Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Diluting Attars????

From an earlier "Monday's With Marge"  "There is a strong emphasis on the importance of diluting essential oils for safe usage. Wouldn't the same safety concerns and dilution guidelines apply when it comes to using attars and natural perfumes? I went looking for information on this, and the only explanation I found from what I would consider a reputable source suggests that the sandalwood oil acts as a carrier, providing the necessary dilution. Something about that doesn't seem right to me. I would love to hear your thoughts on this!"

Christine, GREAT question!!!

In traditional attars Sandalwood oil is put in the receiving vessel to enhance, add to, the very very rare item being distilled. Because the botanical being distilled will not yield its essential oil otherwise. They are lovely, and mysterious, and unlike any other aromatic. 

But you are now looking at a 100% dilution of Sandalwood and other botanicals.  It is my understanding that in the case of most attars, you have probably about 95% - 98% Sandalwood essential oil and the remaining 2 - 5% is .. other.

But it is still 100% essential oil.  and saying it acts as a carrier perhaps misuses the term 'carrier'... yes, the sandalwood "carries" the aromatic molecules of the other aromatics... but it is not a diluent..which is how WE use the carrier oils.. to safely dilute the essentials.

Now, there are those who wear Sandalwood undiluted as perfume.  There are those who wear Patchouli undiluted, as perfume.

I think you know my stance on that one!   We recommend a 10% dilution for perfumery.   And that, of course, is for pulse points only, not ever for full body.  True Indian Sandawood, santalum album, is one of the safest, gentlest and most benign oils, and there have been those wearing it undiluted for .. as long as it has been distilled. But then again, everyone used to say that Lavender was safe to use neat, and I am sensitized to it. And to oils that share its components.

Sandalwood is an oil that I love, and it is BEST diffused by the human body... it has an unique affinity for our body chemistry, in my opinion.  But refusing to dilute it to 'perfume dilutions" leaves you open to the chance of being denied it. Perhaps a slim chance. But still a chance.   WHY would you risk that?

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