This essential oil is produced by Payan Bertrand from the flowering tops of the plant Tagetes minuta L. grown in Egypt. The plant material is harvested so as to minimise collection of leaves and maximise collection of flowers. The resulting oil is orange yellow to orange brown in colour and easily pourable.
The large array of odour tags is testament to the complexity and versatility of this oil, normally used in very small amounts in fine fragrances and other applications to unique effect.
According to Surburg and Panten: “Tagetes oil is produced by steam distillation of the flowering plants Tagetes minuta L. (T. glandulifera Schrank., Asteraceae). The main producers are in Zimbabwe, South Africa, and India. The oil is a yellow to dark orange liquid with a strong, aromatic-fruity odor. Its main components are cis-ocimene, dihydrotagetone, tagetone, and cis- and trans-ocimenone … It is used in accentuated flowery fragrances and in aroma compositions to achieve fruity effects.”
Arctander tells us that “There is no suitable substitute for true Tagetes Oil or Tagetes Absolute, and once these materials are established in perfume formulas, the oil must be procured somehow. In spite of the typical apple-like note in highly diluted preparations of Tagetes, the oil has not found significant use in flavors.”
He also describes the oil as “a mobile, dark yellow to orange yellow colored liquid which solidifies upon exposure to air, daylight and moisture. It can be kept in diethyl phthalate solution when it is well protected against ultra-violet Iight and moisture, and preferably under antioxidant protection. The main constituent, Tagetone, an unstable ketone, is presumably responsible for the peculiar odor and for the resinification and instability of the oil.”
Note that if you’re complying with the IFRA standards there is a restriction in the use of this essential oil in any application where it is applied to the skin and not washed off. The maximum permitted in the finished product in all such cases is 0.01% of the product by weight. There is no restriction on it’s use in rinse off products or non-skin contact products, however please note the manufacturer’s recommendations in the attached IFRA Certificate.