Essential oil

Essential oils are used in aromatherapy as part of, for example, essential oil diffusers.
Lavender essential oil sold at a market in France

Concentrated hydrophobic liquid containing volatile chemical compounds from plants.

- Essential oil
Essential oils are used in aromatherapy as part of, for example, essential oil diffusers.

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Three-dimensional representations of several fatty acids. Saturated fatty acids have perfectly straight chain structure. Unsaturated ones are typically bent, unless they have a trans configuration.

Essential fatty acid

Essential fatty acids, or EFAs, are fatty acids that humans and other animals must ingest because the body requires them for good health but cannot synthesize them.

Essential fatty acids, or EFAs, are fatty acids that humans and other animals must ingest because the body requires them for good health but cannot synthesize them.

Three-dimensional representations of several fatty acids. Saturated fatty acids have perfectly straight chain structure. Unsaturated ones are typically bent, unless they have a trans configuration.

Essential fatty acids should not be confused with essential oils, which are "essential" in the sense of being a concentrated essence.

Fragrance bottles.

Aroma compound

Odorant, aroma, fragrance or flavoring, is a chemical compound that has a smell or odor.

Odorant, aroma, fragrance or flavoring, is a chemical compound that has a smell or odor.

Fragrance bottles.
Patch test

Aroma compounds can naturally be found in various foods, such as fruits and their peels, wine, spices, floral scent, perfumes, fragrance oils, and essential oils.

Burning incense at the Longhua Temple

Incense

Aromatic biotic material that releases fragrant smoke when burnt.

Aromatic biotic material that releases fragrant smoke when burnt.

Burning incense at the Longhua Temple
Egyptian Incense Burner, 7th century BC
Some commonly used raw incense and incense-making materials (from left to right, top down) Makko powder (Machilus thunbergii), Borneol camphor (Dryobalanops aromatica), Sumatra Benzoin (Styrax benzoin), Omani frankincense (Boswellia sacra), Guggul (Commiphora wightii), Golden Frankincense (Boswellia papyrifera), the new world Tolu balsam (Myroxylon toluifera) from South America, Somali myrrh (Commiphora myrrha), Labdanum (Cistus villosus), Opoponax (Commiphora opoponax), and white Indian sandalwood powder (Santalum album)
A Räucherkerzchen – A charcoal-based incense cone
Incense coils hanging from the ceiling of an East Asian temple
Burning incense stick and its smoke
Joss sticks in the Temple of Literature, Hanoi in Hanoi, Vietnam
Drying cored stick incense, Vietnam
Raw charcoal incense sticks
Some incense sticks are uneven in thickness.
Incense at Yonghe Temple in Beijing, China
Big Dragon incense sticks
Unpacked incense sticks in a Buddhist/Taoist shrine in Malaysia
Incense in India
Stacks of incense at a temple in Japan
The giant Botafumeiro thurible swinging from the ceiling of the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela
Mosquito repellent is often manufactured in coil form and burned in a similar manner as incense.
Papier d'Armenie was used to disinfect.
Incense burning at a temple in Taipei, Taiwan

Incense is composed of aromatic plant materials, often combined with essential oils.

A diffuser and a bottle of essential oil

Aromatherapy

A diffuser and a bottle of essential oil

Aromatherapy is based on the usage of aromatic materials, including essential oils, and other aroma compounds, with claims for improving psychological or physical well-being.

Clove (Syzygium aromaticum) essential oil in clear glass vial

Oil of clove

Clove (Syzygium aromaticum) essential oil in clear glass vial

Oil of clove, also known as clove oil, is an essential oil extracted from the clove plant, Syzygium aromaticum.

Lavandula

Genus of 47 known species of flowering plants in the mint family, Lamiaceae.

Genus of 47 known species of flowering plants in the mint family, Lamiaceae.

A honey bee on a lavender flower
Lavender-flavored cupcakes
Lavender products for sale at the San Francisco Farmers Market.
Bunches of lavender for sale, intended to repel insects
Different lavender cultivars grown at Snowshill, Cotswolds.
Lavender field in Carshalton, London Borough of Sutton.
Field in Hitchin, England, UK
Lavender growing at Kula Lavender Farm located in Maui, Hawaii
Lavender flower
Flower of cultivated lavender; Lavandula stoechas
Lavender garden, India
Lavandula fields near Drama

Many members of the genus are cultivated extensively in temperate climates as ornamental plants for garden and landscape use, for use as culinary herbs, and also commercially for the extraction of essential oils.

Steam distillation apparatus, showing aniline steam distillation

Steam distillation

Separation process that consists in distilling water together with other volatile and non-volatile components.

Separation process that consists in distilling water together with other volatile and non-volatile components.

Steam distillation apparatus, showing aniline steam distillation
A boiling water distiller. Boiling tank on top and holding tank on the bottom.
Hydrodistillation using the Steam distillation apparatus, Clevenger-type apparatus.
(A) Power regulator;
(B) Heating mantle with round bottom flask containing water and aromatic leaves;
(C) Clevenger-type apparatus that returns the hydrosol to the still and maintains the essential oil phase, but only for essential oils that are less dense than water and therefore float;
(D) The condenser.

It is often used to separate volatile essential oils from plant material.

Rose water bottles and rose petals

Rose water

Rose water is a flavoured water made by steeping rose petals in water.

Rose water is a flavoured water made by steeping rose petals in water.

Rose water bottles and rose petals
12th century rosewater bottle from Iran (silver with gold and niello, Freer Art Gallery)
A decorative display in a small manufactory of rose water in Kashan, Iran

Rose perfumes are made from rose oil, also called attar of roses, which is a mixture of volatile essential oils obtained by steam-distilling the crushed petals of roses.

Peppermint

Hybrid mint, a cross between watermint and spearmint.

Hybrid mint, a cross between watermint and spearmint.

Peppermint flowers
An 1887 illustration from Köhlers; Medicinal Plants
Peppermint grown in a pot outside a house
Candy canes are one of the most common peppermint-flavored candies
Mentha × piperita hybrid known as 'Chocolate Mint'
Freeze-dried leaves

In the United States, Oregon and Washington produce most of the country's peppermint, the leaves of which are processed for the essential oil to produce flavorings mainly for chewing gum and toothpaste.

Cananga odorata

Tropical tree that is native to the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, and Queensland, Australia.

Tropical tree that is native to the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, and Queensland, Australia.

A Cananga odorata in Maui
Cananga odorata illustrated in Francisco Manuel Blanco's Flora de Filipinas
Ylang-ylang (Cananga odorata) essential oil

It is valued for the essential oils extracted from its flowers (also called "ylang-ylang"), which has a strong floral fragrance.