How to Collect Oils From Flowers

Overview

There are several methods you can use to successfully and effectively remove the essential oils from flowers and other plant materials. Some methods require complicated equipment such as vacuums and stills; others require nothing more than time and pressure. One or the simplest ways to collect flower oil involves the use of warm carrier oil. The heat from the oil breaks down the cell walls within the plant material, releasing the plant oils into the surrounding fluid. This type of liquid-liquid extraction is known as maceration.

Step 1

Choose the flowers you would like to use. You can use a single type of flower or a combination of compatible petals to create your own signature oils. Good candidates for oil extraction include roses, carnations, lavender, marigolds, sweet peas and jasmine. Pluck the flowers early in the morning before the blossoms have a chance to fully open. Gently remove the petals from each flower.

Step 2

Choose a light carrier oil without a strong aroma, such as olive or canola oil. Or choose a carrier oil with a compatible aroma, such as almond oil.

Step 3

Pour 1½ cups of oil into a clean jar and then add 1 cup of flower petals. Stir the petals down into the oil, mixing until all plant materials are thoroughly covered.

Step 4

Seal the jar and place it in direct sunlight. Every eight hours, shake the jar vigorously to redistribute the contents, blending the flower petals and the oil.

Step 5

Wait two days and then uncap the jar. Place a piece of gauze or muslin across the top of a bowl. Pour the oil out, and when the oil has run through, gather the muslin and hold it over the bowl, pressing the fabric gently to remove any additional oils.

Step 6

Transfer the filtered oil back to the jar and add 1 cup of freshly harvested flower petals. Seal the jar, shake and place the jar in a sunny window for two days, agitating the contents several times a day. Strain the mixture and add new flower petals to the oil. Repeat as often as you'd like. The fragrance of the oil will grow progressively stronger with each additional cycle.

Things You'll Need

  • 3 or more cups of flower petals
  • 1½ cups oil
  • Large glass jar with lid
  • Small bowl
  • Muslin or gauze
  • Tinted glass bottle

References

  • Extraction Techniques
  • Essential Oil Extraction
  • What are Essential Oils and How are They Made?
Keywords: oil extraction, collect flower oil, make essential oil

About this Author

Lisa Parris writes on a wide variety of topics, but focuses on health and wellness. First published in Stone Soup at the age of 7, Parris's work has also appeared in the Journal of Comparative Parasitology and The Monterey County Herald. She holds a Bachelor's Degree in biology and attended medical school for one year before admitting she "didn't have the stomach for it".