What Does Virgin Coconut Oil Smell Like? Delicious!

Posted by Dr. Natasha Ryz on

What Does Virgin Coconut Oil Smell Like? Delicious

What does virgin coconut oil smell like?

Virgin coconut oil has a strong natural coconut aroma that is buttery and sweet and evokes memories of summer days at the beach. 

Why does virgin coconut oil smell so good? 

This article will discuss:

    • What is virgin coconut oil?
    • How is virgin coconut oil made?
    • What is virgin coconut oil made of?
    • What does coconut oil smell like?
      • What does extra virgin coconut oil smell like?
      • What does virgin coconut oil smell like?
      • What does coconut oil smell like?
      • What does refined coconut oil smell like?
      • What does MCT oil smell like?
      • What does lauric acid isolated from coconut oil smell like?
    • What are the aroma compounds of virgin coconut oil?
    • What are the benefits of virgin coconut oil?
    • Summary
    • Reference

What Does Virgin Coconut Oil Smell Like? Delicious

What is virgin coconut oil?

Virgin coconut oil (Cocos nucifera) is pure cold-pressed coconut oil from the meat of the coconut palm fruit.

Virgin coconut oil is made by cold pressing the oil from the coconut meat.

Virgin coconut oil is unrefined - it has not been bleached or deodorized.

Virgin coconut oil has a pleasant coconut aroma.

What Does Virgin Coconut Oil Smell Like? Delicious

How is virgin coconut oil made?

Virgin coconut oil can be produced directly from the fresh coconut meat, or from coconut milk, or from coconut milk residue (Bawalan et al, 2006).

Virgin coconut oil is obtained from fresh, mature kernel (meat) of the coconut by mechanical or natural means, with or without the use of heat, without undergoing chemical refining, bleaching or de-odorizing, and which does not lead to the alteration of the nature of the oil (Bawalan et al, 2006).

Virgin coconut oil differs greatly from traditionally produced, copra derived coconut oil, which must undergo chemical refining, bleaching and de-odorization processes to make it suitable for consumption (Bawalan et al, 2006).

Virgin coconut oil has a fresh coconut aroma that can be mild to intense depending on the oil extraction process used.

What Does Virgin Coconut Oil Smell Like? Delicious

What is virgin coconut oil made of?

Virgin coconut oil is composed of fatty acids, polyphenols and minor compounds such as lactones.

Virgin coconut oil is composed of fatty acids

Virgin coconut oil is mainly composed of saturated fatty acids, including lauric acid, myristic acid and palmitic acid.  

Virgin coconut oil contains fatty acids including:

  • 49% lauric acid 
  • 18% myristic acid
  • 8% palmitic acid
  • 8% caprylic acid
  • 7% capric acid
  • 6% oleic acid
  • 2% linoleic acid
  • 2% stearic acid

Fatty acids are emollients and can soften skin.

What are emollients?

The function of emollients in skincare is to soften the skin, help the skin retain its moisture and to support the skin’s barrier function.

Emollients are skin conditioning – the give skin a soft and smooth appearance, restoring suppleness and improving elasticity.

Emollients:

  • Make your skin feel soft and smooth.
  • Help reduce flaking and roughness from dry skin.
  • Help assist the skin barrier by filling in gaps between cells.

Learn more: What are Emollients? Best Emollients for Dry Skin

    Virgin coconut oil is rich in polyphenols

    Virgin coconut oil is also rich in polyphenols with antioxidant activity (Marina et al, 2009) that can protect your skin against oxidative stress and damage. 

    The total phenolic contents in virgin oil are higher than commercial coconut oil (Rohman et al., 2021).

    What are antioxidants?

    Antioxidants protect your skin by preventing free radical damage.

    Free radicals are unstable molecules or atoms that can damage skin cells.

    Free radicals are generated from normal aging, and by daily environmental damage - such as UV radiation from the sun and air pollution. Free radicals cause destruction to your cells and tissues, and accelerate skin aging (Masaki et al, 2010).

    Antioxidants protect your skin by neutralizing unstable free radicals. 

    What Does Virgin Coconut Oil Smell Like? Delicious

    What does coconut oil smell like?

    The aroma of coconut oil can vary greatly depending on how it is processed.

    Extra virgin coconut oil and virgin coconut oil have the strongest natural coconut aroma.

    Virgin coconut oil is minimally processed, so it retains its nutrients and aromatic compounds. 

    Refined coconut oil and MCT oil derived from coconut have minimal to zero coconut aroma. 

    There are several different ways coconut oil can be processed:

    • Extra virgin coconut oil 
    • Virgin coconut oil
    • Refined coconut oil
    • MCT fractionated coconut oil
    • Lauric acid isolated from coconut oil

    What does extra virgin coconut oil smell like?

    Extra virgin coconut oil is similar to virgin coconut oil.

    Extra virgin coconut oil has a strong natural coconut aroma that is buttery and sweet.

    What does virgin coconut oil smell like?

    Virgin coconut oil has the strongest natural coconut aroma.

    The aroma of virgin coconut oil is rich, creamy and subtly sweet, with undertones of fresh fruit.

    What does refined coconut oil smell like?

    Refined coconut oil has little to no smell. It has no distinct coconut taste or aroma. This is because it’s made from coconut meat that has been filtered and dried before being pressed into oil. 

    What does MCT oil smell like?

    MCT oil can be derived from coconut oil. 

    MCT oil or medium chain triglyceride fractionated coconut oil is scent-free and has no distinguishable coconut aroma.

    What does lauric acid isolated from coconut oil smell like?

    Lauric acid is a fatty acid that can be isolated from coconut oil.

    Lauric acid isolated from coconut oil is scent-free and has no distinguishable coconut aroma. 

    What Does Virgin Coconut Oil Smell Like? Delicious

      What are the aroma compounds of virgin coconut oil?

      The aroma of virgin coconut oil is rich, creamy and subtly sweet, with undertones of fresh fruit. 

      Lactones are the main flavor compounds that provide the coconut aroma.

      • δ-octalactone has a fatty coconut aroma, with mild green undertones.
      • δ-decalactone has a creamy, coconut aroma with slight peach undertones.

      Virgin coconut oil also has minor compounds that contribute a fruity aroma:

      • ethyl decanoate has a sweet apple aroma.
      • ethyl acetate has a pleasant fruity odor, similar to pear.
      • nonanal smells like citrus peel, with cucumber undertones.
      • limonene smells like fresh sweet orange.

      Virgin coconut oil has aroma compounds also provide freshness: 

      • 2-heptanone has fruity, waxy and green notes.
      • hexanal smells like freshly cut grass.

      Cold-pressed, unrefined extra virgin coconut oil has the strongest natural coconut scent.

      Virgin coconut oil is minimally processed, so it retains its nutrients and aromatic compounds. 

      What Does Virgin Coconut Oil Smell Like? Delicious

      What are the benefits of virgin coconut oil?

      Virgin coconut oil is not only a sensory delight, but also has many benefits for dry skin. 

        1. Virgin coconut oil is easily absorbed into dry skin.
        2. Virgin coconut oil makes dry skin feel soft and lubricated.
        3. Virgin coconut oil is rich in beneficial fatty acids that act as emollients for dry skin.
        4. Virgin coconut oil has antimicrobial activity.
        5. Virgin coconut oi is rich in antioxidants that protect dry skin.

      There are many benefits of virgin coconut oil for dry skin.

      Learn more: 5 Benefits of Virgin Coconut Oil for Dry Skin

      What Does Virgin Coconut Oil Smell Like? Delicious

      Summary

      Do you like the smell of virgin coconut oil?

      Cold-pressed, unrefined extra virgin coconut oil has the strongest natural coconut scent.

      Virgin coconut oil is rich in beneficial fatty acids with antimicrobial activity, and phenolic compounds with strong antioxidant activity.

      We use organic extra virgin coconut oil that is cold-pressed and unrefined. Our coconut oil is Fair Trade and comes from a sustainable source. 

      We infuse our virgin coconut oil with calendula flowers, chamomile flowers and whole vanilla beans, resulting in a rich, creamy, decadent aroma.

      We use our signature coconut oil infusion in our Dry Skin Love Wild Orange Oil to Milk Cleanser.

      References

      Bawalan, D. D., & Chapman, K. R. (2006). Virgin coconut oil. Production manual for micro and village scale processing. FAO regional office for Asia and the Pacific, Bangkok. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. First Published February D2006.

      Marina AM, Man YB., Nazimah SA. & Amin I. (2009). Antioxidant capacity and phenolic acids of virgin coconut oil. International Journal of Food Science and Nutrition, 60, 114-123.

      Masaki H. Role of antioxidants in the skin: anti-aging effects. J Dermatol Sci. 2010 May;58(2):85-90.

      Rohman A., Irnawati, Erwanto Y., Lukitaningsih E., Rafi M., Fadzilah NA., Windarshi A., Sulaiman A., Zakaria Z. Virgin Coconut Oil: Extraction, Physicochemical Properties, Biological Activities and Its Authentication Analysis. Food Reviews International. 2021. Volume 37, Issue 1. Pages 46-66.

      Santos, J.E.R.. Villarino, B.J.. Zosa, A.R.. Dayrit, F.M. Analysis of Volatile Organic Compounds in Virgin Coconut Oil and their Sensory Attributes. Philippine Journal of Science 140(2) · November 2011. 

      Flavor descriptions obtained from The Good Scents Company

      What Does Virgin Coconut Oil Smell Like? Delicious

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