As an Amazon Associate and affiliate with other programs, I may earn revenue from qualifying purchases through affiliate links. This does not affect the price you pay. Privacy Policy / Disclosures. **Sign up for my monthly newsletter and receive a free aromatherapy ebook.**

Essential Oils Guide With Essential Oil Profiles

Image of essential oil bottles and plants with the words Essential Oils Guide

Welcome to my essential oils guide where I'm writing profiles of as many essential oils as I can. If you want to skip the preliminary information, click here for the list of essential oil profiles.

What Are Essential Oils?

Essential oils are highly concentrated liquids extracted from plants. For the plants, the oils serve purposes such as helping the plant thrive and protecting it from the environment.

The word "essential" doesn't mean necessary or required for humans. "Essential" comes from the poetic way of thinking about the "essence" or "life force" of a plant.

Don't confuse essential oils with infused or macerated oils. These oils are vegetable oils with the fragrance of a plant infused into the oil by soaking the plant material in the oil. Infused oils can make good aromatherapy carrier oils.

Making Essential Oils

The most common way to produce essential oils is by steam distilling plant material. A steam distiller has a chamber that holds raw plant material. When steam flows into the chamber, small sacs on the plant open and release the plant oils. The steam and oil move from the chamber into a chilled condenser, which turns the steam into water. The essential oil and water are separated. The water, called a hydrosol, contains some of the plant essence and also has uses in aromatherapy.

Another process less often used to make essential oils used in aromatherapy is hydrodistillation — the plant material is boiled in water, the resulting steam is cooled, and then the water and essential oil are separated.

The other process for making essential oils is expression (also called cold pressing). It is used primarily to produce citrus oils, such as lemon and orange, where the peel is pressed to release the oil it contains.

Solvent Extraction – Absolutes

Some oils, such as jasmine and benzoin, used in aromatherapy aren't technically essential oils but are absolutes. These oils are extracted from plant material using a solvent. This process produces what is called a concrete. The concrete is then processed further to make an oil called an absolute.

Another way to make absolutes is enfleurage, which involves placing plant material into solid odorless fats at room temperature to capture the fragrant compounds. The fat is separated from the plant oils using alcohol. Enfleurage is rare today but was the standard method of producing oils in ancient times.

Carbon Dioxide Extraction

Carbon dioxide (CO2) extraction is a newer process that involves using liquid CO2 as a solvent to extract oils from plants. These products differ in chemistry from distilled essential oils.

Essential Oils Guide

The following essential oil profiles are available as part of this guide:

  1. Agarwood Essential Oil
  2. Angelica Essential Oil
  3. Anise Essential Oil
  4. Balsam Fir Essential Oil
  5. Basil Essential Oil
  6. Bay Laurel Essential Oil
  7. Bay Essential Oil (West Indian)
  8. Bergamot Essential Oil
  9. Benzoin Oil
  10. Birch Essential Oil
  11. Black Pepper Essential Oil
  12. Black Spruce Essential Oil
  13. Blue Tansy Essential Oil
  14. Cajeput Essential Oil
  15. Calendula Oil
  16. Camphor Essential Oil
  17. Cannabis Essential Oil
  18. Caraway Essential Oil
  19. Cardamom Essential Oil
  20. Carrot Seed Essential Oil
  21. Cassia Essential Oil
  22. Catnip Essential Oil
  23. Cedarwood Essential Oil
  24. Celery Seed Essential Oil
  25. Chamomile: German Chamomile Essential Oil and Roman Chamomile Essential Oil
  26. Cinnamon Essential Oil
  27. Cistus Essential Oil
  28. Citronella Essential Oil
  29. Clary Sage Essential Oil
  30. Clove Essential Oil
  31. Coffee Essential Oil
  32. Copaiba Essential Oil
  33. Coriander Essential Oil
  34. Cumin Essential Oil
  35. Cypress Essential Oil
  36. Dill Essential Oil
  37. Elemi Essential Oil
  38. Eucalyptus Essential Oil
  39. Fennel Essential Oil
  40. Fir Essential Oils
  41. Frankincense Essential Oil
  42. Geranium Essential Oil
  43. Ginger Essential Oil
  44. Goldenrod Essential Oil
  45. Grapefruit Essential Oil
  46. Helichrysum Essential Oil
  47. Hinoki Essential Oil
  48. Ho Wood Essential Oil
  49. Hyssop Essential Oil
  50. Jasmine Oil
  51. Juniper Essential Oil
  52. Lavender Essential Oil
  53. Ledum Essential Oil
  54. Lemon Essential Oil
  55. Lemon Myrtle Essential Oil
  56. Lemongrass Essential Oil
  57. Lime Essential Oil
  58. Mandarin Essential Oil
  59. Manuka Essential Oil
  60. Marjoram Essential Oil
  61. Melissa Essential Oil
  62. Myrrh Essential Oil
  63. Myrtle Essential Oil
  64. Neroli Essential Oil
  65. Niaouli Essential Oil
  66. Nutmeg Essential Oil
  67. Orange: Sweet Orange Essential Oil and Bitter Orange Essential Oil
  68. Oregano Essential Oil
  69. Palmarosa Essential Oil
  70. Palo Santo Essential Oil
  71. Patchouli Essential Oil
  72. Peppermint Essential Oil
  73. Petitgrain Essential Oil
  74. Pine Essential Oil
  75. Ravensara Essential Oil
  76. Ravintsara Essential Oil
  77. Rose Essential Oil
  78. Rosemary Essential Oil
  79. Rosewood Essential Oil
  80. Sage Essential Oil
  81. Sandalwood Essential Oil
  82. Spearmint Essential Oil
  83. Spikenard Essential Oil
  84. Tangerine Essential Oil
  85. Tea Tree Essential Oil
  86. Thyme Essential Oil
  87. Turmeric Essential Oil
  88. Valerian Essential Oil
  89. Vanilla in Aromatherapy
  90. Vetiver Essential Oil
  91. Wintergreen Essential Oil
  92. Yarrow Essential Oil
  93. Ylang Ylang Essential Oil
  94. Yuzu Essential Oil


Image Credit: lizashush / 123RF Stock Photo