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Tuberose Absolute – How to use it in aromatherapy

What is Tuberose absolute

Tuberose (Polianthes tuberosa) originated in Mexico. It is now no longer found in the wild but is grown as an ornamental plant all over the world. The name refers to its root system which is made up of underground tubers. The leaves are a dull, dark green and slightly fleshy, similar to a succulent.

The flowers of Tuberose are formed on a single spike and are tubular in shape. They are usually a pure, waxy white but due to cultivation other colours such as pink, orange and red can now be seen. The double-flowered version is known as Double-Pearl Tuberose.

The absolute is produced by soaking the flowers in oil (to produce a ‘concrete’) and then extracting the aromatic components. It takes over 900kg of tuberose flowers to produce around 200g of Tuberose Absolute which makes it one of the most costly fragrances in the world.

A fragrant history

The main use of Tuberose essential oil is in high class perfumes where it is a ‘middle note’. It is especially valued in floral fragrances for women. It has a powerful aroma so must be used in moderation to avoid becoming overwhelming.

The Perfume Society describes how Louis XIV used Tuberose and other fragrant blooms to mask the unsanitary conditions of his court in the 17th Century:

“The King also arranged for a pavilion in blue and white to be built at Versailles for love-making, so that between amorous moments he could fill his lungs with the scent of stocks, tuberose and white jasmine.”

If you like this you’ll like Tuberose

Tuberose is unashamedly floral and as an absolute it has a deep, rich aroma. Think heady scents like Jasmine, Ylang Ylang and Rose Absolute. These oils blend well with Tuberose but are also similar in their use. If you like them, then Tuberose could be a good addition to your essential oil collection.

How to use Tuberose

If you like complex, powerful floral oils then Tuberose can be enjoyed by itself. Absolutes can be quite thick and sticky so if diffusing you might want to check the instructions for your diffuser, but its tenacious aroma will easily fill a room. It can also be used in a personal inhaler stick to carry on the go.

In aromatherapy Tuberose can be used as part of a massage blend or bath oil. This oil is not generally irritating but can cause sensitisation in some people so dilute in a carrier oil before use.

Click the link to read our full article, all about Tuberose essential oil.