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How to Extract the Fragrance From Flowers

By Chelsea Hoffman ; Updated September 21, 2017
Flower petals contain the flower's fragrance.
flowers image by pearlguy from Fotolia.com

Several hundreds of thousands of flowers exist throughout the world, each offering their own individual scent. Extracting the scent from flowers includes the distillation of their essential oils. Essential oil distillation of flowers can be done at home, allowing you the ability to experiment with a variety of flowers and their fragrances.

Fill the bottom chamber of the double boiler with distilled water.

Add the fresh flower blossoms to the water. Three pounds of roses, jasmine flowers and lilac make a flirty, feminine fragrance when distilled together.

Place the mesh insert into the boiler over the flowers and water.

Sit an empty glass bowl directly in the center of the boiler's mesh insert.

Place the lid of the pot upside down onto the pot. Make sure the pot's handle is hanging on the inside directly over the glass bowl.

Allow the pot to simmer for approximately one hour. Do not bring it to a boil yet.

Fill the upside-down pot lid with ice. The ice causes condensation, which contains the most concentrated form of the flowers' fragrances. The condensation drips into the glass bowl to collect the scent.

Bring the pot to a boil. Dump out the lid and replace the ice as it melts.

Reduce the heat to simmer after 10 minutes. During boiling, make sure to change the ice frequently.

Remove the glass bowl from the pot while wearing oven mitts.

Suck up the oils in the dish with a plastic pipette and squirt it into a glass oil jar. Depending on the quality of flowers used, 3 pounds should yield about 1/2 ounce of essential oils.

Strain the flowers and water in the bottom part of the boiler, into a large bowl.

Smash the pulp of the flowers against the strainer to extract all moisture. Discard the flowers.

Strain the liquid again to make sure it is free of debris. Repeat two or more times, if necessary.

Pour the liquid into a plastic bottle and cap it securely. The fragrant water, although not as strong as the fragrant oils, provides you with added scents.


Things You Will Need

  • Double boiler
  • Glass bowl (small)
  • Distilled water (1 gallon)
  • Ice
  • Glass oil jar
  • Plastic pipette
  • Fresh flower blossoms (3 pounds)
  • Potato masher
  • Strainer
  • Plastic bottle (up to a gallon in size)

About the Author


The author of such novels as “Planet Omega” and the romantic drama, “Chloe and Louis,” Chelsea Hoffman devotes her time to writing about a myriad of different topics like gardening, beauty, crafts, cooking and medical research. She's published with Dobegreen.Com, The Daily Glow and other websites, and maintains the site Beauty Made Fresh.