essential oil

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Containing the essence of the plant's fragrance.

Noun[edit]

essential oil (plural essential oils)

  1. A volatile oil, used to make perfumes and flavourings, especially one having the characteristic odour of the plant from which it is obtained.
    • 1789, Erasmus Darwin, The Loves of the Plants, J. Johnson, p. 102:
      The odours of many flowers so delightful to our sense of smell, as well as the disagreeable scents of others, are owing to the exhalation of their essential oils.
    • 2020 August 12, Adrian Horton, “The dark side of wellness: behind a Netflix series on a murky industry”, in The Guardian[1]:
      The use of essential oils – aromatic substances derived from plants – has been around for centuries, and studies suggest certain oils offer minor benefits to sleep (lavender) or headaches (peppermint).

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