EVAPORATION RATES OF ESSENTIAL OILS
- LIST OF OILS
for more aromatherapy information. LINKS2
has a list of other useful aromatherapy websites.
oils evaporate at different rates. Aromatherapy has borrowed the
perfumer's terminology and describes oils that evaporate quickly as
"top notes", those that evaporate slowly as "base
notes", and those in-between as "middle notes". This is
not the same as whether an oil has a strong or weak odour, though the
two things can be confused, as an oil that evaporates quickly will have
a more greater immediate impact on your sense of smell.
Classification of some oils is variable and arbitrary - I have
seen ginger and nutmeg described as top, middle, and base notes in
different books. The matter is complicated by the fact that within each
oil, some chemicals evaporate more quickly than
others - i.e. each oil has its own top, middle and base notes.
below is therefore a "rough guide" based on several books and my
sources suggest that if you blend several different oils, you should
always include a top, middle and base note oil. I do not see this, as we
are doing aromatherapy, not perfumery. If you do a full-body massage
which may last an hour or more, then it is true that including only top
notes will mean most of your aroma has evaporated before the massage is
over. But if you mix up a blend for your frozen shoulder, I think the
pain-relieving and other properties of the oils, as well as your liking
the aroma, are more important - though some base notes can act as
fixatives, and prolong the shelf-life of a blend by slowing down the
evaporation of more volatile oils.
much attention you need to pay to evaporation rates all depends on the
circumstances, but in any case do not let ignorance in this area put you
off using oils!
Bergamot, cajuput, caraway, citronella, cumin, eucalyptus,
grapefruit, lemon, lemongrass, lime, mandarin, niaouli, orange.
TOP TO MIDDLE
Basil, cardamom, coriander, fennel, ho wood, lavender,
peppermint, petitgrain, pine needle, rosemary, rosewood, tea-tree.
Camomile, carrot seed, clary sage, geranium, ginger?, juniper,
marjoram, melissa, myrtle, nutmeg?, palmarosa?, turpentine?, thyme.
MIDDLE TO BASE
Black pepper, cypress, frankincense, jasmine, neroli, rose, ylang ylang.
Benzoin, cedarwood, cinnamon leaf, clove, myrrh, patchouli, rockrose (ciste/labdanum), sandalwood, vetiver.
See LINKS2 for
other aromatherapy and general health websites.
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- LIST OF OILS
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