Honeysuckle, though popular, is one of the priciest of the essential oils, so making it at home can be both fun and economical. You can extract oils from honeysuckle at home in several different ways. Once you've mastered this technique, you can begin applying it to other flowers. You can mix your own honeysuckle-based scents for use in aromatherapy, massage, or candle and soap making.
Collect honeysuckle blossoms. If you plan on collecting the blossoms a few days in advance of the extraction process, cut large pieces of the vines instead of pulling off individual blossoms. These vines can be placed in fresh water and stored in your refrigerator for up to about five days if spritzed daily with fresh water. If you are making the oil immediately, you can pick the blossoms straight off the vines.
Measure 1 cup of honeysuckle blossoms. Use a glass measuring cup, and pack the blossoms down tightly. Don't worry if you crush some of the blossoms a bit during this step.
Pour the blossoms into a large plastic bag, and seal up the bag, squeezing out as much air as possible. If you can't get all the air out of the bag, place a drinking straw into one side of the bag, and then seal the bag tightly around it. Suck all the air out of the bag through the straw, place your index finger over the end of the straw, and then quickly pull out the straw with one hand while sealing the space the straw leaves behind.
Lay the bag out on a solid surface, shaking the blossoms around so they all fall into one layer inside the bag.
Roll a rolling pin over the blossoms, using a firm hand, until the blossoms are bruised and beginning to break. If you find that you can't get enough pressure using the rolling pin, use a meat tenderizer instead. You should only be breaking up the petals a bit, not pulverizing the blossoms completely.
Dump the blossoms into a wide-mouthed glass jar.
Warm 1 cup of any neutral cooking oil to about 150 degrees F. Grapeseed oil is a great oil to use, but it can be expensive. Safflower or light olive oil will also work well.
Pour the warmed oil over the blossoms in the jar, and stir with a clean butter knife to remove any air bubbles.
Allow the oil to cool, and then seal the jar tightly. Cooling the oil will prevent any condensation from forming on the inside of the jar.
Place the jar in a cool, dark place for six to eight weeks. A pantry, root cellar, or even a bedroom closet is ideal.
Strain the solid materials from the oil using a coffee filter or fine cheesecloth.
Pour the remaining oil into small, dark-colored bottles with a good seal. The dark bottles keep light, which can turn the oils rancid, from reaching the oil. These can be stored in a cool, dark place for up to about six months.
The leftover solid materials can be safely disposed of on your compost pile.
Only use honeysuckle from plants that you can be sure were not heavily sprayed with pesticides or artificial fertilizers.
- "The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy"; Valerie Ann Worwood; 1991
Lynette DiPalma has 12 years of writing experience with various publications, ranging from novels to magazines to poetry. She is a full-time freelance writer and artist, specializing in wedding-related articles. She also holds a license in couples counseling focusing on holistic practices. DiPalma has Master of Arts in English from Eastern New Mexico University.