Organic Heliotrope Essential Oil – Enfleurage
Also known as Organic Heliotrope Enfleurage and Heliotrope Absolute. Our Organic Heliotrope Essential Oil – Enfleurage Oil is part of our Artisan Quality line of essential oils.
Our Organic Heliotrope Essential Oil (Heliotropium arborescens) is pure undiluted Heliotrope Oil extracted by Enfleurage. Enfleurage is an ancient technique of extracting essential oils from flower petals by layering the flower petals on trays of fat. Over time, the essential oils migrate to the fat and then essential oils are separated using organic alcohol. Then the essential oils are slowly separated from the alcohol resulting in pure essential oils with a truly wonderful aroma. Our modern version of enfleurage uses sustainably cultivated organic palm oil or organic coconut oil for the “fat.” Heliotrope flowers are too delicate for steam distillation.
Method of Extraction
Our Organic Heliotrope Essential Oil – Enfleurage (Heliotropium arborescens) is pure undiluted Heliotrope Oil extracted by Enfleurage. Most Heliotrope Oil is extracted by harsh chemical solvents and is therefore called an “absolute” (Heliotrope Absolute). Although our Heliotrope Oil is sometimes called an absolute because it is not extracted by steam distillation, it is technically correct to call it Heliotrope Enfleurage. It is most rare, coming from a small grower/extractor in South America who extracts the essential oil by the ancient method of enfleurage using only local organic farm raised palm oil and organic alcohol derived from local organic sugar cane.
The entire process of extracting the organic Heliotrope essential oil it done by hand using very low heat and no harsh chemical solvents. Pure local organic palm oil is used to absorb the aromatic oils from the Heliotrope flower petals. Once the palm oil is completely saturated with the essence of the Heliotrope flower, the locally grown palm oil is separated from the Heliotrope oil by cane sugar alcohol which is then evaporated to leave only the Heliotrope oil. The process for producing the Heliotrope Absolute by Enfleurage is quite labor intensive and requires many pounds of Heliotrope flower petals per mL of oil, but the results are astounding. The aroma of our Heliotrope Enfleurage is quite wonderful though somewhat different from the aroma of the actual Heliotrope flower. Definitely not as sweet as southern Heliotrope.
Heliotrope cannot be distilled like most essential oils due to the delicate nature of the flowers. Enfleurage was the traditional method of extraction used in the 18th and 19th centuries and into the early 20th century. Solvent extracted Heliotrope Essential Oil, called an “absolute”, is used extensively by the perfume industry. But, again, not by us. No chemicals other than organic alcohol are used to extract our Heliotrope Enfleurage. Either method (enfleurage or solvent extraction) is time consuming, and the oil yields are quite small for the amount of materials used.
Learn more about Enfleurage in this article by Dr. Joie Power.
Aroma of our Enfleurage Oils
Most noses love the aroma of our enfleurage oils, but a few (less than 1%) of our customers smell more of the palm oil than the essential oil. Initially, in addition to the aroma of the enfleurage oil, one smells the aroma of palm oil a bit “earthy”. But, if given a few moments to “breathe”, the floral aroma of the oil supersedes or replaces the aroma of the palm oil. This has to do with differences in receptors in the nose.
Heliotropium arborescens, the garden heliotrope, is a highly fragrant perennial plant, originally from Peru. It has an intense, rather vanilla-like fragrance. Heliotrope is also known as Garden heliotrope and Cherry Pie. Heliotrope has such an interesting scent, and its oil is absolutely fabulous. Originally from Peru, the Heliotropium arborescens flower was introduced to English and European gardens in the early to mid eighteenth century.
Heliotrope essential oil is said to have magical uses to include attracting wealth, protecting from physical harm, clairvoyance, and finding lost objects. Heliotrope flowers certainly attract butterflies so why not these other things too:-).
Heliotrope essential oil is quite relaxing but, do not put it directly on the skin since it can be irritating, especially for those with sensitive skin. It works fabulously in conjunction with lavender or other soothing and relaxing oils.