Extraction and formulation of perfume from plant

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The word perfume derives from the latin ―per fumum‖ meaning through
smoke, is fragrant liquid that is sprayed or rubbed on the skin or clothes
to give a pleasant smell. Extraction of perfume from various plants
resources is of ancient origin. Infact the natives from different tropical
regions of the globe have long been extracting oil from numerous oil
bearing plants. Human since the ancient time have known how to extract
oil from their natural resources. Vegetable oils are naturally occurring
esters of higher fatty acids and glycerol. They are widely distributed in
nature and were first consumed as food. Later oils were discovered to be
used as renewable raw materials for variety of non food production, for
instance perfumes, disinfectants, inks to mention but a few.
Several thousands of plants distributed throughtout the world contain
a group of odiferous, fragrance, oily products that are highly volatile
organic substances collectively known as essential oils. ―Essential‖ does
not mean ―most necessary‖ but rather the concentrated characteristics or
quintessence of a natural flavor or fragrance raw material (Coulson et al,

2003). Therefore, perfume may be from essential oils of vegetables or
plant origin. It is a complex mixture of aldehydes, ketones, hydrocarbons,
alcoholic acid and short chain esters.
The existence of perfume on certain plants has been known for
thousands of years. They can be found in leaves, flowers, stems, barks,
and roots. Ancient Egytians extracted essential oils from plants tissues by
steam distillation (Ogbu,2005). Other methods of isolating essential oils
includes solvent extraction, expression, cold plate or enfleurage. Some of
these methods have been adopted by essential oil extracting industries.
Information on perfume when the essential oils have been extracted
from plants are of different type of oils and these will ultimately influence
the smell of perfume over time namely:
1. The base oil (Base notes)- this will produce the scent that stays
longest on the skin and for this reason it is usually added to the
mixture e.g vanilla, ginnamon, sandalwood, mosses etc.
2. The middle oil (middle notes)- this also influences the smell of the
perfume for quite sometime but not as long as the base note does e.g
lemon grass, Yalang Ylang etc.
3. Top oil (top notes)- this is added to the mixture after the middle notes
and may then be followed by some other substances which will help to

bridge the scents together e.g orchard, rose, bergamount, lemon,orchid
A formulation or recipe that rightly blend with the oil or fragrance is
used and the reason perfume differs is due to the formulation or recipe
that will give pleasant odour. It is necessary to choose a good recipe of
Alcohol is added to the fragrance or essential oils as a primary
solvent to reduce the strays of the oils.
Fixatives are also used with the other ingredients like water,
essential oils and alcohol to lower the rate of evaporation of the fragrance
of essential oils. The reason why a perfume losses its fragrance faster
than normal is because only a little amount of fixative was used when
preparing the perfume.
There is a high demand of essential oils for various purposes such
as medicinal, perfumery, soap making, insecticides to mention but a few
have opened up wide opportunities for global warming.
Imported essential oils are very expensive to meet the demand of
our local consumer industries, therefore it becomes necessary to source
and extract these oils from local source. In particular perfumes that are
usually imported can be produced locally from a vast variety of oil

bearing plants yet to be explored. It has also been observed that high
concentration of perfumes in the epidermal tissues can cause skin
irritation or peeling due to poor formulation. This problem will be
explored on this project. Solvent extraction is the safest method for
extracting high quality oil because some herbs and spices cannot be
extracted from enfleurage method but it has the disadvantage of having
residual solvents in the essential oils.
The research is conducted in order to use hydrodistillation as one
of the applicable methods to extract essential oils. Hydrodistillation has
the advantage of no solvent residues as an alternative to conventional
extraction techniques. This research will reveal the difference in yields by
the methods.

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