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The word perfume derives from the latin ―per fumum‖ meaning through smoke, is fragrant liquid that is sprayed or rubbed on the skin or clothes to give a pleasant smell. Extraction of perfume from various plants resources is of ancient origin. Infact the natives from different tropical regions of the globe have long been extracting oil from numerous oil bearing plants. Human since the ancient time have known how to extract oil from their natural resources. Vegetable oils are naturally occurring esters of higher fatty acids and glycerol. They are widely distributed in nature and were first consumed as food. Later oils were discovered to be used as renewable raw materials for variety of non food production, for instance perfumes, disinfectants, inks to mention but a few.


Several thousands of plants distributed throughtout the world contain a group of odiferous, fragrance, oily products that are highly volatile organic substances collectively known as essential oils. ―Essential‖ does not mean ―most necessary‖ but rather the concentrated characteristics or quintessence of a natural flavor or fragrance raw material (Coulson et al,


2003). Therefore, perfume may be from essential oils of vegetables or plant origin. It is a complex mixture of aldehydes, ketones, hydrocarbons, alcoholic acid and short chain esters.

The existence of perfume on certain plants has been known for thousands of years. They can be found in leaves, flowers, stems, barks, and roots. Ancient Egytians extracted essential oils from plants tissues by steam distillation (Ogbu,2005). Other methods of isolating essential oils includes solvent extraction, expression, cold plate or enfleurage. Some of these methods have been adopted by essential oil extracting industries.

Information on perfume when the essential oils have been extracted from plants are of different type of oils and these will ultimately influence the smell of perfume over time namely:

1.     The base oil (Base notes)- this will produce the scent that stays longest on the skin and for this reason it is usually added to the mixture e.g vanilla, ginnamon, sandalwood, mosses etc.

2.     The middle oil (middle notes)- this also influences the smell of the perfume for quite sometime but not as long as the base note does e.g lemon grass, Yalang Ylang etc.

3.     Top oil (top notes)- this is added to the mixture after the middle notes and may then be followed by some other substances which will help to


bridge the scents together e.g orchard, rose, bergamount, lemon,orchid etc.

A formulation or recipe that rightly blend with the oil or fragrance is used and the reason perfume differs is due to the formulation or recipe that will give pleasant odour. It is necessary to choose a good recipe of formulation.

Alcohol is added to the fragrance or essential oils as a primary solvent to reduce the strays of the oils.

Fixatives are also used with the other ingredients like water, essential oils and alcohol to lower the rate of evaporation of the fragrance of essential oils. The reason why a perfume losses its fragrance faster than normal is because only a little amount of fixative was used when preparing the perfume.


There is a high demand of essential oils for various purposes such as medicinal, perfumery, soap making, insecticides to mention but a few have opened up wide opportunities for global warming.

Imported essential oils are very expensive to meet the demand of our local consumer industries, therefore it becomes necessary to source and extract these oils from local source. In particular perfumes that are usually imported can be produced locally from a vast variety of oil


bearing plants yet to be explored. It has also been observed that high concentration of perfumes in the epidermal tissues can cause skin irritation or peeling due to poor formulation. This problem will be explored on this project. Solvent extraction is the safest method for extracting high quality oil because some herbs and spices cannot be extracted from enfleurage method but it has the disadvantage of having residual solvents in the essential oils.

The research is conducted in order to use hydrodistillation as one of the applicable methods to extract essential oils. Hydrodistillation has the advantage of no solvent residues as an alternative to conventional extraction techniques. This research will reveal the difference in yields by the methods.


It is hoped that from this research work, optimum extraction parameters like solvent type, solvent ratio, contact time and particle size and the quality of perfume would be established. The result obtained would add to the data bank that could help potential industrialist who intends to go into perfume production from plants. Consequently, more processing industries would lead to a higher production both for domestic consumption and export. Major consumers of essential oils are the perfumery, cosmetics, food and beverages and pharmaceutical industries.


Most of these industries in Nigeria depend on imported essential oils for

their  production  and    this    makes their  products      very    expensive.

Interestling, some of these source of essential oils are common in Nigeria

such as lemon grass, ginger, flowers, eucalyptus to mention but a few.

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