Essential Oil Extraction Methods


Enfleurage is a very labour-intensive way of extraction and an expensive process. Therefore it is rarely used today. In some cases where flowers, such as jasmine or tuberose, have very low contents of essential oil and are extremely delicate, heating them would destroy them before releasing the essential oils, enfleurage is used to remove the essential oils.

Flower petals are placed on solid sheets of warm fat, which will absorb the essential oil from the flowers. When all the fragrance is transferred from the flowers to the fat they are removed and replaced with fresh ones. This process is repeated several times until the fat becomes saturated with the essential oil.

A solvent, usually alcohol, is then added to the saturated fat which separates the essential oil from the fat. The remaining fat is then used to make soaps.

Enfleurage has the advantage that even the most delicate components of the flower oils are preserved.