How to Make Oil Out of Gardenia Flowers

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The gardenia flower is intoxicatingly aromatic.
The gardenia flower is intoxicatingly aromatic. (Image: Photos.com/Photos.com/Getty Images)

The gardenia flower possesses a woody, feminine and floral aroma that is not only fragrant to a garden environment, but is also sought-after by the perfume and soap industries. This makes the essential oils of the flower petals valuable for use in your own homemade concoctions. Whether you're making soaps, perfumes, scented candles or other aromatic crafts, you can express the oil from gardenia flowers with ease. Knowing how to make oil out of gardenia flowers is a craft endeavor that gives you truly natural botanical oil.

Things You'll Need

  • Stockpot
  • Steam basket
  • 2 ounces glass dish
  • 2 pounds gardenia petals
  • Plastic pipette
  • Oil vial
  • 1 ounce coconut oil (optional)

Fill an 8-quart stockpot half full with normal tap water. Add the gardenia blossoms to the water.

Drop the steam basket into the stockpot, making sure it isn't submerged into the water. It should hover just above the water. Place the small glass dish in the direct center of the steam basket.

Put the lid of the stockpot on upside-down. This aims the knob on the top of the lid just over the bowl inside of the pot.

Turn the stove on to a medium-low setting. Fill the hollow part of the lid, which is upside-down, with ice. Let it simmer for 30 minutes. Dump out the melted ice water and replace it with fresh ice every time it melts. Do this for the entire 30 minutes. This causes condensation on the inside of the pot, which gathers the essential oils from the gardenia petals and drips from the hanging knob into the glass dish.

Turn off the stove after 30 minutes and let the pot cool to room temperature without removing the lid. This should take anywhere from three to six hours. If the glass bowl inside of the stockpot isn't too hot to touch, then it's ready.

Remove the glass dish from the steam basket in the stockpot. Two pounds of gardenia petals should make about an ounce of essential oil. This is completely concentrated and shouldn't be applied directly to your skin. Collect the concentrated oils with a plastic pipette and inject the solution into an oil vial or other similar container. This concentrated steam-distilled oil can be mixed with a carrier oil to thin it out, such as coconut oil.

Tips & Warnings

  • Strain the petals from the water and store the scented water for other creations. For instance, you can add a preservative to the scented gardenia water so it will last for up to a year and add it to homemade soaps, lotions and other recipes. You can also add it to your bubblebath for an aromatic experience.

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