What's the Difference Between Absolutes and Essential Oils?

What's the Difference Between Absolutes and Essential Oils?

I’m sure this is a question that many of you are wondering!

Essential oils, to put it simply, are oils derived from plant material. Absolute oils are a more concentrated substance, also derived from plant material but through a different extraction method, solvent extraction.

Since solvent extraction is different from the typical essential oil extraction (steam distillation being the most common), the scent of absolute oils is stronger than essential oils. A common use of absolute oils tends to be perfume for this very reason.

The main differences between essential oils and absolutes are consistency, scent, color, and pricing. Absolute oils are stronger in scent, have a thicker consistency, and have an amber like color. Essential oils have a lighter scent, watery consistency, and a light, clear color.


Rose essential oil, as mentioned in our previous blog post, is the most expensive essential oil on the market. Roses do not have much essential oil in the plant material which is a reason why it takes many roses to make just a single drop of essential oil!

When it comes to Rose absolute oil, the solvent extraction yields more oil than the steam distillation to make Rose essential oil, which is why Rose essential oil is more expensive than the absolute.

You can use essential oils for a variety of DIY projects, aromatherapy, and topical applications, while with absolutes, they are suggested for diffusion or DIY projects.