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.

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).
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



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 —
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.


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.


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 ~


8 thoughts on “ROSEMARY. Chemotypes and Hydrosol

  1. Jeanne, I love this write up on Rosemary. It’s packed with a well rounded and informative perspective on many things Rosemary. Your clarifying the roles of four of the main chemotypes of rosemary relative to the growth and the terroir in which they come from is fascinating. Also, i like that you point out the different shades of hue to the oils. Being able to see them in the one photo is a treat. And having your scent kit at home helps me understand the scent profile to look for with Rosemary. Excellent read. You don’t miss a beat Jeanne!

  2. this is a wonderful description of rosemary – if you have any of the 3 chemotypes as in the photo above – Id love to purchase! I have had the same experiences with a savory/herbaceous/pizza whats that smell – oh dear I think its me!

  3. Great reading, but I really must ask you something;

    “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.”

    Where this come from? I’m hearing this all the time.

    The migrating ions from copper may be good for distilling spirits, moreover, good moonshiners use this property for a “personal touch” of their work, but east and sulfur in fresh plant material? 

    I’ve never found any trace of east and sulfur in my stainless steel distilled products. They usually come from fermentation.  On the other hand, as migrating ions can “remove east and sulfur”, can also alternate the structure of the volatile in compounds from the plant, right?

    Can you please point me to the source of this statement so I can see what I’m missing?

    Keep doing a great job an thank you,


    • Copper in disitlling
      I was taught to distill by a very well-known cognac and then brandy distiller. He taught me that the errant yeast cells and sulfur compounds were ‘trapped’ by the copper ions in the distillation process. Copper is used in the making of antibiotics to also keep the process clean and copper is used in the water delivery system of many towns and cities to deliver cleaner water than can be achieved by standard pipes. Researching science articles is also helpful. All persons who distill spirits, particularly brandy/cognac/ whisky use copper for the same purpose. Read this article.

      Also, Ann Harman in her fine book, Harvest to Hydrosol, also mentions quite a bit of copper in distilling information and in my distillation books as well. The scientific aspect of the internet is full of articles of this nature.

  4. wonderful information. i am new to aromatherapy and am looking specifically for which chemotype promotes hair restoration and growth ?? the study comparing rosemary vs minoxidil affects on hair restoration has me very interested in the benefits of rosemary.

    • The chemotype I have always used for my hair (50 years now) is the cineol type. My hair is as dark as it ever was with lots of white in front and I credit my own Rosemary shampoo to that. When companies are testing they would probably use the least expensive or most common chemotype. I have not read the report of which you speak.

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