“This oil is distilled from the dried, ripe fruit (seed) of Cuminum Cyminum, known as “Roman Caraway”, a small herb originating in the Middle East. The cumin seed belongs to the group of very old spices whose history of use can be traced back thousands of years. To-day it still is one of the important ingredients in the ever-popular Indian Curry Powder”.
Cumin Seed Oil (aromatherapy)
[Cumin seed] oil is quite sensitive to daylight, air, moisture and metals as well as to alkali. Its odor is extremely powerful, diffusive, green-spicy, slightly fatty, but at the same time not sharp or pungent, almost soft and mellow. This softness is one of the main features of a true oil, and is very hard to duplicate when making an artificial oil with a similar content of Cumin Aldehyde (the main constituent of cumin oil). The synthetic aldehyde has a very sharp odor of cumin type, far from mellow or pleasant. The characteristic odor and flavor of cumin oil is probably due to its minor constituents such as Dihydrocuminaldehyde and various monoterpenes. The flavor of cumin oil is spicy-herbaceous, faintly pungent and fatty-green, not pleasant in high concentrations.
Arctander, Steffen . Perfume and Flavor Materials of Natural Origin (p. 238).