Rose Oil: Rose Otto Essential Oil, Rose CO2 Extract and Rose Absolute
Emotionally, Rose Essential 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 Essemtoa; 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. The CO2 extracted oil is known as Rose CO2 Extract and is superior in many ways to Rose Otto Essential Oil and Rose Absolute. They are all beautiful, intoxicating oils, but there are some differences worth mentioning:
Rose Otto Essential Oil is lighter in color and thinner in viscosity than Rose CO2 Extract or 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 Essential Oil or Rose CO2 Extract are the preferred oil for topical aromatherapy applications because Rose Absolute may contain trace amounts of residual solvent. However, Rose Otto Essential Oil 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 CO2 Extract or Rose Absolute traditionally has. Having said that, Rose Otto is still quite concentrated and a little goes a long way.
Rose CO2 Extract
Rose CO2 Extract is a bit thicker to work with, even at room temperature because the CO2 extraction process is able to extract more of the heavier aromatic molecules, natural plant waxes and resins than can steam distillation. Aromatically, Rose CO2 Extract has a beatiful aroma that is more complete and more closely represents the natural fragrance of fresh roses (Rosa damascena). For more information on CO2 Extracts, see AromaWeb's CO2 Extract article.
Rose Absolute is often favored by fragrance formulators and perfumists for its fragrance, aromatic strength and lower cost than Rose Otto Essential Oil or Rose CO2 Extract.
Common Methods of Extraction
Steam Distilled (called Rose Otto Essential Oil), Solvent Extracted (called Rose Absolute) or CO2 Extracted (called Rose CO2 Extract)
- What is a Steam Distilled Essential Oil (Otto)?
- What is a CO2 Extract?
- What is a Solvent Extracted Absolute?
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 Essential Oil Uses
- Mature Skin
Source: Julia Lawless, The Encyclopedia of Essential Oils (Updated Edition) (London: Harper Thorsons, 2014), 172-173.
Major Constituents of Bulgarian Rose Otto
- Alkenes & Alkanese
- Citronellyl Acetate
See Essential Oil Safety for more complete list of typical constituents.
Source: 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.
Rose Essential Oil Safety Information
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:
Tisserand & Young: 0.6%
For more complete information, refer directly to Essential Oil Safety.
[Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young, Essential Oil Safety (Second Edition. United Kingdom: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier, 2014), 405.]
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. For general dilution information, read AromaWeb's Guide to Diluting Essential Oils. 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 and be sure to first read the recommended dilution ratios for children. Consult a qualified aromatherapy practitioner before using oils with children, the elderly, if you have medical issues or are taking medications. Before using this or any essential oil, carefully read AromaWeb's Essential Oil Safety Information page. For in-depth information on oil safety issues, read Essential Oil Safety by Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young.
Important Information About the Profiles
The essential oil information provided on AromaWeb is intended for educational purposes only. The references to safety information, constituents and percentages is generalized information. The data is not necessary complete and is not guaranteed to be accurate. The essential oil photos are intended to represent the typical and approximate color of each essential oil. However, essential oil color can vary based on harvesting, distillation, age of the essential oil and other factors. Profiles for several absolutes are included within the directory, and are denoted as such.
Essential Oil Book Suggestions
Click on a book's title to view details and read a full review for the book. Visit AromaWeb's Books area to find details about many other essential oil and aromatherapy books.
Own Safety Profiles for 400 Essential Oils and 206 Constituents:
Essential Oil Safety: A Guide for Health Care Professionals
Authors: Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young
The Complete Book Of Essential Oils & Aromatherapy
Includes 125 Essential Oil Profiles
Author: Valerie Ann Worwood
The Encyclopedia Of Essential Oils (Updated Edition)
Includes 182 Essential Oil Profiles
Author: Julia Lawless
The Complete Aromatherapy & Essential Oils Handbook for Everyday Wellness
Includes 85 Essential Oil Profiles
Author: Nerys Purchon and Lora Cantele