Until the second half of the nineteenth century, formulas of perfumes and flavors (although much less data are available on flavoring products in history) were based on essential oils and some other naturals (musk, civet, amber, resins, pomades, tinctures, extracts, etc.). Now, some 150 years later, old formulations are being taken out of historical books and are advertised as the "back to nature" trend. Perfumery handbooks published until the early twentieth century listed essential oils, and none or only one or two aroma chemicals (or isolates from essential oils). A very good illustration of the changes that affected the formulation of perfumes in the twentieth century is a comparison of rose fragrance as recorded in perfumery handbooks. Dr Heinrich Hirzel in his Die Toiletten Chemie (1892, p. 384) gave the following formula for high-quality white rose perfume:
400 g of rose extract 200 g of violet extract 150 g of acacia extract 100 g of jasmine extract 120 g of iris infusion 25 g of musk tincture 5 g of rose oil 10 drops of patchouli oil.
Felix Cola's milestone work Le Livre de Parfumeur (1931, p. 192) recorded a white rose formula containing only 1% of rose oil, 2% of rose absolute, 7.5% other oils, and aroma chemicals.
Rose oil Rose absolute Patchouli oil Bergamot oil Linalool Benzyl acetate Phenylethyl acetate Citronellol Geraniol
In the mid-twentieth century, perfumers were educated to consider chemicals as the most convenient, stable, and useful ingredients for fragrance compositions. Several rose fragrance formulas with less than 2% rose oil or absolute can be found in F.V. Wells and M. Billot's Perfumery Technology, (1975), and rose fragrance without any natural rose product is nothing curious in a contemporary perfumers' notebook. However, looking through descriptions of new fragrances launched in the last few years, one can observe a very strong tendency to emphasize the presence of natural ingredients—oils, resinoids, and absolutes—in the fragrant mixture. The "back to nature" trend creates another area for essential oils usage in many products.
A very fast growing group of cosmetics and related products today are the so-called organic products. These are based on plant ingredients obtained from wild harvesting or from "organic cultivation" and which are free of pesticides, herbicides, synthetic fertilizers, and other chemicals widely used in agriculture. According to different sources, sales of "organic" products in 2007 will reach 4-5 billion U.S. dollars. The same "organic raw materials" are becoming more and more popular in the food industry, which in consequence will increase the consumption of "organic flavors" based on "organic essential oils." "Organic" certificates, available in many countries (in principle for agricultural products, although they are institutions that also certify cosmetics and related products), are product passports to a higher price level and selective shops or departments in supermarkets. The importance of that segment of essential oils consumption can be illustrated by comparison of the average prices for standard essential oils as listed in Table 16.4 and the same oils claimed as "organic."
The consumption of essential oils in perfumed products varies according to the product (Table 16.5): from a very high level in perfumes (due to the high concentration of fragrance compounds in perfumes and the high content of natural ingredients in perfume fragrances) and in a wide range of "natural" cosmetics and toiletries to relatively low levels in detergents and household chemicals, in which fragrances are based on readily available low-priced aroma chemicals. However, it must be emphasized that although the concentration of essential oils in detergents and related products is low, the large volume sales of these consumer products result in substantial consumption of the oils.
Average values given for fragrance dosage in products and for the content of oils in fragrances are based on literature data and private communications from the manufacturers. It should be noted that in many cases the actual figures for individual products can be significantly different. "Eau Savage" from Dior is a very good example: analytical data indicate a content of essential oils (mainly berga-mot) of over 70%. Toothpastes are exceptional in that the content of essential oils in the flavor is in some cases nearly 100% (mainly peppermint, spearmint cooled with natural menthol).
While the average dosage of fragrances in the final product can be very high, flavors in food products are used in very low dosages, well below 1%. The high consumption of essential oils by this sector results from the large volume of sales of flavored foods. Average dosages of flavors and the content of essential oils in the flavors are given in Table 16.6.
As in the case of fragrances, the average figures given in Table 16.6 vary in practice in individual cases, both in the flavor content in the product and much more in the essential oils
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You have probably heard the term Aromatherapy and wondered what exactly that funny word, „aromatherapy‟ actually means. It is the use of plant oils in there most essential form to promote both mental and physical well being. The use of the word aroma implies the process of inhaling the scents from these oils into your lungs for therapeutic benefit.