add a rosy note to cosmetics or dessert. It is a very potent healer in any aromatherapist tool bag! It does “open doors” for people who are new to hydrosols. Blends well with other hydrosols and it’s great for a deodorant or body perfume.

 How do you use the Hydrosol ~ Sweet freshening effect. Slightly astringent. As a facial toner, hair tonic, mood lifter. “This hydrosol can refresh a mood, linen, or your car. I personally take a pint and pour it on my forehead and soak all the follicles on my head. This thickens my hair and tightens the pores and provides a delicate deodorizing effect to the entire system. This grass is beautiful and aromatic. It is strong and has a gentle presence. Therefore, it really strengthens a soul, fortifies the source.

Enjoy!   ”C. Durney – Wai’iti Soaps and Botanicals ~ – 808.639.6956 ~


~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Cymbopogon martinii var. motia (highland) and var. sofia (lowland)


Palmarosa oil limerick
I love rosy, grassy Palmarosa
It goes in Bruise Juice for the toes-a
As an antiviral
It isn’t chiral
But it pleases me from toes to nose-a…JeanneRose 2012


For classes and Seminars





~ JR ~

Roses ~ Used As Scent

Synopsis: See part I for the Rose species grown for scent by distillation or by solvent extraction ~ here we discuss how and why you use Rose oil and Rose hydrosol.

These lovely examples of absolutes shown have been supplied mainly by Eden Botanicals

 ROSES ~ How to Use Essential Oil /Hydrosol – Part 2 of 2

By Jeanne Rose ~ May 2017

 I am NOT writing about Roses that smell good or good smelling varietals; I am only talking about the antique Roses, heirloom Roses, species Roses, the real Roses that were used historically and are used now for distillation or solvent-extraction for scent and perfumery. These are 2 totally different matters.

If you will check any of my books you will find much information on the Roses that are grown for scent. Herbs & Things, p. 101; Herbal Body Book, p. 118-119; The Aromatherapy Book, p. 128-129; and 375 Essential Oils and Hydrosols, p. 132-134; and so, there is no sense in repeating that information here. We are discussing only heirloom or species Roses that are used for scent.


Common Name/Latin Binomial: Rosa alba (Rosa damascena alba) – White Rose • Bourbon Rose, R. x bourboniana (Edouard Rose) • Rosa x centifolia – Cabbage Provence rose or Rose de Mai (confused with the Kazanlik) • and Rosa damascena (Rosa damascena forma trigintipetala or Kazanlik Rose.

 Other Common Name/Naming Information:
Family: Rosaceae, are prickly shrubs, climbing or trailing and usually with deciduous pinnate leaves. A source of important essential oils that are used in scent-making, the herb leaves and petals used locally for both scent and medicine, especially useful as a cultivated ornamental. This family is associated with the Virgin Mary as well as the Rosicrucian’s…” though early Christians considered it decadent.

 Countries of Origins: When France had an extensive area for perfumery flowers, R. × centifolia was a Rose especial to the French city of Grasse, known as the perfume capital of the world. It is widely cultivated for its singular fragrance—clear and sweet, with light notes of honey. The flowers are commercially harvested to produce Rose oil, which is commonly used in perfumery.

Eden Botanicals Harvest Location:   Bulgaria, Egypt, Morocco, and Turkey are all prime locations for Rose growing and distilling. Eden has twelve different types of Rose oil to purchase.

Endangered or Not: There are some endangered and extinct rose cultivars including some of the Roses that we are discussing in this paper, but the species itself is not endangered. We, as people, just need to be growing the true perfume Roses rather than the cultivated Roses grown just for color or shape.


General description of Plant habitat and growth: The Rose has been developed and altered over thousands of years, there are thousands of cultivars and describing the original species is complex with the ancestry of these Roses inexact and disputed. Many horticultural schemes have been proposed. Wikipedia gives a rather simple description of the habitat and growth as …” A rose is a woody perennial flowering plant of the genus Rosa, Rosa, in the family Rosaceae, or the flower it bears. There are over a hundred species and thousands of cultivars. They form a group of plants that can be erect shrubs, climbing or trailing with stems that are often armed with sharp prickles. Flowers vary in size and shape and are usually large and showy, in colors ranging from white through yellows and reds” …, although the true scented Roses are generally white or pink except for Rosa gallica, the Apothecary Rose which is red.

Do not be confused by the pictures of Roses that any company uses when they discuss Rose oil; they are mostly showing you pictures of recent varietals rather than the ancient and true Roses that are grown and used for their scent.


Portion of plant used in distillation, how distilled, extraction methods and yields:

If you wish the correct Roses for use, please read

ROSE HARVEST ~ The ideal essential oil for delicate and mature skins, any organic Rose Essential Oil is captured through steam distillation each spring in Bulgaria, Turkey, Egypt, and Morocco. “The methods used today are not entirely different than those employed many centuries ago ~ although, with the price of a kilo of oil in the thousands of dollars, one can be certain the science has advanced. Roses are hand-harvested in the early morning; the roses are distilled in copper stills by a water and steam process. Approximately 1,200 liters of water cover 150 to 300 kilos of roses, which float freely in the water. Direct steam injected into the water keeps them from forming a compact mass. The water is slowly brought to a boil and allowed to simmer for about 1½ hours. First, the “direct oil,” or Surovo Maslo in Bulgarian, is drawn off. Then the “first waters” of this and subsequent distillations are bunched and redistilled. This cohobation, as it is called, takes about 2½ hours. The top of the water is distilled off. It is a condensate called the “second water” and contains what is called the “water oil.” This oil is drawn off and the two oils, direct and water, are combined. The ratio, on average, is 25% direct oil to 75% water oil. It takes an average of 4,000 kilos of flowers to make 1 kilo of oil.” — Prima Fleur Botanicals

                  Flowers can also be treated by maceration with warmed fat (not oil) and will give the Pomades and Extraits de Rose.

The rose is an ancient flower that, among all flowers, has been the most treasured throughout history. With its many layers of silky petals, sensual colors, euphoric scent and deeply romantic history, Rose lifts the heart, inspires the mind, and restores the spirit.

Yield varies: 0.12% +. Some 3000 parts of flowers yield only one part of essential oil.

Biolandes Bulgarian Rose Oil Distillation

Distillation Tips: In June of 2015, we (Jeanne Rose and class) distilled 2.5 lbs. Roses (Rosa centifolia) that had been freshly picked on April 25, 2015, and then quick frozen. On June 13, 2015, the Jeanne Rose Distillation class then picked ½ lb. of Rose Geranium flowers, some Lemon verbena flowers, and leaves. These were all put together in the copper still with 3 gallons of water with the Roses freely floating and a distillation commenced. We kept the temperature of the flame on the low side to have a low and slow hydro-steam distillation. After 3 hours, we had 3 quarts of lovely Rose scented hydrosol.

When you distill, collect at the correct time, know what you are collecting and distilling

  1. Know Your Soil.
    2. Location, Location, Location.
    3. Water source and type.
    4. Choose the correct plant that will match the terroir.
    5. Harvest at the correct time of the year and the correct time of the day.
    6. Harvest the correct part of the plant.
    7. Choose a method of distillation and type of equipment that works for your plant.
    8. Choose whether you are distilling for essential oil or hydrosol.
    9. Distil with the art and craft of careful knowledge and many years’ experience.

Rose Distillation ~ My personal story. Over the years, I have grown a variety of different ‘old Roses’ – purely for the enjoyment of the scent and visual joy of the colors and textures of the Roses. Lately, I have been harvesting and distilling my Roses for the exquisite Rosewater (Rose hydrosol) that is produced. The up side of harvesting and distilling my own Roses is that I have the rosewater for my use for the following year. The down side is that to obtain enough Roses for the distillation, every single Rose bud, and Rose petal from every bush must be picked at the correct time of year and early on the morning of the distillation to have enough roses for the distillation to proceed.  It takes three people one hour to pick every rose that is available in my small city yard. This is approximately 2 lbs. of Rose buds and petals. Of course, that means, that there are no more Roses for at least 3 days.

“The distillation proceeded normally. All the Roses were picked – 2-3 lbs.; they were placed in the copper still on a raised grate, and up to 3 gallons of spring-water was added slowly, enough so that the Roses floated freely. The heat was turned on and gradually raised until the distillate began to come over. The condensate was collected until 1-1.5 gallons was collected (or a vegetative note is detected). We allowed the Rosewater to cool naturally, before bottling it into sterile containers. We hope for another good year.” —JeanneRose Distillation

Many of these lovely examples shown have been supplied by Eden Botanicals and 3 by Prima Fleur
You can see the crystals in the steam-distilled oils on the right side.
From left to right: 1) a synthetic from 1973 * THE ABSOLUTES ~2) Rose de Mai extract, 3) Rose de Mai concrete, 4) Rosa bourboniana-1995, 5) Damask Rose-1995, 6) Rose Abs – Turkey., 7) Rose Abs – Morocco, 8) Rose trilogy (Abs. from Bulgaria/Morocco/Turkey), 9) Rose de Mai (R. centifolia) Abs. Egypt, 10) Damask Rose Abs. Bulgaria •  THE STEAM-DISTILLED OTTO OR EO ~  11) Rose from 1930 – France, 12) Rose centifolia from Russia, 13) Damask Rose organic – Bulgaria, 14)Damask Rose – Bulgaria, 15) Rosa damascena EO 1995 – Bulgaria, 16) Damask Rose – Turkey, 17) Rose species unknown enfleurage in jojoba, 18) Rose-unknown species from Turkey.


This is a very difficult chart to have designed and written, but it is very complete as to what you should expect when you purchase the different Rose oils. The absolutes are red or dark, while the steam-distillates are colorless and should be crystallized at room temperature (look at them first thing in the morning before you touch them). It also includes my 1930 Rose oil and a synthetic Rose from 1973. Scent is very important – please do not be deceived and think you will be able to purchase truly rose-scented lotions or soap or products ~ those prices would be out of one’s budget. A 4-oz. soap would cost about $50 if it were made of true Rose.

Crystal = crystallized
Org. = organically grown

ODOR DESCRIPTION/ AROMA ASSESSMENT: Using the “Basic 7 – Vocabulary of Odor” © that I developed many years ago, I looked at the organoleptic qualities of 20 different named types of Rose oil, from a 40-year old synthetic to a 90-year old French oil and absolutes and essential oils from 1995-2016; 20 different types total. I have more, but this is a representative sample of the scent of Rose. Rose oil or absolute are all varying degrees of Floral, Woody and Fruity notes, sometimes the Floral predominates and sometimes the Woody predominates, and the absolutes often have a Spicy back note. One of these oils also had a green or mint-like odor to it.

If your Rose oil smells soapy it is probably a synthetic.

They are the same but have very distinct differences. My go-to scent for comparison is the 1930 Rose Oil which smells like the species Roses that I have grown and known. I looked at and analyzed the Rose from five different companies including Eden Botanicals (retail), Prima Fleur Botanicals (skin care and wholesale), a lovely Rose from a Turkish company with no name on the bottle, Veriditas Botanicals, and an enfleurage from Scents of Knowing. These oils represented five different countries; Bulgaria, Egypt, France, Morocco, and Turkey. Remember that the absolutes are best in perfumes, applications, and products while the Otto’s, the steam-distilled Roses are probably best used with discretion in blends for inhalations or therapeutic uses.

The gold standard of the Scent of Rose is best exemplified in the Rose from France, distilled sometime around 1930. There is a wonderful story with this Rose that I have given at the end of this article. The scent is sweetly floral, with a soft woody subsidiary note and a fruity back note. It smells just like the species Rose, Rosa centifolia, I have examined over the years. A true to the flower scent. During my classes here in San Francisco, I always let my students examine this scent and compare it to current odors for their personal comparison. I have also found out something that may be odd or just unique to me but the best time to perceive the true odor of something is in the morning when you and the air is fresh rather than the afternoon when your senses are dull or tired. Everything smells a wee bit off in the afternoon. Keep track of what things smell like and when you smell them and you too may find that this is important in your aromatherapy work.

There are very logical ways to describe odor, including the use of my charts and kits, called The Basic 7-Vocabulary of Odor© and The Advanced Circular Vocabulary of Odor© and these are available on my website. There are poetic ways to describe odor that are literate and beautiful but will not help you really understand that odor and there are business-like ways to describe odor used just to sell them. If you want to learn which of these lovely Rose odors you like the best, you should get several samples of different ones and choose for yourself. In quality Rose oils, there is no one oil that is better or worse, just those that you do not appreciate yet.

The Rose trilogy offered by Eden Botanicals is a lovely example of three Rose absolutes combined to make a scent that is truly evocative of a bouquet of Roses. Try it and use it.



The properties are slightly different for the different types. Solvent-extracts are used in perfumery and most product lines while the steam-distillate is used by inhalation or internally by ingestion for “problems of the heart”. Rose properties are that it is slightly astringent, tonic, analgesic, hypnotic, antibacterial, antimicrobial, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antidepressant, antitussive, and a mild laxative as an herbal tea.

            Properties and Uses (by IG = ingestion or IN = inhalation or AP = application): Used by Application the Herb is astringent and the EO is tonic, stimulant, emollient and cytophylactic (protects the cells against destruction which will aid in preserving the health of the skin).  By Inhalation the EO is astringent, antidepressant, and a soothing tonic stimulant, and relaxant. Rose is often used for chronic bronchitis and asthma, as a respiratory relaxant.

            Physical Uses & How used (IG or AP): Physically by Application in cosmetics, skin care, and body-care products, and home pharmaceuticals.  Some use Rose Abs with Sandalwood as an underarm deodorant. I feel that this is a waste of the Rose and it can be better used in facial care products or EO by Ingestion for menstrual problems, frigidity, the reproductive system, and impotence. Only a drop in a complementary herbal capsule (Hawthorn for the heart, Vitex agnus castus for the female reproductive system) is needed and used only 3 times per day for no more than 5 days. Rose oil can allay frigidity, impotence, and sexual weakness. 

Diffuse/Diffusion: Any combination of essential oils that you formulate with Rose Abs. can be diffused. Often the scent in the air from these mixtures is very relaxing and soothing. Personally, I prefer Rose absolute plus Spikenard EO and then double the amount of a high-altitude Lavender EO ~ this makes a quite lovely combination of scent with low viscosity to put into your diffuser. Use it only for 15 minutes on and 45 minutes off for a scent quality in the air that will enable relaxation and a quiet mind.


Emotional/Energetic Use by Application or Inhalation: Rose absolute can be used by Application, a drop massaged on the temples to relieve a headache. If Inhaled it can relieve a headache and nervous tension, alleviate depression and anxiety, soothe emotions, such as shock or grief, and help one to overcome the fear of the unknown.  If applied on the wrist and inhaled during meditation Rose oil is used for harmony and balance. It gently heals emotional wounds.



There are many blends and applications you can use with Rose, just check your nearest ‘energetic’ aromatherapy book, or the formula books written by Scott Cunningham. A simple blend is one using a variety of base notes, as follows:

                                        Earth Mother ~ An oil blend used in ritual for psychic protection.
Use a combination of Patchouli, Rose, Spikenard, and Vetiver in any amounts. The odor is used for physical stamina and for sexual potency, (herb Patchouli is used in woolen clothes to deter moths). Rose we have discussed and it mixes well with these other essential oils. The Spikenard is the Mother of Scent and a great woman’s odor because of its reference in the bible. Mix these as a base note in all your female perfumes. Sandalwood can be substituted for Vetiver as a base note in men’s odors and is used for psychic protection.

                                                                                   Love Oils with Rose Otto
Rose Otto is another name for the essential oil or attar of Rose and is used for the body, usually taken by ingestion or by inhalation or in perfumery, while the Rose absolute is strictly in products for external care or by inhalation for the mind.  Rose Otto is for the body and Rose absolute for the mind.  I don’t really consider Rose to be an aphrodisiac although older men (over 50) seem to think it (the true Rose) is a fabulous odor on a woman and will often go ‘gaga’ over it. Try a blend of Rose absolute, Lavender absolute and Sandalwood or Neroli EO.

Triple Rose oil Potion
Take 5 drops of Rose absolute and mix with 5 drops of Rose essential oil and add 20 drops of Rosehip seed oil. Succuss thoroughly. Drink a cup of Rose petal Tea. Now draw a heart on the floor around you in Rose petals, and anoint yourself with the Rose Potion. Anoint a pink candle and light it. Anoint your clothes. Think about all those items that you wish or that you want or that are important to you. Close your eyes and bring in the Rose scent. Sit or stand in the center of your heart and expand your vision. Love? It will come to you.

Wish for only good and with no harm to come to others.


 Key Use: Perfumery & skin care. Oil of the Heart©.

 Historical Uses: A long vast history as perfumes, unguents, pomades, magic, and as medicine.

 Interesting Information: “Mystery of the Rose” was a powerful concept in Medieval times; the term ‘sub rosa’, that is, in private, comes from the tradition of putting a Rose above a council table where secrecy was expected, this possibly from the legend that Cupid gave Harpocrates, the god of silence, secrets, and confidentiality, a Rose to keep him from revealing Venus’s indiscretions. Herodotus, born 484 BC discussed double Roses.

The Emperor Nero built the Domus Aurea which is Latin for “Golden House”). It was a large landscaped portico villa that was built in the heart of ancient Rome, after the great fire of 64 A.D. had cleared away the aristocratic dwellings on the slopes of the Palatine Hill. It was built of brick and concrete and with murals and stuccoed ceilings that were covered with semi-precious stones and ivory veneer. Celer and Severus also created an ingenious mechanism, cranked by slaves, that made the ceiling underneath the dome revolve like the heavens, while perfume was sprayed and Rose petals were dropped on the assembled diners. According to some accounts, perhaps embellished by Nero’s political enemies, on one occasion such quantities of rose petals were dropped that one unlucky guest was asphyxiated.

 Contraindications: None known, although recently someone told me they were allergic to Rose but did not clarify if it was the plant or the scent. I believe that she had only smelled synthetic Rose and probably did not know the difference.

 Safety Precautions: None known.  Non-toxic.  Non-irritant.

                                                                                   HYDROSOL OF ROSE
Rose hydrosol is a timeless tonic. It is a very mild astringent and can be used as a light toner for extremely sensitive and mature skin. It is prized as a restorative for mature skin, but can be used on all skin types. Hydrosol uses of the Rose are innumerable. Everything that you can think of can be done with the Rose hydrosol.  It can be drunk, used in foods, cosmetics, and medicines. The best comes from the Rosa gallica. But this species is not much grown or distilled now.
And finally, the Medicinal Rose, Rosa gallica officinalis – Apothecary Rose, French Rose or Rose of Provins (distilled for Rosewater) was once was the principal Rose used for Rosewater in cosmetics and medicine, although now many distillers collect any of the ‘water’ of a Rose distillation. Some of this water has been cohobated to extract every molecule of the Rose oil and some has not. So, it is good to know your distiller, and to carefully read the bottle and ask questions. The most pungent and medicinally active hydrosol would be the one that has not been cohobated.
Production of Rose Otto is via water-steam distillation; Rose blossoms are added to water in the still for a water-steam distillation (Roses are soft and somewhat mucilaginous and stick together with just steam distillation). The water is brought to a boil, producing steam which percolates through the Rose mass. The steam produced is captured, condensed and collected where the water and the oil produced are separated.

“Cohobation is done to reclaim all the essential oil that is produced and not for extracting or reclaiming some chemical constituent that was not in the Hydrosol first time around. Following the first distillation of plant material, cohobation is done for extracting more essential oil from the oil-bearing waters as Rose oil is highly hydrophilic.” These types of ‘waters’/hydrosols come primarily from Rose Otto and Melissa distillations.


                              Uses for Rose Hydrosol/Rosewater:
            Cooling Mist: Keep in a bottle with a spray top. Have an extra bottle in your purse. Store any extra in the refrigerator Mist on face to cool skin and freshen up.
            Facial Toner: To 1 oz. of Rose hydrosol add a drop of Lavender or Rose essential oil and apply to your face with a cotton ball after you shower or wash your face to keep skin smooth and toned.
Clay Facial for Skin: Add 1 teaspoon of white clay to 1 tablespoon of Rose hydrosol and add 1 scant drop of Rose oil. Let it integrate, and apply the clay masque to your cleansed skin, let it dry, gently rub the clay off with fingertips, rinse thoroughly and follow with a Rosewater spray. This would be useful for any teenager, mother, man or young person as it is healing, tonic and adds suppleness to the skin.
            Sunburn Relief: Mix equal parts rosewater and Rose vinegar in a spray bottle and spray onto sunburned skin for relief.


Religious Uses of Rosewater: In Iran, rosewater is an abundant product of R. damascena which contains 10-50% rose oil. The most usage of Rose water is in religious ceremonies. It is used in mosques especially at mourning ceremonies, to calm and relax people. The highest quality rose water is produced in Kashan. Kaaba (God House) in, is washed yearly by unique and special rose water of Kashan. Rose water is also of high value in the food industry and some special foods are prepared using this product


Culinary Uses of Rose Hydrosol: Rose water or Rose oil is used in many cuisines, including the delicious treat called Turkish Delight.  There is also Ms. Rohde’s book, Rose Recipes with many ways to prepare Rose petals and hips. Rose petals are also delicious when mixed with Lemonade for a flavored pink drink for a hot summer day. This Rose Lemonade can also be made with Rose hydrosol. It is an excellent and tasty aperient for a child.
                        Rose Lemonade: Make 1 quart of Lemonade with organic Lemons, water and sugar to your taste. Add 2-4 tablespoons Rose hydrosol or 1 cup of an infusion of Rosa centifolia made with the petals and good water. Sweeten to taste. Fill beautiful crystal glasses with ice or ice made with champagne and pour over the Rose Lemonade.  This would be a good drink as an aperient for a child (not the one with the champagne) or for the woman in PMS or in menopause.

PLEASE NOTE: A true hydrosol should be specifically distilled for the hydrosol, not as a co-product or even a by-product of essential oil distillation. The plant’s cellular water has many components most are lost under pressurized short steam runs for essential oil, or by using dried material. We recommend that the producers specifically distil for a product by using plant material that is fresh.


                                                                               HERBAL USES OF THE ROSE:

Two kinds of dried flowers are produced in commerce. A) Dried bud which is mostly for export. B) Dried petals for different purposes; its major use is for eating, as it can solve problems with digestive system. Some Iranians eat the petals with yogurt. Another reason for drying petals is to store them when the distilleries cannot accept the whole produced flower anymore.

Use Rose petals whole or infused or macerated in herbal baths, herbal lotions, creams, unguents and just any way you can think of to prepare them. See my books for ideas. Rose hips also have great value and make a delicious syrup.


Hips, both dried and fresh hips of R. damascena are used in Iran both processed or not processed. Rosehips of R. eglanteria or any species Rose that produces big hips can be used as a tea, or syrup or processed for Rosehip seed oil. They contain a goodly quantity of vitamin C.

            Rosehip Syrup: This vitamin C herbal tonic is easy. Rose hips are the ripened fruit of the rose and contain the seeds for the growth.  You just must have the Rosehips and remember that they are ripe and ready for picking in the fall, when they are very red and beginning to soften. Take 2-4 cups of ripe Rosehips (probably picked toward the end of September). Twist off the dried flower ends.  Put them into a quart pot and add just enough water to cover them (2-3 cups).  Cover the pot and simmer gently until the hips are mushy (1-2 hours).  Mash them with a potato masher, simmer 10 minutes more to integrate.  Push this mush through a small Potato ricer or a chinois.  Put the strained liquid from the mash back into the pot and add an equal quantity of sugar (about 2 cups- 1 lb.). [IF you seeded and halved your Rosehips first you can make jam out of the mushy mash].  Simmer liquid and sugar gently until the sugar has dissolved which should take about 5-10 minutes. Let cool enough to use. Pour this into a wide-mouth bottle and add equal quantity, about 2 cups, of 90% Eau de Vie/Lemon Vodka/or like substance.  Eau de Vie works best because it tastes good with Rosehips, although you can use an ethyl alcohol like Everclear or neutral grain or grape spirits. Mix it well together. Label and date the product. Store this in the refrigerator.  This can be used throughout the year as a cough syrup, sore throat cure or the base for an herbal cordial. Take 1 teaspoon by mouth every hour or so to soothe the throat or a cough.

Rose Petal Laxative Tea. Rose petals are a gentle laxative (aperient) and particularly useful for children and the elderly. Make a mild Rose petal tea, sweeten with honey or mix it with Lemonade and enough honey to make it palatable. Drink several cups and soon it will work gently but efficiently. It is very useful on hot summer days in May and June. Use only the best medicinal Roses such as Rosa centifolia and Rosa gallica. …



 Sweet Bags to Lay with Linens for Sweet Odor

Take 8 oz. of damask sweet, scented Rose petals, 8 oz. of fresh crushed Coriander seeds, 8 oz. of crushed or powdered sweet Orrisroot, 8 oz. of dried and crushed Calamus rhizomes, 1 oz. of c/s^ Mace, 1 oz. of c/s^ Cinnamon bark, ½ oz. of crushed Cloves, 4 drams of Musk powder (try substituting Ambrette, the seeds of Hibiscus abelmoschus), 2 drachms* of white loaf sugar, 3 oz. of whole sweet Lavender flowers, and some Rhodium wood. Beat all together (mix altogether) and bag in small silk bags. —Mrs. Glasse. —from the Art of Cookery, 1784.

^ c/s = cut and sifted
*Drachm is a unit of weight that equals about 1/8 oz. by volume



Rose Skin Care & Acne Cream
Any mixture of vegetable oils or creams or lotions can be mixed 50% with Calophyllum oil. Then the essential oils are added at 2-10%.  Essential oils particularly useful are German Chamomile, Lavender, Rose Geranium and Rose and others.


Rose Skin Healing Lotion
Ingredients: In this formula, our ingredients will be as follows:
4 oz. by volume Rose or Rose Geranium hydrosol (or distilled water if you have no hydrosol)
¼ oz. by weight or more beeswax or Rose floral wax
½ oz. by weight or more of a combination of butters (Use Avocado, Coconut, Shea or other)
½ oz. by volume vegetable oil (Use Olive, Hempseed, Calophyllum or Sunflower oil)
8-10 drops Rose Absolute
6-8 drops Helichrysum EO

1. In a small 8 oz. Pyrex container, combine the oils and waxes. Stir the oils/waxes together to make sure they are evenly combined and heat gently until incorporated.
2. In a separate container, warm up the hydrosol or water. You want the temperatures of these two items to be similar so that they can be incorporated.
3. Begin stirring the oil/wax mixture with an immersion blender and add the hydrosol mixture slowly as you stir. You will see the mixture begin to thicken. Continue mixing until Rose Skin Care Lotion is fully formed.
4. Add the essential oils and continue to stir until thickened a bit. Pour into clean jars and allow to cool completely before capping.
5. Open only one jar at a time and to prolong shelf life, refrigerate the extra jars. Do use this lotion with a small wooden spatula or spoon rather than the fingers. This is to prevent the addition of fungal or bacterial agents to your lovely lotion.


Simple Rose Oil for Fine Skin Care ~ Normal Skin
40 drops Lemon/Clementine EO
20 drops Rose absolute
10 drops Spikenard EO – 10 drops
½ oz. Olive oil or other to fill a 1 oz. bottle
Succuss the essential oils, add the carrier oil and succuss again. Use by massaging a bit on your face in the morning after you have cleansed your face.  You can also apply a bit of Rosewater afterwards and massage this in.

Cammy Bath Herbs was #3 New Age Creations Formula. – Diaphoretic bath, helpful in losing skin impurities and possibly weight loss and contains Lavender to reduce puffiness, citrus buds for young looking skin, Rose buds for hydration, Chamomile flowers for youth and rejuvenation, Linden leaves for nerves, Calendula flowers as a diaphoretic and for skin inflammations. Take this bath for health and as a slight diaphoretic. Formula from Jeanne Rose Herbal Body Book. All books and courses available at
2 oz. Calendula flowers
2 oz. Chamomile flowers
2 oz. Lavender flowers
2 oz. Linden leaves and flowers
3 oz. Orange bud
3 oz. Rose bud
2 oz. Rosemary leaves
some Bay leaf
Mix these herbs all together and store in airtight container. When you wish a bath, take a large handful of the mixed herbs and bring to a boil in a quart of water. Simmer gently for 10 minutes. Run your bath. Pour the herbal water into the tub, collecting the herbs in a porous container (pantyhose leg or muslin bag). Relax in the bath water for at least 20 minutes, wash and dry. This bath can be taken as often as you wish. This mixture makes 8 full baths.



             My class, about 15 people, all met in Napa, CA. at the grower’s home to harvest and distil Rosa centifolia. We went on a holiday weekend and many of us wanted to stay overnight to enjoy the beauty of the Napa Valley and eat at the wonderful Napa restaurants. We arrived by driving down a country road, alongside a beautiful field of blooming pink Cabbage Roses. Our distillation was in a kitchen in a small, lovely, old-fashioned farmhouse in the Valley. Everything in the house was decorated with Roses from the rugs and curtains to the towels and wall hangings.  Our hostess had prepared a delicious fresh Rose petal lemonade from her Roses and home-grown lemons and sweet fresh well water. She served this at the dining room table during a break in the distillation.

The air was heavy with the scent of Roses petals in a bowl and the odor of the distillation. On the dining room table was the rose-colored Lemonade from Rose petals in a rose pitcher with rose decorated plates, roses on the rugs, roses on the towels, rose paperweights, Rose everywhere and on everything. During a break in the class, while the men and I attended to the distillation, most of the women retired to the dining room and the Rose Lemonade. I had mentioned to my class that Rose tea was both somewhat hypnotic and even a bit trance-inducing and that too much would have a laxative effect. I don’t think that they much listened.

However, that tea was so delicious and the Roses odor in the air so entrancing that by the time I could take a break and have a glass of the Rose Petal lemonade, the women at the table had already started on their 2nd glass and were already overcome with the scent of the Roses. Their eyes were glazed over and they had silly expressions on their faces. I had to smile at their faces, they looked like what I imagined Alice might look in her travels to Wonderland.

I had the tea, then gathered up my ladies to complete the distillation. One of them told me that she was a bit nauseous and had to use the bathroom, I don’t think I saw her again. Others were quite sleepy. They were all looking rather ‘high’ and really relaxed. We finished the class, the only students that were now competent were a few men who helped me empty and clean the still outside in the fresh air, while the women were all looking rather Rose ‘stoned’ and were drinking more of the Rose-Lemonade. Powerful stuff that Rose Petal Lemonade.

Eight of us went to dinner while the others drove home. The reports I got later were quite amazing. One woman was driving and had a serious need to use the bathroom but the road ahead was flat with fields and wineries on both sides. She was desperate, saw a winery and had to rush into one of the winery’s outhouses. Two of the woman having dinner with me continually got up and went to the restroom, coming back looking rather dazed. One student had a rather unpleasant accident in her clothes as she was on the bridge on her way home. The woman who stayed in the same hotel as me told me the next day that she spent the night in the bathroom and felt ‘rather cleaned out’.

In the future, I suggest that if your teacher mentions to you that a substance is a laxative or aperient, that you listen and maybe not have that 2nd or 3rd glass of laxative tea ~ oops! I mean Rose petal tea or Rose-Lemonade. This was a lesson well-learned about the power of herbs.

Rose petal Lemonade ~ picture source is unknown


Rose 1930: The story of an old scent.
By Jeanne Rose with Judy Komatsu

In the early part of 1996, while preparations were underway to produce the first World of Aromatherapy Conference as the President of  NAHA, a fascinating letter arrived at my office describing a Rose oil that has been in the possession of one family since the early 1930s.  This prized possession was taken into bomb shelters with the family’s canary when the sirens went off in their town.  No other item was ever taken into the shelters and in the words of the family this is the story of this precious oil. This oil was sold to me and I still have it in my collection.

Dear Jeanne Rose,

            I would like to share a story with you that you may find interesting.  I grew up in a small German village.   During the war, in the early 30s when the air raid sirens went off, my parents would gather the children, the family canary and a wooden box with a handle on top and off we would go to the public shelter.  The shelter was only a block away, it was all made of stone and was several hundred years old.  I’m not sure, but I think it used to be a wine cellar.  It is still standing today.  While we waited out the raid my father would tell us stories, of his travels, of the world.  He had spent time in France in the early 3’s, before the war.

            It was during this time that he purchased one of his most prized possessions, several pints of Rose essential oil.  This was what was packed away in the heavy wooden box we took with us to the shelter.  It was the only valuable we took with us, and it came on every visit. As an adult, I have had thoughts of what I would take from my house if a disaster arose.  It would be mementos, pictures, letters and the like.  I’m sure there was a reason my father bought the oil, but he never told, and I never thought to ask.  As a child, I never questioned why the obvious valuables were left behind, and the box would accompany us.  He claimed it was an investment, but he never sold it and it is still in the family.  I think it may have reminded him of happier times, of his youth perhaps.  He would always tell us of the tons of rose petals that went into the making of the oil.  I would sit with my sisters and pretend to be sleeping on pillows of rose petals rather than in the dark, damp shelter.

            He passed away in the 50s.  At this time, the oil was divided among the children, it was his legacy.  I have continued the legacy and have given my own daughters some of the oil.  What I have left is in an unusual, old brown bottle with a glass stopper.

            I do use aromatherapy, so I know that it is rare to have such an old oil, especially one kept in less than ideal conditions.  Let me tell you this one is still quite potent; a quarter of a drop will last all week.  Its strength is important to me; the oil has traveled from France to Germany to New York, where I now live.  It has lasted at least 70 years and will out-last me.  With it, I have given my daughters some sense of their family history.  I am sharing this story with you now, because I feel it is an important one.  Maybe you know of some others, or maybe you know some history that may help me understand where the oil came from back in France and why it was so significant to my father.  If you do please let me know. 

                        Thank you.  Helga R.   6/24/96



Chemical Components: Phenyl-Ethanol, Citronellol, Geraniol, Nerol, nonadecane, Stearopten, and Farnesol in various proportions as well as 300 other compounds. Rose is one of the many scents that cannot be duplicated by humans in the laboratory. If you ever smell a Rose that is ‘soapy’ that is a clue that it is a synthetic.

            Physicochemical Properties: It does not make sense to give the physiochemical properties of Rose because the different varieties grown, the different terroirs yielding different numbers, and the ancient and historical complexity of the Rose and the way it is distilled and/or the differing equipment. If you will consult the Guenther book (see Bibliography), you will find many examples of these properties.

One of the interesting numbers given is that 400-450 kg. of Rosa damascena from Bulgaria, yield 1 kg. of Rose concrete which, in turn, gives 520 g. of alcohol-soluble absolute. That the Bulgarian rose absolutes have a pronounced dextrorotation while the distilled Rose oils are levorotatory.

Scientific Data: There is a long and wonderful article about the Rose online ~ Iran J Basic Med Sci. 2011 Jul-Aug; 14(4): 295–307. PMCID: PMC3586833

Pharmacological Effects of Rosa Damascena

Rosa damascena mill L., known as Gole Mohammadi in is one of the most important species of Rosaceae family flowers. R. damascena is an ornamental plant and beside perfuming effect, several pharmacological properties including anti-HIV, antibacterial, antioxidant, antitussive, hypnotic, antidiabetic, and relaxant effect on tracheal chains have been reported for this plant. This article is a comprehensive review on pharmacological effects of R. damascena.

There is a strong bond between Iranians and this plant. Its popularity is not only because of the medicinal effects but also is due to holy beliefs about it. People call this plant Flower of Prophet Mohammed (Gole mohammadi), because they believe its nice aroma reminds them of prophet Mohammad.

At the present time, this plant is cultivated in Iran (especially in Kashan) for preparing rose water and essential oil. Because of the low oil content in R. damascena and the lack of natural and synthetic substitutes, essential rose oil of this plant is one of the most expensive ones in the world markets

Guenther, Ernest. The Essential Oils. Vol. 5, pages 3-48. 1st edition, Krieger Publishing Company. 1952,
Mabberley, D. J. Mabberley’s Plant-Book, 3rd edition, 2014 printing, Cambridge University Press.
New Age Creations Formulas by Jeanne Rose. 1969-1982
Rohde, Eleanour Sinclair. Rose Recipes. Originally published 1939 and now a reprint by Dover.
Rose, Jeanne.  375 Essential Oils and Hydrosols.  Berkeley, California: Frog, Ltd., 1999
Rose, Jeanne.  The Aromatherapy Book: Applications & Inhalations.  San Francisco, California:
Herbal Studies Course/ Jeanne Rose. San Francisco, CA. 1988.
 Patch Test:  If applying a new essential oil to your skin always perform a patch test to the inner arm (after you have diluted the EO in a vegetable carrier oil). —Wash an area of your forearm about the size of a quarter and dry carefully. Apply a diluted drop (1 drop EO + 1 drop carrier) to the area. Then apply a loose Band-Aid and wait 24 hours. If there is no reaction then go ahead and use the oil in your formulas. —The Aromatherapy Book, Applications & Inhalations, p. 64
Do not Ingest essential oils: Although some oils are important flavoring oils in the flavor industry and thus ingested in very small amounts in many foods, especially meats and sausages, it is not a good idea to use them yourself either in capsules or honey to take internally.
Safety Precautions: Do not apply the essential oil neat, especially to the underarms or delicate parts of the body. Most oils are probably not to be used on babies, children or pregnant women. Many aromatherapists suggest that there are some oils not be used at all. However, as with many plants, essential oil chemistry is subject to change depending on species and terroir.
DISCLAIMER:  This work is intended for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for accurate diagnosis and treatment by a qualified health care professional. Dosages are often not given, as that is a matter between you and your health care provider. The author is neither a chemist nor a medical doctor.  The content herein is the product of research and personal and practical experience. Institute of Aromatic & Herbal Studies – Jeanne Rose©

If you have read this far and like what you have read, please help support this work by the purchase of books and courses by Jeanne Rose. The web address is    … thank you.


Picking Rosa centifolia in California – 2010




~ JR ~

whew! 7876


Cypress and Blue Cypress EO

Understand the difference between these two different genus of the Cupressaceae family of Evergreen/Conifers and then use them for their best traits.

 Cypress and Blue Cypress

Herbal Use, Essential Oil and Hydrosols

Jeanne Rose – January 2017


Conifer/Evergreen ~ Don’t confuse even the conifers with the evergreen. Conifer is a term meaning cone-bearer and has to do with reproduction while evergreen means a plant that is always green and has to do with the nature of the plant. Most conifers are evergreen but not all (Ex: Larch). Not all evergreens are conifers (Ex: Ivy). However, in this article we will assume that you know the difference.

Common Name/Latin Name: The Coniferae are the Conifers now known as Pinopsida. Yes, those botanists drive us crazy with their name changes. That is why you must know your plants by their Latin binomial and not just common name. How many times do you hear the word Cypress when the person actually means blue Cypress referring to the beautiful color of the essential oil of a particular plant. Blue Cypress is Callitris intratropica and Cypress generally refers only to Cupressus sempervirens. As you read on you will see the vast difference between these two related conifer trees.

Chart 1. Taxonomy

Naming: The word cypress is derived from an Old French word cipres, which was imported from the Latin word cypressus and this word was Latinized from a Greek word Kyparisso.

             Australian Blue Cypress Oil Northern Cypress Pine
Callitris intratropica R. T. Baker & H. G. Smith. The blue Cypress, Callitris intratropica is from the Greek word calli or beautiful and treis or three, alluding to the beautiful 3-fold arrangements of its parts, leaves i.e. scales and intratropica within the tropics.

Countries of Origin: Cypress, Cupressus sempervirens this tree, the pencil-pine or Italian Cypress, is from Southern Europe, Libya or SW Asia.  Eden Botanicals organically grown Cypress branches and leaves are steam-distilled in France.
Callitris intratropica, the so-called Blue Cypress because of the color of the essential oil; is native to Australia and grows in the Northern Territory (including Melville and Bathurst, Indian and other islands), the Kimberly region of Western Australia and, Cape York to Bowen in Queensland. Its range of altitude is from near sea level up to 900 meters. The tree usually grows in open forest but also found in heath forest, vine thickets, monsoon forest and on rain forest edges. Callitris intratropica is a medium to large sized tree, from 15 to 45 meters in height. The timber is very aromatic, resistant to termites and is known in modern times by aboriginals of Arnhem Land as “Kerosene Tree” because of its flammability, and “Mosquito and Sand fly tree” because of its effect on repelling these insects while being burnt and is mainly used in the wet season.

fig. 1. Blue Cypress ~ Callitris intratropica – photo by Jeanne Rose©

Other Named Cypress: There are many Genus of trees that are given this common name ‘Cypress’. They include trees the genera of Widdringtonia, Taxodium, Callitropsis, Callitris, Chamaecyparis, Fitzroya and more. It can be very confusing. Some Cypress trees are even called Cypress-Pine. However, our main concern in this short profile is the genus Callitris and Cupressus and specifically the species called sempervirens.

Endangered: Callitris intratropica can live for over 200 years, although the population has declined significantly since European settlement, because of over exploitation and the change in fire regimes and the introduction of grasses that burn with a greater intensity than the native grasses.
Some of the world’s ancient populations of Cypress, Cupressus sempervirens, have declined in Europe and Iran due to overpopulation and war. Cypress trees can live a very long time such as the longest living Cypress, the Sarv-e-Abarkooh in Iran’s Yazd Province, whose age is estimated to be approximately 4,000 years.

Storage: All the blue-colored oils are likely to oxidize in time due to the azulenes and they should be kept cool. Since Blue Cypress is a somewhat viscous oil and comes from the bark and wood, do not freeze but keep in the fridge, probably in the door section. It will get more viscous but the colder air of the fridge will delay any deterioration and the essential oil will last longer. Just remember to bring it out of the fridge several hours before you are going to use the oil so that it warms up some. With the blue oils you must be very careful and conscious of their color. If it is oxidizing, it will go from a beautiful blue to green and eventually to brown. If brown put it down and do not use for therapy or medicinal use. This is why you must always check the organoleptic qualities of your essential oils – there is much to be learned by their color, clarity, viscosity and intensity.

Cypress oil from Cupressus sempervirens should be handled the way most conifers are and that is

Keep in a cool dry place and replace every year or so.”


Portion of the plant used in distillation, how it’s distilled, extracted:

            The Cypress leaves and young branches are steam-distilled for the essential oil. Cypress used to be used in distilleries as staves to hold mash ferments to make alcohol before the invention of stainless steel and now used sometimes to scent the alcohol. Commonly seen throughout New Mexico, the Mediterranean Cypress is also known as the “drama tree” because of its tendency to bend with even the slightest of breezes. It is also the traditional wood used for Italian harpsichords.
Yield: 1.3-1.5%

The Blue Cypress, “The essential oil of Blue Cypress, Callitris intratropica, is composed of a considerable proportion of rather unique lactones like callitrin (I), callitrisin (II) and columellarin (III). “During the investigation of the volatiles obtained by hydrodistillation of the wood of this Cupressaceae species it was noticed that the oil yield increases with distillation time while the oil composition is shifted more and more towards the high boiling components. Both the method of production and oil are patented.”   “Clear oil is produced if the heartwood is distilled by itself, containing clear azulene compounds, which requires a separate National Industry Chemical Assessment to produce and is not covered by the registered Chemical abstract number.”
Yield: Yield is hard to ascertain as the numbers vary and parts of the distillation style is patented.

 fig. 2. Cupressus sempervirens • 2nd oldest tree in the world ~ Sarv-e-Abar, Yazd Province, Iran

Cypress, Cupressus sempervirens is almost colorless to pale-gold, clear, non-viscous, intensity of 5 (scale is 1-10) and the taste is bitter and astringent.

Australian Blue Cypress Oil is a vivid and pure cobalt-blue colored oil (see fig. 1), opaque, viscous like cane syrup, medium intensity odor (5 on a scale of 1-10).  The taste is bitter. Turns green when oxidized. “…The oil was widely promoted in the essential oils and aromatherapy professions a decade past, and can be steam distilled from the powdered heartwood when a colorless oil is obtained according to Webb (2001) (other sources say pale lemon-green oil), but when this oil is reacted with natural resinous compounds in the bark & cambium, a cobalt blue oil containing guaiazulene is obtained – presumably the secret process referred to by Domio…” in the article written by Cropwatch.

fig. 3. Cypress & Blue Cypress from Eden Botanicals

             There are two other species of Callitris that are used for essential oil. See this link for Australian Essential Oils.

Australian Victorian Emerald Cypress Oil, Coastal Cypress Pine, Callitris columellaris F. Muell. The essential oil is a beautiful emerald green color, clear like green water, sticky and viscous like cane syrup, medium intensity odor (5-6 on a scale of 1-10), the scent is predominantly fruity, woody sustaining note and green/vegetal and floral back notes. Bitter taste.

Australian Jade Cypress Oil, White Cypress Pine, Callitris glaucophylla (syn. Callitris glauca) The essential oil is a pleasant jade-green color, clear like greenish water, sticky and viscous like cane syrup, medium intensity odor (5-6 on a scale of 1-10), the scent is predominant green/vegetal and woody, sustaining notes of herbaceous and a floral back note. Bitter taste.


Aroma Assessment:
Cypress (C. sempervirens) has a wood predominating note, sustaining notes of green and herbaceous and a spicy back note.

Australian Blue Cypress Oil (C. intratropica) scent is predominating wood, with vegetal sustaining notes and back notes of herbs and floral.


Properties of the EO, Hydrosol and Herb

General Properties and Uses: Both of these ‘Cypress’ oils are used as an analgesic, anti-inflammatory and anti-irritant.
Cypress is stimulating and warming and antiseptic and also known for its very durable, scented wood, used most famously for the doors of St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican City of Rome.
Blue Cypress is mainly analgesic, insect repellent, anti-inflammatory and anti-viral.
In cosmetics these two ‘Cypress oils’ are used as astringent, for firming, to reduce oil in the hair or skin and in shampoo to reduce dandruff,

Specific Uses of Herb and Oil

 Application ~ Australian blue cypress EO also contains eudesmol’s known for their anti-viral properties hence its reputation among aroma-therapists for the topical treatment of warts and cold sores (it has not worked well for me in this regard). It is used externally in men’s cosmetic products and in lotions for skin irritation, diaper rash and muscle aches and pains. This is a superb ‘first-aid’ oil and can be mixed with Tea Tree for this purpose. Both Blue Cypress and Cypress work particularly well in blends for aching muscles and joints.

Cypress is great in skin and hair care products for oily skin, and sweaty palms and feet. It works well at reducing overactive sweat and oil glands. It may be used in massage oils for rheumatism, aching muscles, abdominal cramps, circulation problems in blends with Lemon and Juniper berry oil for varicose veins and even hemorrhoids and for fluid retention and cellulite.

  • Inhalation ~ Cypress is a wonderful oil used for respiratory issues and congestion in a blend with other oils such as Eucalyptus and Blue Cypress not so much.
  • Ingestion ~ I would not use either of these oils internally, although the diluted Cypress hydrosol can be gargled for coughing or sore throat.


  • Emotional uses ~ Cypress oil is inhaled for nervousness, tension and grief and is thought to promote comfort and strength.
  • Diffusion ~ Mix either of these oils in blends for diffusion, particularly for cleansing the air and uplifting the psyche. Make blends that suit you as they work well with other conifer oils, Rosemary or Lavender Oil and some of the other Mediterranean oils such as Cistus.
  • Perfumery and other ~ Cypress EO it is anti-aging and as fragrance in perfume. Blue Cypress EO can be used as a base note in many perfumes or particularly men’s colognes and scents. Use it where the other essential oils have no color so that the beautiful blue of the Blue Cypress shines through.
fig. 4.  Blue Cypress and Cypress showing the beautiful color
  • Hydrosol Properties and Uses ~ There is a Cypress hydrosol coming from France and it is considered to be cleansing and detoxifying and a good toning addition to a skincare facial spray. Samara Botane sells a hydrosol from the leaves and branches of Callitris intratropica that is preserved with alcohol and is said to have many uses. Personally, I have not as yet experienced either a Cypress or a Blue Cypress hydrosol.
PLEASE NOTE: A true hydrosol should be specifically distilled for the hydrosol, not as a co-product or even a by-product of essential oil distillation. The plant’s cellular water has many components most of which are lost under pressurized short steam runs for essential oil, or by using dried material. We recommend that the producers specifically distill for a product by using plant material that is fresh. Also, a hydrosol does not have the same components as does the essential oil, the components are often very different and in very much smaller amounts.
  • Herbal Uses ~ Any of the conifer needles including Cypress and Blue Cypress can be used in infusion form in the bath for aching muscles or simply to cleanse the skin and provide a natural sort of deodorant for the body. I have on occasion used the branch tips in tea for its forward coniferous taste and especially for respiratory distress.


fig. 5. CypressCupressus sempervirens



  • Perfume


Chart 2. Lush Perfume


  • Skincare ~


Using a premade shave lotion or thin cream or make one with Lavender hydrosol, Calendula extract, Oat protein, aloe gel, and glycerin, and then scent it with Cupressus sempervirens (Cypress) oil, Lemon oil, Cananga odorata (Ylang Ylang) oil, Melaleuca quinquenervia (Niaouli) oil and preserve it with vitamin E and Rosemary extract. The scent should be at no more than 2-5% of the total.

  • Hair Care ~ Make an infusion with the needles and branch tips of either of these Cypress types, add to your shampoo and shampoo as normal, especially for oily scalp or dandruff. The EO can also be added to the conditioner to provide extra therapeutic action.
  • Body Care ~ The ancient use is that the decoction of wood of Cypress is an ‘excellent footbath against the feet stinking with perspiration’.


Personal Formulas

  • Formula for Hemorrhoids & Varicose Veins ~ Varicose Veins and hemorrhoids are pretty much considered the same if treated by an herbalist. And Cypress oil is a good oil to use. Here is a favorite formula that various people have commented upon. Mainly, that it makes them and their hemorrhoids smell good.

30 drops (1 ml) Cypress, +
30 drops high linalool Lavender, +
30 drops Lemon

Put into a 1-oz. glass bottle.  Succuss and mix completely.  Then fill with either Calendula infused oil or Jeanne Rose Bruise Juice 90% + St. Johnswort oil at 10%. Mix together. Apply regularly to the hemorrhoids/spider Veins/varicose veins by applying with gentle massage from bottom to top (from your extremities to your heart. — from 1-20-10

  • Energetic Use ~ Heart or Base note is Cypress, and depending on your ingredients can be used for broken veins, astringent, oily skin, rejuvenating, wrinkles and in spiritual/energetic use to inhale for loss of friends and for smoothing transitions and for indecision, and to soothe an irritable spirit.



The genus Cupressus, whose taxonomy has been reviewed eight times during the last 80 years, includes to date twenty-five species of evergreen plants diffused in the Mediterranean area, in the Sahara, in northern-western America, in central China. There is just a lovely article about this Mediterranean Cypress at


Key Use: Cypress is the Oil of Astringency while Blue Cypress is like Tea Tree the Other Oil of First-Aid.


Chemistry and History ~ Cupressus sempervirens L. is a medicinal plant. The dried leaves of this plant are used as an emmenagogue and for stomach pain as well as for diabetes. Its dried fruit decoction is used for inflammation treatment, toothache, and laryngitis and also as a contraceptive, astringent, and antiphrastic (?) drug. The dried seed of this tree has been used for wounds, ulcers, bruises, sores, pimples, pustules, skin eruptions, and erysipelas. Cupressus sempervirens essential oil is used externally for headache, colds, cough, and bronchitis. Studies on phytochemical compounds of Cupressus sempervirens L. revealed that it contains active constituents such as flavonoids (cupressuflavone, amentoflavone, rutin, quercitrin, quercetin, and myricitrin), phenolic compounds (anthocyanidin, catechins flavones, flavonols and isoflavones, tannins, and catechol), and essential oils (EO). It has been demonstrated that the principal’s active from Cupressus sempervirens L. display antiseptic, aromatherapeutic, astringent, balsamic, and anti-inflammatory activities. Cupressus sempervirens L. antimicrobial activity has been reported in several studies.” —

GC/MS analyses of the cones of Cypress showed up to 50% a-pinene, and many other terpenes as well as a-cedrol and other alcohols.

Chart 3. Blue Cypress Chemistry

Contraindications: Do not confuse Cypress oil with Blue Cypress oil or the oils from other Cypress-like trees. Blue Cypress is only licensed for cosmetics while Cypress has many uses.


References & Bibliography:
Harman, Ann. Harvest to Hydrosol. botANNicals. 2015
Herbal Studies Course/ Jeanne Rose & Berkeley, California: North Atlantic Books, 1992
Mabberley, D. J. Mabberley’s Plant-Book, 3rd edition, 2014 printing, Cambridge University Press.
Rose, Jeanne.  375 Essential Oils and Hydrosols.  Berkeley, California: Frog, Ltd., 1999
Rose, Jeanne.  The Aromatherapy Book: Applications & Inhalations.  San Francisco, California:
Rose, Jeanne.


Patch Test:  If applying a new essential oil to your skin always perform a patch test to the inner arm (after you have diluted the EO in a vegetable carrier oil). —Wash an area of your forearm about the size of a quarter and dry carefully. Apply a diluted drop (1 drop EO + 1 drop carrier) to the area. Then apply a loose Band-Aid and wait 24 hours. If there is no reaction, then go ahead and use the oil in your formulas. —The Aromatherapy Book, Applications & Inhalations, p. 64
Do not Ingest essential oils: Although some oils are important flavoring oils in the flavor industry and thus ingested in very small amounts in many foods, especially meats and sausages, it is not a good idea to use them yourself either in capsules or honey to take internally.
Safety Precautions: Do not apply the essential oil neat, especially to the underarms or delicate parts of the body. Most oils are probably not to be used on babies, children or pregnant women. Many aromatherapist suggest that there are some oils not be used at all. However, as with many plants, essential oil chemistry is subject to change depending on species and terroir.
DISCLAIMER:  This work is intended for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for accurate diagnosis and treatment by a qualified health care professional. Dosages are often not given, as that is a matter between you and your health care provider. The author is neither a chemist nor a medical doctor.  The content herein is the product of research and personal and practical experience. Institute of Aromatic & Herbal Studies – Jeanne Rose©

fig 6. Blue Cypress herbarium sample



 ~ JR ~



Black Spruce – Profile/Hydrosol

Synopsis: Specifics on history, uses, and aroma assessment of Black Spruce including chemistry and hydrosol.

Black Spruce – Picea mariana
Essential Oil & Hydrosol Profile

By Jeanne Rose


Name of Oil and Country of Origin:  Black Spruce, Picea mariana, of the family Pinaceae, native to Canada, especially Quebec. The name Picea is from the root word pix meaning pitch or something that produces pitch and mariana means ‘of Maryland’.

Portion of plant used in distillation, how distilled, extraction methods and yields: The leaves/needles and young branches of the trees are either steam-distilled or hydro-distilled depending upon whether you are distilling for the essential oil or using the fresh-picked branches and needles and macerating and using for the hydrosol. The leaves are used fresh or semi-dried, whole or comminuted for distillation, teas or products. Yield of EO depends on terroir and season of the year but is often better in the spring. It us often about 0.35%.

When distilling for the hydrosol, macerated the freshly cut twig ends with needles in the distilling water for 24-36 hours and then hydro-distill for the finest hydrosol. The hydrosol from black spruce needles obtained during hydrodistillation, “has been studied by Garneau et al. (2012). Its composition is rich in oxygenated monoterpenes, mainly composed of α-terpineol (14.8%), borneol (13.5%), bornyl acetate (7.8%), and terpinen-4-ol (6.5%). As for the bark, investigations have been made to produce a hot water extract enriched in polyphenols.”

Endangered: This is a common tree species and not endangered.

Safety Precautions:      None known.

Storage: Best to store all the conifers out of the light or in light proof containers. I prefer clear glass so that I can see what the essential oils look like but then I put them in wooden boxes in a cool dry place for storage.

Organoleptic and Aroma Assessment:
Color – Colorless
Clarity – Clear
Viscosity – non-viscous
Intensity – 3-5 (depends on what you are comparing it too)
Taste – bitter, astringent

 Aroma Assessment: The scent of Black Spruce has a clean bright deliciously conifer scent, green and delicately spicy. Black Spruce is calming in that it seems you are walking through a green forest of trees but it elevates the mind and stimulates as well.


Method of Application:

Essential Oil Properties include uses by both AP=application, IG=ingestion and IN=inhalation): Bactericide, anti-fungal, vulnerary, disinfectant, expectorant, calmative.

By Application:   Use this great oil in antifungal creams and lotions for external skin care and use as a vulnerary* as well. When applied is can be antifungal for Candida, useful on the solar plexus for spasms or excess hiccups, and as an application around the groin for prostatitis. Also used in household cleaner.
*Vulnerary is a plant or drug used in the healing of wounds.

By Inhalation: This EO has hormone-like action, possibly stimulating to the thymus and adrenal gland, seems to have cortisone-like properties that affect the HPA axis in a positive way. It is a mild stimulant, useful expectorant especially in sequential inhalation and thought to be an adrenal stimulant, grounding in a meditation, calmative, and uplifting. Useful for bronchitis and asthma.

For Emotional Uses (AP or IN): Inhalation:  Useful for sudden fatigue and exhaustion, grounding, anxiety, stress, and deep healing for the dark side of the male, or active, principle.

By Ingestion: It can be taken with other oils as a treatment for asthma, allergies, chronic bronchitis. However, this should be under the care and guidance of a qualified aromatherapy expert.

Hydrosol Use:   This is a fragrant hydrosol, one of my favorites, that can be used in bath, compress, and particularly in steams or nasal lavage for the health of the respiratory system and for the skin. It is soothing and cleansing.

General description of plant, habitat & growth:  “A northern evergreen tree ranging from Alaska and sweeping down across Canada to the Maritime Provinces and northeastern states. The trunk grows straight and is without branches for much of its length” from Canadian Forest Tree Essence.  Leaves are steam distilled. Yield is about 1.5- 3%.


The Difference between Firs and Spruces by Jeanne Rose

            FIRS = Think about Abies the genus and then A is for amiable (soft feel) or Abies and common name Fir is for friendly [Abies has needles that are soft to touch and aren’t sticky and needles when pulled leave a Flat scar].

SPRUCE = Picea and the P is for prickly and S is for Spruce is for spiky. [Picea for prickly needles, Peg-like scar after needle is plucked and Spruce for spiky feel]



Chemistry Components: 55% Monoterpenes, including Camphene, -Pinene and -3-Carene, -Bornyl acetate, and Sesquiterpenes.

black-spruce-chemistry-phytochemiawith thanks to PhytoChemia for this photo

Historical Uses:       Respiratory aide and for parasites

Interesting Facts:  Valuable for asthmatics who take corticosteroids. “It is known that Black Spruce roots were used for sewing birch bark canoes. Its resin was used as chewing gum and a poultice for sores, and the inner bark to treat a variety of other ailments” —Canadian Forest Tree Essences, p. 73.

Patch Test and Safety Considerations: Dilute before using. A patch test should be performed before use for those with sensitive skin. Patch Test:  If applying a new essential oil to your skin always perform a patch test to the inner arm (after you have diluted the EO in a vegetable carrier oil). —Wash an area of your forearm about the size of a quarter and dry carefully. Apply a diluted drop (1 drop EO + 1 drop carrier) to the area. Then apply a loose Band-Aid and wait 24 hours. If there is no reaction, then go ahead and use the oil in your formulas. —The Aromatherapy Book, Applications & Inhalations, p. 64

Key Use:       Respiratory ailments and as a vulnerary (a remedy used for treating wounds)


My Personal Recipes

  • Perfume: Spruce scent usually acts as a middle or heart note and blends well with other conifers and the tree mosses. The true tree moss is a lichen that grows on the trunks and branches of both spruces and firs in the forests in central and southern Europe. Climacium dendroides is a tree moss that grows in America but is not processed for its scent.
  • Body Care: I use Black Spruce in a particular way that I call Sequential Inhalation.

Sequential Inhalation (A Treatment)
By Jeanne Rose – 1986

There are six essential oils that I particularly like for colds and flus and include Black Spruce (stimulate the adrenal), Eucalyptus radiata (expectorant and mucolytic or liquefies the mucus in the lungs), Douglas Fir (antiseptic and disinfectant, Rosmarinus pyramidalis (sinus cleanser and relief), Ravensara aromatica (antiseptic, antiviral), and Fir Pine is Abies spp. (cleanser and respiratory tonic).

When there is any sort of respiratory congestion, it is good to inhale the essential oils in hot water.  Your mother probably taught you to do this. You will need a pot, water, essential oils and a towel. Bring two cups of water to a boil in a small pot. Bring the pot to the table. Cover your head with a towel over the pot making a tent. Now add one drop of essential oil at a time to the pot. Inhale one at a time until the scent is gone and then add the second oil. Continue until you have used all six oils. Use the oils in the sequence as given above. This will take about six minutes. Do not add more than one drop of essential oil at a time. Inhale the scent until the scent is gone (about one minute). [If you add more than one drop at a time you will probably gag and cough which is not a healthy act and not what you want.

Inhale through the mouth, exhale through the nose; then inhale through the nose and exhale through the mouth. Alternate throughout the procedure. This gives the essential oils a chance to cleanse both the sinus area and the throat and lungs. —using this method since 1990


  • Haircare: Rosemary herb and EO and Spruce EO make a wonderful treatment for the hair. Make an infusion of Rosemary herb and strain it. To a cup of the strained herb add 1-2 drops each of Black Spruce and Rosemary. This liquid can be added to your shampoo or it can be the hair rinse or in the conditioner. I believe this is what has kept my hair dark all of these years as I have used this since 1970.


  • Skin Care: In 2012 while in the rehab hospital after a hip transplant I acquired nasty little skin parasites from the bedding – probably the mattress. In the beginning I thought nothing of the itch but since it continued into 2013, I began to treat it. At that time, I did not know what was making me itch. But one of the best treatments I devised included Black Spruce oil. For any sort of itch this would be useful.

Skin Itch from Broken Skin Infection
Calendula Infused Oil or 70% alcohol – 2 oz.
Black Spruce – 5 drops
Chamomile, Roman – 5 drops
Lavender oil -10 drops
Tea Tree or Plai – 5 drops
This is a total of 25 drops per two ounces or about 2.5% EO/oz.
Apply the mixture to the itch and not to the entire body.
Use several times per day and not more than 5 days.
Alternate formulas with another.


  • An Amazing Jeanne Rose Tomato Tale stories: I love a good gin and tonic and notice that many of the local conifers are being used or infused to add an interesting spirited taste to these drinks. Also, in the northern parts of the United States Spruce tips as well as Fir tips are used in the making of various gins. Gin is an incredibly popular spirit choice no matter where in the world you are and are being experimented with both in terms of distillation methods and ingredients for many times. There are now hundreds of gins made in the world.
  • Jeanne Rose tips and tricks: Sequential inhalation of certain essential oils is one of my most important discoveries using these very powerful substances. They often seem to work better in sequence and in small amounts (no more than one drop at a time) than using several oils all at once and in larger quantities. I first wrote about “Sequential Inhalation” in 1980 and published it in “Aromatherapy Treatments” book about 10 years ago (available on my website).


Black Spruce – Picea mariana Essential Oil – with appreciation to Eden Botanicals


Source: I am very fond of the needle oils including Black Spruce that come from Eden Botanicals.

Coombs, Allen J. Dictionary of Plant Names. Timber Press, Portland, OR. 1995
Lawless, Julia. The Encyclopedia of Essential Oils.
Miller, Richard & Ann. The Potential of Herbs as a Cash Crop. Acres USA. Kansas City. 1985.
Mojay, Gabriel. Aromatherapy for Healing the Spirit. Rochester, Vermont: Healing Arts Press,
Prakash, V. Leafy Spices. CRC Press. NY. 1990
Rizzi, Susanne. Complete Aromatherapy. Sterling. NY. 1989.
Rose, Jeanne. 375 Essential Oils and Hydrosols. Berkeley, California: Frog, Ltd., 1999
Rose, Jeanne . Herbal Studies Course, Jeanne Rose – Institute of Aromatic & Herbal Studies, 1992.
Rose, Jeanne. The Aromatherapy Book: Applications & Inhalations. San Francisco, California
Worwood, Susan & Valerie Ann. Essential Aromatherapy, Novato, CA. New World Library, 2003.
DISCLAIMER: This work is intended for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for accurate diagnosis and treatment by a qualified health care professional. The author is neither a chemist nor a medical doctor. The content herein is the product of research and some personal and practical experience. Institute of Aromatic & Herbal Studies – Jeanne Rose©








East Indian Sandalwood EO Profile

Santalum album ~ the organoleptic quality, aroma assessment and therapeutic uses, from S. album from Australia and India. Specific information and many recipes for use.


East Indian Sandalwood

By Jeanne Rose

 screen-shot-2016-09-21-at-9-25-50-amFigure 1. Santalum album grown in Australia and S. album grown in India

Common Name/ Latin Name/ Country of Origin ~ Sandalwood or Santal from various species of Santalum.  There are many species, that are currently used and distilled for their essential oil S. album L. — Indian sandalwood, white sandalwood, or chandana (India Indonesia, northern Australia); I examined two, S. album grown in Australia and S. album Rare that was grown in India.


Portion of the plant used in distillation, how it’s distilled, extracted and yields: The heartwood is distilled from the mature tree.  However, the tree takes 60-80 years to mature and because harvesting has exceeded the planting and maturing of fresh crop, it is becoming endangered. The heartwood is chipped and steam-distilled sometimes over another plant. Yield is 4-6.5%.

            This is a hemi-parasitic tree and requires one or more host plants by which it obtains nutrition through the roots. The roots attach themselves to the roots of other trees, sucking nutrients from their host and causing the other trees to perish.

Endangered or not The sandalwood tree has now become endangered due to overharvesting, greatly limiting supply and hence use. This is truly unfortunate. When you consider that in 1957 the world population was 2.8 billion and now it is about 6 billion it is pretty clear that with more people there is more demand for precious essential oils and commodities. I believe that we have to grow more but each of us must use less as each and every one of us is responsible for the damage to the planet by over-exploitation and desire. In regards to the pirates who are cutting ad stealing Sandalwood trees in India, Tony Burfield said in 2004, “The Sandalwood tree is being smuggled out of existence.”


Sandalwood Distillation

Step one in the custom distillation of Sandalwood heartwood. First you need a two-day soak in water. Try at least 500 grams. to be distilled in a small 20 liter (21 quarts) still. and distilled 2-3 days’ oil if carried out at a pressure of 30-40 psig, to produce the crude oil. The first 2-5% of “sandalwood terpenes” are rejected and then often redistilled. For those persons interested, distillation for Sandalwood is often considered best in the correct corresponding planetary hours maybe on a waning moon.

sandalwood-soakingFigure 2. Sandalwood soaking in water prior to distillation


Aging and Storage of Sandalwood: The wood can be stored indefinitely just as other wood and other essential oils are stored in dark, lightproof, airtight containers, glass preferred. However, that being said, I have some Sandalwood chips I purchased over 40 years ago that I stored in a paper bag in the dark basement that seems just fine with the delicious warm, woody odor intact. I have also pulled out all my old samples and bottles of Sandalwood essential oil, dusty as they are and as old as they are, they are somewhat more viscous but the scent has held up over all these years.

            Sandalwood ages well. The essential oil should be kept in a tightly sealed airtight container, glass, and in a cool, dark place such as a basement that has an ambient temperature of 50-55°. The refrigerator is not the place to store good Sandalwood oil.


Organoleptic ~ As a learning aid study the organoleptic qualities of essential oils. This is a method to help assist in describing and determining the quality of the essential oil that you are studying by involving the use of the sense organs for evaluation. These qualities are what you perceive through your senses; that is, what you can see, taste and smell as a degree of intensity. There is more to essential oil than its odor. Santalum album Rare from India (Eden Botanicals) had a very pale yellow tint, was clear, semi-viscous, with an intensity rating of 2 (1-10 with 10 being the most intense) and a oily unctuous taste tending to bitter. S. album Plantation grown in Australia was also a very pale yellow tint, clear, semi-viscous and with an intensity of 2-3, just slightly more intense than the Sandalwood grown in India and also an oily unctuous taste that was bitter.

Aroma Assessment ~ Language is important in recognizing smells.  An important part of scent training is to develop in common odor language based on olfactory standards.  The possession of such an odor language increases the powers of discrimination. If you can name it, you own it.

            I have noticed that Sandalwood Oil does not smell the same as in years past. The scent has changed due to several factors: 1) some product makers are using synthetic or partially synthetic oils and 2) because all botanical products change and alter depending on the season and the year. Try tasting Olive oil from one season to the next.

All the Sandalwoods I examined (10) were smooth and unctuous and were predominantly woody; with subsidiary notes. S. album Rare from India was most evocative of the scent that I knew 50 years ago, woody and floral with hay back note. The S. album plantation grown from Australia was also woody, floral and hay and marine back notes.   


The right nostril processes navigational related odors. And people favor the right nostril when detecting and evaluating the intensity of odors, hinting at a broader olfactory asymmetry. So if you are lost and wish to get home or wish to know the intensity of a scent, sniff the air with the right side. Left nostril smells the scent and right side nostril smells the intensity.

Smell left, smell right and then waft to get the entire scent experience.


Best method of application for Indian Sandalwood. Personally I use Indian Sandalwood ritually in meditation. For me it is calming and uplifting and helpful in overall well-being. The S. album Rare from India is both stimulating and grounding and I use it in meditation for opening that part of my being that is the seat of power and wisdom. According to the Vamana Purana, the wood is recommended for worshipping God Shiva. Goddess Lakshmi is believed to reside in the Sandalwood tree.


Which Sandalwood is best and which is the most therapeutic? The most therapeutic of these various Sandalwoods is the one that you enjoy more than the others. If you can inhale one with a significant amount of santalol — enjoy its benefits and use the others for application.


Collective information:


  • Body Care ~ such as a Sore throat. This is often another unpleasant symptom of a cold or flu, for which gargles are quite effective. For a dry throat that needs soothing, use two drops each of Sandalwood (Santalum album) and Lemon in half a glass of warm water. For sore throat due to coughing up of mucus, use Atlas Cedarwood (Cedrus atlantica) and Eucalyptus. In each case, continue gargling every few hours.


  • Emotional Care ~ For Depression (I can’t do anything, I will never do anything) ~ 10 drops each of Bergamot, Geranium, Grapefruit, Orange peel, Sandalwood and 3 drops of Ylang-Ylang Extra. Mix these together and put into a 1-dram vial. Inhale as needed.


  • Hair Care ~ The uncomfortable Scalp itch can be mitigated by massaging oils with a formula of essential oils into the scalp. Use 9 drops each of Black Spruce and Rosemary + 2 drops of Sandalwood (20 drops to 2 oz. of almond oil). Massage into scalp, put on a cap and sleep in it overnight. In the morning you can wash your hair.


  • Perfume ~ In perfumery some oils like Sandalwood take days to dry down making them a significant contribution to a long lasting perfume. Here is a scent that I enjoy. It is called Sensual Floral/Wood and is made with 100 ml floral water, with the added essential oils of 40 drops Orange or Clementine, 30 drops Sandalwood, 10 drops Neroli, 10 drops Rose, 6 drops Champa or Ylang, 4 drops other Floral. Use the formula as an after-bath or shower spray, or mist lightly on pillows and sheets. Wonderful as a room spray.


  • Skin Care ~ such as a Skin Itch from Chemotherapy

Calophyllum inophyllum 25-30 drops
Chamomile, Roman 5 drops
Rose distilled 2 drops
Rosewood 8 drops
Sandalwood East Indian 8 drops
Add the above to 2 oz. cream or with Calendula Infused Oil and apply as needed.


  • Sexual Blend for Men. This is for (premature ejaculation and to balance the autonomic nervous system) and is recommended by Victoria Edwards. Mix together 10 drops Bergamot EO, 2 drops Blue Tansy or Blue Cypress EO, 6 drops Sandalwood EO, 3 drops Lemon EO and 2 oz. (60 ml) carrier oil; Massage on lower body, especially around the groin area and just before sex.


  • Sandalwood (literature) is also mentioned in many books such as this quote from Hannibal by Thomas Harris “Here the air was music. Here were pale tears of Frankincense awaiting extracting, yellow Bergamot, Sandalwood, Cinnamon and Mimosa in concert, over the sustaining ground notes of genuine ambergris, civet, castor from the beaver, and essence of the musk deer.”


  • Woman’s Oil ~. Use 10 drops of Spikenard and Sandalwood as an inhalant to balance and harmonize your spirit. It is amazing how relaxing and focusing this simple remedy can be and all you need to do is inhale it.

An Amazing Jeanne Rose Tomato Tale story ~ I have loved this oil since 1960 and chose it and the Sandalwood fans as a scent. During my pregnancy in 1964 I would use the Sandalwood soap and when Amber was born, I kept at least one of her blankets in a bag with thin Sandalwood wood chips that were the size of a business card to add the scent to the ‘blankies’. Later, in 1969, when I started New Age Creations my skin care company, I used the cut and sifted wood chips with Rose and Clove as a potpourri, sleep pillow and the essential oil in lotions and products for Amber and I. To this day it is a scent that Amber prefers above all others.


Safety Considerations for Sandalwood oil: No contraindications, but may cause adverse skin reaction; a maximum use level of 2% is recommended in any product. Dilute before using. A patch test should be performed before use for those with sensitive skin.

Patch Test:  If applying a new essential oil to your skin always perform a patch test to the inner arm (after you have diluted the EO in a vegetable carrier oil). —Wash an area of your forearm about the size of a quarter and dry carefully. Apply a diluted drop (1 drop EO + 1 drop carrier) to the area. Then apply a loose Band-Aid and wait 24 hours. If there is no reaction, then go ahead and use the oil in your formulas. —The Aromatherapy Book, Applications & Inhalations, p. 64

For an in-depth discussion of all the Sandalwood oils please read my blog post


Fig. 11. Sandalwood and oil



Chamomile, Roman Essential Oil Profile

Organoleptic qualities, description, growth, and properties, uses and blends for all sorts of needs.

Roman Chamomile Essential Oil Profile

By Jeanne Rose ~ 2/16



Common Name/Latin Binomial: Roman, Tea or Sweet Chamomile. Chamaemelum nobile (L.) All. (syn. Anthemis nobilis)

Other Common Name/Naming Information: Also called Sweet or Tea Chamomile. Chamae means ‘on the ground’ and melum means honey-like and thus Chamaemelum refers to the scent and that it grows low to the ground.

Family: Asteraceae

Countries of Origins: Native to south and western Europe and the Mediterranean and naturalized worldwide.

Eden Botanicals Harvest Location: Oregon, USA organically grown

Endangered or Not: No

General description of plant habitat and growth: This perennial plant grows 20” with feathery, green leaves, and small white single or double flowers with yellow centers extending from strong stems. It grows along roadsides and damp grassland

Portion of plant used in distillation, how distilled, extraction methods and yields: Steam-distilled from fresh flower heads, particularly of a double-flowered form. “The distillation of dried calices—the part left after the petals fall off—produces a pale blue oil which quickly turns to pale yellow and which may not have the same properties as true flower Roman Chamomile herb. Yield: 1.7%

Organoleptic Characteristics:  What  you can see, taste and degree of intensity ~ There is more to essential oil than odor —
There are also the organoleptic qualities color, clarity, viscosity, intensity and even taste.

  • Color                    when fresh it is pale blue that quickly fades palest yellow to colorless
  • Clarity                  Clear
  • Viscosity              Non-viscous (water-like)
  • Intensity of odor 3-4 on a scale of 1-10

Jeanne Rose Chamomile photo bottles

Odor Description/ Aroma Assessment – Steffen Arctander has a lovely description of the odor as sweet herbaceous, somewhat fruity-warm and tealeaf-like odor. When charted out on the ‘Advanced Circular Vocabulary of Odor’ the scent of Roman Chamomile is predominating Fruity with a subsidiary note of Herbaceous and several back notes of Floral, Conifer, Woody, Oily-Fatty, Aldehydic and Spicy.  It has a low intensity of 3 and low tenacity as well.

General Properties.  Anti-inflammatory, deodorant, bacteriostatic, antimicrobial, carminative, sedative,antiseptic, anticatarrhal and spasmolytic properties are the main properties. Tea is used traditionally to treat nausea, vomiting, heartburn, and gas. EO is often used today to relieve anxiety or in skin care.

Properties and Uses: Roman Chamomile is used in flavoring liqueurs, as a tea, and especially for hair shampoos (especially blonde hair) and many other cosmetics.; formerly cultivated as a lawn that needed minimum maintenance and good drought tolerance before mowing was simplified through mechanization. It is still mixed with grass that is under heavy pressure such as at Buckingham Palace, London. The scented plant gives off perfume when crushed; seats are planted with it, although there are some who are allergic. Used on the skin, it may also reduce inflammation from cuts. and the flowers are used medicinally as oil to mitigate psoriasis. It is sometimes used to ease the discomfort from eczema and gingivitis (swollen gums) or hemorrhoids. Used in formulas for acne, couperose skin, devitalized or inflamed skin, sensitive skin or moist or sweaty skin. The herb is used to flavor alcoholic beverages such as gin.

Application/ Skincare. This is a wonderful oil to use on tender or delicate skin and in proper dilution can be used on a child’s skin after an insect bite or sunburn. It gives relief for any skin irritation and by inhalation of the product is calming as well. I like the fact that Shirley Price thinks this Chamomile is the best for all uses. I add it to any lotion that I have as an application to my sensitive skin.

Jeanne’s Age Spot Lotion – Measurements are by volume using percentage or drops – Mix carrier oils, mix waters and mix extracts, mix essential oils. Mix all together and then heat gently in a bain-marie. Cool, Bottle. Probably needs to be shaken prior to each use.

Ingredients: Sunflower seed oil 45%, + Cistus or Chamomile hydrosol 20%, Licorice root decoction 10%, Sugar cane or sugar cane alcohol like white rum 5%, Lemon juice 3% + Shea nut butter 5%, beeswax or any solid butter 10%, + Essential Oil Mixture 2% of Roman Chamomile, Lemon oil and Cypress oil. [you may need to experiment yourself with the proportions as I use very specific strengths of Licorice root and beeswax. I always use only totally natural products that are organically grown with no processing.]

Diffuse/Diffusion: This essential oil diffuses quite nicely and can be mixed with any other oil and especially those that contain esters such as Lavender or Petitgrain. Start with a 1•1 mixture of Roman Chamomile to other oil and add to your diffuser. Put the diffuser on a timer • 10 minutes on and 30 minutes off. Use to to calm people in the room and prepare for sleep.

Tomato Tales ~ A personal Story
I remember many years ago, another boy was visiting my 8-year-old and they were riding skateboards and bikes up and down my flat along the hallway which is only 15-feet long. The noise was intense. Rather than yelling at them to be quiet, I mixed together an equal quantity of sweet Lavender and Roman Chamomile and put it in the diffuser at the entrance near the hall. Within moments the two boys were calm and relaxed, had stopped skateboarding and were working on some project in the bedroom. It was a most efficient calming mechanism.

Emotional/Energetic Use: Inhale for nervous tics, asthma, insomnia, headache or depression. When you use a diffuser, make sure that you only use it for 10 minutes on and 30 minutes off. Do not let it run non-stop. Energetically, use this oil in blends for peace.

          Relaxing & Skin Treatment Formula
½ oz. Calendula infused oil
10 drops sweet Lavender EO
10 drops Bergamot EO
10 drops Roman Chamomile EO
Mix these all together and succuss well. This formula can be used in the evening for dry skin by application and the scent will be useful for sleep and sweet dreams as well.

Key Use: Anti-inflammatory.

Chemical Components: Esters of Angelic, Butyric & Tiglic Acids, Bisabolol, and Farnesol. The biological activity of chamomile is mainly due to the flavonoids apigenin, luteolin, quercetin, patuletin and essential oil constituents such as α-Bisabolol and its oxides and azulenes. The ester content is very high about 85% and is considered along with Owyhee (Artemisia ludoviciana CT. esters) as the highest in essential oils.  There are several Chamomile chemocultivars.

 Physiochemical Properties:

Solubility in oil and alcohol and insoluble in water. Soluble in 5-10 vol. of 70% alcohol, occasionally with turbidity. Soluble in 1-2 vol. of 80% alcohol, occasionally with turbidity

Specific Gravity @ 20° C 0.880 to 0.930

Optical Rotation —1°0’ to +3°0’

Refractive Index at 20° 1.430 to 1.490

Comparison of Main Components: The main components are esters which account for its fruity scent and gentle nature on the skin.

Blends Best with: Blends seamlessly with many oils such as Bergamot, Lavender, Neroli, Petitgrain, Rose, Sandalwood. Useful in a perfume blend with Bergamot, Grapefruit (30 drops total) as the top note, Rose (20 drops total) as the heart note and Patchouli (5-10 drops total) as base note.

Blending with formula. One of our customers say “I use it in many blends; muscular oils, joint oils, migraine and headache oils and PMS/Woman’s health. I also make body balms, salts, scrubs and massage oils that enhance the pure oil.”

Muscle Aches and Pains-Relaxing

Make a blend of equal quantities of of Roman Chamomile, sweet Basil and Cypress EOs. Take 20 drops and add to 1 ounce of carrier oil. Succuss thoroughly. Use by application.

HYDROSOL: I adore Roman Chamomile hydrosol. I use it in the bath, as a facial toner and to spray my sheets for sleeping. Ann Harman found that in testing Roman Chamomile hydrosol there was 0.0042% of EO in it and the hydrosol was composed of 61 components, mainly sorbic acid, trans-pinocarveol and lesser amounts of ketones, acids and other components.

PLEASE NOTE: A true hydrosol should be specifically distilled for the hydrosol, not as a co-product or even a by-product of essential oil distillation. The plant’s cellular water has many components most are lost under pressurized short steam runs for essential oil, or by using dried material. We recommend that the producers specifically distill for a product by using plant material that is fresh.

Historical Uses: Cultivated for lawns, for ornament, and for therapeutic infusions.

Interesting Information: Insoluble in glycerin.  “Upon exposure to air and light and on prolonged standing the light blue color of the oil changes first to yellow to green and later to yellow-brown.  They present the highest ester value of all essential oils, from 272 to 293.5”   World of Aromatherapy, p. 203.        Roman Chamomile has a lower concentration of azulenes than Blue/German Chamomile, and it does not stimulate liver regeneration after subcutaneous applicationContradictions: None discussed.

Key Use: Anti-inflammatory

Safety Precautions: Possibly not to be used by persons allergic to the Ragweed family.  Non-toxic.

Patch Test:  If applying a new essential oil to your skin always perform a patch test to the inner arm (after you have diluted the EO in an vegetable carrier oil). —Wash an area of your forearm about the size of a quarter and dry carefully. Apply a diluted drop (1 drop EO + 1 drop carrier) to the area. Then apply a loose Band-Aid and wait 24 hours. If there is no reaction, then go ahead and use the oil in your formulas. —The Aromatherapy Book, Applications & Inhalations, p. 64


Arctander, Steffen. Perfume and Flavor Materials of Natural Origin. Arctander. 1960
Guenther, Ernest. The Essential Oils. Krieger Publishing. Florida. 1976
Harman, Ann. Harvest to Hydrosol.  IAG Botanics. 2015 (supporter of testing hydrosols)
Herbal Studies Course/ Jeanne Rose & Berkeley, California: North Atlantic Books, 1992
Mabberley, D. J. Mabberley’s Plant-Book, 3rd edition, 2014 printing, Cambridge University Press.
Mojay, Gabriel.  Aromatherapy for Healing the Spirit.  Rochester, Vermont:  Healing Arts Press, 1999.
Rose, Jeanne.  375 Essential Oils and Hydrosols.  Berkeley, California: Frog, Ltd., 1999
Rose, Jeanne.  The Aromatherapy Book: Applications & Inhalations.  San Francisco, California:
Worwood, Susan & Valerie Ann.  Essential Aromatherapy, a pocket guide to essential oils and aromatherapy.  Novato, California:     New World Library, 2003.


Scientific Data: Although chamomile is popular, there are not many studies about it. Test tube studies have shown that chamomile can kill bacteria, fungus, and viruses. It also helps relax muscle contractions, particularly in the smooth muscles that make up the intestines. There is an interesting article about both the “German and Roman Chamomile” in Journal of Applied Pharmaceutical Science 01 (10; 2011:01-05).


DISCLAIMER: This work is intended for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for accurate diagnosis and treatment by a qualified health care professional. Dosages are often not given, as that is a matter between you and your health care provider. The author is neither a chemist nor a medical doctor. The content herein is the product of research and personal and practical experience. Institute of Aromatic & Herbal Studies – Jeanne Rose©




Bergamot Essential Oil and/or Hydrosol EO Profile

By Jeanne Rose ~ 3-3-16

Synopsis of Bergamot Essential Oil ~ A complete description, country of origin, characteristics, skin care, formulas and recipes on how to use this oil

Common Name/Latin Binomial: Bergamot

Citrus x limon (syn. Citrus bergamia (Risso))

Other Common Name/Naming Information:  It also takes its name from an Italian city, that of Bergamo in Lombardy, where the essential oil was originally sold. It is related to French bergamote, from Italian bergamotta, of Turkish origin: beg-armudi or beg armut (“prince’s pear” or “prince of pears). The bergamot orange is unrelated to the herbs known as bergamot or wild bergamot, Monarda didyma and Monarda fistulosa, which are in the mint family, and are named for their similar aroma.

Family: Rutaceae

 Countries of Origins: Native of tropical Asia, Bergamot is now extensively cultivated in the southern part of Italy, particularly Reggio di Calabria, Sicily; and Ivory Coast.

Eden Botanicals Harvest Location: Calabria region of Italy.

Endangered or Not: Not at this time.

 General description of Plant habitat and growth: The small fruit tree 16 feet tall, branches with thorns, flowers white, fruit not edible about 2-4 inches in length is a characteristic of the southern Italian landscape; its small, round fruit is very bitter and is inedible when raw. The fruit looks like a miniature pear-shaped orange. It is a hybrid of bitter Orange and Lemon, a product of cultivation.


Bergamot citrus on the tree

 Portion of plant used in distillation, how distilled, extraction methods and yields: Bergamot essential oil is obtained from the cold expression of the peel of nearly ripe fruit of the Bergamot tree. Yield up to 9.7% for hydro-distilled and .5-1.5% for cold-pressed or 100 Bergamot fruit yields 85 grams of oil.

Organoleptic Characteristics of Bergamot:


Odor Description/ Aroma Assessment: The odor is floral, fruity, slight spicy back note, that is, predominating floral and citrus, subsidiary notes of fruit with a slight spicy back note. When you purchase Bergaptene-free or decolorized Bergamot oil, you begin to lose the rich floral/fruity/citrus odor and it becomes less ‘natural smelling’ and more ‘synthetic smelling’.

Bergamot EO

General Properties: Bergamot is an important ingredient in high end perfumery. Without it many perfumes could not be made. It is calmative, antispasmodic, antidepressant and antiseptic.

Properties and Uses:  Physically Bergamot oil can be used highly diluted as a gargle for sore throat, used to flavor Tobacco and tea; by application it can be used in skin care for skin infections, on cold sores, and inhaled for depression, stress, frustration, anxiety or emotional crisis

 Application/ Skincare. Bergamot is used in a variety of skin care lines, in lotions, creams, bath, salve, unguents and for massage or direct application to a variety of skin conditions; cold sores, acne, skin infections.

Diffuse/Diffusion.  Bergamot is best used in a blend in the diffuser (Lavender or Rosemary are good) to promote relaxation and alleviate stress by stimulating the mind. It helps to resolve your irritable nature and soothe tension and ease sadness.

Emotional/Energetic Uses (AP or IN) Use Bergamot by inhalation while drinking the Earl Grey Tea (bergamot infused); this is both uplifting and calming. Ritually, Bergamot oil is used for success and comfort as it can help clear the mind of depressing recurring thoughts.

 Key Use: ‘The Oil of Anxiety’ and for perfumery.

Chemical Components: The peel oil contains; The chemical composition of Bergamot from Tunisia was obtained by hydrodistillation and fifteen compounds accounting for 98.52% of the oil were identified. The oil was characterized by high content of limonene (59.21%), linalool (9.51%) and linalyl acetate (16.83%).

When cold-pressed, Bergamot oil is the only Citrus oil in which limonene is not the dominant component.  It is however, rich in linaloöl and linalyl acetate up to 50%. The ester content changes depending on climate in any year.(375 Essential Oils, p. 49) 30-60% linalyl acetate and 11-22% linaloöl. Oxygenated derivatives of the hydrocarbons of caryophyllene, germacrene D, farnesene and Bisabolene contribute to the typical odor of Bergamot.


Bergamot juice contains neoeriocitrin, naringin, neohesperidin, ponceritin, melitidin, and brutieridin.  Melitidin and brutieridin, only recently discovered, exist only in citrus bergamot, and exhibit statin-like properties.

 Comparison of Main Components: (Chart/ Formatted into the Blog): The hydrodistilled was characterized by high content of limonene (59.21%), linalool (9.51%) and linalyl acetate (16.83%). The cold-pressed oil is the only Citrus oil in which limonene is not the dominant component.  It is however, rich in linaloöl 11-22% and linalyl acetate up to 30-60%.  Oxygenated derivatives of the hydrocarbons of caryophyllene, germacrene D, farnesene and bisabolene contribute to the typical odor of Bergamot.

Blends Best with: Bergamot’s light refreshing citrus scent makes is a good blending partner for just about any other oil. And its use in the perfume industry bears this out. It is of particular importance in a ‘Chypre’ type blend with rich deep oils like Labdanum, Oakmoss, Patchouli, Frankincense, Rose, Sandalwood, Vetivert.

HYDROSOL: I have not as yet had hydrosol of true Bergamot only of sour Oranges.

PLEASE NOTE: A true hydrosol should be specifically distilled for the hydrosol, not as a co-product or even a by-product of essential oil distillation. The plant’s cellular water has many components most are lost under pressurized short steam runs for essential oil, or by using dried material. We recommend that the producers specifically distill for a product by using plant material that is fresh

Historical Uses: – History is speculative. Possible that the tree was brought to the Canary Islands and found there by Christopher Columbus who brought it to Calabria.

 Interesting Information: a native of tropical Asia, Bergamot (Citrus bergamia) is now extensively cultivated in the Southern part of Italy, particularly in the Calabria region. The Italians have used Bergamot in folk medicine for years, in particular for fevers. Legend has it that Christopher Columbus found the tree in the Canary Islands and brought it back to Italy. Bergamot gets its name from Bergamo a town in Italy, where it was originally cultivated.

Fruitcake copy

It can be candied and eaten either in a fruitcake or with bitter Coffee as a sweetmeat as they do in Greece.

Abstract/Scientific Data: “Bergamot is frequently adulterated … when doubtful of purity, the expert should resort to thorough odor and flavor tests, which usually are more indicative of the quality than mere chemical analysis.” — Guenther, The Essential Oils

 Contraindications: Pure Bergamot is photo-sensitizing; we recommend that it be highly diluted (less than 2%) when applied to the skin, or that one of our Bergamot FCF essential oils be used instead. FCF (furanocoumarin-free) is an acronym that indicates the chemical constituent(s) responsible for extreme sensitization of the skin to sunlight has been removed, in the case of Bergamot oil, the specific furanocoumarin being bergaptene.

Key Use: Perfumery, skin care and calming.

 Safety Precautions: Bergamot is known to be one of the most photo toxic essential oils and for this reason should be used with care in sunlight, hot climates and with other ultraviolet light. Photo sensitivity is caused by the presence of furocoumarins, most notably Bergaptene, in this particular essential oil. Apart from this factor, Bergamot is considered to be a relatively non-toxic and non-irritant essential oil. Photosensitizing. Dilute before using. A patch test should be performed before use for those with sensitive skin.

Here is some basic information from the web on this reaction of Bergamot with the sun.

  1. Definition: Berloque Dermatitis is a skin condition in which patients develop a brownish to reddish discoloration of the neck and sometimes the arms due to applying perfume or cologne to the skin. Sometimes the skin first turns red before changing to a brownish color. This condition can persist for years or even be permanent.
  2. Causes: Many perfumes and colognes contain oil of Bergamot, an extract of the peel of a specific orange grown in the South of France and the Calabria district of Italy. When this oil contacts the skin and the skin is exposed to sunlight, the oil of Bergamot causes the skin to discolor. With repeated exposures to sunlight, the discoloration becomes permanent.


  • Cosmetics can work well to cover the area so it is not as noticeable.
  • Patients with Berloque dermatitis should use a daily sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher to help keep the condition from worsening. In addition, perfume should no longer be applied to areas of the skin that get sun exposure.
  • Laser treatment may be an effective treatment in the future. At this time, we do not have this available. You may want to go to a laser center to seek their opinion.
  • Retin-A applied to the involved areas daily will improve this condition.
  • Daily application of soothing gels is a treatment for this problem.


Jeanne Rose’s experience with this EO:

A story about Bergamot Sensitivity, called Berloque Dermatitis
March 11, 2004 – “Ask Jeanne Rose” Question

I need your advice.  I was wearing a strong blend of Bergamot, Rosemary and Geranium on a HOT day this week. I woke up the next day with a big brown-red splotch on my neck. I realize this may take months and months to heal correctly (it’s the Bergamot I think that is so sensitive to sunlight.) I am going on vacation to the beach. Any suggestions as to what to put on my neck NOW that I have burned it? I need something to heal it fast. At least I am an example of what not to do. I am so embarrassed. I forgot to look at the Aromatherapy Studies Course Work. — Thanks, Jeanne,

Answer: Dear K.
Wear a hat. Keep face and neck out of sun. It will only get worse. Use Sea Buckthorn, Calophyllum, and Bruise Juice in this proportion 25•25•50.   Do not use any citrus at all as a scent or deodorant or body wash until it is gone. This brown mark is the reaction of the sun and Bergaptene. Now you know from personal experience what not to do.   In the future, you can put on the citrus as scent on the parts of the body that are covered or put on the scent and stay out of sun for several hours. It is the combination of the application and the immediate sun exposure that does this.

Jeanne Rose


Dear Jeanne,
Thank you for your help with my neck burn, I really appreciate your time and caring. Some notes: I went and got some Calophyllum inophyllum (cold pressed) and filled up the rest of the bottle of Bruise Juice with it. About .25 oz. or 20-25% total. I am applying this in the morning and evening. I am wearing scarf to keep out of sun. I am using titanium 25 sunscreen that is nice, thick, and mostly organic. I notice when the sun/heat gets on the scarf even, the burn mark will start to hurt/sting, than I will apply more of the Sea Buckthorn/Calophyllum/Bruise Juice treatment. (I also have applied a Calendula and Comfrey salve when I didn’t have the other treatment handy). I have an inclination to apply the Calophyllum by itself because it is so soothing. It is like becoming familiar with Calendula infused oil, it works for everything! The mark is now a brown/pink. I am writing down in my journal and taking notes. Thanks again Jeanne, don’t know what I would have done without you -probably cried for days about ruining my neck.

Patch Test Link: Patch Test:  If applying a new essential oil to your skin always perform a patch test to the inner arm (after you have diluted the EO in an vegetable carrier oil). —Wash an area of your forearm about the size of a quarter and dry carefully. Apply a diluted drop (1 drop EO + 1 drop carrier) to the area. Then apply a loose Band-Aid and wait 24 hours. If there is no reaction, then go ahead and use the oil in your formulas. —The Aromatherapy Book, Applications & Inhalations, p. 64

Arctander, Steffen. Perfume and Flavor Materials of Natural Origin. Arctander. 1960
Guenther, Ernest. The Essential Oils. Krieger Publishing. Florida. 1976
Harman, Ann. Harvest to Hydrosol.  IAG Botanics. 2015 (supporter of testing hydrosols)
Herbal Studies Course/ Jeanne Rose. San Francisco California, 1992
Mabberley, D. J. Mabberley’s Plant-Book, 3rd edition, 2014 printing, Cambridge University Press.
Mojay, Gabriel.  Aromatherapy for Healing the Spirit.  Rochester, Vermont:  Healing Arts Press, 1999.
Rose, Jeanne.  375 Essential Oils and Hydrosols.  Berkeley, California: Frog, Ltd., 1999
Rose, Jeanne.  The Aromatherapy Book: Applications & Inhalations.  San Francisco, California:
Worwood, Susan & Valerie Ann.  Essential Aromatherapy, Novato, California: New World Library, 2003.


DISCLAIMER:  This work is intended for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for accurate diagnosis and treatment by a qualified health care professional. Dosages are often not given, as that is a matter between you and your health care provider. The author is neither a chemist nor a medical doctor.  The content herein is the product of research and personal and practical experience. Institute of Aromatic & Herbal Studies – Jeanne Rose©

 Do not ingest clause for EO

Jeanne Rose Recipes/Formulas Using Bergamot

Blending and Perfume Formulas:

Summer Breeze Blend

Bergamot – Citrus bergamia – 10 drops
Geranium – Pelargonium graveolens – 5 drops
Lemongrass – Cymbopogon flexuosus – 2 drops
Peppermint – Mentha x piperita – 2 drops

“Summer Breeze” scent has become a hot weather staple around here. We use it to scent bath gel for a cooling shower, or it makes a wonderful detoxifying scrub in Sugar or Salt Glow; in room spritzers for a bright refreshing atmosphere, or to spray in a hot car. I also like to use it as a body spray for a light cologne IF I’m not going to be in the sun. (If I am going to be in the sun, I’ll use Bergaptene-free Bergamot oil).

Bergamot Floral and Smoke ~ a light tempting perfume
Top Note ~
10 drops Pink Grapefruit
10 drops Bergamot BGF

Heart Note ~
5 Drops Jasmine Sambac
5 drops Ylang complete

Base Note ~
2 drops Amber
2 drops Vanilla

Use the residue in the Amber and Vanilla bottle to get your drops. Take the empty ¼ oz. Amber bottle and add neutral grape spirits to half full. Shake it up. Pour that alcohol into the empty ¼ oz. Vanilla abs bottle. Now you have your base note mixed. To this bottle add the rest of the ingredients. Shake the bottle vigorously by succussion. Now just almost fill it with neutral grape spirits. Succuss again. Label the bottle and let it sit on your desk for 2 weeks. Smell it now and again. It should be perfect to you. Your perfume is at about 15%.


Consultation Usage ~ I have also used this oil, inhaled, to inhibit anorexia and generally in any blend where I want a bright sassy citrus scent.

Ritual Use ~ I like to add a drop or two to a dollar bill and put it in my wallet. It inhabits my entire purse with a wonderful cheery odor.


Skin Care for Normal skin ~
Apply in evening to clean washed face
Bergamot – 15 drops
Rosemary verbenone – 10 drops
Spikenard – 5 drops
Jojoba/Almond oil or lotion to fill 1 oz. = about 2.5% [EO an be reduced by adding more carrier oil]





Jeanne Rose ~ Jeanne is the founder of New Age Creations, the first body-care company in the United States to use aromatherapy (since 1967) based on the formulas she invented and then used in The Herbal Body Book; she is the Director/Educator of both the Herbal Studies Course and the Aromatherapy Studies Course by home-study and Distance-Learning and the author of 25 books.  She coined the word ‘hydrosol’ for the aromatic waters of distillation. She was the first to teach the Art of Distillation to aroma practitioners.

She brings 45 years of experience and personal research in her practice of Aromatherapy.  Jeanne Rose has held the Executive positions of (NAHA), The American Herbalist Association (AHA), and The Aromatic Plant Project (APP) —which encourages the production and use of American grown essential oils and hydrosols. Jeanne Rose teaches all aspect of aromatherapy and herbalism as well as Aromatherapy Certification Courses; and the Art of Distillation.

She practices a personal ecology and eats organically grown and locally sourced foods.

Table of Contents ~ Profiles


Anise seed and Star Anise

Basil & Holy Basil EO, Herb, Hydrosol


Calendula Infused Oil


Chamomile, Roman

Citronella Story

Citronella Grass – a Profile

Clary Sage

Clove Oil/Herb

CO2 Extracts • Perfumery & Skin Care

Cypress and Blue Cypress EO


Evergreens & Similars

Fennel ~ Herb, EO, Hydrosol

Firs – Profile & Hydrosol

Frankincense ~ Fabulous Ancient Remedy

Gourmet Scents

Gourmet Perfumery

Hydrosol Story -Rose Geranium

Juniper Berry – Juniperus communis

Lavender, Lavender, Lavandin

Lemongrass ~ EO & Herb

Licorice Scent in Essential Oils

Myrrh EO & CO2

Palmarosa ~ a grass



Pines – Pinyon and Scotch


Roses – Grown for Scent

Roses – Used for Scent

Rosemary. Chemotypes and Hydrosol


Sandalwood – ALL
Sandalwood-Hawaiian & New Caledonia
East Indian Sandalwood


Spruce – Black

Tarragon EO/Herb

Tonka Bean


Vetiver  & Vetivert

Awarded top 30 herbal blog – Feb. 2017
This entry was posted on May 17, 2016, in . 1 Comment