Friday, July 31, 2015

The ABCs of Essential Oils: Ginger

Zingiber officinale

Geranium or ginger, geranium or ginger. I've had such a hard time time deciding between the two. My head says go with geranium, since it's so incredibly useful in perfumery, but my heart says go with ginger. Ginger is useful in natural perfumery as well, but you can't use it to boost your rose scent.

The most important thing about ginger essential oil: buy fresh ginger oil. If it doesn't say fresh, it probably won't have that sparkling brightness you want. I think CO2s might be okay, but sample first to make sure it's nice enough.

Ginger pairs well with many essential oils. For bath and body products, start by thinking of how you eat it, and try combining it with chocolate or vanilla, plus any of the sweet spices. Add it to a chai fragrance. And it is wonderful paired with lemon or lime, and the combination produces a dazzling brightness. When working on a perfume, consider the above, but go beyond the food notes and use ginger as a top note for various fragrances. Ginger pairs nicely with florals, and you can use it to lighten up earthier scents, like patchouli. It could also work in any fresh or spicy fragrances, such as colognes and oriental perfumes.

In addition to the essential oil and CO2, ginger is also available as an absolute and oleoresin, though these are less common.

Other gingery notes:
Curcuma (Curcuma longa) Note: This might also be sold as turmeric oil, but curcuma should be distilled from the dried rhizome, per Arctander.
Fingerroot (Boesenbergia pandurata)
Galangal (Alpinia officinarum, Alpinia galanga, Kaempferia galanga)
Zedoaria (Curcuma zedoaria)


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