Do not confuse essential oils with absolutes or extract. To make absolutes or extracts the plant materiel is soaked in alcohol or some other solvent, which dissolves the plant oil, and then the alcohol is evaporated. Some plants, like jasmine, cannot be steam distilled and have to use the alcohol or other solvent to extract the plant essence. The trouble with using absolutes is that it is impossible to remove all the solvent. Everybody knows that alcohol is very drying to the skin. Use absolutes carefully. Well, use essential oils carefully too!
During distillation steam passes through the plan material and collects the plant oils. It then passes into a cooling chamber where the water and oil separate. This water is what is called floral water or hydrosol. So it has the aroma and some of the characteristics of the essential oil. They are wonderful to use in spray bottles.