- Why Doesn’t Tobacco Essential Oil Exist?
- 5 Benefits of Tobacco Oil Absolutes
- Safety Considerations
- Our Picks: Tobacco Essential Oils
- Final Thoughts
Tobacco essential oil doesn’t really exist as a product you can buy. That it does is a common misconception perpetuated by predatory online merchants looking to profit off uninformed buyers. That said, there is good news for those who love the aroma of tobacco: tobacco absolutes do exist and can help you get the benefits of all-natural tobacco materials without any of the risks of ingesting nicotine and other harmful chemicals.
This article will cover what tobacco essential oils are and why they essentially don’t exist as a consumer product you can buy. We’ll discuss alternatives and share safety considerations you should keep in mind before use. And we’ll provide some of our top picks for quality tobacco oil absolutes and fragrance oils to help fast-track you on your journey to choosing the very best tobacco oil aroma.
Why Doesn’t Tobacco Essential Oil Exist?
Essential oils are created one of two extraction processes: steam distillation (in most cases), or cold pressing (in the case of citruses). The tobacco plant, Nicotiana tabacum, is too delicate to respond to cold pressing. And when it undergoes steam distillation, the resulting essential oil contains toxic concentrations of nicotine. This makes it unsafe to use in aromatherapy or in topical applications.
Still, the tobacco plant does have beneficial elements that can be extracted via other means without also extracting harmful nicotine. What’s more, tobacco’s unique aroma is appealing to many and makes an outstanding foundational note in a blend of lighter-toned essential oils.
What Are Tobacco Absolutes?
Tobacco oil absolutes are highly concentrated aromatic compounds of tobacco plants that contain no nicotine. They are created through a solvent extraction process known as maceration.
This is where a solvent (usually ethanol) is used to extract the tobacco flavor compounds from the leaves. This process can be done either in cold or hot water, and it produces an oil that contains no nicotine but has all of the same flavors as natural tobacco leaves.
Given the presence of a solvent in the maceration process, there are usually trace elements of that solvent in the resulting absolute. In the case of tobacco absolutes, this usually means ethanol. However, they make up such a small percentage of the overall mixture that their impact is largely negligible.
Tobacco oil absolutes also tend to be thicker and more intense than essential oils, even presenting a waxy texture in some cases.
What Are Tobacco Fragrance Oils?
Tobacco fragrance oils are artificial fragrances that mimic the aroma of tobacco without containing any natural tobacco ingredients. Sometimes called “synthetics,” fragrance oils are neither essential oil nor absolutes, and therefore carry no therapeutic value. That said, they can still be used to enjoy the scent of this unusual plant without any of its side effects.
5 Benefits of Tobacco Oil Absolutes
As we’ve mentioned, only absolutes carry therapeutic value owing to the fact that they are based upon all-natural ingredients. Here, we’ve listed the top 5 therapeutic benefits of tobacco oil absolutes.
Relaxation and Focus
There are many benefits of tobacco oil absolutes. One of the most popular is their ability to promote relaxation and calm focus without drowsiness or lethargy.
Tobacco absolutes can also be used to support a mindful meditation practice. When inhaled or applied topically (with a carrier oil), tobacco oil absolutes provide an intense stimulating effect that can support greater degrees of focus and cognition.
Help Quit Smoking
Tobacco essential oils also have a reputation for being useful in helping with tobacco addiction. Inhaling tobacco absolutes can make someone feel as if they have smoked without exposing themselves to addictive substances like nicotine.
Base Note in Perfume
Due to their robust and distinctive aromas, tobacco oil absolutes can provide a powerful base note in custom perfumes and homemade diffuser blends. The scent of tobacco is truly distinct, and it blends well with Bergamot, Clary sage, and Sandalwood to create rich aromas.
Note: This is the only benefit listed that is purely cosmetic (as opposed to therapeutic) and therefore can apply to tobacco fragrance oils as well as absolutes.
Tobacco oil absolutes can also make for an effective natural pesticide. Combined with other essential oils, tobacco oil absolutes can help to deter bugs and insects like ants in gardens, yards, and farms.
Similarly, when diffused or applied topically (with a carrier oil) tobacco oil absolutes make a robust insect repellant to keep pests away when you’re in the outdoors. This is especially true when combined with other essential oils like citronella.
Tobacco oil absolutes have been known to relieve pain for people who suffer from arthritis or other chronic illnesses. They have also shown efficacy in helping to manage pain associated with skin conditions like psoriasis, eczema, and dermatitis.
Historically, tobacco oil absolutes have long been used as a natural remedy for nausea and other gastrointestinal ailments.
Tobacco oil absolutes are toxic when ingested and should never be ingested or applied directly to the skin.
As we’ve already mentioned, be very wary of any products labeled “Tobacco Essential Oils.” A real tobacco EO is toxic as it contains high concentrations of nicotine. That said, many of these products are low-quality synthetic fragrance oils attempting to capitalize on consumers’ lack of familiarity with how tobacco reacts to the distillation process.
This is an important point of caution as synthetic fragrance oils contain none of the natural compounds present in the tobacco leaf and therefore provide none of the natural healing benefits described above.
Our Picks: Tobacco Essential Oils
Best Absolute: Tobacco Oil Absolute by Eden’s Garden
- Pairs well with Vetiver, Sandalwood, and Oud
- All-natural with no nicotine or synthetic compounds
- Full GC/MS reporting available to validate purity
Female-owned and family-operated, Eden’s Garden is an established, mission-driven maker of essential oils and absolutes.
Eden’s Garden is one of few essential oil makers who make available the GC/MS reports for each of their oils and absolutes as verification of their quality. Its tobacco oil absolute provides a rich and luxurious aroma without the chemical additives typically found in cigarettes.
Best Fragrance Oil: Sweet Tobacco by P&J Trading Co.
- Extremely authentic sweet pipe tobacco aroma
- No therapeutic properties (premium synthetic ingredients)
- Pairs well with Sandalwood oil for a balanced fragrance
This fragrance oil features sweet and creamy notes of pipe tobacco, cocoa butter, and vanilla with a touch of honey to create an excellent base for blending or as your own personal signature scent.
In our humble opinion, the aroma is so authentic that it smells more realistic than an absolute oil made up of all-natural plant material.
If you’ve been considering using tobacco essential oil, it may be time to rethink your decision. True tobacco essential oil is too toxic for any human being to inhale or ingest. But fear not! There are all-natural absolutes and high-quality synthetic fragrance oils that together can provide all of the benefits you might otherwise desire from a tobacco essential oil. Tobacco absolutes, in particular, offer natural pesticides with calming properties, as well as help manage cravings when quitting smoking. And if they sound like just what you need but don’t want to risk inhaling harmful nicotine? Tobacco fragrance oils provide deep earthy tones without the risk of taking on harmful chemicals into your lungs—a perfect choice for diffusers and aromatherapy.
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