What is the difference between an Absolute and an Essential Oil?
While they are both similar in that they are extracted form plants it is the extraction process that sets them apart. An Absolute is a much more highly concentrated form than an essential oil. When producing an Absolute a totally different extraction method is used to extract the essence of the desired plant. Essential oils are extracted using the steam distillation process.
The extraction of Absolutes is a much more scientific. Solvents and chemicals are used to extract the fragrance molecules. This whole process produces a much more highly concentrated fragrance oil. The only disheartening thing about the whole process used to make Absolutes is that there will be small amounts of solvent chemicals tainting the finished product. Absolutes are mostly used by the cosmetic companies for use in body products and perfumes.
Those serious about Aromatherapy and it's inherent health benefits only abide by the use of pure essential oils. There are also those who only use Certified Organic Essential Oils in their practice of Aromatherapy. There are certain plants whereby the only means is to extract the fragrance essences is by using a chemical process and obtaining them as Absolutes. Jasmine is one such example.
List of Absolutes: