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Roses ~ Grown for Scent

Synopsis: People often do not know which Rose species are used for scent by distillation or by solvent extraction ~ here is a short discussion of the Roses used.

Roses ~ Grown for Scent – Part I of 2

Compiled by Jeanne Rose ~ April 2017

I am often asked about Roses. Why doesn’t that Rose that I grow have any odor? Or why isn’t the correct odor or the odor I smell when I purchase the absolute or the distilled oil in the Rose flower? What Rose can I grow to make scent or to distill? Where can I get Roses for scent?   And 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 still 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; a long article in my Herbal Studies Course; and so, there is no sense in repeating that information here. We are discussing only heirloom or species Roses that are used for scent.

In order to get a quality essential oil and hydrosol, you must first start with the correct plant, the correct cultivar type of plant and then plant it in the best location in the correct soil, then distil it, analyze the essential oil and if the numbers (GC/MS) are correct for that particular plant, then you can plant this as a crop and be pretty much assured that the essential oil and hydrosol will be a quality product. Each species of plant will have different needs and requirements.
You will also need a three-year plan before you try to market your product.

  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.
    6. Harvest the correct part.
    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.

Here are the species and at the end the likely sources for them.
* #1 Rosa alba (Rosa damascena alba) – White Rose
* #2 Bourbon Rose, R. x bourboniana (Edouard Rose)
* #3 Rosa centifolia – Cabbage Provence rose or Rose de Mai (
confused with #5)
#4 Rosa chinensis viridis or viridiflora Green Rose
(only mentioned because it is interesting)
* #5 Rosa damascena (Rosa damascena forma trigintipetala or Kazanlik Rose
* #6 Rosa gallica officinalis – Apothecary Rose, French Rose or  Rose of Provins (distilled for Rosewater)
#7 Rosa moschata – The English Musk Rose (not often distilled)
#8 Rosa polyantha Mlle. Cecile Bruner (peppery smelling hydrosol)I
#9 Rosa rubiginosa or R. eglanteria
(hip used for Rosehip seed oil

*Those starred are the only Roses that are used commercially for their scent and the ones you should try to obtain.

 

 

#1 Rosa alba (Rosa damascena alba) – White Rose, ‘Alba Semi-Plena’ Rose, PICTURE SOURCE Les Roses, Volume I (1817), by Redouté
ORIGINAL BOTANICAL NAME Rosa alba flore pleno, ORIGINAL FRENCH NAME Rosier blanc ordinaire,
CURRENT BOTANICAL NAME R. alba var. semi-plena, COMMON NAME Alba Semi-Plena,
OTHER NAMES Double White Rose, White Rose of York, CLASS Alba Rose,
ORIGIN Unknown; ancient cultivator, possibly introduced to Britain by the Romans.
FLOWERING Once-flowering; summer,
SCENT Strong, sweet fragrance,
GROWTH Tall shrub, 8-12 feet (2.4-3.6 meters),
AVAILABILITY Still in cultivation
DISTILLATION: Available only rarely, sometimes available in the hydrosol. The scent is strong and sweet and a lovely addition to the perfumery.

 

#2 Bourbon Rose, R. x borboniana, PICTURE SOURCE Les Roses, Volume III (1824) by Redouté
ORIGINAL BOTANICAL NAME
Rosa canina Burboniana, ORIGINAL FRENCH NAME Rosier de L’Ile de Bourbon
CURRENT BOTANICAL NAME R .x borboniana, COMMON NAME Bourbon Rose;
OTHER NAMES Rose Jacques. ‘Rosier de l’Île Bourbon’ is from hips received from the Île Bourbon (= Réunion). The hips were almost certainly originating from ‘Rose Edouard’ which was cultivated there and in Mauritius. The rose cultivated in India as R. borboniana is actually ‘Rose Edouard’.
CLASS Bourbon
ORIGIN Raised, 1821 in the gardens of Neuilly, France, by Monsieur Jacques from seed imported from the Íle de Bourbon (now called Reunion)
FLOWERING Blooms in flushes throughout the season
SCENT Sweetly fragrant
GROWTH Vigorous bushy shrub to a height of several feet (1 meter)
AVAILABILITY Still in cultivation, At upper left is illustration of the Bourbon Rose, R. x borboniana, painted by Pierre-Joseph Redouté, portrait 169 out of 170, Volume III of Les Roses.
EVALUATION: The essential oil content of the varieties of R. damascena varied from 0.037% to 0.051% and that of R. bourboniana was 0.017%. Super jwala recorded the highest oil content (0.051%). A total of 32 components were identified in the different varieties of rose oil. These components constituted 78.1–93.5% of the total rose oil species. The main components of rose oil were citronellol + nerol (16.3–30.1%), geraniol (15.8–29.3%), linalool (0.7–1.9%), rose oxide (0.9–2.6%), phenyl ethyl alcohol (0.1–0.4%), eugenol (0.3–2.2%), nonadecane (7.3–14.7%). The content of citronellol + nerol (30.1%) and geraniol (29.3%) was the highest in Himroz compared with other varieties.

 

#3 Rosa centifolia – Cabbage Provence Rose or Rose de Mai, Cabbage Rose, R. centifolia, PICTURE SOURCE Les Roses, Volume I (1817). The dark green shrub is vigorous and not as open as in some varieties of Damask.
ORIGINAL BOTANICAL NAME Rosa centifolia, ORIGINAL FRENCH NAME Rosier à cent feuilles
CURRENT BOTANICAL NAME R. centifolia, COMMON NAME Cabbage Rose
OTHER NAMES Provence Rose, Holland Rose, Hundred-Petalled Rose, Rose des Peintres
CLASS Centifolia
ORIGIN 16-19th century; Dutch breeders
FLOWERING Once-flowering; summer
SCENT Strong, sweet fragrance
GROWTH Tall shrub, 6-7 feet (1.8-2.1 meters) high
AVAILABILITY Still in cultivation,  At upper left is a picture of the original Cabbage Rose, R. centifolia, painted by Pierre-Joseph Redouté, portrait 002 out of 170, Volume I of Les Roses.

This rose is still alive and well today and can be obtained from specialist rose nurseries. It is a sturdy shrub with a tall, spreading, sometimes sprawling habit covered in large, soft, green leaves and in the summer, pink, very double, cupped flowers.
Redouté and his botanist friend, Thory, describe it as being a shrub some 6-7 feet high ‘studded with a multitude of straight, unequal thorns’. Its flower they describe as ‘rounded in shape and composed of numerous rose-tinted petals, becoming more deeply tinted as they approach the flower’s center’. And the leaves as being arranged in groups of ‘five leaflets, rarely seven’, dark green in color and ‘deeply and almost doubly dentate [serrated]’. They suggest that it is essential to prune the shrub well in February [in their French climate] to keep it ‘very small’ so that it ‘beautifully flowers in the greatest abundance’ that will be achieved later in the growing season. This is a very sweetly perfumed rose, its attar used by the perfume industry.

 

 

#4 Rosa chinensis viridis or viridiflora. The Green Rose.  A species rose from China; the date of discovery is unknown but prior to 1896. It is a green rose and is not distilled but is certainly interesting to have around. I love this Rose and have grown it wherever I can, it is strange and funny looking and wonderful.  It cannot be distilled for essential oil, but if you have enough it can be distilled for a peppery rose hydrosol. This is a good face and body spray.
NAME: Rosa chinensis f. viridiflora (Lavallée) C. K. Schneid. (1905)
COLOR: White, near white or white blend or green
CLASS: China / Bengal, Hybrid China.
ORIGIN: Discovered by John Smith (United States, circa 1827). Introduced in France by Guillot/Roseraies Pierre Guillot in 1855 as ‘Rosa viridiflora’. Nigel Pratt of Tasman Bay Roses says this rose has small, many-petalled flowers of an unusual shape, in shades of dull green and reddish brown. Sangerhausen lists Viridiflora as a Hybrid China and the date as 1856.
FLOWERING: Green.   Average diameter 2″.  Borne mostly solitary, cluster-flowered, in large clusters, rosette bloom form.  Blooms in flushes throughout the season.
SCENT: None / no fragrance or greenish scent.
GROWTH: Medium, upright.  The height of 23″ to 4′ (60 to 120 cm).  Width of 2′ to 3′ (60 to 90 cm). USDA zone 7b through 10b.  Can be used for cut flower, exhibition or garden.  Shade tolerant.  Diploid – has 14 chromosomes.

 

#5 Rosa damascena (Rosa damascena forma trigintipetala or Kazanlik Rose, the original Rose for attar of Rose. • Kazanlik (Bulgarian Rose). Grown extensively in Bulgaria and Turkey; this Rose can be confused with the R. centifolia as they look very much alike but originated from different areas and it may also be the centifolia Rose but just from another area. It is distilled and solvent extracted for Rose scent. The valley is famous for its rose-growing industry which have been cultivated there for centuries, and which produces 85% of the world’s rose oil. The center of the rose oil industry is Kazanlik, while other towns of importance include Karlovo, Sopot, Kalofer and Pavel banya. Each year, festivals are held celebrating roses and rose oil. The picking season lasts from May to June.
Also called ROSA CENTIFOLIA TRIGINTIPETALA is the Kazanlik, known Prior to 1850 and Perhaps the most sought after of Damask roses, ‘Kazanlik’ or ‘Trigintipetala’ is grown in quantity in Bulgaria, a country which still exports a great deal of the world’s rose attar. The flowers are deep pink, with thirty petals arranged in a somewhat shaggy halo around golden stamens.
NAME: R. gallica var. damascena f. trigintipetala Synonym, Trendaphil;
AVERAGE RATING: EXCELLENT-.  Deep pink Damask., COLOR: Pink, white undertones, ages to lighter.
ORIGIN: Registration name: Kazanlik. Bred by Unknown origin (before 1612). Damasks are related to Gallicas. Summer damasks are crosses between R. gallica and R. phoenicea and autumn damasks between R. gallica and R. moschata. Recent research in Japan indicates that both summer and autumn damask roses originated with (R. moschata X R. gallica) X R. fedtschenkoana. Gene, Vol. 259, Issues 1-2, 23 December 2000, Pages 53-59. Introduced in Germany by Dr. Georg Dieck in 1889 as ‘Rosa damascena var. trigintipetala’ Damask.
FLOWERING: 30 petals.  Average diameter 2″.  Medium, double (17-25 petals), in small clusters bloom form.  Occasional repeat later in the season.  Small, glandular sepals, leafy sepals, buds.  Armed with thorns/prickles, bushy, well-branched.  Light green foliage.  7 leaflets.
SCENT:
Strong, eponymous centifolia fragrance.
GROWTH:  Height of 5′ to 8′ (150 to 245 cm).  Width of 4′ to 6′ (120 to 185 cm). USDA zone 4b through 9b.  Vigorous.  Prune lightly directly after flowering is finished.  This rose blooms on old wood so be careful how you prune.  Bulgaria (Kazanlik region), Turkey (Sparta region).
VARIES
INFORMATION:  – see references, ‘Kazanlik’ seems to be the same Damask-type which is also cultivated in Isparta/Turkey and Isfahan/Iran. Perhaps the most mysterious of the old rose groups; attempts have been made to track down the probable parentage of the Damasks (see above), but the suggestions seem implausible. The name refers to Damascus in the Middle East, where it was once believed these roses originated. We do know that they have been used for centuries in the production of attar or oil of roses; their fragrance is strong, and today it is the scent most often associated with roses. For potpourri, few roses are more valued than the Damasks aka Damask Rose.

 

#6 Rosa gallica officinalis – Apothecary Rose, French Rose or Rose of Provins
PICTURE SOURCE Les Roses, Volume I (1817)
ORIGINAL BOTANICAL NAME Rosa Gallica officinalis, ORIGINAL FRENCH NAME Rosier de Provins ordinaire
CURRENT BOTANICAL NAME R. gallica var. officinalis, COMMON NAME Apothecary’s Rose
OTHER NAMES Common Provins Rose, Red Rose of Lancaster, Old Red Damask, Medicine Rose.
CLASS Gallica
ORIGIN Sport from R. gallica, ancient origins
FLOWERING Once-flowering; spring/summer
SCENT Strong fragrance
GROWTH Shrub 3 feet (0.9 meters)
AVAILABILITY Still in cultivation
MORE INFO: Large, semi-double 3-4″ blooms (petals 12-18) of light red, opening to show a golden center, produced profusely on a nicely formed once blooming plant with grey-green foliage. Fragrant and shade tolerant. One of the antiquities of the Rose world. Used for medicinal purposes in Medieval times.
PERSONAL INFORMATION: This is one of my most favorite Roses. It produces lots of flowers even in poor growing conditions, it distils well for a lovely hydrosol and the petals have many uses in medicine; tea as a mild laxative, petals in jam, hips later in jam or syrups, petals infused in oil for creams and lotions and many other uses. This ancient rose is recorded as being in cultivation in the 800’s. (It was used as a medicine and perfume in the court of Charlemagne in the ninth century A.D.). Its petals were noted to retain their fragrance even when dried and powdered and for this reason, it remains the rose of choice for potpourris. It was also cultivated for its medicinal values. It is also commonly known as the “Apothecary’s Rose” and, more rarely, referred to as the “Old Red Damask” and “Rose of Provins”. They are heavy bloomers and most are very fragrant. Their compact size makes them suited for small gardens. Although Gallicas perform best in zones 4 to 8 where they go dormant naturally, they may also flower very well in zone 9 to 10 if you induce dormancy. Don’t fertilize them after the 1st of August. Remove all leaves left on the plant in December and for this effort, you will be rewarded with an abundance of beautiful blooms that your friends will enjoy each spring.

 

#7 Rosa moschata – The English Musk Rose is ancient and will grow 10-15 feet. It blooms once per year and the scent is heavenly pungent and fresh. The blooms can be picked for baths and to distill for hydrosol.
ORIGIN: Rosa moschata (musk rose) is a species of rose long in cultivation. Its wild origins are uncertain but are suspected to lie in the western Himalayas.
FORM…R. moschata is a shrub (to 3 m.) with single white 5 cm flowers in a loose cyme or corymb, blooming on new growth from late spring until late autumn in warm climates, or from late summer onwards in cool-summer climates. The flowers have a characteristic “musky” scent, emanating from the stamens, which is also found in some of its descendants. The prickles/thorns on the stems are straight or slightly curved and have a broad base. The light- or greyish-green leaves have 5 to 7 ovate leaflets with small teeth; the veins are sometimes pubescent and the rachis possesses prickles. The stipules are narrow with spreading, free tips. Small, ovate fruits called hips are borne, turning orange-red in autumn. The variety ‘Plena’ bears semi-double flowers, and a form with study name “Temple Musk”, found in the United States, bears more fully double flowers.
CONFUSION: This species has historically been confused with Rosa brunonii, a closely related, tall-climbing species from the Himalayas that bears flowers in late spring and which possesses a similar, musky scent. They can be distinguished in gardens by their season of flowering and by their differing growth habits.
CULTIVATION: It has been contended that no truly wild examples of the musk rose have been found, though it is recorded in cultivation as least as far back as the 16th century. It is important in cultivation as a parent to several groups of cultivated roses, notably the damask rose and the Noisette group, and is valued for its scent and for its unusually long season of bloom among rose species.
PERSONAL USE: I was able to grow this lovely Rose when I first moved to my house in San Francisco, before the neighbors planted a Redwood one one side and on the other side Eucalypts.  My Musk Rose entranced the neighborhood with its scent in the spring but the growing shade of the neighbor trees and the new foundation on my house which stopped good drainage of the soil slowly diminished my Rose until she was no more.

 

#8 Rosa polyantha Mlle. ‘Mlle. Cécile Brünner’
CECILE BRUNER, MADEMOISELLE CECILE BRUNER, FROM 1880; IT IS A POLYANTHA.
GROWTH: It has delicate, small, soft pink, sweetheart buds and blooms.    30 petals on a 2.5-inch flower and a sweet spicy fragrance. Almost thornless, shade tolerant and a cold climate rose bush.  Disease-free light green foliage. Height   2′-4′ with a mild peppery fragrance.
GARDEN: The sweetheart rose is a real sweetheart in the garden. While designated for the bush form, this nickname can easily be applied as well to its ‘Mlle. Cecile Brunner, climbing’ form. Pick the flowers for baths and to distil for a peppery hydrosol.
PRUNING: THIS well-known rose is an aggressive climber, but heavy pruning is considered a necessity. However, I have found that in San Francisco, if you prune too much you won’t get many flowers the next year as they bloom, on old wood. If you’d like these demure blooms on a more manageable shrub, Mademoiselle Cécile Brunner, bush form, the climber’s parent, reaches 4-5 ft.

 

#9 Rosa rubiginosa or R. eglanteria
NAMING:
Rosa rubiginosa (Sweet briar or Eglantine Rose; syn. R. eglanteria) is a species of rose native to Europe and western Asia. The name ‘eglantine’ derives from Latin aculeatus (thorny), by way of old French aiglant. ‘Sweet’ refers to the apple fragrance of the foliage, while ‘briar’ (also sometimes ‘brier’) is an old Anglo-Saxon word for any thorny shrub.
GROWTH:  It is a dense deciduous shrub 2–3 m high and across, with the stems bearing numerous hooked prickles/thorns. The foliage has a strong apple-like fragrance. The leaves are pinnate, 5–9 cm long, with 5-9 rounded to oval leaflets with a serrated margin, and numerous glandular hairs. The flowers are 1.8–3 cm diameter, the five petals being pink with a white base, and the numerous stamens yellow; the flowers are produced in clusters of 2-7 together, from late spring to mid-summer. The fruit is a globose to oblong red hip 1–2 cm diameter.
CULTIVATION AND USES: In addition to its pink flowers, it is valued for the scent of the leaves, and the hips that form after the flowers and persist well into the winter. Graham Thomas recommends that it should be planted on the south or west side of the garden so that the fragrance of wild apples will be brought into the garden on warm, moist winds.
In Tunisia, natural flower water is produced from its flowers. In Chile and Argentina, where it is known as “Rosa Mosqueta”, it can be found in the wild around the Andes range and is also cultivated to produce hips for marmalades and cosmetic products.

 

Roses discussed above.
#1 Rosa alba (Rosa damascena alba) – White Rose
#2 Bourbon Rose, R. x borboniana
#3 Rosa centifolia – Cabbage Provence rose or Rose de Mai

#4 Rosa chinensis viridis or viridiflora
#5 Rosa damascena (Rosa damascena forma trigintipetala or Kazanlik Rose)
#6 Rosa gallica officinalis – Apothecary Rose, French Rose or Rose of Provins
#7 Rosa moschata – The English Musk Rose
#8 Rosa polyantha Mlle. Cecile Bruner
#9 Rosa rubiginosa or R. eglanteria

 

Sources: I am giving you these sources from the USA and must admit that I have had a difficult time to contact any of them. I have e-mailed with no response, called with no callback. So, I wish you the best of luck and hope if you do get any of the old heritage Roses from any of these companies, you will let me know. Also, there are very good sources in Canada, Australia and New Zealand, so investigate those areas as well.  ~

Please let me know of any success story.  aromaticplant@yahoo.com

B&B Nursery & Propagators, 2578 County Road I, Willows, CA 95988, ph./fax 530-934-2676, (951) 926-1134; http://www.bandbnursery.com

Cydney Wade, Rose Petals Nursery, 16918 SW 15th Ave., Newberry, Florida 32669, US, License# 48009500,
Phone number: 352-215-6399, roses@rosepetalsnursery.com

Flowering Shrub Farm in 40 Voorheesville Ave, Voorheesville, NY 12186.azaleahs@capital.net, www.floweringshrubfarm.com/roses.htm … I heard good things about this company but have not been able to contact. Phone: 518-526-9978 try this number.

 http://www.heirloomroses.com/ (be careful as the names are confusing), only order the original antique rose not a namesake. 24062 Riverside Drive Northeast, St. Paul, OR 97137, (800) 820-0465

https://www.antiqueroseemporium.com/  This is one of the best sources for some of the authentic heirloom Roses for the distillation of scent. Antique Rose Emporium, PH. 800-441-0002, 979-836-9051 Customer Service, 979-836-0928.  9300 Lueckemeyer Rd., Brenham, TX 77833

Rogue Valley Roses, PO Box 116, Phoenix OR 97535, info@roguevalleyroses.com, Phone (541) 535-1307. Seems to carry several kinds of ‘Kazanlik’ roses and the Autumn Damask and others. [or is the address 2368 Terri Dr., Medford, OR 97504?], Phone: (541) 535-1307

Roses of Yesterday and Today, 802 Browns Valley Road, Watsonville, CA 95076, (831) 728-1901, http://www.rosesofyesterday.com/contact.html

 Vintage Gardens, 4130 Gravenstein Hwy. North 
Sebastopol, CA 95472 (the gardens and Roses are still here but apparently being overgrown with blackberry and abandoned but aided by the Friends of Vintage Roses). (707) 829-2035, curator@thefriendsofvintageroses.org

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.
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

 References:
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:
Herbal Studies Course/ Jeanne Rose & Berkeley, California: North Atlantic Books, 1992
Wikipedia has many resources for this information. See taxonomy, botany, and the individual Roses.

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©
 muskal
Hand carved container for Rose Oil
.

 

 

 

~ JR ~

ROSEMARY. Chemotypes and Hydrosol

Synopsis: There is much to know about Rosemary, an ancient herb in use for thousands of years;
antiaging and protective of memory; Jeanne Rose explains it all.

 

Rosemary Essential Oil and Hydrosol Profile

By Jeanne Rose ~ March 2017

10 Rosemary ~ depending on Origin and Chemotype

Common Name/Latin Binomial: Rosmarinus officinalis, commonly called Rosemary.
Family: Labiatae (Lamiaceae)

Other Common Name/Naming Information: The mint family Lamiaceae includes many other herbs. The name “rosemary” derives from the Latin for “dew” (ros) and “sea” (marinus), or “dew of the sea” The plant is also sometimes called anthos, from an ancient Greek word meaning “flower”.

Countries of Origins: This is a Mediterranean plant, a cultivated ornamental and an herb traded from southern to northern Europe since the 13th century. It now grows easily in many countries and the herb/EO is traded from Tunisia, Morocco and northwards.

Eden Botanicals Harvest Location: Morocco, Italy and Spain.
http://www.edenbotanicals.com/

Endangered or Not: Not threatened. This is an introduced plant to the United States and grows well in many areas.

General description of Plant habitat and growth: Rosemary is an aromatic evergreen shrub with leaves similar to hemlock needles. It thrives in limey soil. It is drought tolerant surviving a severe lack of water for lengthy periods. Forms range from upright to trailing; the upright forms can reach 1.5 m (5 ft.) tall, rarely 2 m (6 ft. 7 in). The leaves are evergreen, 2–4 cm (0.8–1.6 in) long and 2–5 mm broad, green above, and white below, with dense, short, woolly hair. The plant flowers in spring and summer in temperate climates, but the plants can be in constant bloom in warm climates; flowers are white, pink, purple or deep blue. Rosemary also has a tendency to flower outside its normal flowering season; it has been known to flower as late as early December, and as early as mid-February. Rosemary has a fibrous root system. There are various varieties and forms of Rosemary and the oil of various geographic origin possess various physiochemical properties (chemistry), scent and taste. Terroir is important in growing Rosemary and variations are caused by soil, climate, altitude, sunlight exposure and the season of harvesting.

Portion of plant used in distillation, how distilled, extraction methods and yields:  The leaves, tops and flowers are steam distilled and CO2 extracted.
Yield: The yield can vary from .4 to .7% but is usually in the range of 1.0-2.0%.

Distillation: Rosemary, Lemon Balm, Lemon Verbena, various Artemisia are plants that live in poor soils and are “stressed” by sun or poor soil and then produce more oil, as the oils are generated by the plants for its protection and to attract pollinators. The quality of the distillation process depends on several factors.  If the plant is processed fresh, right after cutting, you will get the best hydrosol and good essential oil. If you allow the plant to dry, (clover-dry), say overnight in the field, you will get less and very poor hydrosol but since you can put more plant matter in the still you will get more oil in quantity.

Copper is important is important in the still as it removes the yeast and sulfur from the plants during the distillation process via the copper ions.

Organoleptic Characteristics:

#1 – #4 courtesy of Eden Botanicals.


Odor Description/ Aroma Assessment: 
These are all slightly different and good ones to purchase as small samples, so that you can choose your favorite. Remember to “waft don’t draft” the scent, that is, wave the bottle back and forth under your nose taking in small scents from the left side and then from the right (waft) rather than sticking the bottle under your nose and inhaling deeply (draft).
1.
Rosemary CT camphor is the strongest odor of the 7 and has a typical camphoraceous (mild mothball odor) with herbal and green notes.
2. The odor of Rosemary Cineol wild is true to the plant, refreshing herbal, fruity and green.
3. For me, the Rosemary cineol organic is one that I do not prefer. It is herbal and fresh and green but has a barnyard back note that is disconcerting.
4. Rosemary cineol from Italy is a bit more intense than the others but such a perfect odor, herbal fruity and green and just the one you might pick for your favorite herbal perfumes.
5. Rosemary pinene organic is just what you might think it is with a green-like conifer needle odor, herbaceous and somewhat fruity.  Excellent to use as one of your inhalants when you have a cold or flu.
6. Rosemary verbenone from the USA is herbal and very fruity while the one from Corsica is less fruity. Both are good to use in a skin care regime as the verbenone is appealing as a skin-care addition.
7.  Rosemary CO2 has the true herbal scent of the Rosemary that is grown in the fog — herbal, spicy and fruity, mild and delicious. It is used as an antioxidant as it contains 9-14% carnosic acid.

Learn to Smell and Detect Odor: Limbic system is the seat of memory and learning. Smell from left nostril and then to right nostril. The right nostril (right brain-creative) is important in detecting and evaluating the intensity of odor, and this hints at a broad olfactory asymmetry and the left nostril (left brain or logical) is for smelling location or place.

First Smell and 2nd Smell. Lurking in the olfactory epithelium, among the mucus-exuding cells, are cells that are part of the system that innervates the face (trigeminal nerve).  It is suspected that pungent and putrid molecules penetrate them, interact with their proteins, and stimulate them to fire.  Thus, there are two types of olfaction: first smell, the ordinary type for specific odors, and second smell for nonspecific pungency and putridity.”

There is also left brain and right brain smell-ability. Left brain smells location (maybe via logical use of EMG waves) while right brain smells intensity. The closer you get – the more intense the odor.

 

General Properties: Antiaging, Antioxidant, Antiseptic, slightly Astringent and Stimulating.

            Properties and Uses: Aside from boosting prospective memory by inhalation or application, Rosemary EO had a number of health benefits. For instance, it is used massage and in bathing as it has antiseptic, antioxidant and astringent properties. Similarly, the essential oil used in massage oil could also ease muscle and rheumatism pain and improve poor circulation It can also help skin that is dry and mature to produce more natural oils of its own when used in skin care. Likewise, in shampoo the herb and EO can help people who are losing hair and have problems with dandruff to grow more hair and have less dandruff.    For those who experience lung congestion or sore throat, they could either add Rosemary to a vapor balm or inhale it in the treatment called sequential inhalation for relief of this. Inhaled it could also aid in digestion and improve appetite.

Application/ Skincare (formula at end) Rosemary can also help in getting rid of canker sores. And historically, Rosemary has been used to stimulate hair growth. There is one well-known study of 84 people with alopecia areata (a disease in which hair falls out, generally in patches), who massaged their scalps with a combination of Atlas Cedar (Cedrus atlantica) Lavender (high elevation), Rosemary (unknown chemotype) and Thyme every day for 7 months experienced significant hair regrowth compared to those who massaged their scalps without the essential oils. But the study was not well designed, and it is impossible to say whether Rosemary caused the hair growth or it was the combination of oils.

 

Diffuse/Diffusion: new research suggests that by inhalation it may potentially improve learning and memory in the wake of age-related decline. A study from 2012 suggested that rosemary oil may boost brain performance.

 

Emotional/Energetic Use: This essential oil can also boost a person’s energy and stimulate his nervous system. Worwood says that Rosemary “strengthens and restores character and is used for energy, to uplift, to instill confidence, clarity and structure, to become more aware. It counteracts learning and memory difficulties, nervous exhaustion and the overworked and overburdened brain”. Cunningham says use Rosemary “in an Energy, Exorcism or Healing Bath”. Jeanne Rose says “use it in baths and shampoos as it is anti-aging and will keep your skin healthy and your hair bright”.

Key Use: Oil of Stimulation and Anti-Aging and the Herb of Remembrance

 

Chemical Components: Major components of this essential oil are 1,8-cineole (a.k.a. eucalyptol), 16% α-pinene, and 12% borneol.
There are differences in the essential oil of Rosemary found during various parts of its cycle; the chemistry changes depending upon if it was tested prior to flowering, during flowering or at the end of flowering. In 1986 (I am sure more recently) Tucker studied different cultivars (CV) of Rosemary in the U.S. and they were lab distilled. There are many studies of Rosemary and one should be sure they look at when and where and what time of year it was distilled.

Camphor type was highest from Yugoslavia and at full flowering but also from various spots in the United States (time of year not discussed); Cineol type was highest from Tunisia and at full flower; Pinene type was 24-50% after flowering; Verbenone type was highest, 13%, in a Rosemary grown in fog near Monterey, CA.

In 1963, Schwenker and Klöhn compared the chemical composition of essential oils of Rosemary of French and Spanish origins and that of a freshly distilled oil.  The percentage of 1,8-cineole varied from 15.9 -49.2%, a-pinene varied 10.4 to 22.7%, and an unknown ketone (verbenone) from trace to 15.5%.  It was highest in the fresh distilled oil. In 1967, Crabalona isolated and identified methyl jasmonate in a sample of Tunisian oil of Rosemary.

Karawya analyzed a sample of Egyptian rosemary oil, that had a different chemical composition. Granger et al examined the a-pinene and verbenone contents of a number of oils from wild growing Rosmarinus officinalis from France and a single cultivated type of Algerian origin.  They found that a-pinene varied 7.5 to 27% and verbenone from 1-29%.  The cultivated Algerian strain had the highest percentages of both these compounds. A comparison by Granger (1973) of commercial Rosemary oils from Spain, Portugal, Morocco, Tunisia, Italy, Yugoslavia and Greece reveled variations in the major components of the oil.

Spanish oils contain much more camphor.  Oils from Morocco, Tunisia and Italy much more 1,8-cineole.
            Verbenone is a terpene, to be specific a bicyclic ketone terpene. It was first identified in 1967 and specific California Rosemary has been found to have up to 6.3% verbenone (analyzed by Tucker).  It is the primary constituent of the oil of Spanish verbena, hence its name; it is also found in the oil of Rosemary and Frankincense. It is nearly insoluble in water, but miscible with most organic solvents. Verbenone can be readily prepared synthetically by the oxidation of the more common terpene α-pinene. Verbenone can then be converted into chrysanthenone through a photochemical rearrangement reaction:

In ROSEMARY – COMMINUTE the pinene type of Rosemary and it will convert to VERBENONE. Because of its pleasant aroma, verbenone (or essential oils high in verbenone content) are used in perfumery, aromatherapy, herbal teas, spices, and herbal remedies. The L-isomer is used as a cough suppressant under the name of levo-verbenone. Verbenone may also have antimicrobial properties. Verbenone CO2-6 is extracted in Spain and is used in skin care or for great Rosemary Garlic bread. Inhale and apply.

Physiochemical Properties of Rosemary oil changes due to terroir. But specific gravity is normally around 0.9 and is soluble in 1 vol. of 90% alcohol.

Rosmarinus officinalis var. prostratus CT cineole ~ photo by Jeanne Rose

Comparison of Main Components:

Main Biochemical ConstituentsRosmarinus officinalis has several chemotypes and uses:

Borneol type1 -Helps overcome fatigue and infections, and is a heart tonic. Inhale and apply. From France.
Camphor type2 -A vein decongestant, mucolytic, cardiac tonic and diuretic. Inhale and apply. From Croatia or Spain.
Cineol type3 -For lung congestion, cystitis and chronic fatigue. Inhale and apply. From Morocco/US/France.
Limonene type – Limonene has anti- cancer effects. Limonene increases the levels of liver enzymes involved in detoxifying carcinogens. This Rosemary type is both gently stimulating and quietly anti-cancer. Inhale and apply.  From France
Pinene/Cineol- type4 (R. pyramidalis) –Respiratory applications, specific for ear and sinus problems. Inhale and apply. France.
Verbenone type (2 types, one from France5 and one from USA6)—The scent is herbaceous, fruity, and green. Mucolytic, sinus infections, antispasmodic, and helps balance the endocrine and nervous systems. For oily or regenerative skin care, but contains some say, potentially hazardous ketones. Inhale and apply. U.S. type can be taken internally for CFS.

____________________________________

Comminuting pinene type of Rosemary will cause the bioconversion of alpha-pinene to verbenone. [Some plants need to be distilled fresh, some have to be dried, some semi-dried first, some need to be comminuted, that is, cut into smaller pieces, some need to soak for some hours before distillation. Each plant has different distillation parameter requirements.] Comminuting Rosemary CT pinene changes it to Rosemary CT verbenone.

Blends Well With: Basil, Bergamot and other citrus oils, Cedarwood, Cinnamon, Citronella, Elemi, Frankincense, Geranium, Ginger, Grapefruit, Labdanum, Lavandin, Lavender, Lemongrass, Lime, Mandarin, Melissa, Myrtle, Orange, Oregano, Peppermint, Petitgrain, Tangerine, Thyme. “…finds extensive use in perfumery for citrus colognes, Lavender waters, fougères (fern), pine needle fragrances, Oriental perfumes (blends excellently with Olibanum [Frankincense] and spice oils!)…”.—Arctander

 

HYDROSOL:

Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) Hydrosol – the Anti-aging hydrosol.
This should be picked and distilled in full flower or just before full flower. At this time the hydrosol will be sweet while later it will be very camphoraceous.  This hydrosol is stimulating both by external application and internal use.  This is the rejuvenating and ‘holding back old age’ hydrosol. It should be taken a teaspoon at a time in a glass of water as a tonic drink, bathed in, used in shampoo or skin care; in other words, submerse yourself in Rosemary herb tea, Rosemary herb and hydrosol baths, Rosemary essential oil inhalations.  The herbal extract and essential oil (and why not the hydrosol) shows some powerful uses in diminishing the effects of Alzheimer’s. It is stimulating and when distilled averages 5.5 pH ± .1
The average hydrosol yield is 1 lb. of plant material in and 1-2 lbs. (2 cups to 1 quart) of hydrosol out. Sometimes I get 3 lb. of plant material in and up to 3-4-quart hydrosol out. (One gallon of distilled water weighs approximately 8.32 lbs.

The hydrosol is added to the bath — Rosemary can be absorbed into the skin and so when added to the bath adds its unique anti-aging qualities. Use about a cup/bath. If you can also use the Rosemary herbal infusion. Slightly stimulating, very comforting, Rosemary hydrosol is a fine tonic addition.

The hydrosol of Rosemary verbenone can be taken internally as a tonic drink. It is very tasty. 1 tsp. in 8 oz. of water, taken two or three times for day can be used as a gentle treatment for Candida or liver dysfunction. It can also be drunk as stimulating beverage. Add ½ -1 teaspoon to a glass of ginger ale or to sweetened carbonated water. You can also add it to any tea, black or green. Rosemary in all its forms is considered antioxidant and anti-aging.

Rosemary CT. verbenone essential oil has a fine scent, is considered to have multiple uses. Verbenone is the name of a relatively new ketone that has found to be very anti-fungal. It occurs in Frankincense and the two essential oils together are a new potent weapon against fungus. While Frankincense and Rosemary verbenone essential oils with the addition of Tea Tree essential oil can be used as a direct anti-fungal agent against athlete’s foot and other fungus infections, it is only the Rosemary verbenone that can be taken internally against Candida. This oil is also a fine inhalant for Stress Relief especially when blended with Bergamot. The essential oil is gentle enough for skin-care and can be added in a .5% mixture and used in skin-care products. The EO is potent and has multiple uses as does the hydrosol.

Verbenone is a precious part of some Rosemary Essential oils and hydrosols and in order to produce more verbenone, you may pick pinene type Rosemary and comminute (break up) the leaves (needles) and then distill it. “Comminuting the pinene type of Rosemary causes the bioconversion of alpha pinene to verbenone”
You can get a fine quality blue Rosemary from Eatwell Farms, and Rosemary hydrosol from Prima Fleur and Eden Botanicals.

            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.


HERBAL USES: The herb is aromatic and tasty and is used as a condiment in cooking primarily in European dishes and sauces and especially France and Italy. The tea is not only a rich source of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds, but also it can be used to treat indigestion. A study from 2010 recommended adding extract of the herb to beef while cooking to reduce cancer-causing agents that can form during cooking.   Rosemary has been used and written about for several hundreds of years. “The leaves laid under a pillow will do away with bad dreams and evil spirits and smelling the leaves keeps you young or leaves ground to powder and used on the body make you light and merry. An infusion used on the hair prevents baldness and keeps the hair color. The wood is used to make lutes (I have seen a plant that was 8 inches in diameter), and if burned into charcoal and used as a tooth powder keeps the teeth healthy (in 1969 I made tooth powder this way and had no tooth problems until I stopped using it). Drinking the hydrosol does away with any body evil.”

Prima Fleur Essential oils

 

Some Jeanne Rose’s Formulas & Recipes with this EO and Herb:

Rosemary Hair Oil from New Age Creations
Pure essential oil of Rosemary makes an excellent hair conditioner. I made it with 1 oz. of Rosemary oil mixed with ½ oz. oil Basil and ½ oz. Oil of Lavender: A few drops brushed into the hair every day will condition and gloss it. The best way to use it is to put a few drops on your hair brush and brush your hair every morning or every night. Always brush from roots to ends and use a quality hair brush — my favorite is a Mason-Pearson brush. — Jeanne Rose Herbal Body Book

Rosemary Shampoo
Jim Duke mentions that Rosemary shampoo is anti-Alzheimer’s and that Rosemary components are lipophilic can be absorbed through the skin, that it is a CNS STIMULANTS because of the cineol, camphor and borneol.

Rosemary Blend to skin care
Mix together in any amount you like EO of, sweet Orange, Atlas Cedar, Mandarin or Tangerine and Rosemary. In a massage oil this is uplifting and antidepressant and neutralizes odor and in hand lotion it is soothing.

Rosemary Ninon Bath Herbs
This is one of the first herbal baths that I ever made. I found the formula and made it in 1969, wrote it up for my book, Herbs & Things and have used it ever since. It was #1 in my New Age Creations formulary.
“Ninon de Lenclos, properly Anne de Lanclos, was born in 1620 and died eighty-five years later after having lived an exciting and scandalous life as a French courtesan, epicurean, and confidante to such literate men as Molière and Scarron and to the famous libertins of the period. She was forcefully retired to a nunnery, finally released, wrote La Coquette Vengée, retired from love (though she almost committed incest with her grandson at the age of seventy), and in her will left one thousand francs to Voltaire. She was a celebrated beauty. Her body retained its youthful curves; her skin remained moist and smooth for all of her eighty-five years. Her beauty secrets were many and varied but the one she felt to be most important was her daily herbal Bath:” …

1 handful each of dried or fresh Lavender flowers, Rosemary, Mint, crushed Comfrey root, and Thyme.
Pour a quart of boiling water over the mixture, cover, and steep for 22 minutes.
Pour the entire contents into your bathtub and soak for at least 22 minutes.
For a nice variation, add 1 handful of Rosebuds

Rosemary Bath
Relaxing in an EO bath, oh my
It is really better than pie?
Rosemary bubbles in
Cleanses out the sin
And my skin is as sweet as the sky. —JeanneRose ~ January2015

 

Jeanne Rose Tomato Tales ~ Rosemary

Going to the Wine Taste
Years ago probably around 1980, I enjoyed going to wine tastes here in the city. I especially liked old vine Zinfandel. I am a writer of herbs, essential oils and scents and stay home to work and often don’t realize how strong an odor I carry with me after a day in 10,000 odors. And I was also in love with Rosemary anything. Wonderful herbaceous, smelly delicious Rosemary. I took Rosemary herbal baths, Rosemary herbal facial steams, I used my New Age Creations Hair Growth Shampoo-Rosemary and Rosemary Hair Oil and had been for years; I used Rosemary oil in massage oils and in some of the perfumes I made, and I even used Rosemary infusion as a rinse in my laundry. So it was not surprising that my home and me in it smelled like a very pungent combination of Rosemary and other herbs. [And Rosemary motto is “Remember Me”]
There was one day in May when the weather was particularly pleasant and warm and all the city scent was rising and strong. A wine taste was being held in the afternoon on Union Street, a particularly ‘yuppie’ part of town, and I had just shampooed my hair with my Rosemary Herbal Hair Growth Shampoo, and bathed in my Rosemary Milk Bath, had a slight cramp and had rubbed Rosemary oil on my lower abdominal area and was feeling refreshed and well. As I walked into the place, I noticed all the wine bottles and glasses and walked over feeling especially good. Then the murmur started “what is that smell?” and “phew what is that?” and “where is the pizza?”, etc.
Ohmygod ~ I knew it was me. But now I did not know what to do? Should I slink out thereby letting everyone else know it was me or do I join in the discussion and casually say “oh that pizza smells good” and look around for it? Actually I think I remember grabbing a glass of wine, drinking it and walking out but I can say now that I never went back to that particular place for a wine taste.

 

Historical Uses: Rosemary has a long herbal history as a mental stimulant and physical tonic.    Greek scholars placed Rosemary wreaths on their heads to increase their power of concentration before exams. Gerard writes of Rosemary in his “Herbal” (1597): “If a garland thereof be put upon the head, it comforteth the brain, the memory, the inward senses, and comforteth the heart and maketh it merry.” The distilled spirit of Rosemary was used in the legendary “Hungary water”, named for Queen Elizabeth of Hungary (1370). It is said to have transformed her from a paralytic, chronically ill princess into a healthy, vibrant ruler.

Rosemary has also been used in the past to ward off evil, to offer protection from the plague, and as a gift symbolizing long lasting love and enduring friendship.

 

Interesting Information: Rosemary benefits abound — www.JeanneRose.net/courses.html
Rosemary adds flavor to many foods, and now new research suggests that by inhalation it may potentially improve learning and memory in the wake of age-related decline. A study from 2012 suggested that Rosemary oil may boost brain performance. The herbal tea is not only a rich source of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds, but also it can be used to treat indigestion. A study from 2010 recommended adding extract of the herb to beef while cooking to reduce cancer-causing agents that can form during cooking.
It was mentioned in most of the ancient herbals of Greece and Rome.  The Ancient Egyptians are thought to have either grown or imported Rosemary as it has been found in the wrappings of mummies, perhaps a symbolic offering or simply because they knew of its preservative properties. The ancient Greeks attributed a mind stimulating effect to Rosemary, an action which the oil, herb tea and herbal extract are still used for today.
Students used to entwine it in their hair for its reputed brain stimulating effects.  And – today studies in universities have shown that it DOES increase memory!        Rosemary sprigs were used as an insect deterrent in clothes chests.         The Romans used infusions of Rosemary for stimulating the heart and circulation.  Interesting is that they also used it for treating depression.  Additional uses were treating coughs and lung ailments.
Rosemary (fresh and dried) has been widely used in cooking and as food flavorings. Before refrigeration, foods containing Rosemary kept longer due to its acknowledged anti-oxidant and antimicrobial properties.

 

Rosemary Limerick
Rosemary applied is antiaging
Makes me want to read books engaging
My skin now soft and a’dew
All bright and so new
And all those books made me paging.
—JeanneRose 2015

Rosemary Limerick —JeanneRose 2015
Rosemary so good and so pure
It makes you want to use it to cure.
Rub on your head
Remember your bed
Memories will come that’s for sure.

 

Scientific Data:The antioxidant, antibacterial and antifungal activities of the SFE extracts were confirmed. With regard to antibacterial activity, the oils are more active against Gram-positive, than Gram-negative, bacteria, as evidenced by the lower MIC values for the former. Rosemary extracts obtained by supercritical CO2 extraction were shown to be promising with regard to their in-corporation into various foods, cosmetics and pharmaceutiproducts for which a natural aroma, color, and antioxidant/antimicrobial additive is desired. These properties are also needed by the food industry in order to find possible alternatives to synthetic preservatives. Further studies are necessary to investigate the incorporation of extracts into appropriate food formulations, and evaluate flavor, chemical changes and antioxidant and antimicrobial activities in the whole food system.”— Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) – a study of the composition, antioxidant and antimicrobial activities of extracts obtained with supercritical carbon dioxide. From Ciência e Tecnologia de Alimentos ISSN  0101-2601.

 

Contraindications: While writing this article I was able to confirm that Rosemary is indeed stimulating and that inhaling the odor too much or too long will set your heart racing.

 

References:
Arctander, Steffen. Perfume and Flavor Materials of Natural Origin. Arctander. 1960
Coombs, Allen J. Dictionary of Plant Names. Timber Press. 1995
Cunningham, Scott. The Magic of Incense, Oils & Brews. Llewellyn Publications. 1988
Guenther, Ernest. The Essential Oils. Krieger Publishing. Florida. 1976
Harman, Ann. Harvest to Hydrosol. IAG Botanics. 2015 (supporter of testing hydrosols)
Herbal Studies Course/ Jeanne Rose. San Francisco California, 1992
Mabberley, D. J. Mabberley’s Plant-Book, 3rd edition, 2014 printing, Cambridge University Press.
Mojay, Gabriel. Aromatherapy for Healing the Spirit. Rochester, Vermont: Healing Arts Press, 1999.
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.
Rose, Jeanne. Herbs & Things. Last Gasp Press (ask them to republish it)

 

Safety Precautions: Do not use Rosemary herb or EO in excess. Because some is good it does not mean that more is better. While examining Rosemary oil for this article and for the organoleptic qualities, I noticed I had to spread out my examinations over five days, examining only 3 Rosemary types per day. I have heart issues and if I did more, my heart would begin to race. So yet it is stimulating and so caution is wise when blending or using Rosemary.

Safety Precautions: Do not use Rosemary herb or EO in excess. Because some is good it does not mean that more is better. While examining Rosemary oil for this article and for the organoleptic qualities, I noticed I had to spread out my examinations over five days, examining only 3 Rosemary types per day. I have heart issues and if I did more, my heart would begin to race. So yet it is stimulating and so caution is wise when blending or using Rosemary.

 

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 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.
 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. Essential oils can come from many sources including areas that are heavily farmed and/or sprayed with toxic pesticides and defoliants.
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©

 

Rosmarinus officinalis – the tall type and the prostratus

 

 

 

 

~ JR ~

 

Patchouli EO & Hydrosol

Synopsis: A well-known essential oil with both physical and emotional properties and a fascinating history of use on many continents.

 

Patchouli Essential Oil and Hydrosol Profile

By Jeanne Rose ~ February 2017

Patchouli Oils from Eden Botanicals

 

Common Name/Latin Binomial: Patchouli or Patchouly is from Pogostemon cablin (Blanco) Benth.

Family: Lamiaceae

 Other Common Name/Naming Information: The name patchouli comes from a Tamil word, paccilai, meaning “green leaf”. An alternate common name seen in some older references is pucha-pat. The name Pogostemon means Pogo or bearded and stemon or stamen of a flower and is sometimes described as meaning “bearded thread”. In Greek this refers to the hairy middles of the four stamens.

Countries of Origins: Grows in tropical areas, 80% of Patchouli oil is produced in Sumatra. Eden Botanicals sources Patchouli EO from Sri Lanka and Indonesia. It grows well in Hawaii, particularly Kauai but is more seasonal there.

 Endangered or Not: Some Cautions. Patchouli is believed to be safe and not endangered. Avoid wild gathering. Please grow your own herbs in your own garden.

 General description of Plant habitat and growth: The genus Pogostemon consists of some 30 or 40 species of shrubs, sub-shrubs, and herbaceous plants native to tropical Asia. Characteristics of the genus include flowers in whorls in the upper leaf axils; a tubular, five-toothed calyx; a tubular corolla with four nearly equal lobes, and one style with two stigmas. The fruits are four seed-like nutlets. It loves rain but the water has to drain away. It prefers open sunny areas and can be intermixed with corn or Palm trees to improve the thickness of the leaf and deter leginess of the stem. The leaves are known to accumulate essential oil in the glandular trichomes. It thrives in a damp, warm climate with even rainfalls. It exhausts the soil and needs new fertile ground regularly. It flourishes in low altitudes and slightly moist soil that is properly drained. Propagated by stem cuttings planted during the rainy season and protected against too much sunshine and weeds.

Patchouly plants ~ Patchouli leaves cured prior to distillation

 

 Portion of the plant used in distillation, how distilled, extraction methods and yields: The leaves are picked the top leaves preferred. A stalk 10 inches long and about 1/8 in. thick with attached leaves is considered good distillation material. After cutting this is laid out to dry on a hard surface and turned frequently to promote even drying. Drying may take 3 days. Press dry leaves into bales immediately. Aging these bales may improve odor. Do let them ferment or mold. But aged leaves do slightly ferment and will yield more oil – but this is not preferred. They were originally steam-distilled in iron pots but now more often in stainless steel. When steam-distilled the essential oil is medium brown to dark brown.  However, with the change to stainless steel stills, often the color of the essential oil is much more pale brown – golden.

The yield is about 3.5%.

            Distillation: This is one of the few plants that is best dried before distillation. Thus you will not get a true hydrosol (with cellular water intact). Arctander states that to get a good yield of Patchouli, the cell walls need to rupture prior to the distillation. This can be done by light fermentation (not to mold), by scalding with superheated steam (like blanching a vegetable), or by stacking the dried leaves and thus ‘curing’ them. My suggestion to those who can grow Patchouly is to take a trip to a Patchouli distillery and watch and learn and then to try and do it yourself. Also, the original distillation was done in iron vessels which yielded a dark and richly scented oil. With copper or stainless steel distillation you will obtain less intense but possibly as tenacious an odor. There is more information on Distillation in Guenther’s The Essential Oil on page 563 of volume III.

In a recent FB post Ramakant Harlalka showed pictures of Patchouli distillation as said, “Patchouli distillation is art, science & technology. Here heat & mass transfer which are core area of Chemical engineering plays important role in cost & quality optimizations. There are few pictures on steam distillation where distillation vessel acts like bio reactor apart taking out oil from leaf. Pretreatments of fresh leaf and digestion of same in vessel through controlled heat makes constituents of Patchouli oil where minor components (《1%) makes unique amber odor of oil.”

Odor Description/ Aroma Assessment: Three terpenoids Germacrene, Patchoulol or patchouli alcohol, Norpatchoulenol found in patchouli oil are responsible for the typical patchouli scent. Tenacity is one of the virtues of Patchouli oil but often its intensity (strength of odor) is low. The odor in quality Patchouli is floral, fruity, green herbaceous and spicy and more fully described as “possessing an extremely rich, sweet-herbaceous, aromatic-spicy and woody-balsamic odor with a wine-like presence.” At dry-down this same oil will retain a particularly sweet woody floral odor. It will not get tar-like. I suggest that you take a class from someone who has old (20 years old) Patchouli to really get an idea of what its odor is as much of what is sold now is very unpleasant.

 

General Properties: The herb is anti-insecticide, herb and oil are considered anti-dandruff and leech-repellent.

Via Inhalation:  Nervine, anti-depressant, calmative. aphrodisiac, tonic and skin decongesting.

Via Application: Cytophylactic, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, tonic, antitoxic, and astringent.

Via Perfumery: It is of low intensity, but high tenacity and very useful as a base note and with great fixative quality.

 

Properties and Uses: Patchouli is said to cure apathy, ease confusion and indecision, heal dry skin, be healthful for the endocrine glands, be a nerve stimulant, can be seductive or aphrodisiac, for some it is stimulant, and historically it is rejuvenating.

            EO Ingestion: Constipation, uterine tonic, and to eliminate toxins. (see warning) * It was once used as a flavoring agent in ‘Sen-Sen’ type of breath freshener with a licorice taste (these were small hard pieces of candy that was sucked to camouflage the breath-smell of alcohol or tobacco).

            EO Application: In skin care products, it is used on dry, old, or wrinkled skin.  It is rejuvenating, restorative, and invigorating to the skin.  It is used as a fixative and has much value in perfumery.  It is also useful for fungal infections, bacterial infections, dandruff, as an insect repellent, on insect bites, dermatitis, athlete’s foot, ringworm, parasites, and some use it in skin care to help eliminate skin toxins.

 

Energetic/Emotional Uses by Application or Inhalation: Inhaled Patchouli historically has been used to give peace of mind, relieve confusion, and be grounding. When inhaled Patchouli is used in ritual or emotionally to cure apathy, and indecision, as a seductive agent, and for grounding and in a positive ritual — to invigorate, become lucid and reasonable.
Diffuse/Diffusion: This essential oil mixes well with many oils to produce fragrant diffusions. With its sweet herbaceous and aromatically spicy odor it works with Cedarwoods, citrus oils, Clary Sage, Lavender, Rose Geranium, Sandalwood, Vetiver, and more. Think ahead of what your outcome will be and blend oils to suit the outcome.

 

Key Use: Oil of Warmth and Age©

 

Herbal Usage: Patchouli is an important herb which possesses many therapeutic properties and is also widely used in the fragrance industries. In traditional medicinal practices, the herb is used to treat colds, fevers, headaches, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, insect and snake bites. See Jeanne Rose Herbs & Things.

 

Jeanne Rose’s Tomato Tales

Experience with this EO: Back in 1966, I lived in Big Sur as well as having a small apartment in Berkeley. In 1967, I lived in Big Sur but also in San Francisco while being involved in the rock ‘n roll world as a coutourière. In both Big Sur and San Francisco, Patchouli was the big ‘in’ thing as a deodorant. However, shaving under the arms was also ‘out’. So, personally, I found the odor of Patchouli to be retched and repugnant and it became personally inextricably linked in my mind to sweaty stinking hairy armpits and pushy-shove’y stoned fans. I disliked it then and disliked it for 30 years after and refused to use it in my work. But I had kept a 4-ounce bottle that I had purchased from Nature’s Herb Company and it lay unused until one-day I wanted to make a classic perfume. I pulled out the old Patchouli and smelled it and discovered its fragrant, rich, earthy odor — and found it ‘pleasant’. I still have some of that bottle for reference and realized that I hated Patchouli not for its odor but because of people smell who didn’t bathe enough and were using the odor to camouflage their own.  It took me more years to really enjoy using it and now I depend on it in many a formula.

When I queried Monica Miller about Patchouli (as she had done a study of it a few years ago), she said, “I love it (Patchouli) as an ingredient in deodorant, it’s the oil that works best for me and it’s not at all about covering odor it really kills the bacteria that cause odor. But you know that. I just made an awesome massage oil with honeysuckle, patchouli, lavender, arnica. The patchouli is so sexy and musky in the blend.” I completely disagree with the information that Patchouli kills the bacteria that causes underarm odor but I am willing to defer to her assessment.

P.S. If you have never smelled Patchouli on an unwashed armpit, I strongly suggest that you avoid this as you would a plague. Use it diluted with other essential oils, use it in massage, use it in dilution, use it as you will.  Also, do not equate the nasty synthetic patchouli with the real one, buy a Patchouli that you enjoy and put some of it away for the future. This oil ages well.

 

FORMULAS by Application, Massage and Skincare

Patchouli Green Bath (from New Age Creations, 1970)
3 oz. Patchouly, dried
3 oz. Orange leaf or Savory, dried
3 oz. Vetivert root, dried and C&S
2 oz. Linden flower/leaf, dried
2 oz. Strawberry or berry leaf, dried
2 oz. Comfrey or Parsley leaf, dried

Patchouly is commonly used for its rejuvenating effect on the senses. Orange leaf sharpens the awareness, Vetivert is a tonic stimulant, Linden in the bath cools the head and soothes restlessness, Strawberry eases aches and pains in the hips and is mildly astringent, Comfrey and Parsley are healing and rejuvenative.  Mix all together. Take a large handful (1/2 oz.) and place in pot with 1 qt. of water. Bring to simmer for 10 minutes and strain the solution into the tub.
Take the moist herbs, wrap in washcloth and use to exfoliate your skin.
Soak in the herbal waters at least 20 minutes.
All in all, one of the best formulas from my early skin care company New Age Creations.

More bath formulas are in my Herbal Body Book.

 

Soap Used as a bug repellent:

When I queried people in the herbal/EO world about their uses for Patchouli, I got a few responses about Patchouli oil being a bug repellent and a deodorant. Jacqueline Alberti gave me this formula for making soap using a melt and pour base with 7.5 ml of dark Indonesian Patchouli per pound of the base. She said, “I find when I use the EO (Patchouli) in soap the mosquitoes don’t bother me even 8 or 10 hours after showering”.

 

Psoriasis Formula

In a Seaweed (Fucoidan) based lotion add 5-10% mixture of Patchouli, Vetiver and Calophyllum inophyllum, Tamanu, from Madagascar. — Sheila Jacaman

 

Blends Best with: Patchouli blends best with many other essential oils and absolutes including Basil, Bergamot, most Citrus, Geranium Rose, Juniper, Labdanum, Lavender, Myrrh, Neroli, Sandalwood, and Rose.

 

BLENDING with formula. In perfumery use Patchouli in thoughtful amounts as a base note. Elizabeth Lind says, “Patchouli and Oak Moss are my favorite base notes, smells like the forest floor of the Santa Cruz Mountains.”

 

Three Patchouli Perfumery Formulas

#1 Brown Sugar Formula can be composed of various amounts of these essential oils: Lemon, Neroli,
Patchouli, Tangerine. Of course you know that there could be thousands of variations depending of where the ingredients were grown, how grown, pressed or distilled but these main ingredients combined is the essence of brown sugar that is sweet and fortifying but also uplifting and refreshing. Use this formula as an inhalant or in blends — for aftershave, astringent tonics, face wash or a sweet massage. Start by mixing 1 drop of each ingredient, succussing, waiting and building up the formula one drop at a time.

 

#2 Chypre (sheep ra) The word “chypre” derives from the island of Cyprus which is located in the Mediterranean. It was for many centuries the meeting point of the East and West (Turkey and Greece) for the trade of aromatic materials. During the 1800’s it became famous for the production of perfumes that contained and combined the Mediterranean essences of citrus, floral pomades, and Labdanum with the resins and gums of Arabia, such as Styrax, Frankincense, Opopanax and Myrrh.  Animal products were also traded such as civet from the civet cat of Ethiopia and musk from the musk deer from the Himalayas. These animal products were and are some of the worlds’ most valued perfume commodities.

Originally, the word chypre would have been used to describe a style of perfumery associated with the island of Cyprus. Today, however, it refers rather more specifically to a group of perfumes whose origins can be traced back to the great Chypre by Coty that was created in 1917. Truly an Art Deco scent. Today, these scents are no longer much in fashion, but we can make a Chypre scent to experience those perfumes that existed 100 years ago. [Read Natural Botanical Perfumery by Jeanne Rose for more information about Chypre and many more Chypre formulas.

            Chypre is a fragrance family – a complex of moss mixed with woods, flowers or fruit odors. A Chypre fragrance contains “Oakmoss absolute”, Bergamot and often Labdanum and Patchouli. Mix the following together, succuss, let the blend sit quietly for a few weeks to integrate and become a true synergy where no one scent is dominant over another but all are mixed to make a brand-new odor.

CHYPRE #2 –Patchouli
Top Note
15 Bergamot CP

Heart Note
18 Sandalwood Australia or Hawaii SD
6 Rosa bourbonia ABS

 Bridge Note
3 Oakmoss ABS
3 Labdanum ABS

 Base Note
15 Patchouli SD

 

#3 The Dark Green Woods
Salvia sclarea flowers                      4 drops = top note
Citrus paradisi var. white peel       3 drops = heart note
Citrus x limon var. bergamot peel 2 drops = heart note
Cupressus sempervirens leaves     3 drops = bridge note
Pogostemon cablin leaves               5 drops = base note
Mix together and succuss. Let sit for a week and then add up to 45 drops of carrier or alcohol as a diluent. Succuss again. Let sit for a week. Use as a perfume. This will be 25% perfume ingredients.

All these ingredients available in small sizes from Eden Botanicals.

 

HYDROSOL: This is one of the few plants that is best dried before distillation. Thus you will not get a true hydrosol (with cellular water intact). Patchouli hydrosol can be used as a hair spray for a temporary solution from the static in curly hair! I’m sure any hydrosol would be nice, but there is something about patchouli —Christina Smith

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.

 Patchouly Oils over 44 years time

Historical Uses: Patchouli has a lovely history. The scent was introduced into Europe from Asia via the odor of the cashmere shawls. The Patchouli plant leaves had been used to protect cashmere shawls from insect predation. From about 1775 high quality cashmere shawls had begun to find their way to France and England. They were brought by travelers, explorers and military personnel as well as members of the East India Company, who brought them back as presents. François Bernier, a friend of Moliere and Cyrano de Bergerac was the first European of the modern era to see and describe the traditional cashmere shawl. The Cashmere shawl became the rage and great sums of money were spent to obtain them. Then the hunt was on to identify the odor of the shawls and the plants that made the odor. Once this had happened perfumers sought the plant, distilled it for the scent and this scent made its way into the perfume bottles of the era and thus onto the people of that time.

 Interesting Information: “Possibly originated in Malaysia although the word apparently comes from the south Indian Tamil language, patch, meaning ‘green’, and ilai meaning ‘leaf’. Patchouli means bearded stamen…375 Essential Oils & Hydrosols, p. 21. Patchouli herb is used for scenting carpets, shawls and woven materials, and for perfuming ink and sealing wax, as well as for perfume and medicine. Wrapping fabrics in Patchouli herb has been a practice for a thousand years.  Patchouli oil benefits from long storage and definitely improves with age. Old Patchouli (10 years and more old) smells sweeter and better than newly distilled Patchouli.

 Chemical Components: Patchouli is a very complex odor with three terpenoids making up the primary scent but also with dozens of other chemical components.
These three terpenoids Germacrene, Patchoulol or patchouli alcohol, Norpatchoulenol, found in patchouli oil are responsible for the typical patchouli scent.  In one study 41 compounds were separated, 28 of which (92.9% of the total oil) were identified. There are several GC/MS on line that can be looked at.

 Physiochemical Properties: There are many examples of the physical and chemical properties of Patchouly online and in Guenthers’ book, The Essential Oils. They vary by where the plant is grown and processed and distilled. Here is one from a European distillation.           

Specific Gravity …………. 0.975 to 0.987
Optical Rotation ……….. —54°0’ to —65°30’
Refractive Index at 20°.   1.5099 to 1.5111
Solubility at 20°  ………..  Soluble in 0.5 vol. and more of 90% alcohol

Abstract/Scientific Data: There is an extensive article about Patchouli online, called “Review — A Comprehensive Review on the Phytochemical Constituents and Pharmacological Activities of Pogostemon cablin Benth.: An Aromatic Medicinal Plant of Industrial Importance by Mallappa Kumara Swamy and Uma Rani Sinniah.”

 Contraindications: The Material Safety Data Sheet, or MSDS, for Patchouli oil indicates it is hazardous if ingested. If the oil is swallowed, contact Poison Control immediately. As with any oil-based material, do not induce vomiting as the oil could enter the victim’s lungs during vomiting. However, once was widely used as a flavorant in oriental-style flavorings.

 References:
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
Chakrapani. P, et al • Phytochemical, Pharmacological importance of Patchouli (Pogostemon cablin (Blanco) Benth) an aromatic medicinal plant •Int. J. Pharm. Sci. Rev. Res., 21(2), Jul –Aug 2013; nᵒ 02, 7-15
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.
Rose, Jeanne. Herbs & Things. Last Gasp Press (ask them to republish it)

 

Safety Precautions:
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 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.
*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. Essential oils can come from many sources including areas that are heavily farmed and/or sprayed with toxic pesticides and defoliants.
Patchouli flowers, south-facing, 410 feet elevation, photo by Willie Shook, Kilauea, Hawaii, 1-12-17
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©

 

 

 

~ JR ~

 

 

 

Cypress and Blue Cypress EO

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

 Cypress and Blue Cypress

Herbal Use, Essential Oil and Hydrosols

Jeanne Rose – January 2017

 

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

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

Chart 1. Taxonomy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

fig. 3. Cypress & Blue Cypress from Eden Botanicals

             There are two other species of Callitris that are used for essential oil. See this link for Australian Essential Oils. http://www.aromaticplantproject.com/articles_archive/Australian_Essential_Oils.html

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

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

 

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

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

 

Properties of the EO, Hydrosol and Herb

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

Specific Uses of Herb and Oil

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

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

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

 

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

 

fig. 5. CypressCupressus sempervirens

 

FAVORITE RECIPES

  • Perfume

 

Chart 2. Lush Perfume

 

  • Skincare ~

CYPRESS SHAVING BALM

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

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

 

Personal Formulas

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

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

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

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

 

COLLECTIVE INFORMATION:

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

 

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

 

Chemistry and History ~ Cupressus sempervirens L. is a medicinal plant. The dried leaves of this plant are used as an emmenagogue and for stomach pain as well as for diabetes. Its dried fruit decoction is used for inflammation treatment, toothache, and laryngitis and also as a contraceptive, astringent, and antiphrastic (?) drug. The dried seed of this tree has been used for wounds, ulcers, bruises, sores, pimples, pustules, skin eruptions, and erysipelas. Cupressus sempervirens essential oil is used externally for headache, colds, cough, and bronchitis. Studies on phytochemical compounds of Cupressus sempervirens L. revealed that it contains active constituents such as flavonoids (cupressuflavone, amentoflavone, rutin, quercitrin, quercetin, and myricitrin), phenolic compounds (anthocyanidin, catechins flavones, flavonols and isoflavones, tannins, and catechol), and essential oils (EO). It has been demonstrated that the principal’s active from Cupressus sempervirens L. display antiseptic, aromatherapeutic, astringent, balsamic, and anti-inflammatory activities. Cupressus sempervirens L. antimicrobial activity has been reported in several studies.” —https://www.hindawi.com/journals/jchem/2015/538929/

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

Chart 3. Blue Cypress Chemistry

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

 

References & Bibliography:
Harman, Ann. Harvest to Hydrosol. botANNicals. 2015
Herbal Studies Course/ Jeanne Rose & Berkeley, California: North Atlantic Books, 1992
http://cropwatch.org.uk/Blue%20Cypress%20oil%20further%20updated.pdf
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Callitris
http://benthamscience.com/journals/current-bioactive-compounds/volume/11/issue/2/page/73/
http://www.australianbluecypress.com.au/about-blue-cypress
http://www.photomazza.com/?Cupressus-sempervirens
http://www.australianbluecypress.com.au/about-blue-cypress
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. http://www.aromaticplantproject.com/articles_archive/Australian_Essential_Oils.html

 

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

fig 6. Blue Cypress herbarium sample

 

 

 ~ JR ~