There are many people who name wisteria as one of their favorite flowers, and it’s not just because of how beautiful it is. When wisteria vines bloom, their intense aroma fills the air and reminds you of spring. It’s no surprise that people want to capture that scent! In this article, we’ll discuss how to extract oil from any flower, and how to turn it into a fragrance oil.
What You'll Learn Today
How Do You Extract Oil From Flowers?
There are many different ways to extract oil from flowers. The methods usually depend on the type of flower, and what you intend to use the fragrance for.
Companies that sell essential oils have scientific, highly specialized methods for capturing the aroma of flowers and other plants. These methods usually involve hard-to-find chemicals and expensive equipment.
While those processes are necessary for professional-grade products, there are simpler ways to make oil from flowers at home. The result may not be professional, but you’ll still get a ton of use out of it, and it’s so rewarding to make your own.
One of the easiest ways to extract oil from any flower is by using a carrier oil to bring out the fragrance. Here’s how to do it:
Step 1: Pick Your Flowers
If you’re using wisteria flowers, start looking for them in the first few weeks of spring. Depending on where you live, wisteria usually blooms around mid-May.
Flowers are most fragrant when they are just starting to open up – before they are in full bloom. Gather about 10 flowers for one batch.
Step 2: Place Petals in a Bag
Remove all of the petals from the flowers and put them in a zip-top plastic bag. Close the bag, and gently press on the petals with a wooden mallet. This helps to pull out the fragrance from the petals.
Note: The stems, seeds, and pods of wisteria are said to be poisonous. Make sure that you only use the petals, and do not ingest any part of this plant, or the oil you make from it.
Step 3: Combine the Oil
Take the petals out of the bag and put them in a mason jar. Pour in enough carrier oil to cover the petals.
Step 4: Let the Petals Soak
Set the jar on a sunny window sill and let it sit for at least 24 hours. If you want the fragrance to be more concentrated, give it another day.
Step 5: Strain the oil
Use cheesecloth folded into a double layer to strain the petals out of the oil. Toss the old petals in the garbage.
Step 6: Repeat Steps 2-5
Use the same oil to cover, soak, and strain more flower petals. You can repeat that process until you’re satisfied with the strength of the fragrance.
When you’re done, you can transfer your oil into a spray bottle, roller bottle, or whichever vessel best suits its intended purpose. Store it in a cool, dark place and try to use it within a month.
How Do You Extract Oils With Alcohol?
If you’re making perfume and prefer not to use an oil-based product, you can use alcohol instead of carrier oil. With this method, you can use either undenatured ethyl alcohol or just plain old vodka.
To extract your fragrance, follow the same process as was described for the carrier oil method. You can repeat the steps as many times as needed to reach the desired strength. If it ends up being stronger than you intended, you can dilute the scent with water.
To see a quicker method for extracting oils, watch this YouTube video:
What Kind of Carrier Oil Should I Use?
Carrier oils are used to “carry” the oils from the flowers onto your skin. There are tons of carrier oils to choose from, most of which are used for different purposes.
These are some examples of the most popular carrier oils and their uses:
- Olive oil: commonly used in cleansers, moisturizers, hair products, and hand soap
- Coconut oil: great for massage oils in particular
- Almond oil: many people use this for massage, soaps, and add it to baths
- Grape seed oil: this is often used to make massage oil and body oil
- Sunflower oil: popular for moisturizing and soothing irritated skin
- Jojoba oil: this oil is lightweight and is great for moisturizers, massage oils, and adding to baths
What Is Wisteria Oil Good For?
Wisteria flowers are some of the most aromatic, and their fragrance oil can be used in many different ways. These are some of the best ways to use wisteria oil:
- Scent sachets
- Massage oil
- Bath oil
- Homemade soap
Note: Since wisteria can be toxic to pets and humans, it’s not a good idea to use this in an oil diffuser and risk inhalation.
Making your own fragrance oil is a fun process, and rarely an exact science. Since people’s opinions of scents differ so much, the best way to create your ideal fragrance is through trial and error. Once you get comfortable with the process, you can experiment by combining different flowers and essential oils.