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The note of beeswax is among the few natural “animalic” notes in perfumery that are totally cruelty-free, i.e. involving no harm to the animal from which they're derived. For this reason, beeswax absolute is among the most prized materials in the natural perfumery palette, where the absence of synthetics can be a problem. With its naturally fixative qualities, it aids the anchoring of more volatile notes.
Beeswax absolute (Apis Mellifera) has been taken from the actual beehive without disruption to the lives of the bees for a long while. For perfumery, the wax is taken from hives that have been used for more than 5 years, therefore the material retains the scents of honey, propolis and the smell of the bees themselves, which makes beeswax a pheromone-rich essence with all that entails.
the Perfume Maker
The wax in the hive is collected carefully by hand and is then solvent extracted. The major countries producing beeswax absolute are Spain, France and Morocco where apiculture is ingrained in tradition, but California in the US is rapidly gaining momentum. The resulting essence is fully miscible in alcohol and dipropylene glycol, making it easy to work with.
Odor profile/Perfumery Use:
The scent of beeswax absolute is a very pleasant, complex composite of both honeyed, sweet aspects (with floral facets) and of essences of a musky, intimate ambience reminiscent of sweet hay and cured tobacco. The essence of beeswax absolute is used in perfumery to render golden-ambery notes, and serves as a middle to base note. The honeyed aspect of the material with its background of hay serves as a good underpinning of lavender and rose and is great in juxtaposition with naturally bitter oakmoss.
Characteristics of beeswax fragrance:
Beeswax absolute has comforting, spiritually balancing and lifting, solar properties when used in aromatherapeutic blends and recalls the joyful activity of bees.
Bees use propolis ( derived from resins and essential oils from local plants and pine trees ) to “glue” together the wooden frames in their hive, and that must be scraped off so the frames can be separated. The beeswax, which contains some honey, bee parts, and other impurities, must be melted and filtered or strained.
Most beeswax is gold or yellow but can also be in shades of orange, brown, etc. The color of the wax is in most part determined by the type of plants the bees collect nectar from. Beeswax has a delightful, light fragrance of honey, flower nectar and pollen.
Extracting beeswax absolute
Beeswax absolute is extracted from the wax by solvent extraction. Solid at room temperature, it is golden brown in colour and has a sweet, honey-like aroma.
It is known for its soothing, protective and antiseptic properties and is still used in medicine today.
Like essential oils, absolutes come from volatile, aromatic fluids extracted from plants. Delicate flowers such as rose, jasmine and orange blossom are oftentimes extracted as absolutes to yield a higher percentage of oil without using the heat that can damage the petals during steam distillation. Absolutes differ from essential oils in that they contain a higher density of colorants, waxes and other constituents from the plant, making the aroma highly concentrated and more true to nature. They are solvent extracted, and since a trace amount of solvent may be present they are not used for therapeutic purposes, but instead, for natural perfumery.
Organic extracts are made using modernized technology similar to the ancient method of enfleurage The extraction process uses only certified organic solvents such as fixed oils and alcohol to coax the aromatic essence out of the plant material. The resulting bio-available essence, extracted without added heat, captures the intricate aroma of the original plant material. We are one of a select few in North America who carry organic extracts made from Rose, Jasmine, Carnation, Tuberose and Vanilla, among others.
To blend an absolute, extract or resin that is thick or solid, we suggest gently heating the oil in a warm water bath. Start by placing the oil in its container in a bowl (or double boiler) with enough warm water to affect the temperature of the oil, but without the possibility of allowing the water to get into the container. Unscrew the cap slightly to accommodate for expansion while warming. Allow it to warm for about 15-20 minutes, replacing the water as needed if it evaporates. Continue warming until you get the oil at the right consistency to work with. It is important to remember that different oils will take varying amounts of time to liquefy, depending on how solid they are and their ability to soften. Also, once the oil has been blended into a carrier (whether vegetable oil or alcohol) with other oils, it may be necessary to re-warm or filter out any non-soluble particles that may be left. CAUTION: repeated heating may degrade the quality of the oil.
To dilute an essential oil, absolute or extract in a carrier oil (eg, fractionated coconut oil), it is important to start creating your blend using just a few drops of each essential oil, absolute or extract, gradually building until you have the fragrance/blend ratio you desire. After you have your recipe the way you want it, you can increase the amount of each oil based on its percentage within the blend. Then it’s time to incorporate it into a stable, non-fragrant carrier oil such as fractionated coconut oil. There are varied opinions regarding the correct and safe percentages of aromatic oils to use per part of carrier oil. It all depends on the intended use of the blend. For further information, we suggest a book from our reading list that suits your needs.
To dilute an essential oil, absolute or extract in alcohol, just as with a carrier oil, it is important to start creating your blend using just a few drops of each essential oil, absolute or extract, gradually building until you have the fragrance/blend ratio you desire. After you have your recipe the way you want it you can increase the amount of each oil based of its percentage within the blend. Then incorporate your blend into perfumer’s alcohol, which is specially denatured for this purpose or, for a less expensive option a light distilled spirit, such as vodka. Again, we suggest a book from our reading list to help you find the correct and safe percentages just right for your blend.
essential oils and their qualities
Use Bayleaf Essential oil for relieving rheumatism.
Use Bergamot Essential oil for colds, bronchitis systems, i.e. chest rub.
Use Caraway Essential oil for antiseptic quality.
Use Cardamon Essential oil for aphrodisiac quality.
Use Clary Sage Essential oil for anti-inflammatory, aphrodisiac and scalp problems
Use Cedar Essential oil for relieving Chronic anxiety and stress.
Use Citronella Essential oil for making a insect repellent salve.
Use Eucalyptus Essential oil for chest rub, relieves congestion, eases breathing.
Use Frankincense Essential oil for asthma and other respiratory problems.
Use Gardenia Essential oil for chest rub, said to relieve flu conditions, fever, hypertension and palpitations.
Use Juniper Essential oil for emotionally cleansing effect. Calms the nerves.
Use Orange Essential oil for a lighter body lotion, said to relax, relieve sexual apprehension, and is antiseptic and antibactericidal.
Use Patchouli Essential oil for antiseptic, aphrodisiac qualities.
Use Rosemary Essential oil for relieving tired muscles.
Use Tea Tree Essential oil for Antiseptic, antifungal, antiviral qualities.