The basis of most of the perfumes comes from, at some point, the plants (leaves, roots, rhizomes, stems, seeds, fruits and flowers).
Getting the scent of a plant, usually goes through a process that aims at the extraction of its essential oil, or an oil that contains their active principles (including aroma) and concentrated.
For those who have the curiosity to know how you extract a scent of a plant, here are the main methods:
Is decision-making the choice of the appropriate method for obtaining an essential oil of superior quality, or a product of the second category.
It is said that the heat and pressure used in the act of extraction can for example interfere in the final quality of the essential oil, since at the time of extracting the sensitive aromatic molecules can be broken and oxidized.
Steam distillation (ex. COLUMN model OR ALQUITAR)
Steam distillation is the most common method of extracting essential oils.
It is usually employed to obtain essential oils of leaves and herbs, but it is not always suitable for extract the essential oil from the seeds, roots, woods and some flowers.
For example, flowers such as Jasmine, can due to high pressure and heat employed in the process, suffer the destruction of their fragile aromatic molecules come to lose all their scent and active principles.
The steam distillation is made in an alembic still that is where parts of the fresh plant (sometimes uses-if the plants have already dried) are placed. Coming out of a boiler, the steam circulates through the parts of the plant, forcing the break of the fragile bags intercellular that open and release the essential oil. As this process happens, the sensitive essential oil molecules evaporate along with the steam from the water traveling through a tube at the top of the retort, where it then passes through a cooling process through the use of a serpentine and condense along with the water. So then, in the upper part of this same water is obtained, a layer of essential oil which is separated through decantation. The water that is left over this whole process after you removed the oil, it is called water, floral distillate, hidrossol or hidrolato.
Hidrodestilação (ex. TRADITIONAL ALEMBIC)
The materials of the plant are completely which have emerged in the water, as a tea and then distilled. The temperature does not exceed 100ºC in order to avoid the loss of compounds more sensitive to high temperatures such as in steam distillation. This is the most ancient method of distillation and the most versatile. It is commonly employed in most backward countries, where the steam boilers have not yet arrived, and in these cases, distillation is a process all handmade. As an example we have small farms in India, Indonesia, the Philippines and other countries of the East. Wont be used for extraction of the essential oil of some flowers such as Jasmine and Neroli, and also roots, wood and bark.
Perfumes are classified according to the origin of the raw material and according to the French Perfume Committee, the perfumes may be classified as:
- Citric: those obtained from the rind of fruits such as bergamot, tangerine, lemon, lime, and orange.
- Floral: perfumes whose main theme is the flower: floral bouquet, floral green, floral aldehydic, floral woody, among others.
- Filifolhas: perfumes with notes of lavender, bergamot and geranium.
- Cyprus: the family of perfumes that are based primarily on the chords of patchouli, bergamot and rose.
- Woody: fragrances with mild notes such as sandalwood and patchouli, sometimes dry like cedar and the vetiver, the other notes of lavender and citrus.
- Amber: this group are part of the perfumes with mild notes of vanilla, known as the eastern.
- Leather: perfumes very quirky, with dry notes, which attempt to reproduce the characteristic smell of leather, burnt wood and tobacco.
A good perfume takes often several years to be created, are mixed with various essences and made tests, mixed again and more tests until you reach the desired strength.
To extract 1 kg of rose essential oil are processed 2 million pounds of petals.