So often I tell those who consult with me not to buy any essential oils without knowing very well the source of origin.This also applies to the whole supplement industry and even to the food-industry.

Go on breathing but don’t be naive. Let us all improve ourselves and pray to see a world of peace,free of suppression and dishonesty.

If you know/believe that there is a Creator then who can you fool?

Botanical Adulterants MonitorIssue 23 – September 2021Data Suggest that Large Portions of Turkish Rose Oil are Adulterated

Infrared and GC-MS Data Suggest that Large Portions of Turkish Rose Oil are Adulterated

Reviewed: Cebi N, Arici M, Sagdic OThe famous Turkish rose essential oil: Characterization and authenticity monitoring by FTIR, Raman and GC-MS techniques combined with chemometrics. Food Chem. 2021;324:129496.

Keywords: Adulteration, chemometrics, FT-IR, GC-MS, Raman, Rosa damascena, rose oil

The genus Rosa (Rosaceae) contains approximately 200 species, of which two species, R. damascena and R. centifolia, are used for production of rose essential oil. The composition of rose oil is defined by international standards such as ISO 9842-2003,1 with citronellol, geraniol, nonadecene, and nerol being the most prominent constituents.

During this investigation, 12 authentic rose (R. damascena) oil samples were purchased from reputable producers, while an additional 20 samples were bought from different brands in Turkey. All samples were analyzed by Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) and Raman spectroscopy, and gas chromatography with mass spectrometric detection (GC-MS). The analytical data were further analyzed using hierarchical cluster analysis (HCA) and principal component analysis (PCA).

Independent of the analytical method or statistical data processing, only two of the 20 commercial samples were found to be authentic rose essential oils, while the remaining 18 samples were found to be adulterated. The nature of the adulterants was not disclosed, but the authors state that potential adulterants include “palmarosa essential oil, geraniol essential oil, benzyl alcohol, benzyl benzoate, dipropylene glycol, diethyl phthalate and synthetic compounds.” While palmarosa essential oil is obtained from Cymbopogon martini, Poaceae, geraniol is not an essential oil per se, but a constituent found in substantial amounts in the essential oils of palmarosa and other Cymbopogon species, Monarda fistulosa (Lamiaceae), Pelargonium species (Geraniaceae), and Aeollanthus myrianthus (Lamiaceae).2

Comment: Being one of the more expensive essential oils (retail prices are up to US $240 for a 5 mL bottle)3, it is not surprising that rose oil is a frequent target of adulteration. Besides geraniol-rich essential oils from other plant species, geraniol and citronellol from low-cost plant sources or made by chemical synthesis are added to dilute authentic rose oils. Such adulteration is difficult to detect and may require using enantioselective GC.3

The methods proposed by Cebi et al., especially the FT-IR and Raman methods, are appealing due to their ease of use (samples can be analyzed directly), instrument affordability, and ability to detect most cases of rose oil adulteration. The GC-MS approach provides information about the adulterant and may be more sensitive than the spectroscopic methods. However, some of the more challenging types of adulteration, i.e., the undeclared addition of geraniol or citronellol may require a more sophisticated analytical approach.


  1. Oil of Rose (Rosa × damascena Miller). ISO 9842:2003. Geneva, Switzerland: International Organization for Standardization (ISO); 2003.
  2. Chen W, Viljoen AM. Geraniol – A review of a commercially important fragrance material. S Afr J Bot. 2010;76:643-651.
  3. Boren KE, Young DG, Woolley CL, Smith BL, Carlson RE. Detecting essential oil adulteration. J Environ Anal Chem. 2015;2(2):1000132.