It is a miracle to be smelling such vivid scents that come from the most beautiful flowers and plants. It is also a big mystery for many just how those scents traveled all the way from those flowers to our homes. How is an essential oil collected?
Not to be mistaken for an essential fatty acid, reed diffuser oils are essentially essential oils. How is that for a tongue twister? Essential oils are liquids that are extremely concentrated, volatile, and water-repelling. The liquid itself is chock full of aroma, and it is taken from flowers and plants.
These are the essential oils that we pour into the reed diffuser jars, so the wonderful smell can be transported up through the porous reeds and dispersed slowly into the space of our rooms.
It is with these essential oils that we smell in incense, soap, food, drinks, cosmetics, and perfumes.
You will find that there is more than one way that an essential oil has been extracted.
Distillation, expression and solvent extraction
In distillation, there is a long and coiled clear tube that leads to a collection container at the end. The plants are steamed from one end, and the vapors travel through the coils to the end as concentrated oil.
Expression is also known as cold-pressing. Cold-pressed oils are not literally cold-pressed at all, contrary to what you or I would naturally think. Cold-pressed oils are extracted through very low-heat, as heat is known to destroy oils naturally. The only heat that exists comes from the action of extracting the oil itself.
Expression is considered a more archaic form of essence oil collecting, since distillation was discovered.
The third method is called solvent extraction. When it is extremely difficult to get enough essential oils from using expression or distillation, solvent extraction is the last resort. Sometimes, the oils could be damaged easily with the distillation steam, or is too limited in availability from expression.
The fragrance is collected in the midst of carbon dioxide and a mixture of resin, oil, and wax.
Essential oils can be extracted from seeds, leaves, peels and roots in addition to flowers and the plants themselves.