Spearmint Essential Oil
Botanical name: Mentha spicata
Common Method of Extraction: Steam Distilled
Plant Part Typically Used: Leaves and Flowers/Buds
Perfumery Note: Top
Strength of Initial Aroma: Medium
Minty, slightly fruity aroma that is less bright than peppermint.
Spearmint Essential Oil Uses
The aroma of our Spearmint essential oil is penetrating, powerful, sweet, lively, cool, minty green, and somewhat herbaceous. It is sweeter, softer and has a lower menthol content than Peppermint.
Spearmint essential oil has a wonderfully refreshing, sweet minty aroma due to the predominance of one molecule: l-carvone, perceivable at the slightest touch of the plant.1 L-carvone is a ketone that bears no potential toxicity, hence Spearmint is sometimes preferred for aromatherapy use over Peppermint, the use of which is more limited, especially for children. But other than the shared minty aroma and digestive indications, Spearmint has different effects than Peppermint, so it is not an appropriate replacement. Interestingly, in nature’s vast repertoire there is an isomer (a “mirror” molecule with opposite rotation) of l-carvone, r-carvone, that appears in and smells like Caraway, and bears still other properties.
For information regarding the aromatherapeutic attributes of Spearmint essential oil, please see:
L’Aromatherapie Exactement, Pierre Franchomme and Dr. Daniel Pénoël, 1990, pp. 374-5.
Aromatherapy: Scent and Psyche, Peter and Kate Damien, 1995, p. 222.
Aromatherapy Workbook (revised edition), Marcel Lavabre, 1997, p. 149.
The Encyclopedia of Essential Oils, Julia Lawless, 2013, pp. 140-1.
Essential Oils - A Handbook for Aromatherapy Practice, Jennifer Peace Rhind, 2012, pp. 167-8, 272, 277-8, 291.
Aromatherapeutic Blending: Essential Oils in Synergy, Jennifer Peace Rhind, 2016, pp. 92, 103, 139, 270-1.
Aromatic Profile: Penetrating, powerful, sweet, lively, cool, minty green, somewhat herbaceous; sweeter and softer than Peppermint.
Appearance: Colourless to pale yellow, transparent, mobile liquid.
Use: Aromatherapy / Natural Perfumery.
Blending Suggestions: Dilute and add drop by drop to your blends until the desired effect is achieved.
Safety Considerations: Skin sensitization, mucous membrane irritation (low risk), otherwise has GRAS status (Generally Recognized as Safe).4 A dermal maximum of 1.7% is recommended, the IFRA standard for leave-on products is 1.2%.5 Dilute before using. A patch test should be performed before use for those with sensitive skin.
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