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Hi, I have several questions regarding essential oils. Please answer as many questions as you can that is within your expertise. For each of the following naturally occurring oils:
Citronella ,eucalyptus,cinnamon leaf,nutmeg,clove,rose,jasmine,lavender
a) How easy is it to produce each of them chemically as compared being extracted from natural sources?
b) How effective are the chemically produced ones for each of them compared to the ones extracted naturally? Are there any harmful effects using the chemically produced ones?
c) In the market ,if one does not know the origin of a particular oil, how likely are each of them to be produced chemically as compared to be natural?
d) Apart from laboratory tests, are there any other way of distinguishing between the two?
e) When the lid is taken off a bottle of the oils, the oil evaporates to fill the room with its aroma. But after sometime, no more oil evaporates unless one stirs it. Why is it so?
Thank you.
Question Date: 2007-05-05
Answer 1:

a) Depending on the quantity required, small quantities are easier to obtain from natural extract and large quantities require synthesis.
b) Synthesized molecule performs identically to the natural molecule; this is due to both molecules being stereo chemically identical.
c) This depends on the product at hand. The product will be marked with "natural extract" if it was extracted from natural sources.
d) No.
e) The reason for this is that the surface molecules that are not oil molecules will prevent the oil molecules from reaching the top and evaporating. Stirring the mixture will disturb the surface. Yet, in the pure form of the oil, this should not happen.
I hope that these answers help.

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