Sunday, 1 August 2010

Things we have learnt from books N'1

This is our new 'hope to do this' weekly feature. Although authors like to entertain us or give us insights into other peoples lives and the human condition, sometimes they will educate us with a actual fact. After verifying a found fact (via the internet) we will share what we have learnt from a book this week.

Number 1. Water distillation of perfume learnt from Perfume by Patrick Suskind

Most essential oils are extracted using the above method. Steam is passed through the material containing the required scent causing the plant tissues to break down. The essential oils and water released are collected and cooled and the essential oil separates and is isolated.

Steam distillation was invented by the Persian chemist, Ibn Sina in the early 11th century for the purpose of extracting essential oils.

Today more synthetic perfume products were used in place of certain hard to find or expensive ingredients. On rare occasions, some of the big perfume houses still use some botanical oils combined with aroma chemicals in some of their mainstream modern perfumes. But today natural and niche perfumers are just about the only ones who make perfumes in the classic style.

Posted by Jess