The Complexity of Essential Oils

Is Rose otto the most complex of all essential oils? Not really, although it does make it into the top 10. Rose oil (Rose otto) has enjoyed the reputation of being the most complex essential oil known, as it was presumed it has more than 300 compounds.
A recent report showed that this assumption is correct in one sense – Rose does contain more than 300 constituents, in fact 440 were identified in at least one analysis.
That’s very impressive and for sure contributes the intriguing and complex odor of Rose otto. However, there are at least four essential oils that are even more complex: Rosemary with 505 constituents, Geranium with 500, Lavender with 450 and Vetiver with 445.
You won’t see anything like this many on a typical gc/ms report, as most of these constituents are at levels not seen with regular gc parameters. More than half of them probably make up just 1-2% of the oil. As a side note, the number of constituents does not in any way predict how powerful or useful an essential oil is in aromatherapy.



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