Essential oils are volatile, complex liquids whose synthesis takes place in various plant organs. Spruce (Picea abies) is one of the most common and economically important tree species in Slovenia. Spruce essential oil is dominated by monoterpenes. Of particular importance is their antimicrobial activity.
In the experimental part, we first successfully isolated essential oils from resin, needles and cones of spruce. We used water distillation method. We have compared the qualitative and quantitative composition of the isolated essential oils by gas chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry. We found, that the composition of the essential oils obtained from different plant parts of the spruce varied. We tried to purify the isolated essential oil, but the method column chromatography proved unsuitable due to the high volatility of the monoterpenes.
From the compounds that made up the majority of the natural essential oil, artificial essential oil was prepared. We analyzed the purity of the reference compounds by nuclear magnetic resonance. By odor analysis, we have made olfactory evaluation of our artificial and natural essential oils. Most of the respondents involved rated the smell of essential oils as pleasant; medium strong. They recognized the smell of spruce and forest. The smell of artificial essential oil was similar to natural.
In addition, we formed a simple cosmetic product. A hydro-gel with aromatic water that included spruce essential oil has pleasant scent and cooling effect when applied to the skin. According to the European Pharmacopoeia, it would be classified as semi-solid dermal pharmaceutical form.