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Essential oils are not all the same. Each has its own fragrance, properties and peculiarities. Each behaves in its own characteristic way. Perhaps it boils at a particularly high temperature (useful as a fixative), or perhaps it contains a rare therapeutic agent such as azulene (found in chamomile). Whatever the reason for its uniqueness no essential oil is the same as any other and this includes oils distilled from plants of the same species in different places or at different times. However, there are some generalisations that can be made about essential oils, as follows: Essential oil is distilled or pressed from plant parts. The product so obtained may or may not be further refined depending on circumstances. Regardless of its origin an essential oil is volatile which means that it will evaporate into the air. Essential oils dissolve in alcohol and in fixed oils/carrier oils but not in water.

Balsam is material that exudes from the plant part and usually of a gummy treacle consistency. Balsam material will nearly always contain benzoic acid which is commonly used as a preservative in the food and pharmaceutical industries. Resinoid materials are generally semi solid to solid and are obtained from the resin by use of hydrocarbon solvents including benzene and hexane. Both Balsam and Resinoid materials comprise of a volatile chemistry, have very high boiling points and lend themselves very well as fixatives for perfumers. In theory all are easily soluble in alcohol.

Please note: Despite their quality, all of our products are of a highly concentrated nature and are therefore to be strictly intended for perfumery and aromatherapy use only. Hermitage Oils strongly discourages internal consumption of the products, which are not intended to be used as foods in any capacity. All photos and images on this website have the sole purpose to evoke the raw materials from which the products offered are obtained, their place of origin or their scent.