For : botanicals (too delicate) and resin.
Similar to essential oils, absolutes are concentrated, highly-aromatic, oily mixtures extracted from plants. Whereas essential oils can typically be produced through steam distillation, absolutes require the use of solvent extraction techniques or more traditionally, through enfleurage.
This production method leaves trace amounts of solvents in the absolutes. Therefore, absolutes are considered undesirable for aromatherapy, since it is believed that they could cause allergies and affect the immune system. However, absolutes are used extensively in perfumery because the aromatic compounds in absolutes have not undergone processes involving high temperatures. This makes them smell fresher, brighter, and jam-like. Although the solvent traces produce off-notes in the final product, this is not a problem if the absolute is of a decent quality.
There are many different labdanum absolutes available.
Labdanum has a typically balsamic odour, rather flowery, herbaceous, amber-like and very tenacious. The absolute derived from labdanum from plant Cistus Creticus, is the finest, the most amber like and the least coloured.