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The essential oil extracted from lavender blossoms is often used in hair and skin care products and is a frequent component in the bouquet of fragrances found in perfumes. Characterization of these complex oils has been conducted using sophisticated gas phase analytical techniques including GC/MS, GC x GC, and GC/TOF. In this application note an Agilent J&W DB-1ms Ultra Inert column is used to resolve the main components in lavender oil samples from several suppliers. The well-resolved components are then identified using a single quad GC/MS versus NIST Library 5.01. The identified peaks then serve as the fingerprint for the analysis. The same separation using GC-FID can then be used to evaluate subsequent samples quickly and cost effectively. The well-resolved, sharp peaks observed on the Agilent J&W DB-1ms Ultra Inert column make this approach possible. Introduction The essential oil extracted from lavender is often used in hair and skin care products and is a frequent component in the bouquet of fragrances found in perfumes. Lavender oil is also seeing increasing application as an aroma and topical therapy agent with a wide array of claimed medicinal benefits.
One of the main lavender cultivars for essential oil production is Lavandula officinalis. This particular cultivar is also known as Lavandula angustifolia, and also as English, common, or true lavender. The oil from this species is prized for the sweet overtones of its fragrance. Other lavender oil cultivars contain higher levels of terpenes, including camphor, which add a less desirable overtone to the fragrance. Characterization of these complex oils has been conducted using a variety of gas phase analytical techniques, including GC-FID, GC/MS, GC x GC, and GC/TOF. David and Klee used a two-column Deans' switch approach with separate temperature control of a low thermal mass (LTM) module containing a chiral column for the analysis of theses samples. This application note highlights the use of Agilent J&W DB-1ms Ultra Inert columns to characterize lavender oil samples using GC-FID detection and single quadrupole GC/MS identification to establish a sample profile. Every Agilent J&W Ultra Inert column is rigorously tested with demanding probes for activity. Propionic acid, 4-picoline, and tri-methyl phosphate are included in the test probe mixture to uncover any potential active sites. The goal is to provide the gas chromatographer with the most inert column available for demanding application with active analytest. The high inertness of these columns, in combination with exceptional low bleed, translates to improved peak shapes and better resolution of critical pairs such as eucalyptol and d-limonene found in complex lavender oil samples.