Carbon Dioxide Used in Perfume Extraction

According to a study by Statista, almost half of the US population aged 18 to 29 wear perfume or some sort of fragrance daily. As businesses and products are becoming more sustainable, the perfume industry is also testing out new methods to extract scents from plants which can result in higher quality perfumes.

“How is this done?” you may ask. It’s done through a process called CO2 extraction, which is already used in other industries like food and beverage, pharmaceuticals, and cosmetics.

What is CO2 Extraction?CO2 extraction is a more natural method to pull scents from plants using carbon dioxide. The CO2 is turned into a supercritical state, which is a fourth physical state that CO2 can turn into. This is a state between liquid and gas.

CO2 extraction is environmentally friendly, iit is FDA approved, and it has the ability to reproduce scents very accurately.

How Does It Work?The extraction process occurs under high pressure, where in other methods, it may require high heat. With CO2 extraction, high heat is not required and oxygen is not present during the process. The absence of oxygen is a benefit because there is no possible oxidation that could occur.

The CO2 being used is pressurized until it reaches a state in between a gas and a liquid. This typically occurs at a pressure above 73 bars. The temperature is usually around 80 degrees fahrenheit as opposed to temperatures over 100 degrees. The lower temperature allows for the molecules to be preserved.

When extracting a scent, the plants or other materials are placed in a basket, which is then placed inside an extractor chamber. The CO2 is then introduced in liquid form and bathes the material. The high pressure and low temperature allows the materials to release their aromas.

The pressure is then reduced and the CO2 goes back to its gaseous state. From there, the extract is collected and separated. The CO2 essentially acts as a solvent in this process and can be reused.

What are the Benefits of CO2 Extraction?As we’ve mentioned, CO2 extraction is environmentally friendly and produces more accurate scents than previous methods.

With other methods of scent extraction, it can cause the molecules that are extracted from the plant to be damaged or burned away. Because CO2 extraction is a natural method, it’s essentially the purest way to pull those scents while maintaining all the molecules.

Other benefits of CO2 extraction include:

●      No oxidation

●      Produces higher quality scents

●      Longer shelf-life of perfume

●      Richer and more intense scents and flavors compared to other extraction methods

●      A great method to use on spices

●      Removes the need for harsh solvents like hexane


Commonly considered a pollutant caused by CO2 emissions, carbon dioxide is safe to use under certain regulations. If you’re a business owner with the need for carbon dioxide in gas or liquid form, we have the supply you need!

Come on down to our Longmont gas plant or give us a call at (303)776-1491 to discuss your needs. If you’d like, you can also fill out our online quote form for a free quote! We offer next business day delivery in the local Longmont, Denver and surrounding areas.