CARNATION (Gillyflower, Clove-pink)

The true pink Carnation (gillyflower or clove-pink) Dianthus caryophyllus was my wedding flower in 1972. It is a flower of fascination, scent, and love. The flower is edible and is used to scent and flavor many foods.

CARNATION, Gillyflower, Clove-pink)

Research by Jeanne Rose 1970 – to the present

A Clove-pink flower with the carnation absolute.
Clove Pink


Absolute of Carnation

Carnation absolute is an amber-colored liquid sometimes a greenish-brown viscous liquid with an herbaceous, bitter-honey-like, and spicy back note and a bitter taste. In natural perfumery is used in floral blends (rose, lily, narcissus, jonquil, Cassie, white ginger, honeysuckle), spice accords, etc. There is any intensity of the odor that is best expressed when a drop of spicy clove oil plus a drop or two of sweet cinnamon oils is added and it is diluted with 95% grape spirits and allowed to age for several weeks.

Pinks photographed in golden gate park in 2016
Pinks in the Park

These were photographed in Golden Gate Park in 2016.

Pinks have a sweet and spicy fragrance and charming, frilled flowers.

These are the Organoleptic (Sensory) and Odor Characteristics of Carnation Absolute
(Description of color, clarity, viscosity, taste & intensity of Odor.

ColorDark rich brown, sometimes green
IntensityWorks well with many florals, fruity, citrus and wood scents
TenacityHas a rich tenacity and presence in a perfume
Organoleptics of Carnation absolute 2021

Odor description ~ The odor of Carnation absolute is absolutely unlike any Carnation, gillyflower, or sops-in-wine that I have ever smelled.  It is dark and dank and needs to be fluffed up with spicy clove and sweet cinnamon to work in a perfume.



By Jeanne Rose from my original 1969 notes and old books

Carnation – abs … Portion of Plant Used in Distillation, How Distilled, Extraction Methods & Yield ~ Dianthus caryophyllus, the common garden carnation flowers are extracted with solvents and the result is a hard, green concrète then washed in alcohol for the absolute. In France and in many books, it is called ‘absolue d’œillet’. The brown viscous liquid was sweet-scented of honey, spice, and herbs, somewhat like the flower. This scent mixed well with other floral notes and fixatives such as Castoreum and Oakmoss. This product was produced in Europe. My original bottles have a more representative scent of Carnation flowers of old, rather than what is grown today.

Name of Oil ~ Carnation absolute (Dianthus caryophyllus)

Carnation probably comes from the Italian dialectal carnagione (flesh color) from the Late Latin word carnationem. Carnations were mentioned in Greek literature 2,000 years ago. Dianthus was coined by Greek botanist Theophrastus and is derived from the Greek words for divine dios and for flower anthos. Some scholars believe that the name carnation comes from coronation or corone (flower garlands), as it was one of the flowers used in Greek ceremonial crowns. Others think the name stems from the Latin carnis (flesh), which refers to the original color of the flower, or incarnation of God made flesh. In Romanian, the word for carnation is garoafa, it is also surnamed “flower of royalty”.1

            These plants that we love so well are called Pinks, Carnations, Sweet William, or Dianthus.  They vary according to the variety wanted, or the breeder decided to grow.

Countries of Origin ~ Natives of Europe, the absolute produced in France, Egypt, and Holland.

This is an old ‘sops in wine’ from the Fenbow garden of Elizabethan times, as described in the book “Old Carnations and Pinks” by C. Oscar Moreton.

old drawing of Nutmeg Clove
Nutmeg Clove

The Nutmeg Clove Carnation from “Old Carnations and Pinks” by C. Oscar Moreton


Carnations are flowers that are widely recognized by most people. They are classified as Dianthus caryophyllus, when translated, means “flower of love” or “flower of the gods”. There are approximately 300 species in the genus. They are native to the Eastern Hemisphere and are found naturally in the Mediterranean region, although modern varieties are grown both in greenhouses and in fields around the world. With such widespread commercial production available, there is not a limited season of availability. Because of their long-lasting qualities and fragrance, carnations are often featured in arrangements at holidays celebrated with flowers, at special occasions such as weddings and parties, and in sympathy arrangements.

Essential carnation oil in its absolute form is both rare and expensive. Many varieties produce a clove-like scent, and the aroma is said to be both uplifting and motivating. It was called ‘Clove-Pink”. Carnations and other flowers such as Stocks were also called Gillyflowers and Girofle. Not only are people attracted by their scent, but carnations also have an extended vase life from 7 to 21 days depending on the cultivar, harvest stage and flower food.

>>Many of the commercially produced varieties have flowers up to 3 inches in diameter and have very little odor. Colors especially red colors are on the same chemical pathway as scent. So, the more color or complexity of color often the less scent. Most flowers are double forms with ruffled petals. Remember that the same chemical pathways carry scent and color; if you breed for color and size, you will have less scent.<<<

CHEMICAL COMPONENTS OF THE OIL- ISOEUGENOL ACETATE. Carnations (Dianthus caryophyllus L.) are popular ornamentals and are mainly used as cut flowers. Their scents are composed of benzenoids, terpenoids, fatty acid derivatives, and other minor components (Clery et al., 1999; Hudak and Thompson, 1997; Schade et al., 2001; Zuker et al., 2002). Classical fragrant carnations possess a spicy and clove-like odor caused mainly by benzenoids (Clery et al., 1999).2

400-year-old illustration –


In Odorographia, p. 260 The perfume of cloves blended with a trace of that of methyl-salicylate (wintergreen oil) or a compound organic ether, is conspicuous in several species of Dianthus or ” Pink “: Plants belonging to the extensive order Caryophyllaceae. Most of the species are natives of Europe, temperate Asia, and North Africa. Dianthus Caryophyllus or ” Clove Pink ” is the original of the garden Carnation.

            According to a Christian legend, “Carnations first appeared on Earth as Jesus carried the Cross. The Virgin Mary shed tears at Jesus’ plight, and Carnations sprang up from where her tears fell” pink Carnation becoming the symbol of a mother’s undying love1. The history of the flower is fascinating. It was called ‘sops in wine”

HISTORY ~ Gillyflower. any of several scented flowering plants, especially the carnation, or clove pink (Dianthus caryophyllus), stock (Matthiola incana), and wallflower (Cheiranthus cheiri). However, the gillyflower of Chaucer, Spenser, and Shakespeare was the carnation. Other plants that are types of gillyflower are dame’s gillyflower, also known as dame’s violet (Hesperis matronalis); mock gillyflower, also known as soapwort or bouncing bet (Saponaria officinalis); feathered gillyflower, also known as the grass or garden pink (Dianthus plumarius); and sea gillyflower, also known as the thrift or sea pink (Armeria maritima).

To this day, carnations remain a favorite flower choice for many different occasions. They are immediately recognizable flowers, and they possess a charm and allure that continues to captivate people around the globe. In fact, in many parts of the world, the popularity of carnations surpasses that of any other flower including roses. The powerful sentiments these flowers can express are a perfect complement to their classic beauty and long-lasting freshness. By retaining its status as a floral mainstay for such a long time, the carnation has proven itself to be a lasting flower in more ways than one. –

Clove Pink

THERAPEUTIC VALUE OF CARNATION ~ Hilda Leyel mentions that the Carnation has cordial properties and enlivens the heart through the senses.  Gerard uses a conserve of the flowers with sugar to comfort the heart. Ms. Leyel continues that the pinks and carnations of all kinds have a cleansing effect on the blood, correct disorders of the head and the heart, and rejoice all the senses by their spicy scent and flavor.  A water distillate from pinks was said to be a cure for epilepsy and another says: ‘if a conserve be composed of them this is the life and the delight of humanity’ [this sounds like Gerard is being consulted again].

• • •


The pink is an ornamental plant known. As aromatic species, it follows that its composition must find a very fragrant essence, and indeed it can be found, even in small amounts, different for different varieties of carnations that exist. In the herbaceous plant parts it is also possible to find active saponins and some minor. As for its medicinal uses, there is little to say. There is a plant that is characterized by intense possess medicinal properties because its main job rather falls within the field of perfumery. If it is included here because once the water (hydrosol) was used as eye drops – carnation eyewash – for tired or damaged eyes. This application is a clear example of the theory of the sign: in fact, once the flower the carnation compared it with the eyes, because in the center of it appear certain that resemble paint the apple of the eyes of Hence it was proposed to extract the spirit of carnation, to soothe tired eyes or damaged, and began to prepare distilled water garden carnations. “. …


Emotional/Ritual Uses ~ Clove Pink ~ Dianthus caryophylatta ~ The favorite flower of Henry IV of France and still very much cultivated. This flower was introduced into France by French missionaries and soon assumed a double form in France in 1719. It has a lovely clove-like spicy and floral odor. Pinks and carnations of all kinds can be eaten and have a cleansing effect on the blood, head, and heart. Distill the flowers for a ‘cure’ for epilepsy; the hydrosols and waters can be drunk for nervous disorders. The absolute is a delight when used in small amounts in perfumer. – from Leyel

Interesting Facts ~ So popular were the clove gillyflowers in the 17th and 18th-century that they were used in soup, sauce, syrup, and cordials. The flowers were candied and preserved, made into kinds of vinegar, decorated salads, and always used as sops in wine and floated in the drinks of engaged couples. The actual Carnation known as ‘sops in wine’ or the clove gillyflower was a particular variety sometimes dried and powdered, but more often made into syrups and conserves. – from Leyel

From Victoria in Perfume Notes, 2005 – “Dianthus is derived from Greek, meaning di, Zeus and anthos, flower, “the flower of Zeus,” indicating its importance in the religious context of Ancient Greece. In Italy, Bologna in particular, the plant has been associated with Saint Peter and celebrated widely, with a special day at the end of June dedicated to carnation. In the Middle Ages, it was one of the most popular flowers for fragrance gardens. No monastery herb garden would be complete without carnation, the medicinal uses of which were referenced as early as the Han Dynasty texts (23-206 A.D.). In European herbal medicine tradition, carnation flowers have been prescribed for the nervous and coronary disorders. However, its probably most interesting usage has been recorded in the late 1600s, when the Countess of Dorset, England, made her own love potion, including carnation, lavender, bay leaf and marjoram. It is rather ironic that the flower of the most licentious of all Greek gods is supposed to have powers to cure wayward lovers. Interesting to note is that carnation signified devotion and loyalty in a variety of traditions, from European to Asian.”


Nerve Tonic made of Clove July flowers in Mountain wine

3 oz. Clove July flowers
Infuse into a quart of Mountain wine for 10 days
Shake every day.
On the 10th day filter through clean white blotting paper.
Drink a wineglassful 3 X/day as a nerve tonic. (a wineglassful is 2 oz)
From a Hilda Leyel book

Dianthus barbata – JeanneRose backyard


BLENDING & Perfumery ~ Blends well with  Ambrette seed EO, CO2 and abs; Basil EO and abs; Bergamot EO; Buddha wood EO and CO2;  Cassie abs; Champa flower EO and CO2; Clary sage EO and abs; Coconut CO2;  Fir balsam abs; Rose Geranium EO and abs; Genet (Spanish Broom) abs; Hay abs; Jasmine abs; Jonquil abs; Lavender EO, CO2 and abs; Lime EO; Lemon EO; Mandarin and Tangerine EO; Massoia EO and CO2; Neroli EO; Osmanthus abs; Rose abs, CO2 and abs; Sandalwood EO, CO2, and abs; Tonka abs; Vanilla abs and CO2; Ylang EO and abs; Violet leaf abs; and Tuberose abs.

Symbolic Meaning ~ Carnation is love, affection, fascination, and health. I used the Carnation flower on my wedding announcements in 1972.

            Carnation Meaning. The carnation means fascination, distinction, and love. According to a Christian legend, carnations grew from the Virgin Mary’s tears as she watched Jesus carry the cross. This is how they became associated with motherly love.

The meanings of carnations include fascination, distinction, and love. Like many other flowers, different messages can also be expressed with the flower’s different color varieties. Light red carnations, for example, are often used to convey admiration, whereas the dark red version expresses deeper sentiments of love and affection. White carnations are associated with purity and luck, and pink carnations are often given as a sign of gratitude. In the early part of the 20th century, carnations became the official flower of Mother’s Day in addition to finding particular significance in many other cultures worldwide. –


KEY USE ~ The absolute for scent and the flower petals in food and drinks.


•FORMULAS for Perfumes•

Formula for Mock Carnation Scent

Mock Carnation ..


Another formula Using Carnation Absolute

…….Alphabetical order …………….IN DROPS ……………………………. IN NOTES



  1. Scientific Papers Series Management, Economic Engineering in Agriculture and Rural Development Vol. 18, Issue 2, 2018 PRINT ISSN 2284-7995, E-ISSN 2285-3952 107 RESEARCH ON THE EUROPEAN FLOWER MARKET AND MAIN SYMBOLIC VALUES OF THE MOST TRADED SPECIES
  2. J. Japan. Soc. Hort. Sci. 82 (2): 145–153. 2013. Available online at JSHS © 2013 Analysis of Scents Emitted from Flowers of Interspecific Hybrids between Carnation and Fragrant Wild Dianthus Species by Kyutaro Kishimoto, et al


Leyel, Hilda. Cinquefoil

Leyel, Hilda. Elixirs of Life

Leyel, Hilda. Herbal Delights

Moreton, C. Oscar. Old Carnations and Pinks. Published by George Rainbird with Collins, 1955.

Rose, Jeanne. The Herbal Body Book, p. 63

Rose, Jeanne. Herbs & Things, p. 247

Rose, Jeanne. Natural Perfumery Supplement. P. 132

Clove Pink – Dianthus – in Golden Gate Park Arboretum

WAFT for Scent and Health


The herbaceous Rosemary oils, have great healing value in skin-and haircare treatments, in a diffuser blend to cleanse the room air and enliven the senses. They are often stimulating, uplifting, and potent. You can use Rosemary oil and the herb as part of a Massage oil, Bath oil, or Skin conditioner.

6 bottles of rosemary oil nestled in a large branch of Rosemary herb
Rosemary herb, essential oil, and CO2 extract

ROSEMARY – plant & Oil Uses

By Jeanne Rose

Introduction ~ Science is an interesting subject and because it is a living study, it often changes, and those changes can be challenging to understand.  In the case of Rosemary, it is the name change that occurred in 2017 that will shake you up.

Common Name/NEW Scientific binomial ~ Salvia rosmarinus (was known as Rosmarinus officinalis) and due to studies done, and DNA analyzed, since 2017 it is a part of the sage genus.

            FAMILY ~ Lamiaceae

Other Names and background ~ The species name, rosmarinus, comes from the Latin words ros (dew) and marinus (sea), or dew of the sea, in probable reference to the ability of this plant to thrive well in coastal areas (sea cliffs) and exposure to ocean mists. 

Countries of Rosemary Origin ~ Salvia rosmarinus (Rosmarinus officinalis) is produced in various countries: the CT camphor is produced in Spain and Croatia; CT verbenone is produced in California, and France; CT cineole is produced in Morocco/US/France.

Endangered ~ Not threatened. This is an introduced plant to the United States and grows well in many areas.

GENERAL DESCRIPTION OF ROSEMARY HABITAT, GROWTH, USES ~ “Rosemary is a perennial evergreen herb that is irregularly mounded and is valued for its fragrant, ornamental foliage and as an enhancement in cooking. It blooms from fall to spring. Key ID elements are the aromatic linear leaves which are green on top and whitish underneath, and also the axillary flowers.”1 It grows well in full sun where it often produces camphor, and it grows well in cool damp sunny areas where it will produce the cineol or verbenone type.

Showing 2 varieties of Rosemary, the large bush type and the smaller type called prostratus
2 varieties of Rosemary, the usual type
and the prostrate type

PORTION OF Rosemary USED IN DISTILLATION, AND YIELDS ~ The leaves, tops, and flowers are harvested, and steam distilled, and CO2 extracted. “Comminuting the pinene type of Rosemary will cause the bioconversion of alpha-pinene to verbenone. [Some plants need to be distilled fresh, some have to be dried, some semi-dried first, some need to be comminuted, that is, cut into smaller pieces, some need to soak for some hours before distillation. Each plant has different distillation parameter requirements.”2

The Yield: The yield can vary from .4 to .7% but is usually in the range of 1.0-2.0%.                      



Showing the chart of the rosemary oils, the description of color, clarity, viscosity, taste, intensity, and tenacity of 5 different oils.

ROSEMARY Odor Description/ Aroma Assessment /Chemistry ~

Chemistry and Components ~ CT verbenone is a favorite with its Rosemary scent with a hint of fruitiness, CT camphor that has the scent of mothballs and is used for the application to pimples, and CT cineol that smells quite herbaceous is the most often used for applications. All Rosemary is very eponymous in its scent with herbaceous, and woody notes.

showing the color differences of 3 chemotypes of Rosemary oil.

§ • §


Rosemary has three main chemotypes and the CO2. CT verbenone is a favorite in skincare and children’s products, CT camphor for application to pimples, and CT cineol in most other applications for pain or aches.

         The camphor type is a vein decongestant, mucolytic, tonic, and possibly diuretic. This type is used for external applications for acne or skincare. Camphor chemotype is produced where it is hot. The camphor type has neuromuscular action that is variable depending on the dose.  It is a venous decongestant by external application and powerful mucolytic by inhalation. We use it in massage blends for muscle cramps, joint pain, all around aches and pains.

         The cineol type is most often used for Respiratory applications, specific for ear and sinus problems, and general external applications for healing. Inhale and apply.

         The verbenone type is used for skincare, for oily or to regenerate the condition of the skin, and in products for delicate or sensitive skin. Inhale and apply.

CO2 Rosemary type. This CO2 extract acts as an antioxidant, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory agent. It is standardized in Helianthus annuus (Sunflower) seed oil. Rosemary Antioxidant CO2 Extract finds application in formulating creams, lotions, salves, balms and water-free products.

APPLICATION/Skincare ~ Rosemary has three main chemotypes. CT verbenone is a favorite for skincare, haircare and children’s products, with its Rosemary scent hint of fruitiness, CT camphor for application to pimples, and CT cineol in most other applications.

Rosemary has several health-boosting benefits aside from boosting prospective memory, it can be used in massage for pain relief, in bathing as it has antiseptic, antioxidant and astringent and anti-aging properties. Rosemary helps with dry and mature skin to produce more natural oils of its own. Rosemary can also help in getting rid of canker sores.

It is helpful to people who are losing hair and have problems with dandruff as it seems to stimulate hair growth and have less dandruff. Historically, Rosemary has been used to stimulate hair growth. There is one well-known study of 84 people with alopecia areata (a disease in which hair falls out, generally in patches), who massaged their scalps with a combination of Atlas Cedar (Cedrus atlantica) Lavender (high elevation), Rosemary (unknown chemotype) and Thyme every day for 7 months experienced significant hair regrowth compared to those who massaged their scalps without the essential oils. But the study was not well designed, and it is impossible to say whether Rosemary caused the hair growth, or it was the combination of oils.

I have made my own shampoo using Rosemary herb (make a standard herbal infusion) as the base with other herbs, calling it “Dark Hair Shampoo” and have been using it and other shampoos that I enhanced with Rosemary herb and sometimes Rosemary oil and 50 years later at 84 my hair is still dark. I give all the credit to Rosemary.

[Herb Infusion: 1 qt. water to a boil, remove from heat, add 1 oz fresh or 1/2 oz dried herb, infuse 20 minutes, then strain. Use the dark liquid as part of your shampoo and herbal rinse.] You can also sip the infusion as an anti-inflammatory and anti-aging substance.


Diffusion with Rosemary ~ This is a wonderful oil to diffuse, it is spirited, clean-smelling, vibrant, and its effects are stimulating, uplifting and cleansing.  It works in all sorts of blends, particularly herbaceous types and to give sparkling energy to blends with conifers.

Emotional & Energetic ~ Rosemary is feminine in its strength and …” seems to me the wiser, stronger sister of the Lamiaceae family. [Other members are Lavender, Sage and Melissa] Rosemary has spunk and spirit. It is the one to turn to when you feel weak and some stimulation or a strong arm to help you up; it is an oil to remember in the depths of the Canadian winter!” unknown author


BLENDING FOR A PURPOSE ~ Define your purpose and then choose the Rosemary type that best fits the purpose. In certain perfumery odors, you will probably choose the verbenone type, while in massage you will choose the cineol type. Rosemary mixes well with all citrus and citrus scents, resins, Mediterranean herbal scents almost everything except heavy florals.  It is used in Cologne, some fern scents, conifer and forest blends and fresh summer odors.  Keep the camphor type for therapeutic uses.

Showing another picture of Rosemary with the herb
varieties of Rosemary
(Salvia rosmarinus CT pinene and CT cineol)

Culinary ~ The herb used in all sorts of foods; it is delicious, aids health, is anti-aging, and helps in the production of bile.

HERBAL USE OF ROSEMARY ~ Use this herb in your cooking, in your bath, as part of your shampoo for hair growth, in the rinse waters.  Mix herb Rosemary and Lavender together and put in a silk bag and throw into the dryer with clothes to give a clean and fresh scent. Read my book, The Herbal Body Book, for dozens of formulas for the hair, the skin, and the home. The best use is to bathe and shampoo with herbs. Absolutely my favorite is to use herb Rosemary is mixed with Comfrey or Lemon balm and used in the bath as a bath herb (at least a full ounce by weight of the herb(s).

Hydrosol ~ This should be picked and distilled in full flower or just before full flower. At this time the hydrosol will be sweet while later it may be camphoraceous.  This hydrosol is stimulating both by external application and internal use.  This is the rejuvenating and ‘holding back old age’ hydrosol. It can be taken a teaspoon at a time in a glass of water as a tonic drink, bathed in, used in shampoo or skin care; in other words, submerse yourself in Rosemary herb tea, Rosemary herb and hydrosol baths, and Rosemary essential oil inhalations.  The herbal extract and essential oil (and why not the hydrosol) show some powerful uses in diminishing the effects of Alzheimer’s. It is stimulating and when distilled averages 5.5 pH ± .1 …

HYDROSOL — PLEASE NOTE: A true hydrosol should be specifically distilled for the hydrosol, not as a co-product or even a by-product of essential oil distillation. The plant’s cellular water has many components most are lost under pressurized short steam runs for essential oil, or by using dried material. We recommend that the producers specifically distill for a product by using plant material that is fresh.

a bottle of colorless Rosemary hydrosol and the bush it came from.
Salvia rosmarinus

HISTORY & INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT ROSEMARY ~ French folklore says that combing the hair once a day with a rosemary wood comb would prevent giddiness and modern folklore says use Rosemary in shampoo and hair rinse helps hair to grow.  We also know that it is antioxidant and an anti-aging addition both to the diet and to skincare products.

“For you there’s rosemary and rue; these keep seeming and savour all the winter long: Grace and remembrance be to you….” — W. Shakespeare, The Winter’s Tale

Key Use ~ The Herb of Remembrance and the Oil of Anti-Aging and Stimulation

This work is sponsored and supported by Prima Fleur Botanicals.



Books as Reference

Coombs, Allen J. Dictionary of Plant Names. Timber Press. 1995
Guenther, Ernest. The Essential Oils. Krieger Publishing. Florida. 1976
Herbal Studies Course/ Jeanne Rose. San Francisco California, 1992
Mabberley, D. J. Mabberley’s Plant-Book, 3rd edition, 2014 printing, Cambridge University Press.
Rose, Jeanne. 375 Essential Oils and Hydrosols. Berkeley, California: Frog, Ltd., 1999
Rose, Jeanne. The Aromatherapy Book: Applications & Inhalations. San Francisco, California.
Rose, Jeanne. Herbs & Things. Last Gasp Press (ask them to republish it)


Some cautions to remember with herbs and essential oils.

Moderation in All Things.
Be moderate in your use of essential oils as they are just not sustainable for the environment.
Be selective and more moderate in your usage.
Use the herb first as tea or the infusion. —JeanneRose 2014

Always Look at the color of the essential oils

Another photos of the Rosemary oils and herb.
Beautiful rosemary

Juniper berry oil

JUNIPER plant & Essential Oil Profile

Juniper Berry benefits and uses. This oil come from the female seed cone that produces Juniper “berries”; Juniperus communis L. Juniper berries are used to flavor gin and liqueurs and eaten with meat; there is a French form has rather sweeter (fruitier) berries that I prefer to use to flavor drinks. Berries are diuretic and the oil or CO2 is wonderful in many blends as an anti-inflammatory, to ease pain of aching joints.

By Jeanne Rose ~ May 2021

3 Juniper berry oil, showing colors and types.
3 types of Juniper berry oil

Common  & Scientific Name ~  Juniper tree or Juniper berry oil comes from the berries of  Juniperus communis. Do not confuse this tree and its oil with other trees that have ‘juniper’ in the name.

Other Common Name/Naming Information – There are other trees in this family that are called Juniper but here we are limiting the discussion to Juniperus communis and not to the pencil-cedar called either ‘cedar’ or Juniper, or the Juniper tree that produces Cade oil. 

See a longer article at

_____Family ~ Cupressaceae

Countries of Origins ~ This tree is limited to cool, temperate climates such as areas in India and Bulgaria. Varieties of J. communis and different berry-bearing species also grow on the west coast of the United States and are used in the production of local gin.

Endangered or Not ~ This tree is threatened or endangered in several areas. I have found this species in the local San Francisco Botanical Garden.

General description of Plant habitat and growth of Juniperus communis ~ This conifer belongs to the Cupressaceae family and the leaves are stiff and prickly, needle-like. It grows up to 18-feet but is generally kept pruned closer to the ground for the berries. 1st-year berries are green and have a fresh bright flavor and are usually allowed to mature another year when they turn brown to black before they are harvested to steam-distill or to be carbon dioxide extracted for a flavorant. 

Portion of the plant used in distillation, how distilled, extraction methods and yields: ~ Steam-distilled or COfrom the merged scales of the cone, the berries, are the part that we usually just call Juniper oil. Entire branchlets are harvested for hydro-distillation for hydrosol use.

Yield ~ The 2nd year berries are harvested in the fall and 100 kilos yield 1 kilo of SD essential oil.  0.2 – 2.0% for berry oil.

2nd year black Juniper berries and a trees branch showing 1st year pale blue berries.
Juniper berries and the tree branch

Organoleptic qualities of essential oil and extract of Juniper berrry, showing the color, clarity, viscosity, intensity of scent and tenacity in a blend.

• Odor Description/
Aroma Assessment ~ The steam-distilled essential oil from Bulgaria has a rather intense herbaceous odor with back notes of spicy, wood, and fruit while the CO2 example had a soft spicy, floral, and fruity odor – quite different and would obviously behave differently in a blend when contained other odors. The CO2 most closely resembles the scent of the berry.


GENERAL PROPERTIES of Juniper Berry oil

Properties and Uses ~ Juniper berries can be eaten or taken as a tea; the essential oil and CO2 extract can be used by inhalation and application.

           Juniper berries are a crucial component of gin. The 1st year berries have a much different taste than the mature 2nd year berries.

The properties are antiseptic, diuretic, tonic, and depurative (purifying). The essence by Inhalation is a tonic, brain tonic, and helpful in respiratory complaints as an expectorant. The essence used in blends by application or massage is antiseptic, astringent, skin cleansing for oily skin.

            When I travel, especially by air or even by train, I like to eat a berry or two to alleviate jet lag or for change-of-location.

Application/Skincare ~ Juniper berry oil is a valuable addition to skin and body care products due to its astringent and antiseptic qualities and is a wonderful addition in an astringent cleanser for the skin. It is a wonderful odor and deodorizer in men’s products.

Diffuse/Diffusion ~ Juniper berry oil can be diffused in a blend with other oils that are less intense in scent, such as Rosemary, Lavender, citrus oils. It has a very cleansing effect on the air, and is refreshing

Emotional/Energetic Use: Inhale Juniper berry oil for mental exhaustion, or to visualize being guarded from negative thinking and guard from danger. Be Positive.

A branchlet of Juniper with the berries and the three oils next to it.

Blends Best with most citrus oils, other wood oils such as Atlas Cedar, the Mediterranean herbs such as Clary Sage, Lavender, Rosemary, and the base oils such as Oakmoss, Labdanum, Vetivert and Patchouli.

Green Harmony – An Herbal Perfume
Cedrus atlantica (wd) 3 drops
Citrus aurantium ssp bergamia (pl) 6 drops
Juniperus communis (berr) 3 drops
Ocimum basilicum (lvs) 1 drop
Salvia sclarea (lvs) 5

Sports Blend – Aching Muscles and Joints
5 drops Sage EO
5 drops Basil EO
5 drops Cypress EO (Cupressus sempervirens)
5 drops Juniper Berry EO
5 drops Lemon EO
5 drops Rosemary EO
2 oz carrier oil, especially recommended is Bruise Juice
Vigorously massage aching areas as often as needed 


General All Over Massage Oil for Pain ~ To one ounce of carrier oil, add 3-4 drops each of Rose Geranium (Pelargonium graveolens), Juniper berry (Juniperus communis) and Lemon (Citrus limon).

Blending with formula One of my favorite blends is Juniper Berry mixed with Sage, Cypress, Lemon, Basil for the relief of all sports injuries, bruising, aching muscles, and external massage for cellulite and relaxing after exercise.

Chemical Components ~ Alpha-Pinene, Sabinene, Myrcene, Camphene, and Terpineol.

HYDROSOL of Juniper berry ~ A refreshing addition to your skincare routine, especially for troubled, acneic, or oil skin and hair.

________PLEASE NOTE: A true hydrosol should be specifically distilled for the hydrosol, not as a co-product or even a by-product of essential oil distillation. The plant’s cellular water has many components most are lost under pressurized short steam runs for essential oil, or by using dried material. We recommend that the producers specifically distill for a product by using plant material that is fresh.

Historical Uses ~ “Common juniper was used by Native Americans of the Great Basin as a blood tonic. Native Americans from the Pacific Northwest used tonics made from the branches to treat colds, flu, arthritis, muscle aches, and kidney problems. Cones were used by the southern Kwakiutl of British Columbia for treating stomach ailments and wood or bark was used to treat respiratory problems. The Interior Salish used cones to make medicines for a variety of ailments. Eurasians made tonics from common juniper for kidney and stomach ailments, and for muscular uses and rheumatism.”1

Key Use ~ The Oil of Edema from Aromatherapy – Home&Family2



  2. Aromatherapy – Home & Family course

Mabberley, D. J. Mabberley’s Plant-Book, 3rd edition, 2014 printing, Cambridge University Press.
Rose, Jeanne.  375 Essential Oils and Hydrosols.  Berkeley, California: Frog, Ltd., 1999
Rose, Jeanne.  The Aromatherapy Book: Applications & Inhalations.  San Francisco, California:
Herbal Studies Course/ Jeanne Rose & Berkeley, California: North Atlantic Books, 1992

owner of Prima Fleur in her favorite environment - Nature
Marianne Griffeth in her favorite environment ~ Nature

This article is sponsored and supported by Prima Fleur Botanicals.

Safety Precautions



The ancient Rose, first among the flowers, has been the most treasured throughout history. It is used today for both skincare and medicine; the oil in perfumery, and all parts of the herb in products.

a scattering of beautiful pink Roses, ready for distillation, Rosa damascena.
1. The Bulgarian Rose, Rosa damascena

ROSE – Absolute and Uses

By Jeanne Rose

Can I say, I love the  species Rose that produce blooms only once a year, the most beautiful and treasured of buds, so highly sought after for scent, for medicine, for skincare, and for love.

Rose COMMON NAME/LATIN BINOMIAL ~. The Rosa centifolia or R. damascena is the traditional rose used for blending and perfumery while the Rosa gallica or Apothecary Rose is the traditional rose used for medicine and for therapy. There are dozens of iterations of the common name for Rose.  These include the beach rose, the French or Apothecary rose (Rosa gallica), the dogrose (Rosa canina), tea rose, moss rose (Rosa moschata), and many more. Roses are used for blending, perfumery and in medicine.

_______Other Names and background ~ Queen of the Flowers and the name Rose was probably taken from the Greeks. Some other important roses are Rosa alba (Rosa damascena alba) – White Rose;  Bourbon Rose, R. x bourboniana (Edouard Rose); Rosa x centifolia – Cabbage Provence rose or Rose de Mai (confused with the Kazanlik); and Rosa damascena (Rosa damascena forma trigintipetala or Kazanlik Rose. Rose essential oil is called rose otto or attar of rose.

_______Family ~ Rosaceae

COUNTRIES OF ORIGIN FOR ROSE ABSOLUTE ~ Bulgaria, India, Syria, Morocco, Iran, and more.

ENDANGERED ~ Some Rose varieties, types and cultivars are endangered. Some are extinct. However, the genus itself is not endangered and some species are not endangered. Species Roses are grown for scent and often hard to find, while the 35,000 or more varieties are grown as ornamentals and for their looks.

GENERAL DESCRIPTION OF Rose PLANT HABITAT AND GROWTH ~ Human breeders of rose varieties  have tampered and toyed with the Roses to make them bigger, have more colors, and bloom more often. However, this reduces the number of  odor molecules, and thus newer varieties have less to no fragrance.

Do not be confused by pictures of Roses that any company uses when they discuss Rose oil; they are mostly showing you pictures of recent varietals rather than the ancient and true essential oil species Roses.

Rose is a woody perennial flowering plant with a need of sun to produce its lovely odor.

Marianne Griffeth of in a field of Roses, 2009. Photo by Jeanne Rose
M. Griffeth of Prima Fleur in a Rose field, 2009 • photo by JeanneRose

Rose – PORTION OF PLANT USED IN EXTRACTION AND YIELDS ~ The only Roses that are grown for perfumery and medicinal uses are the species Roses. These include Rosa centifolia, R. damascena, R. borboniana and some R. alba. Whole Roses and/or petals only are the only parts used in the hydro/steam-distilation and solvent extraction. Flowers can also be treated by maceration with hot fat (not oil) and will give the Pomades and Extraits de Rose. The essential oil content of the rose petals collected in cool season is higher than that of the petals collected in warmer season. Distillation is better and more productive in the morning, at 5 am than it is 12 hours later at 5 pm.3

            Yield of Rose absolute via solvent extraction Rose absolute yields 20-25% essential oil. But its essential oil composition is different from rose oil and also from concrete.3

Yield of Rose oil via hydro/steam distillation – varies: 0.12% +. Some 3000 parts of flowers yields only one part of oil. 1 kg rose oil can be obtained from 3000-4000 kg of rose petals. So, the rose oil yield is up to about 0.03-0.04%.

Two samples of Rose absolute showing color and sitting on tope of Nadim A. Shaath lovely book, Healing Civilizations.
Prima Fleur Botanicals, Rose absolute on the lovely book, Nadim A. Shaath lovely book Healing Civilizations.


 Rose absolute #302Rose absolute #355Rose steam-distilled
ColorDeep redDeep redVery pale yellow
ViscositySemi-viscousSemi-viscousViscous-crystalline when cool
Intensity of OdorDepends on terroir, 3-4Depends on terroir, 43-4
Tenacity in a BlendAlways adds the unexpectedAlways adds the unexpectedUse personally, not for perfume
Description of sensory aspects of 3 Rose samples

ROSE ABSOLUTE SCENT DESCRIPTIONS ~ Rose scent is best experienced in true Species roses and in the essential oil and absolutes made from them. Scent is also dependent upon terroir, how the Rose is grown. The business of breeding flowers with a long shelf life has often meant that there is a “steep decline in floral scents: in part because volatile and pigment molecules share biochemical resources, so that more color means less scent, in part because some scent volatiles are also plant hormones that shorten vase life.”1

                  Rose oil and absolute is very complex because it has dozens of components.  It can be described as being very floral, with a green and woody subsidiary note and spicey and sometimes fruity back note.


ROSE History ~ Rosa x centifolia is a descendent of the Rosa damascena which in itself was a natural hybridization of several species native to the Middle East and Europe and it and Rosa centifolia are the main roses used for blending and perfumery.  Harold McGee in his wonderful book, Nose Dive, states that the damask rose is a combination of the Gallic Rose (Rosa gallica), the musk rose (Rosa moschata) and another, an Asian species.1

Rose was distilled in Morocco and by the Berbers 1300 years ago.The Rosewater was regenerative in skincare and used in food – both to perfume and for taste.

One open bloom of Rosa centifolia
Rosa centifolia – JeanneRose photo


Rose absolute CHEMISTRY AND COMPONENTS ~ The components in the solvent extracts, concretes, and essential oil are somewhat different.  Here we speak of the solvent extracted absolutes.  The main components are as follows2:

75% phenyl ethanol – a floral odor that attracts bees and repels ants
5% citronellol – rosy scented
3% geraniol – rosy scented
3 + % linalool – a floral odor that attracts bees and repels ants
2.5% nerol – rosy scented


GENERAL PROPERTIES of the Rose oil and herb

The general properties of the Rose oil and extracts are analgesic, antibacterial, antidepressant, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antioxidant, antitussive, slightly astringent, hypnotic, tonic, and the herb tea is a mild laxative.

Applications in Skincare ~ Rose oil and absolute are used for all skin, particularly dry skin or aged skin. Any blend that you make and use on the face will reduce tension and stress in the skin and relax and smooth out wrinkles.

Creamy Rose Lotion for all types of skin.
Step 1. 1-ounce rose hydrosol (or distilled water if you have no hydrosol)
1-ounce Sunflower oil or Jojoba oil or a combination
½ ounce Shea butter 
¼ teaspoon Rose wax or another flower wax
Warm, and melt gently all together in a very small pot.
Step 2. Make your synergy of oils and absolutes and success the mixture
Rose Geranium oil – 6 drops
Rose absolute oil –8 drops
2 drops – Vetivert
Step 3. Add the synergy to the warm oil, wax, and butter, stir gently until integrated.
Step 4. Pour into container, shake or stir until cool
Step 5. Apply twice a day after cleansing.

BLENDING Rose FOR PURPOSE AND PERFUMERY ~ Rose oil and absolute has a unique ability to blend well with anything. It works well with woods, citrus, florals, spices, resins and the Mediterranean herbal blends and in most perfumes. Add it you’re your synergy, drop-by-drop until you achieve the scent you like.  Try a Millefeuille Perfume of all florals, such as, tuberose, jasmine, rose geranium, lavender, with the green Violet leaf and with especially Atlas Cedar and Sandalwood.

Rose INHALATION AND DIFFUSION ~ Are you feeling very stressed and overcome with the events of the day? Take out that bottle of Rose absolute and inhale away.  It is soothing to the heart and relaxing to the body.  After a few seconds you will be smiling and relaxed.  Rose has many purposes; both old and new. The absolute, and concrete is best for perfumery while the attar or otto is best for internal uses.

RITUAL USE ~ Rose oil either inhaled or applied to the forehead relieves headache and stress, and it makes you feel better soothing any shock or grief. Rose oil has a history of positive use in rituals for pain and a source of spiritual love and of joy and happiness. There are many ways to use the ancient Rose scent.

HERBAL Rose ~ There is almost nothing more relaxing than a rose petal bath.  Just pick the petals and strew in the hot water. The heat extracts the fragrance and the smoothing emollient quality of the petals to cleanse and soothe the skin. 

Rose petal tea with honey  is a slight laxative especially useful to give to children as it is tasty. And Rosehips are loaded with vitamin C and are a tasty tea when they are available or dried and saved.

Rosehips on a bush, the fruiting part after flowering, used in tea. Photo by JeanneRose 2011
Rosehips • 8/31/11 JeanneRose photo

INGESTION/CULINARY USE OF THE HERB Rose. First of all, do not take the absolute internally as it is solvent-extracted.  You can take a drop of the otto for emotional care –  is good for the mind and heart. Remember it is the species Roses you want to become familiar with and not the low-scented varietals.


HYDROSOL OF ROSE ~ ROSEWATER ~ Rosewater has unlimited potential to improve any skincare product –  add to any cream, lotion, tonic, moisturizer, bath, and more. Add it to foodstuff, beverage, cocktail. It is always soothing. It can be used with Seaweed extract and Rosemary herb for a true AntiAging elixir. it is anti-aging and actually good for your skin and in foods it is tasty. Try it. Read any of my (Jeanne Rose) books for many more uses.

Key Use ~ Perfumery & skin care. Oil of the Heart©.

Safety Precautions ~ None known. Non-toxic. Non-irritant.

This work is sponsored and supported by Prima Fleur Botanicals.

Art nouveau vase with two bottles of Rose absolute in front.
Vase with PrimaFleur Rose Absolutes


1.McGee, Harold. Nose Dive – A Field Guide to the World’s Smells. Penguin Press. 2020

2.Shaath PhD, Nadim A. Healing Civilizations, The search for Therapeutic Essential Oils & Nutrients. Cameron + Company, Petaluma, CA. 2017

3. OIL-BEARING ROSE (Rosa damascena Mill.) CULTIVATION AND ROSE OIL INDUSTRY IN TURKEY* (*published in Euro Cosmetics 14 (6):13-17, 2006)


Rose, Jeanne. The Aromatherapy Book, Applications & Inhalations. Available


Cautions to remember
Safety Precautions


Turmeric CO2 extract is used both in skincare and healthcare formulations as an anti-inflammatory and antiseptic. The rhizome is a historically well-known food and medicine used for thousands of years in India and has been recently recognized in Western medicine for its wide range of beneficial effects.

TURMERIC – Uses of the herb and the extract

By Jeanne Rose

Turmeric Latin Binomial ~ Curcuma longa L ,

         Family – Zingiberaceae

          Naming ~ Turmeric has also been called Curcuma domestica, ‘Indian Saffron’, and also known as tumeric or curcumin.

Countries of Origin:  Native to Europe and Siberia and naturalized worldwide.

Endangered ~ Turmeric is considered to be an endangered medicinal plant.

General Description of Plant habitat and Growth ~ Botany: Turmeric is an herbaceous perennial plant whose rhizome (an underground stem that grows horizontally) is collected, dried and used as the spice. It needs a hot, moist climate and in India is harvested from December to March. The rhizome is boiled and then let to dry. The rough skins are removed, and it is then ground to make a fine rich yellow turmeric powder. Turmeric is natural preservative.

Turmeric portion of the plant used in distillation, how distilled, extraction methods & yield ~ Turmeric rhizome is semi-dried or steamed, peeled, comminuted, soaked overnight in the distilling water, and then hydro/steam-distilled for the essential oil. Turmeric rhizome is dried and crushed to be solvent extracted.

Yield ~ solvent-free supercritical CO2 extraction of dried crushed rhizomes had a higher yield than the essential oil yield of  2.1-2.48%.


Organopeptics of Turmeric describing the color, clarity, viscosity, taste, intensity and tenacity of the CO2.
Organoleptics of Turmeric CO2

Odor Description ~ The carbon dioxide extract of Turmeric is softly fragrant with a spicy, somewhat floral and slight woody odor.


Anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antimicrobial, and preservative for the food industry. food colorant, and fabric dye.

Skincare/Cosmetic Use of  Turmeric oil/Extract ~ Use Turmeric CO2 as an antiseptic and anti-inflammatory and use either oil or extract for blackheads and good skin tone. Make a paste of  a pinch of Turmeric powder, a drop of the extract, some drops of lemon juice and apply this paste on face. Keep until it dry. Daily use definitely improves skin tone as well as helps to remove blackheads. Spray after with hydrosol or a Turmeric toner.

            The mixture of equal parts of Lavender oil and Turmeric extract works well as an application for blackheads or in lotion as a toner.

Turmeric Physical Uses & Herbal Use of Turmeric How used ~ Turmeric is used as an herbal extract, CO2 extract in blending, the herb as a food item or to flavor food, and a colorant. The CO2 can be used in essential oil blends to help as an anti-inflammatory while the herb or herbal extract is taken as a supplement.

         Turmeric Herb Therapeutic Uses ~ Science News wrote several bits of information about Turmeric in 2007. See 172-167; 172- 37; 172-13; 171-301. It appears to help prevent, and possibly treat, Alzheimer’s disease. Another study showed that a gene that is active in the brain offered one clue to why emotional stress seems to increase the likelihood of getting Alzheimer’s disease. “The US National Institutes of Health is supervising several clinical trials studying curcumin as a treatment for pancreatic cancer, multiple myeloma, Alzheimer’s dementia, and colorectal cancer.”2

Culinary ~ Turmeric is a food and spice. It is commonly used in curries and South Asian cuisine. It is a significant ingredient in most curry powders. Turmeric is also used to give a yellow color to some prepared foods such as canned chicken, mustards, meats, vegetable broth, and other foods (often as a cheaper replacement for saffron). The taste is most interesting and changes with the other ingredients used.

Turmeric CO2 over a picture of the ground-up Turmeric root
Prima Fleur Botanical Turmeric on top of Nadim A. Shaath lovely book,
Healing Civilizations.

Hydrosol of  Turmeric. I have never personally used this hydrosol, but I did search and found this quote, Turmeric is highly responsive to the season it’s harvested in. … This shows us how turmeric hydrosol can help us adapt to change—both in the environment, and in our lives. … It can soothe distressing issues and ground us in steady health.”4

Emotional/Energetic Uses (AP or IN): Food prepared with Turmeric is considered uplifting and may ease depression. Try the CO2 or steam-distilled oil with Lavender,  Clary Sage and/or Cistus as an inhalation.

It blends well with Lavender for a soothing inhalation.

         Turmeric extract with Blood Orange and Bergamot EO is uplifting, and bright. See Mojave Mirage Blend in  PrimaFleur blends for other uses.

Turmeric Formula for Aching Shoulders & More

20 drops of Turmeric CO2

20 drops of fine Lavender

40 drops of carrier oil

Mix all together and use for aching shoulders.  This is mildly pain-relieving

And anti-inflammatory. The mixture can also be used in skincare

formulas for toning, skin eruptions and as a skin soother.

Blending for Purpose with Turmeric ~ Turmeric in Perfumery:
Turmeric is a very unusual addition to blends and perfumes. It is exotic and a heart note that can be used in Chypre blends with Oakmoss and Labdanum as well as florals such as Clary Sage, Rose, Tuberose, Ylang-ylang, and Cistus, Hedychium (ginger lily), Saffron, spices and more. You can try it in a fougère as well.

Photo of split root of Turmeric and a bottle of the CO2 showing good color, clarity.

Turmeric Chemistry and Components Chemistry:

Curcumin is the active ingredient in turmeric root that has been shown to have a wide range of therapeutic effects. Curcumin is known for its antitumor, antioxidant, anti-amyloid and anti-inflammatory properties. Flavex reports 70 – 90 % essential oil containing mainly alpha- and beta-turmerone and ar-turmerone; in addition alpha-phellandrene, alpha-zingiberene, sesquiphellandrene. The extract contains only traces of curcumin.3

History ~ In the 13th century, Marco Polo, writing about his travels in China, described Turmeric, “There is also a vegetable that has all the properties of the true saffron, as well as the color, and yet it is not really saffron. It is also used as an ingredient in many dishes.” “Turmeric has a long history of medicinal use in South Asia, mentioned in Sanskrit medical dissertation and widely used in Ayurvedic systems. Susruta’s Ayurvedic Compendium in 250 BC recommends an ointment containing turmeric to relieve the food poison effect.”1

            Turmeric is an ancient remedy.

Key Uses ~ The herb of digestion, the Oil to Soothe Inflammation©.

Contraindications: Turmeric contraindications have not been determined.







Rose, Jeanne. 375 Essential Oils & Hydrosols. Frog Ltd. 1999

Shaath PhD, Nadim A. Healing Civilizations, The search for Therapeutic Essential Oils & Nutrients. Cameron + Company, Petaluma, CA. 2017

This work is sponsored and supported by Prima Fleur Botanicals.