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Be a Romantic Scientist: Distill your own perfume oil.

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Step 2: Distillation.

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Gently heat the water so that it simmers, rather than boils violently. You need a steady supply of steam passing through the lavender.

Notice how the equipment is arranged so that the steam must pass through the lavender on its way out.

The steam passes along the plastic tube to the test tube, where it condenses on contact ith the ice-cooled glass.
 
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pyrorower3 years ago
Something just occured to me, isn't this setup very similar to how a Moka works? Therefore, couldn't you use one to distill some of the oils provided you clean it out well each time? Here's a link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moka_(coffee_pot)
Phyrkrakr6 years ago
How long did you keep the water at boil? I would assume you just boiled all of the water in the beaker off, but is there such a thing as boiling too much water through the plants?
Kiteman (author)  Phyrkrakr6 years ago
We simmered for about 15 minutes, but only because we were limited to an hour in total, and that included preparation and clearing up afterwards.
I personally still don't understand, is there such a thing as to much water or not?
Kiteman (author)  flamesami4 years ago
Yes, because it would take too long to evaporate it all, and too much time exposed to that much heat could damage the smell-chemicals.
"Too much time exposed to that much heat could damage the smell-chemicals."

Do you have any sources for this? Not looking to pick a fight, I was just thinking that if you could cycle the condensed fluid back into the boiling flask, you could make a bit of a concentrate. That wouldn't work if the extended time under heat damages the scent though. So I'm just wondering if you're sure about this and have any sources before I attempt it.
Kiteman (author)  XHorntail4 years ago
Just knowledge that biological substances tend to denature at high temperatures.

Try it, let us know.
so what amount (of water) would you recommend for, say, a small amount of lavender?
Kiteman (author)  flamesami4 years ago
Enough to cover it with space for the pieces to circulate a little.
thanks a lot
=)
Earl_Grey6 years ago
Just a note - use distilled water or deionised water or u are introducing various contaminants from te word go (chlorine, fluoride etc)