Botanical Name: Prunus armeniaca L.
Processing Method: Hydrodistilled Essential Oil, FFPA (Free from Prussic Acid)
Aromatic Summary / Note / Strength of Aroma: Sweet, nutty, intense aroma of almonds reminiscent of marzipan and almond extract, with strong notes of cherry.
Pesticide/chemical free, wild crafted/organic.
Contraindications: NOT FOR HUMAN CONSUMPTION; please see Safety Considerations.
Nutty-sweet with notes of cherry, our Bitter Almond essential oil is a delightful addition to any perfumer’s aromatic palette. Unlike its cousin the Sweet Almond and the extract of almonds, Bitter Almonds naturally contain traces of prussic acid (also known as hydrogen cyanide) making them ultimately lethal to ingest and a good thing to avoid. Our Bitter Almond essential oil is steam distilled from the crushed and pressed kernels of the apricot fruit1 (it can also be extracted from the kernels of cherries, plums and peaches2), then rectified to remove the toxic prussic acid. However, this oil is still NOT SUITABLE FOR INGESTION in any way, and must be used with caution as it can cause severe skin irritation in sensitive individuals.
Benzaldehyde, the primary constituent in Bitter Almond essential oil, has a long history of commercial use in flavours and fragrances. In 1832, the early days of aroma chemistry, enterprising chemical companies sought cheaper imitations of plant-derived molecules. Soon after, benzaldehyde was synthesized in a series of fairly sophisticated and creative ways in repeated attempts to avoid detection, leading one chemist to observe, “…the crooks are encouraging the advancement of science.”!3 True Bitter Almond essential oil oxidizes very rapidly upon exposure to air and will form crystals of benzoic acid right before your eyes, therefore we recommend keeping this oil refrigerated and tightly capped.