About AU

Apothecary Model

Chapter I

Chapter II

Chapter III

Chapter IV

Chapter V

Chapter VI

Chapter VII

Chapter VIII

Chapter IX

Chapter X

Chapter XI

Chapter XII

Chapter XIII


Petal Science














































Aromatherapy XIII by Deborah Dolen


AROMATHERAPY - Chapter XIII by Deborah Dolen 
Essential Oil Chemistry and Pharmaceuticals 

Excerpt How to Make Perfume and Aromatherapy Basics Copyright © Deborah Dolen 2011 This e-book is available in full version on Amazon Kindle and Barnes and Noble Nook. By Deborah Dolen Mabel White

How did essential oils become known for having particular medicinal qualities or target effects? Did someone sit around and think these up or just hand down stories from generation to generation? I wondered that myself because not one Aroma therapist I ever ran into would mention phenols, keytones or terms used in organic chemistry. It is very possible they avoided using “techno” words as not to open up the next question…what is a keytone, aldehyde? And so on. The truth is, essential oils are very much used in the world of pharmacy and most descriptions below were taken from a Merck Pharmaceutical manual! (1988 Merck Index Eleventh Ed.)


You are about to be exposed to some words you are not used too. I do not expect anyone to remember them all, I do expect everyone to begin to familiarize themselves with the words and to try re-reading the profiles often. When the terms come up later, you will have a better grasp. Please do not correct spelling of any chemical word-they often look misspelled, when they are correct. Examples are citronellol, cinnamic, lavendulyl, and terpinene, which are correct and sometimes do not mean what we think.


Essential oils contain many constituents. The predominant components are terpenes and esters, but a large number of trace elements are also present. It is the synergy enabled by the presence of these trace elements that often give the real essential oil, and the extracted vapor, its character and enhance the ability to blend with other oils to create more complex vapors and desirable phyto-inhalation experiences.


In general, essential oils consist of chemical compounds that have hydrogen, carbon and oxygen as their building blocks. These can be subdivided into two groups: the hydrocarbons, which are made up almost exclusively of terpenes (monoterpenes, sesquiterpenes and diterpenes); and the oxygenated compounds, mainly esters, aldehydes, ketones, alcohols, phenols and oxides; acids, lactones, sulphur and nitrogen compounds are sometimes also present.


It is interesting to note no laboratory has ever been able to make a synthetic essential oil that works, even when they have the actual chemical breakdown and components. Science has not figured out why this is. It just is. My theory is that each plant has its own DNA signature as we have fingerprints. Science has also not figured out what makes our molecules spin, and simply stop when we die. Science simply knows we are made up of atoms that spin around a nucleus. Again, my theory is we are made of energy, divine energy and divine energy makes us spin.


Therefore plants are no different in the grand design and their divine energy is what, in my mind, scientists cannot explain. So, are essential oils actually made up of, recognized by the pharmacy world and thus put into “classes?”


Aldehydes: These aldehydes have anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, disinfectant, sedative yet uplifting therapeutic qualities and are the component that imparts the citrus-like fragrance in melissa, lemongrass, lemon verbena, and citronella. These properties are best used in aromatherapy when the essential oil is used in low dilutions - around 1%. Other aldehydes include benzaldehyde, cinnamic aldehyde, cuminic aldehyde and perillaldehyde.


Phenols: These tend to have a bactericidal and strongly stimulating effect, but can be skin irritants. Common phenols include eugenol (found in clove and West Indian bay), thymol (found in thyme), carvacrol (found in oregano and savory); methyl eugenol, methyl chavicol, anethole, safrole, myristicin and apiol among others.


Terpenes: Common terpene hydrocarbons include limonene (antiviral, found in 90 per cent of citrus oils) and pinene (antiseptic, found in high proportions in pine and turpentine oils); also camphene, cadinene, caryophyllene, cedrene, dipentene, phellandrene, terpinene, sabinene, and myrcene among others. Some sesquiterpenes, such as chamazulene and farnesol (both found in chamomile oil), have been the object of great pharmaceutical interest recently because of their outstanding anti-inflammatory and bactericidal properties.



Excerpt How to Make Perfume and Aromatherapy Basics Copyright © Deborah Dolen 2011 This e-book is available in full version on Amazon Kindle and Barnes and Noble Nook. By Deborah Dolen Mabel White


About Dean Deborah Dolen return to home page

Deborah Dolen is the Editor in Chief for Mabel White DIY and author of over 25 DIY books, 1,000 articles and several TV "how to" Films.  Deborah Dolen is also an environmental writer and has her own content syndication.  Deborah Dolen was widowed when she was on her 30's and went on to raise three great daughters in FL up against many obstacles.  This is the time period she generated her most fascinating DIY books.

Deborah Dolen was born in a Catholic Infant Home on Niagara Falls, the U.S. side.  It was known as Our Lady of Victory.  Deborah grew up in the Adirondack mountains in Upstate New York although moved around a lot and always in transition.  Her teenage years were more stable and thoroughbred race horses were her passion. She skipped school a lot in the 70's to walk and groom the likes of Man o' War and Secretariat.  When she was not grooming horses in Saratoga she was hitting the ski slopes of Killington in Vermont, Pikes Peak, or Gore Mountain to name a few.  To this day K-2's are her favorite skis and Head are her favorite bindings.

In her 20's  Deborah Dolen built some 520 legal clinics for the poor from the ground up and ran for 17 years.  People simply needed affordable legal access and that still has not changed much.  Having grown up poor and discriminated against-even disallowed to play with certain toys...Deborah had never been a quiet type and bucked many regimes as an adult.  In the 80's she felt almost all legal fees were oppressive to the majority for no reason and feels they still are.  Her organization helped well over 100,000 people.  Many of those were able to teach other people in turn.  As with health care, Canada does not charge its citizens for most common family law issues and Deborah feels family issues, including financial ones, should not be a feeding frenzy in the states as it still certainly is. No one should profit of the demise of another person.

Fast forward a few decades and Deborah Dolen is very much into flying and canine rescue as well as DIY projects she writes about and films from her Florida home.  Although her passions have always been with horse racing she is very into auto racing, focus and performance in Daytona and Charlotte, NC.  Deborah presently writes about environmental topics beyond DIY subjects that will always fascinate her.  Her dog Ringo, adopted from Katrina, is usually by her side.

You can join Deborah Dolen her on twitter facebook or check out her home page for RSS syndication.    See demos of her work on YouTube here and Amazon here.  Mabel White