Search Results for: roman chamomile

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©




Tarragon herb/EO/Hydrosol Profile

Tarragon herb/EO/Hydrosol Profile

Synopsis ~ This perennial herb in the sunflower family, is widespread across much of Eurasia and North America, is cultivated for culinary and medicinal purpose and the EO is used in perfumery and blending.

Tarragon — the herb, the aged oil and the fresh new oil from Eden Botanicals

Common Name/Latin Binomial ~ Tarragon, Artemisia dracunculus, also called dragon’s-wort and Estragon is preferred and called French Tarragon, reproduced by root propagation. The Russian Tarragon, called Artemisia dracunculoides is considered to be rank in flavor.

Family: Tarragon is a member of the Asteraceae (Compositae) family. It flowers from July through September. The French Tarragon has sterile seeds.


Safety/Contraindications: If you are sensitive or allergic to other plants in this family such as Ragweed, Daisy or Marigold you should take caution when adding Tarragon to your diet either as a culinary herb or medicinally.

Please use your best judgment or consult a professional before using Tarragon herb in medicinal quantities. Some sites mention, do not use Tarragon if you are pregnant or nursing. However, science journals also state, “Despite concerns about the toxic effects of two of its main constituents, estragole (up to 82%) and methyl eugenol (up to 39%), no acute toxicity or mutagenic activity has been reported at doses relevant for human consumption. Water extracts of A. dracunculus contain very low amounts of estragole and methyl eugenol and, therefore, are considered to pose a very limited risk.”

This article is meant to be informative only. 

          The herb is recommended in foods while the essential oil is not recommended internally and only in small amounts for inhalation purpose.


Countries of Origins: in 2007, Alberta, Canada produced approximately one liter of Tarragon, “this luscious licorice-scented oil …. It thrives in our climate and appears to have favorable chemistry and nose appeal. All farms producing it are doing so organically, though the oil produced to date cannot be labeled as such, until our distiller meets certification standards”. I would like to know if they are still growing it.
It grows wild in many European and Asian countries.

Eden Botanicals Harvest Location ~ Cultivated in Italy.

Sustainability/Endangered or Not ~ Sustainable and not endangered at this time

General description of Plant habitat and growth ~ Tarragon (Artemisia dracunculus) contains estragole. This perennial herb of the Asteraceae (Sunflower) family comes in two subspecies. The Russian Tarragon is used medicinally while the French Tarragon has the most powerful scent and taste and is used as a culinary.  French tarragon is the variety used for cooking in the kitchen and is not grown from seed, as the flowers are sterile; instead it is propagated by root division. Russian tarragon (A. dracunculoides L.) can be grown from seed but is much weaker in flavor when compared to the French variety.


Portion of plant used in distillation, how distilled, extraction methods and yields: French tarragon is the variety generally considered best for the kitchen, but is never grown from seed as the flowers are sterile; instead it is propagated by root division. It is normally purchased as a plant, and some care must be taken to ensure that true French Tarragon is purchased. A perennial, it normally goes dormant in winter. Tarragon has an aromatic property reminiscent of Anise, due to the presence of estragole, a known carcinogen and teratogen in mice. The danger of estragole is minimal even at 100–1,000 times the typical consumption seen in humans.
“The whole over ground part of the herb is steam-distilled immediately prior to flowering”. Steam distillation occurs mainly in France. “Basil, Anise and Tarragon tend to resinify upon aging and becomes dark yellow and sticky, viscous and loses the fresh green not and pleasant aroma.” —Arctander
Yield ~ One study I read, the yield was 0.57%

Organoleptic Characteristics ~
• Color
– colorless and some have a pale green color
Clarity – clear
Viscosity – non-viscous
Intensity of odor – 5 (on a scale of 1-10; 1-2 is Lemon and 8-10 is Massoia or Clove)
Taste – sweet, then bitter on the tongue

Odor Description/ Aroma Assessment ~ One of the licorice-like scents (Anise, Basil, Cloves) it is vegetative, warm, herbal, sweet-smelling and spicy and a very eponymous scent. The dried herb has a peppery and spicy smell with little to mild taste. The fresh herb is preferred for food.

See the other articles in the blog that refer to the anise/licorice smelling EO such as
Anise seed and Star Anise , Basil & Holy Basil EO, Herb, Hydrosol , Clove Oil/Herb , Fennel ~ Herb, EO, Hydrosol , Licorice Scent in Essential Oils



Properties and Uses: Tarragon – Artemisia dracunculus This cultivated herb’s essential oil is grown in Italy; use it by inhalation for a strong, herbal, celery, licorice scent – to ease digestion, for hiccups or belching.  Use it in skin care products or a massage oil to spice up Lavender and herbal scents; and use the herb in your bath; use a scant drop added to food to bring out delicious nuances. Oils like this are considered to be best utilized to kick-start the body’s natural hormone production, rather than relying on them long term.
•Tarragon contains anethole
• said to regulate erratic periods
• Calms menstrual pain

The EO is considered to be an antispasmodic, antiviral and antiallergenic and is indicated for gut spasms, belching, PMS, anorexia and chronic fatigue. This EO can occasionally be used internally in tea (1-drop only at a time) and used externally in massage oils or in perfumery.  It has a very pleasant position as a bridge note in perfumery. It is widely used as a flavoring ingredient in fine foods.

Use ~ Tarragon contains antioxidants that help to neutralize free radicals in the body and to help support cardiovascular health. When eaten regularly it can help reduce the risk of blood clots, stroke, and heart attack although it did not help me for the five years before I eventually had my aortic valve replaced. The compounds present in Tarragon can lower blood sugar levels naturally. Tarragon contains many health promoting compounds. It in a natural diuretic and can help reduce water retention.

This lovely oil courtesy of Eden Botanicals

In steam therapy and when diluted in the bath, the scent of Tarragon oil can help with the digestive system and ease farting and belching, and some woman I know use it for menstrual pains. It has a pain relieving or numbing effect.

Tarragon leaf (Artemisia dracunculus) Herbal Use. The herb can be infused in oil and used for massage and is helpful on the abdomen for all sorts of abdominal pain and spasm or to massage sore muscles.  You can drink the herbal tea or simply chew the leaves to help with mouth pain. Drinking Tarragon herb tea before bed can help with insomnia. It seems to have a calming effect and can also help to relieve anxiety. Tarragon herb can be uses to maintain the health of the female reproductive tract, and can be used for those who have suppressed menstruation. It should not, however, be used if you are pregnant or nursing.

Recent studies have shown that tarragon can help promote muscle growth by aiding in absorption. Tarragon has been traditionally used at an appetite stimulant for those with poor appetite or even helps those with symptoms of anorexia. ~

This is a very strong essential oil and should be used only sparingly in a carrier oil for a massage for sore muscles. A touch of Tarragon essential oil in the mouth can help fight bad breath, as well as reduce body odor or on the skin reduce microbes.

      If you make your own deodorant- add a couple drops of essential oil to 1 oz. of your product get these benefits. ~

Personal Deodorant with Tarragon
1 oz. 70% alcohol (neutral grape spirits or vodka)
2 drops Tarragon oil
2 drops Sage CO2
1 drop Lavender oil
Shake to use. Spray 1-2 sprays per armpit

Application/ Skincare ~ Use it in skin care products or massage oils to spice up Lavender and herbal scents; or a few drops diluted in coconut oil in your bath for a refreshing change.

Inhalation ~ Antispasmodic and antiviral, Tarragon is inhaled for emotional distress and chronic fatigue, as it seems to help these issues. Inhale this oil for a strong, herbal, celery, licorice scent – to ease digestion, for hiccups or belching.

Jeanne Rose Asthma and Wheezing Treatment
 I have made and used this formula since 1997

Mix together the following oils —
20 drops each of Red Mandarin and Rosemary verbenone
10 drops each of Tarragon, Ammi visnaga, Thyme borneol and Hyssop decumbens.
Mix EO into a synergy.
Use 3-drops per Ginkgo biloba herbal capsule, 3 times per day but not more than 3 days.

                         — A French formula seen 25 years ago. Inspired by l’aromatherapie exactement


Diffuse/Diffusion: Personally, I do not recommend diffusing this oil. There is not enough of it and it is wasteful of the EO.

Emotional/Energetic Use ~ In steam therapy and when diluted in a carrier. Tarragon oil can help with the digestive system and for menstrual pains.


 ~ The delicious but elusive flavor of Tarragon, sometimes described as “bittersweet,” does not share the long history of use that most herbs do. It has a celery-like and fresh green flavor and is excellent in seafood and egg sauces. It came into popularity in the 1600s in France. You will find it in fine French cuisine and many classic French sauces including: béarnaise (egg yolk, butter, vinegar), hollandaise (egg yolk, butter), tartar (mayonnaise, sweet pickle relish, and minced onion, lemon juice, salt and pepper) and béchamel (butter, milk). It is a wonderful herb used for fish such as for sole, shrimp and other seafood and lake fish. Add Tarragon to chicken, rabbit or veal, shrimp or tuna salad. As Jill Jessee says in her 1951 Perfume Album, “Dear to the heart, or rather the tongue, of all salad mixers! But the nose comes in for its due share, for Tarragon oil, also known as estragon, gives a special something to fancy bouquets as well as to the fern and new-mown hay type of perfumes.”

A drop of Tarragon in your herbal blend and a scant drop added to foods brings out many delicious nuances.

While Tarragon is usually used in too small of quantities to contribute much nutrition, it does sport some nice nutritional qualities. Tarragon is an excellent source of minerals such as magnesium, iron, zinc, and calcium. The herb is rich in Vitamin A and Vitamin C as well as B-6.


Jeanne Rose uses this EO/herb for 1890 Christmas Recipe on fish

SAUCE TARTARE ~ Put the yolks of two eggs in a bowl with salt, pepper, the juice of a lemon, and one teaspoonful of dry mustard. Stir with a wooden spoon, and add by degrees– in very small quantities, and stirring continuously– a tablespoonful of vinegar; then, a cup of Olive oil but only a few drops at a time, some good oil, stirring rapidly all the time, until your sauce thickens, and the oil has been absorbed. Chop one pickle and a tablespoonful of capers, a green onion and a few fresh Tarragon leaves, and mix with your sauce.



Blends Best with ~ Blends with earthy odors such as Labdanum, Oakmoss, and Galbanum. Eden Botanicals also mentions others such as Angelica, Anise, Basil, Atlas Cedar, Roman Chamomile, Cistus, Citrus odors, Ginger, Juniper Berry, spices up Lavender, Patchouli, Vanilla and is works well with chypre, ferns and green odors. Arctander mentions that adulteration and ‘cutting’ of this oil is extremely common.


Blending/PERFUMERY formula ~
1000 Flowers & Greens – 1972
Top Notes: Angelica, Bergamot, Coriander, Galbanum, and Tarragon
Bridge Note: Orris root
Heart Notes: Osmanthus, Jasmine, Rose, Violet leaf, Rose Geranium
Bridge Note: Oakmoss
Base Notes: Vetiver, Patchouli, Sandalwood, Amber
Fixative: Diluted Ambergris


HYDROSOL ~ The delicious French Tarragon is more valuable as a food item and to my knowledge, the hydrosol is not available. However, the EO is available and lovely. The Russian Tarragon I have not had the opportunity to try as a 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.

 Key Use: The King of Culinary Herbs


Chemical Components ~ Analyses of A. dracunculus (subspecies not mentioned) shows methyl chavicol (16.2%) and methyl eugenol (35.8%). GC/MS analysis of the essential oil revealed the presence of trans-anethole (21.1%), α-trans-ocimene (20.6%), limonene (12.4%), α-pinene (5.1%), allo-ocimene (4.8%), methyl eugenol (2.2%), β-pinene (0.8%), α-terpinolene (0.5%), bornyl acetate (0.5%) and bicyclogermacrene (0.5%) as the main components.

Historical Uses ~ Tarragon was used in the time of Hippocrates (300 BC) and is still in use today.

Interesting Information ~ There is one main species but two types; one from seed called Russian Tarragon and one from root divisions only called French Tarragon with sterile seeds that produces a plant with superior flavor.
“Charlemagne, king of the Franks (768-814) and Holy Roman Emperor from 800-814, liked Tarragon so much that he ordered it planted on all his estates.”— The Reader’s Digest book, Magic and Medicine of Plants goes on to say much more and was one of my most favorite herb books in 1986.


Abstract/Scientific Data ~ “Based on our findings, tarragon essential oil has antibacterial effect on two important pathogen bacteria (S. aureus and E. coli) and can be applied as a preservative in foods such as cheese”


Safety Precautions ~ See the beginning of the article


Patch Test Link: 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. 1960
Franchomme and Pénoël. L’aromathérapie exactement. Robert Jollois, editor. 1976
Mabberley, D. J. Mabberley’s Plant-Book, 3rd edition, 2014 printing, Cambridge University Press.
Reader’s Digest. Magic and Medicine of Plants. 1986
Rose, Jeanne.  375 Essential Oils and Hydrosols.  Berkeley, California: Frog, Ltd., 1999
Rose, Jeanne.  The Aromatherapy Book: Applications & Inhalations.  San Francisco, California
Rose, Jeanne. The Herbal Guide to Food. 1989
Herbal Studies Course/ Jeanne Rose publisher. 1988.
interesting articles:


Eden Botanicals, Aromatherapy supply store in Petaluma, California at 3820 Cypress Dr., #12, Petaluma, CA 94954 and phone (855) 333-6645


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©

By Jeanne Rose ~ December 21,2017





Synopsis:  An ambitious discussion of the essential oil of the grass Vetivert from the rootlets, its uses, growth, description, organoleptic qualities and uses of the essential oil.
A Vetivert basket and Vetivert essential oils from three countries. Courtesy Eden Botanicals.



 Jeanne Rose


Common Name/Latin Binomial: Vetiver or Vetivert is Chrysopogon zizanioides. Vetiver is the plant and Vetivert is the essential oil of the plant.

            Other Common Name/Naming Information: On the basis of similar genetic analysis of related genera such as Chrysopogon and Sorghum, a new taxonomy was proposed by Veldkamp, who combined Chrysopogon zizanioides and Vetiveria zizanioides under the unique denomination Chrysopogon zizanioides L. Roberty. the former term, Vetiveria zizanioides, however, is still widely used in the current literature.

Vetiver belongs to the same part of the grass family as maize, sorghum, sugarcane, and lemongrass. Its botanic name, Vetiveria zizanioides (Linn) Nash, has had a checkered history—at least 11 other names in 4 different genera have been employed in the past. The generic name comes from “vetiver,” a Tamil word meaning “root that is dug up.” The specific name zizanioides (often misspelled zizanoides) was given first by the great Swedish taxonomist Carolus Linnaeus in 1771. It means “by the riverside”, and reflects the fact that the plant is commonly found along waterways in India.” —

            Family: From the grass family Poaceae. Poaceae or Gramineae is a large and nearly ubiquitous family of monocotyledonous flowering plants known as grasses. The term Poaceae is derived from the Ancient Greek for fodder


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

Chrysopogon zizanioides is commonly known as Vetiver, a bunch grass whose roots are used.
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 Origins: Haiti, Java, Brazil, China, Madagascar, Japan and La Réunion and India for the Khus variety.

Eden Botanicals Harvest Location: Haiti and Sri Lanka with both organically-grown and cultivated types grown.


Endangered or Not: The annual world trade in Vetivert oil is estimated to be approximately 250 tons with Brazil, China, Haiti, India, Japan, Java, and Reunion being the main producers. Europe, India, Japan, and the United States are the main consumers.

The plant does not seem to be endangered although there is fear that consumers will mistakenly order the fertile plant over the internet and introduce it to a place where it may overrun.


General description of Plant habitat and growth: There are about 50 species of Chrysopogon of which only one is used in aromatherapy and that species zizanioides has two main types, a fertile one and a sterile one. This is a perennial grass with very fragrant long rhizomatous roots, growing to six feet high.

“It is important to realize that Vetiver comes in two types—this is a crucial point because only one of them is suitable for use around the world. If the wrong one is planted, it may spread and produce problems for farmers.

A wild type from North India known as Khus or Vetiver. This is the original undomesticated species. It flowers regularly, sets fertile seed, and is known as a “colonizer.” Its rooting tends to be shallow, especially in the damp ground it seems to prefer. If loosed on the world, it might become a weed.

A “domesticated” type from South India. This is the Vetiver that has existed under cultivation for centuries and is widely distributed throughout the tropics. It is probably a man-made selection from the wild type. It is nonflowering, does not seed (or at least is non-spreading), and must be replicated by vegetative propagation. It is the only safe type to use for erosion control.” —

It southern cultivar is a densely tufted, perennial grass that is considered sterile outside its natural habitat.  It flowers but sets no seeds. It is a lawn grass in the tropics, however, when eaten the sharp calluses on the lemma can pierce an animals stomach. (The Lemma is a morphological term used in botany and refers to a part of the spikelet of grasses (Poaceae). It is the lowermost of two chaff-like bracts enclosing the grass floret. It often bears a long bristle called an awn, and may be similar in form to the glumes – chaffy bracts at the base of each spikelet.

Vetiver can grow up to (5 ft.) high and form clumps as wide. The stems are tall and the leaves are long, thin, and rather rigid. The flowers are brownish-purple. Unlike most grasses, which form horizontally spreading, mat-like root systems, vetiver’s roots grow downward, 7 ft. to 13 ft. in depth.


Vetiver is the best plant in the world to stop erosion and repair damaged land from erosion. Once permanent Vetiver rows are established the roots should never be dug up. The aromatic roots have been used since ancient times in India. The fragrant, insect-repelling roots yield oil, which is valuable in the perfume industry. Traditionally, these roots were woven into mats, fans and fragrant screens, while the tops of the grass were used for thatch, mulch, handicraft, fodder and animal bedding.

Vetivert roots


Portion of plant used in distillation, how distilled, extraction methods and yields:   The roots of Vetiver are picked, washed, comminuted (chopped), dried, and macerated (soaked) in the distillation water, before being steam distilled.  Yield: 0.5%.

The quality of the oil depends on the age of the roots and the length of distillation ~ from 12-36 hours. Distillation studies on vetiver (Vetiveria zizanioides) in northern India during 1987 to 1991, demonstrated that maximum oil content was associated with freshly harvested roots and that extractable oil decreased with delays in harvest and storage period.


Organoleptic Characteristics:

  • Color …………………. Depending on source, it is honey colored to a caramel brown
  • Clarity ………………… The lighter the color the more it is clear, the darker then semi-opaque
  • Viscosity ……………. Viscous to very viscous and thick like molasses
  • Intensity of odor … 4-6 (often the darker the color the more intense is the odor)

The guide to gauge the Intensity of odor ~ On a scale of 1-10, Lemon is on the low end about 2, while Peppermint is about 7-8. There are Lavenders that run the gamut from 1-9. However, Vetivert is often not very intense and softens with use in a perfume.

  • Taste ……………………. A burning bitter aromatic flavor, a smoky scent that rises up the throat.

5 Vetivert oils ~ courtesy Eden Botanicals and Prima Fleur


Odor Description/ Aroma Assessment: In general, the odor of this EO is very distinctive, yet when compared with one another there are definite differences. The newer samples of Vetivert are lighter in color and the lighter the color the less intense and less complex is the odor. As you can see from the above illustration, color varies from pale yellow to very dark brown. Color is removed from the oil because perfume makers do not like color. Personally, I prefer the deep rich intense scent of the original Vetivert types with the rich dark color for my perfumery classes.

Vetivert when double-distilled has an earthy, green tenacious character with sweet wood quality. During re-distillation, a small fraction of the constituents is removed, thus removing some of the therapeutic quality and other Vetivert oils are recommended when therapy is required.

Vetivert oil is a viscous amber-colored oil with a characteristic rooty, precious-woody odor of great tenacity. It is olfactorily dominated by a complex mixture of oxygenated sesquiterpenes. Has a persistent green-woody note and can be soft, woody-fruity when used with Patchouli, Sandalwood, Jasmine.

Vetivert double-distilled from Haiti is a light-colored EO, clear, medium viscosity and the scent is woody, green and slightly fruity odor, with less definable complexity. Because of its lack of color, it is often preferred in a perfume.

Vetivert organically grown from Haiti is a clear oil with a nice yellow color. It is strongly herbaceous and earth with a woody and even spicy note.

I am very fond of the Vetivert from Java with its deep brown color, semi-opaque, and viscous. The scent is woody, green with a floral and herbal back note. This very complex oil will indeed make your perfumes brown but upon dilution the scent smoothens out. It is wonderful with Rose or jasmine and Patchouly to make deep rich grounding odors that are sometimes

Solubility ……………………… 1-2 volumes of 80% alcohol
Specific Gravity ……………. 0.984 – 1.035 @ 25° C
Optical Rotation …………. Varies from +14° to + 37°
Refractive Index at 20° … 1.515 1.530


Chemical Components: There is great variety in the GC/MS of Vetivert but the one that I have seen is Vetiverol up to 50%, Vetivol up to 10%, terpenes like Vetivene up to 20%, and phenols up to 11%, Furfural, and Sesquiterpenes.

Two main chemotypes of the C. zizanioides species can be found: the ‘typical’ vetiver that is widespread all over the world and especially in Haiti, Java, Brazil, China, Madagascar, Japan and La Réunion. This produces an essential oil containing mainly zizaane, vetivane, eremophilane and eudesmane derivatives. The essential oils prepared industrially for the perfumery world market come exclusively from this variety.

On the other hand, ‘Khus’ oil another chemotype, is distinguished from the typical C. zizanioides by high amounts of cadinane derivatives, such as khusinol and especially khusilal. Khus oil is also devoid of the vetivones, characteristic of the ‘typical’ samples.


General Properties: (by IG=ingestion or IN=inhalation or AP=application):
Application:  Fixative in perfumery, stimulant, humectant, antiseptic, tonic, immuno-stimulant, emmenagogue, antispasmodic, sedative, and antiparasitic.
Ingestion:  It is not taken internally.
Inhalation:  Stimulant, immuno-stimulant, calmative, some think it has emmenagogue properties, sedative, and nervine.


Application:  Vetivert is used as a fixative in perfumery. When used in massage oil it is good for the circulation. It is used in lotions for aching joints, arthritis, or rheumatism.  It is a circulatory tonic and it can alleviate menstrual problems.  Specifically, it is said to promote and regulate menstrual flow and alleviates cramping.


            Application/ Skincare:   It is moisturizing and humectant for dry skin.  So, it is used in skin care on dry, irritated, mature, or aging skin.  Vetivert EO is useful in lotions to assist in skin hydration, if used with Lemon oil to help even out the color of the skin, and when used regularly will help to reveal smoother, better-looking complexion. The EO is useful in anti-aging creams and lotions, especially with Frankincense EO.


a recipe for the skin

Exfoliation is just like peeling the skin off an onion.  Dead cells are removed with scrubs, masks, or acid peels, revealing the younger, smoother layer of skin beneath. Exfoliate with ground coffee, ground almonds, ground walnuts, ground oats or a combination of these with hydrosols to hydrate and essential oils to treat. Essential oils should be gentle such as Owyhee, Roman Chamomile, Sandalwood, Rose, and Vetivert.

I am particularly fond of ¼ cup ground Almonds with enough Roman Chamomile or Rose hydrosol to moisten and a drop of Vetivert. Mix together, apply to clean moist face and gently massage in with circular motions. Let it sit while you shower and then gently rinse off.


Pain Release Formula
Mix together 20 drops Grapefruit – white, + 10 drops Rosewood + 5 drops Vetivert.
Shake vigorously and apply by massage to any painful spots on your body.


Perfumery ~ Vetiver grass roots contain an essential oil and used with other tropical odors is considered a high-class perfume. Copper plate inscriptions have been found that list the perfume (probably as a maceration) as one of the articles used by royalty. Vetivert oil is one of the ingredients in Chanel No. 5. The famous French perfume was introduced in 1921 and is still in production. Vetivert oil is contained in 90% of all western perfumes and its greatest use is in modern perfume creations. Vetivert oil is estimated to be approximately 250 tons per year in world trade.  The herb has been known in India since ancient times.


Diffuse/Diffusion: Vetivert can be diffused if you mix it with other essential oils, specifically those that are less viscous such as the Lavenders or citrus odors. It makes a very warm grounding odor that helps calm a household.


Emotional/Energetic Use: In folklore, Vetivert oil is used to increase financial abundance. In more common ritual, inhaling the oil is said to protect the body from menacing energies, including physical illness. Vetiver is employed in massage and aromatherapy for its grounding influence, to calm the central nervous system of one who feels “uprooted.”


Emotional Uses (AP or IN):   

Inhalation: “The scent is calming and sedating, used for comforting and for people who feel ‘uprooted’ or without stability.  It affects the parathyroid glands” —  375 Essential Oils and Hydrosols, p. 147.  It also alleviates stress, tension, and nervous tension.

Vetivert is also a good grounding oil for those who focus on intellectual activities to the exclusion of the physical, the herb added to the bath for an exceptional stress-relieving soak, and to inhale in the case of shock due to, for example, an accident, loss of employment, bereavement, separation, or divorce.


Ritual Formula – Send All Evil Away
Make a formula 20 drops Rosewood + 10 drops Palmarosa + 3 drops Vetivert.
Mix it together and use by inhalation or add to 70 drops (2 ml +) of a carrier oil.
Apply to wrists with intention and inhale.


Key Use: Oil of Depression and the immune system or Oil of Tranquility.

Depending on the country where used, this plant when distilled is used in perfumery and if dried used as potpourri and bug repellent.


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~


Tomato Tales with Vetivert EO & Jeanne Rose’s experience

            I collected the oil of this plant for 30 years, from various company lists. Didn’t like the odor so kept the oil and let it gracefully age on my shelves. This is one of the major essential oils that can age gracefully for many years. I have stock from 1983 and after. I have stock from a company now long gone that has added synthetics. Why this was the case, I do not know as it is a relatively inexpensive essential oil.

For all these years, I was not that fond of Vetivert essential oil although I really loved the Vetiver fans and fragrant baskets that were made with the roots. I tried to like the scent but was not successful using it in perfumes or blends. It took my friend, Marianne Griffeth, of Prima Fleur Botanicals, to teach me to love it via her ability to make successful and fragrant blends using Vetivert. Her blends were always warm and delicious smelling ~ she talked about it so much that I began to try to use Vetivert oil. I have been getting better and better and am now truly loving the scent. I like to use the less intense oils that I have obtained from Eden Botanicals but also love the deep, dark Vetivert I get from Prima Fleur Botanicals.

Recently, I took 1 tablespoon of plain unscented cleansing cream and added 1-drop of Vetivert oil and massaged on my clean face and then let it sit for a few hours before I washed it off with warm water. This was a very pleasant experience and my face looked dewy soft.


Blends Best with: Cassie, Cedarwood, Cinnamon, Clary Sage, Clove, Chocolate Absolute, Coffee Bean, Frankincense, Galbanum, Geranium, Grapefruit, Jasmine, Lavender, Oakmoss, Patchouli, Rose, Sandalwood, Tobacco Absolute, Violet Leaf, Ylang Ylang and citrus and other rich long-lived scents.


            Blending with formula ~ When making perfumes, always mix your oils together and then shake them via succussion [Succussion – to fling up from below] to make a synergy.  Let them age.  Add more oil if needed.  Age. Then add the carrier. Alcohol is not usually added to a Chypre type scent.

These are made with a top note, heart or body note and base or fixative note plus bridges if needed.


Chypre #3 ~ Vetivert
Top Note – 8 drops Clary Sage flower
Heart Note – 3 drops Cypress berry + 3 drops Grapefruit peel + 2 drops Petitgrain leaf
+ 2 drops Petitgrain leaf
Base Note – 4 drops Vetivert root + 2 drops Oakmoss
Fixative Note – 1 drop Labdanum resin

Mix these essential oils together, let them age for a few weeks. Smell, adjust ingredients if necessary. Dilute with oil, or alcohol and age again before using.


Gayathri India Perfume – 8-15-12
Bergamot peel – 40 (dark green)
Vanilla abs – 20
Balsam of Tolu – 10 (pre-dilute 50•50 with grape spirits)
Vetivert roots – 5

Mix – wait – add Cane or Grape spirits – wait – filter if necessary – wait – Use.


Dark Chocolate Truffle Perfume
Mix in any combination, start with 5 drops of each, smell, analyze
and add more or less of whatever you like.
Cocoa (Chocolate) Abs
Tobacco Abs
Vetivert EO
Vanilla Abs


Basket made of Vetiver roots


HERBAL USES: Varieties of this plant are grown throughout the tropics and used to thatch roofs or as a terracing plant. The roots of this grass acquire a soft almost sandalwood like odor when dried.  If these plants are kept moist and laid about the house, they help to keep bugs and moths out. And these dried roots are one of the best fixatives for dry potpourri as they blend well with Rose scent. Theses roots can be used in bath herbs, powdered for sachet or drunk as a tonic or stimulant tea. — Herbs & Things, Jeanne Rose’s Herbal, p. 112.

            Sometimes the roots are cleaned and used for brushes, for window screens (when wetted, will cool the house as the wind blows through), fans, mats and baskets and the chemical constituents of zizanol and epizizanol are insect repellents.


HYDROSOL: To date I have not had the opportunity to try a Vetiver 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 Uses: Historically used in perfumery while the herb is woven or used in mats to fragrance the air.

 Interesting Information: One type is called Khus-Khus.  The roots are used to make fragrant fans and screens, which give off a refreshing, clean scent when dampened.  “The roots are interwoven with flower matting, window coverings, etc. giving rooms a fragrance and deterring insects.  The oil is used in chypre (green, earthy) and oriental type perfumes, and soaps, toiletries, etc.  Growing the plant protects against soil erosion” essential aromatherapy, p. 170.

Key Use: Depression and the immune system. Oil of Tranquility.

 Contraindications: There do not seem to be any contraindications for the use of Vetiver plant in its use as blinds nor for the essential oil in perfumery or aromatherapy.

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.
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
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©





Herbal Rejuvenating Parchment Skin Bath

Mix together equal parts of Patchouli leaves (upon which you have sprayed a bit of Patchouli oil), Vetivert roots, Linden flowers, and Comfrey leaf. Mix this all together. For a great bath, use at least 4 volume of the mixture. Add to a quart of water, and simmer gently for 10 minutes, then pour the liquid into your bath and the herbal matter into a gauze bag. Tie off the bag and throw into the tub. The Patchouli is rejuvenating for the senses, the Vetiver is a tonic stimulant and beneficial to healthy skin tone, and the Comfrey regenerates aging skin.

This is a great combination for men. —from Jeanne Rose Herbal Body Book, p. 301.



Orange Chypre Potpourri (dried herbs).

Chypre (sheepre) scents were invented in France and used in the 16th and 17th Century and were made up of various herbal powders and resins.  See Red Chypre as an example of that time.  And they are non-alcoholic perfumes that contain a variety of oils and resins.  The true traditional formula was one composed of Oakmoss, Labdanum, Jasmine, Patchouli and Bergamot with animal notes of civet and musk with Vetivert often added. These are often composed on the contrasts between Bergamot and Oakmoss and will often include Patchouli and citrus odors.  These scents are good on brunettes and for most men except those men who are very fair, pale or blonde. Aromatics Elixir, MaGriffe and Paloma Picasso are examples of Chypre scent for women.

Potpourris and Sachets are usually made of three main ingredients: (not EO) the main plant for its scent and color; the essential scent in EO Perfumes, the blender plant scent and the fixative plant scent, which are usually resins and base notes.

Scent your basic herbs and resins with their own essential oil and age before using them in the final construction.

Remember that Potpourri ingredients are generally left in whole form so that the form of the plants is still identifiable (with fixative ingredients in powder form) while Sachet ingredients are all comminuted and/or powdered form.
8 oz. Orange flowers WH (whole)
4 oz. Spearmint WH
3 oz. Coriander seeds, crushed
2 oz. Calamus CS (cut & sifted)
2 oz. Vetiver roots CS
1 oz. Oakmoss CS
1 oz. Benzoin resin, crushed
Add some cotton balls or tips of Q-tips scented with Bergamot and Vetivert oil.

Mix this all together and age in a covered light-proof container. Occasionally, open the top of the container and let the lovely potpourri scent the room.


Guenther, Ernest. The Essential Oils. Published by Krieger.
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. Herbs & Things. San Francisco, CA. 2009
Rose, Jeanne. Natural Botanical Perfumery Workbook.  Available at
Rose, Jeanne. The Herbal Body Book. Frog, Ltd. Berkeley, CA. 2000
Shaath, Nadima • Healing Civilizations; The Search for Therapeutic Essential Oils & Nutrients • Cameron+Co . 2017
Wikipedia on growth and morphology

Abstracts/Scientific Data:
Evaluation of vetiver oil and seven insect-active essential oils against the Formosan subterranean termite. PubMed • Zhu, B C; Henderson, etc.
Modification of sleep-waking and electroencephalogram induced by vetiver essential oil inhalation
PubMed Central • Cheaha, Dania etc.
Constituents of south Indian vetiver oils. PubMed • Mallavarapu, Gopal Rao; etc.
Evaluation of DEET and eight essential oils for repellency against nymphs of the lone star tick, Amblyomma americanum (Acari: Ixodidae), Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)
Vetiver being harvested in China






~ JR ~


Clary Sage Essential Oil Profile

Native to Europe and cultivated worldwide, Clary Sage has many chemotypes and each has a
separate scent profile depending on what is harvested and the terroir. This profile details the many sides
of Clary Sage and how it is used.

Clary flowers_1101 opt(Clary Sage flowers – Jeanne Rose garden 2014)

Clary Sage Synopsis

By Jeanne Rose

Common Name/Latin Binomial: Clary Sage, Salvia sclarea

Other Common Name/Naming Information: The word salvia comes from the Latin salvus having to do with medicinal properties and health and sclarea from the Latin clarus or clear meaning the leaves and seeds are used medicinally to clear the eye. [It does NOT mean you can use the EO in the eye; it means if there was a bug or something in the eye, the seed was placed in the corner of the eye and exuded a moist gooey substance called a mucilage that would enable the person to remove the seed as well as whatever it was stuck too.]

Family: Lamiaceae (Labiatae)

Countries of Origins: It is native to Europe and cultivated worldwide. in the past was found in Southern France, Italy, and Syria, but today is cultivated worldwide – mostly within European regions, including Central Europe, as well as England, Morocco, Russia, and the United States.

Harvest Location: Clary Sage absolute originates in France and Clary Sage EO is from Bulgaria.

Endangered or Not: Not at this time

General description of Plant habitat and growth: Biennial or perennial plant growing up to three feet high with large hairy leaves that only grow to half the height of the plant.  Coming directly off long, thin stems, the lilac-pink flowers rise above the leaves.

Portion of plant used in distillation, how distilled, extraction methods and yields: Clary Sage must be picked and distilled fresh and with removal of the thick stalk. The flowers and flowering tops are steam distilled. Depending on terroir, climate and weather, the yield is .1-1.0%.

Organoleptic Characteristics:

  • Color                           pale yellow green
  • Clarity                         clear
  • Viscosity                     Non-viscous
  • Intensity of odor        4

Bergamot & Amber =2; Rose Geranium = 4; Tea Tree= 6; Cinnamon = 8; Wintergreen & Cloves = 9

Odor Description/ Aroma Assessment:Clary Sage has many chemotypes and each has a separate scent profile.I use a simple Vocabulary of Odor© to describe to describe the odor of essential oils. It is easy to learn and very helpful in the study of these products of distillation. I also have an Advanced Vocabulary of Odor© that is more complex but gives you a snapshot of the scent. So it always surprises me when someone can’t seem to use descriptive words to describe an odor and resorts to poetical uses. Poetry is beautiful but it is not helpful in describing an odor. The Perfume Album by Jessee describes Clary Sage thusly, “It taxes vocabulary and imagination to describe adequately the precise character of the clary sage fragrance. It has been likened to that of ambergris and labdanum…”. “The odor is considered reminiscent of Ambergris (a type of whale excreta)”. I find this description very unhelpful. It really doesn’t do this herb or EO justice.

However, since there are so many different Clary Sage odors due to the many chemotypes or the different terroirs and how it is grown; or whether it is harvested and distilled for leaves or for flowers alone; the variety of scent descriptions is enormous. My favorite Clary Sage odor is one that comes from plants distilled mainly from the flowers; it is citrus, strongly fruity and lightly floral with a distinctive herbaceous back note that is quite spicy.

Clary Sage Abs-EB copyClary Sage Absolute supplied by Eden Botanicals

General Properties: The herb is calmative, relaxant, and soporific. The EO can be calming, aphrodisiac, tonic, nervine, estrogenic, antidepressant astringent, antispasmodic and even grounding.

Uses of Properties:  When used by application in skin care products, Clary Sage is used in skin care for aging skin, regenerating skin, and for reducing wrinkles.  It stimulates hair growth when mixed with Jojoba oil and applied to the roots.  It may also be useful in certain products for muscular fatigue, cramps, and excessive perspiration.  The EO may also be inhaled for menstrual problems, fertility, PMS, menopausal problems, exhaustion, and for reducing epileptic attacks. Only more science and time will tell if these problems can be successfully treated by Clary Sage EO.

For years I primarily used Clary Sage as an inhalant during hot flashes. I alternated with Pink Grapefruit and White Grapefruit.

Application/ Skincare: Clary Sage is used in skin care for aging skin, regenerating skin, and for reducing wrinkles.  It stimulates hair growth when mixed with Jojoba oil and applied to the roots.  It may be used for excessive perspiration.


A Recipe by Jeanne Rose for the Skin

Make a mixture of the following
• 2 drops Clary Sage
• 2 drops Roman Chamomile or Owyhee
• 1 drop Lantana
• 1 drop Cypress
• 14 drops Almond or Olive oil
Apply directly to the Acne or Pimple after cleansing the skin.


Diffuse/Diffusion: Clary Sage EO can be added to most other EO to make a blends depending on your need and what oils you blend together. Diffusion can be used for hot flashes, nervous fatigue, depression, emotional distress, and a good night’s rest.  It is grounding, relaxing and mildly intoxicating.

Thirty years ago I decided to spend a summer making Clary Sage perfumes. I tried everyone’s recipes and made over a hundred using Clary Sage and Patchouli as the top note and base note with a variety of different odors in between. Up to that time I had not truly appreciated the scent of Clary Sage but grew to love it especially with Labdanum and Vetivert. So I grew it in the garden. Now I notice that the very special pungent odor of Clary Sage EO that I am used too is gone, replaced by a pale shadow of itself. This less intense odor may be preferred by those who make perfume. I suggest to anyone who enjoys Clary Sage EO to make a point of growing several of the chemotypes (sclareol type and other) sometime to really get to know and understand the odor.

Clary Sage Exam of 13 sorts – see how many I studied

Emotional/Energetic Use:  When inhaled Clary Sage is useful to reduce hot flashes, nervous fatigue, depression, emotional distress, PMS, and for a good night’s rest.  It is grounding and also mildly intoxicating. There are internet sites that state Clary Sage is “energetically attuned to the structure of the eye, connecting the physical eyes with the Third eye.  It expands sensory and psychic powers.”

Key Use: Skin care and female problems related to the reproductive system.

Chemical Components: linalool, linalyl acetate up to 72%, caryophyllene, a-terpineol, geraniol, neryl acetate, sclareol in the sclareol chemotype and germacrene D. There are many chemotypes of Clary Sage and they are rarely identified on the bottles. The farmers who grow Clary Sage for the tobacco crop often have the sclareol type while perfumers want the non-sclareol type.

Physiochemical Properties:
Specific Gravity at 15°/15° ……….
0.900 to 0.910
Optical Rotation ……………………… -11°22’ to -32°38’
Refractive Index ……………………… 1.4613 to 1.4700
Solubility        ………………………… Soluble in some cases in 1 vol. of 80% alcohol, opalescent with more. In most cases, however, soluble in 0.5 vol. of 90% alcohol, clear to turbid with more.      

clary-sage-EO_smEssential oil glands of Clary Sage

Comparison of Main Components: Abstract from Flavour and Fragrance Journal. June 1991, Volume 6, Issue 2, Pages fmi–fmi, 109–169. The chemical composition of two essential oil types of Salvia sclarea L. during early and late flowering stages was analyzed. A new chemotype with relatively high citral, geranyl acetate and geraniol content was observed in two small populations growing in northern Israel. Comparison of the new chemotype with a Russian type showed a great difference in composition, scent and organoleptic character between the two oils. The highest amount of mono- and sesquiterpene hydrocarbons was detected in the Israeli type, at the early flowering stage. The relative quantity of most components of hybrid oils was intermediate between those of the parent plants.

Blends Best with: Clary Sage blends well with Bergamot, Wild Orange, Cypress, Geranium, Jasmine, Lavender and Sandalwood essential oil and is a perfect combination with Labdanum or Patchouli.

Blending with formula: Here is a simple calming massage oil.
Top note – 20 drops of Pink Grapefruit
Heart note – 10 drops of Clary Sage
Base Note – 5 drops Patchouli

Succuss the formula. Then add a carrier oil of your choice up to ½-1 oz. Succuss again. Use.

Clary Sage Hydrosolphoto by Jeanne Rose ~ see Hydrosol Booklet

 HYDROSOL: Clary Sage hydrosol is used for oily skin as an astringent. It can be a facial spray to energize, for PMS and for easing drug withdrawal. I also spray it on sweets as a tasty addition.

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: Poucher mentions that Salvia sclarea “is pre-eminent as a fixator for any perfume and when added to a perfume at ½ to 1% will within a month smooth out and get rid of “any chemical smell” of your perfume”.  It is invaluable as a blender and fixative in alcoholic perfumes, and particularly in toilet waters —such as traditional eau-de-cologne.

Interesting Information: It is grown in North Carolina for the flavor and fragrance industry. When it is in bloom it fills the field at harvest time and the odor is very strong.  David Peele of Avoca, Inc. laughs when he mentions how people react to the odor, … “People have a concept of what it should smell like,” he said. “We have to laugh when we see them stop on the road and grab a bunch of the flowers. “Then, about a mile down the road, we’ll see the flowers thrown out on the side.”

“The name Salvia is derived from the Latin word for ‘good health’.  In Germany the herb was used with elderflowers as an additive to cheap wine to make it taste like Muscatel.  Also used to flavor vermouths and liqueurs.  In Britain, it was used as a substitute for hops in beer making.  In Jamaica, the plant was blended with coconut to ease scorpion stings.  The seeds were used in many countries to clear conditions of the eye—hence the name ‘clear-eye’”, Essential Aromatherapy, p.126.

Contraindications: There is no evidence that the sclareol of Clary Sage ‘balances the hormones’ and does not seem to have any negative side effects although there are some sources that recommend it not be used during the first trimester of pregnancy. For some, Clary Sage is mildly intoxicating.

Safety Precautions: Moderation in use is recommended.

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

Ingestion of  Essential Oils: I do not recommend the ingestion or injection of essential oils for any reason.


Arctander, Steffen. Perfume and Flavor Materials of Natural Origin. Arctander. 1960
Coombs, Allen J. Dictionary of Plant Names. Timber Press. 1995
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
Jessee, Jill. Perfume Album. Robert E. Krieger Publ. Co. 1951.
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.
Poucher, W.A. Perfumes and Cosmetics. D. Van Nostrand Company. 1923
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.


Abstract/Scientific Data:

Diversity of essential oil glands of clary sage (Salvia sclarea L., Lamiaceae) By C. Schmiderer1, P. Grassi1, J. Novak1, M. Weber2 and C. Franz1

Article first published online: 28 JUN 2008DOI: 10.1111/j.1438-8677.2008.00053.x© 2008 German Botanical Society and The Royal Botanical Society of the Netherlands Plant Biology Volume pages 433–440, July 2008.

The Lamiaceae is rich in aromatic plant species. Most of these species produce and store essential oils in specialized epidermal oil glands, which are responsible for their specific flavor. Two types of glands producing essential oil and possessing different morphological structure can be found in Salvia sclarea: peltate and capitate glands. The content of single oil glands from different positions on the plant (corolla, calyx and leaf) were sampled using an SPME fiber and analyzed by gas chromatography in order to study variability of the essential oil composition. It was found that the composition of terpenoids is quite variable within an individual plant. Capitate oil glands mainly produce three essential oil compounds: the monoterpenes linalool and linalyl acetate, and the diterpene sclareol. Peltate oil glands, however, accumulate noticeable concentrations of sesquiterpenes and an unknown compound (m/z = 354). Furthermore, the oil composition varies within each gland type according to the plant organ. Linalool and linalyl acetate are characteristic substances of flowers, whereas the sesquiterpenes occur in higher proportions in leaves. Even within one gland type on a single leaf, the chemical variability is exceedingly high.


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©






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


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




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