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Rose Oil: Rose Otto and Rose Absolute
Emotionally, Rose Oil is helpful during times of stress. It is considered the choice oil for use during times of grief. I have read comments from those that have Post Traumatic Shock Disorder (PTSD) that it can be helpful for those that suffer from PTSD and varying levels of anxiety. When used in low concentrations, Rose Oil be helpful for insomnia. Rose Oil is considered an aphrodisiac.
Therapeutically, Rose Oil is heralded for nurturing maturing skin and for its use with menstruation, menopause and hormonal issues for women.
Steam Distilled Rose Essential Oil is known as Rose Otto. Solvent Extracted Rose Oil is known as Rose Absolute. Both are beautiful, intoxicating oils, but there are some differences worth mentioning:
Rose Otto is lighter in color and thinner in viscosity than is Rose Absolute. At cooler temperatures, Rose Otto can solidify. This does not hurt the integrity of the oil. AromaWeb's Working with Thicker Oils article provides tips on how to re-liquefy the oil.
Rose Otto is the preferred oil for topical aromatherapy applications because Rose Absolute may contain trace amounts of residual solvent. However, Rose Otto is more costly than the absolute because it takes significantly more rose petals to produce Rose Otto than it does to product the absolute.
Aromatically, Rose Otto is a bit lighter and does not possess the hearty, intense aroma that Rose Absolute traditionally has. Having said that, Rose Otto is still quite concentrated and a little goes a long way.
Rose Absolute is often favored by fragrance formulators and perfumists for its fragrance, aromatic strength and lower cost than the Otto.
Common Method of Extraction
Plant Part Typically Used
Deep Red for Rose Absolute, Light Yellow for Rose Otto
Thick for the Rose Absolute, Thin for Rose Otto
Strength of Initial Aroma
Strongly floral, sweet.
Rose Oil Uses
Depression, eczema, frigidity, mature skin, menopause, stress. [Julia Lawless, The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils (Rockport, MA: Element Books, 1995), 57-67.]
Major Constituents of Bulgarian Rose Otto
[E. Kovats. Composition of Essential Oils Part 7. Bulgarian Oil of Rose (Rosa damascena Mill). (J. Chromatog. 406, 1987), 185-222. A.O. Tucker, M.J. Maciarello. Nomenclature and Chemistry of the Kazanlik Damask Rose. (In: B.M. Lawrence, B.D. Mookherjee, B.J. Willis (Eds.), Flavors & Fragrances: a World Perspective. Amsterdam: Elsevier, 1988), 99-114. M.H. Boelens, H. Boelens. Differences in Chemical and Sensory Properties of Orange Flower and Rose Oils Obtained from Hydrodistillation and from Supercritical CO2 Extraction. (Perfumer & Flavorist 22, 1997), 31-35. L. Jirovetz, G. Buchbauer, M. Shahabi. Comparative Investigations of Essential Oils and Their SPME Headspace Volatiles of Rosa damascena from Bulgarian and Rosa centifolia from Morocco Using GC-FID, GC/MS and Olfactometry. (Journal of Essential Oil Bearing Plants 5, 2002), 111-121. Sources cited in Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young, Essential Oil Safety (Second Edition. United Kingdom: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier, 2014), 405.]
Essential Oil Safety forewarns that Rose Otto may contain methyeugenol and states: "We recommend a dermal maximum of 0.6% and a maximum oral dose of 21mg, based on 3.3% methyleugenol content, with dermal and oral limits of 0.02% and 0.01mg/kg for methyleugenol). Guidelines for maximum dermal usage:
Important Information About the Profiles
The essential oil information provided on AromaWeb is intended for educational purposes only. This data is not considered complete and is not guaranteed to be accurate. The oil photos are intended to represent the typical and approximate color of each essential oil. However, oil color can vary based on harvesting, distillation and other factors. Profiles for several absolutes are included within the directory, and are denoted as such.
General Safety Information
Do not take any oils internally and do not apply undiluted essential oils, absolutes, CO2s or other concentrated essences onto the skin without advanced essential oil knowledge or consultation from a qualified aromatherapy practitioner. If you are pregnant, epileptic, have liver damage, have cancer, or have any other medical problem, use oils only under the proper guidance of a qualified aromatherapy practitioner. Use extreme caution when using oils with children. It is safest to consult a qualified aromatherapy practitioner before using oils with children. For in-depth information on oil safety issues, read Essential Oil Safety by Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young.
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