Rosemary oil

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An evergreen shrub, Rosemarinus officinalis, with a minty aromatic smell that is native to the Mediterranean region. Rosemary leaves have been crushed, then distilled to form oil, since ancient times. The leaves contain camphor and oxygenated monoterpenoids. Rosemary oil is slightly greenish, evaporates slowly and is a strong solvent. It has been used as a retardant in oil painting but excess amounts can make the colors sticky and cause darkening. Rosemary oil was also used in perfumes, soaps, medicine and in tanning leather.

Synonyms and Related Terms

Rosemarinus officinalis; esencia de romero (Esp.); olio di rosmarino (It); essenza di rosmarino (It)

Physical and Chemical Properties

Soluble in ethanol.

Resources and Citations

  • Random House, Webster's Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language, Grammercy Book, New York, 1997
  • The Merck Index, Martha Windholz (ed.), Merck Research Labs, Rahway NJ, 10th edition, 1983 Comment: entry 8423
  • The American Heritage Dictionary or Encarta, via Microsoft Bookshelf 98, Microsoft Corp., 1998
  • G.S.Brady, Materials Handbook, McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York, 1971 Comment: p. 589
  • M. Doerner, The Materials of the Artist, Harcourt, Brace & Co., 1934
  • Ralph Mayer, A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques, Harper and Row Publishers, New York, 1969 (also 1945 printing)
  • John S. Mills, Raymond White, The Organic Chemistry of Museum Objects, Butterworth Heineman, London, 2nd ed., 1994

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