As any aromatherapist knows, sourcing good quality essential oils can be difficult, given the number of essential oil suppliers. There are many different terms used, most of which are simply marketing terms. However, one term that you may come across in your search for essential oils is distilled mix. What is a distilled mix of essential oils – and are the essential oils unadulterated? Here’s a quick look at what an essential oil supplier means by this term.
Adulterated Essential Oils
An adulterated essential oil is an essential oil that has been altered from its natural state, after it has been extracted from the plant. Adulteration of an essential oil may include the introduction of an alcohol, a solvent (not to be confused with solvent extraction), a synthetic product, or a substitution of a different or cheaper oil (passed off as a more expensive essential oil).
The adulteration of an essential oil changes, or reduces, the therapeutic properties of an essential oil – and can produce unwanted side effects when used, such as irritation and nausea.
A distilled mix of essential oils is not an adulterated essential oil.
Methods of Extractions of Essential Oils
Essential oils are extracted in a number of ways, depending upon the plant species. Methods include:
cold expression – usually used for the extraction of citrus essential oils
steam distilled (and water distilled ) – the most common method of extraction for essential oils
carbon dioxide (CO2) extraction – a newer method of extracting essential oils from plants but growing more in popularity
solvent extraction – used to extract essential oils from plants that are difficult to extract, or produce little essential oil; used mainly for perfumery purposes.
Distilled Essential Oils
Extracting essential oils from some plants takes a lot of effort – with minimum results; for example, rose (Rosa x damascena) and neroli (Citrus aurantium var. amara flos). For this reason, the essential oil produced is highly priced (or sometimes adulterated).
Note: rose also produces an absolute, in addition to the distilled essential oil.
Examples of Distilled Mix Essential Oils
A distilled mix of essential oils is simply a combination of two essential oils – that have been purely extracted, and not adulterated. The reasons for doing this include:
a greater synergy/combination of therapeutic properties of the two essential oils
Two of my favorite distilled mix essential oils are rose geranium and petitgrain sur fleurs.
Rose geranium is a distilled mix of rose(Rosa x damascena) essential oil and geranium (Pelargonium graveolens) essential oil. The scent of this distilled mix essential oil is reminiscent of rose, but a lighter aroma; geranium also has a rose-like aroma, making this an affordable “rose” combination, with the complimentary therapeutic properties of both essential oils.
Petitgrain sur fleurs – translated from the French language as Petitgrain over flowers – is a distilled mix of petitgrain (Citrus aurantium var. amara fol) essential oil and neroli (Citrus aurantium var. amara flos) essential oil. The scent of this distilled mix essential oil is reminiscent of neroli, but with a lighter aroma; the petitgrain essential oil in the mix confirms the citrus-y aroma. I find that this option is more affordable for clients looking for a hint of neroli but who can’t afford the high price of neroli in a blend. It also offers complimentary therapeutic properties of both essential oils. However, personally, nothing can replace the true aroma of neroli for me!
Both distilled mixes of these essential oils are flower and leaf combinations.
Learn More About Essential Oils with Sedona Aromatherapie
If you would like to learn more about essential oils and their use in aromatherapy, consider taking one of the Sedona Aromatherapie home study courses. Visit the courses home page to learn more!
Author is a UK-certified aromatherapist with her own aromatherapy business, a published author in aromatherapy, Chief Editor for the NAHA Journal, and an approved education provider for NAHA
Penny Price Aromatherapy
Lawless, Julia, 1999, The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils, UK: Thorsons
Price, Shirley, Price, Len, 2012, Aromatherapy for Health Professionals, UK: Churchill Livingstone