Rose Oil Extraction

Perfume is used in order to make something have a fragrant odor. It is a fragrant liquid which is typically made from oil extracts of flowers or spices. In today’s time, the most popular type of perfume has the fragrance of the rose. However, rose oils are quite expensive to have since its production or extraction process is a hard task. You have to do most of the things manually like when harvesting, you have to do it by hand before sunrise. Also, the harvested petals should be extracted at the same day since rose petals might be withered and lose its oil extracts. In addition, it takes many pounds of rose petals to make just one ounce of oil.

In order to understand how laborious the extraction process is, here are the three methods which are mainly used for getting the oil out of the rose petals. First is the solvent extraction method. In this process, a kind of solvent like hexane is used as a mixing component with the rose petals. Hexane is the preferable to choose since it is the type of solvent that draws out the aroma of the rose as well as some wax and pigments.

After drawing out the aroma of the rose, the hexane is removed by a vacuum process leaving a thick wax-like or commonly called as Concrete in the perfume industry. The Concrete is then applied with alcohol to draw out the scent. In order to remove the alcohol mixture, it is evaporated under low pressure, leaving the pure scent extract behind with an amber yellow to deep red in color. Such extract is identified as Rose Absolute. Among the three methods, this one is the least expensive one.

Second is the extraction of oil by steam distilling. This process involves large stills filled with rose petals and water. Obviously, the still is heated for a period of time. After that the water is drained off, leaving only the concentrated oil from the rose petal. Then, red is still the drained off water in order to extract water-soluble oils. The water-soluble constituents produced from the drained off the water are then mixed with the original concentrated oil to produce Rose Otto or Attar which has a pale yellow to olive green color that could possibly crystallize at room temperature. Rose Otto is made up of around 20% of the concentrated oil and 80% of the water-soluble products.

And the last is extraction via superficial carbon dioxide. Among the three methods, this one is the most expensive one because of the use of superficial carbon dioxide.  Liquefied carbon dioxide is mixed with the rose petals and heated at very low temperatures. The rest of the process is similar to the solvent extraction method. The only difference is that this method uses carbon dioxide rather than hexane.