LAVENDER ESSENTIAL OIL
The name Lavender originates from the latin “lavare”, meaning ‘to bathe’ or ‘to wash’. It comes from the family of Lamiaceae, the same as the mint family. Since ancient times, it has been appreciated for its colourful flowers, smell and therapeutic and cosmetic features. More recently it has become a popular flavouring ingredient in foods. It is believed that an increase in consumer demand for ‘healthy, natural’ products has created additional demand. Lavandula angustifolia (Lavender) is known as true (common) lavender as well as ‘English’ lavender. It has a long history of promoting sleep and relieving anxiety hence commonly used in aromatherapy.
Khush has chosen producers whereby we know the fields the lavender is grown and trust the distillers who produce this beautiful oil.
The essential oil is obtained from the steam distillation of the gathered flowers and aerial parts. The largest suppliers of Lavender worldwide are Bulgaria, France and China, with more countries increasing their production. However, quality and quantity are dependent upon origin and cultivars, with surprising variability between them.
The oil itself has two major constituents are linalool and linalyl acetate. Linalyl acetate is higher in L. angustifolia (lavender oil) and linalool is higher in Lavandula x Grosso (lavandin oil).
Other constituents include alpha-thujene, alpha-pinene, camphene, limonene, 1,8-cineole, (Z)- and (E)-beta-ocimene, 7-terpiene, camphor, terpinen-4-ol, lavandulol, lavandulyl acetate, beta-caryophyllene.
We source our French lavender from Provence, naturellement, from a co-operative that provide very high-quality oil. Normally produced, stored (in stainless steel Vats) and aired for six to twelve months before shipping to customers, this high volume (high priced) true lavender is best for consistency, having green notes reduced through the maturing process. Reassuringly expensive!
We mainly source our organic lavender from Bulgaria. We have asked our organic producer in Bulgaria to provide us with product from the same field each year as our customers value this consistency. There are no maturing facilities, so we hold stock for three months before supplying to customers to reduce the green notes. We try to buy most of our year’s demand from the very first harvest in July, but as demand for organic product soars we are often dipping in later in the year.
We also source conventional lavender oil from a different Bulgarian supplier, and this is our most cost-effective lavender supply. 100% natural, 100% genuine and about half the price of French oil.
HIGH ALTITUDE LAVENDER
We have recently started sourcing high altitude lavender from the Himalayas. This is a speciality product supplied by a long-term partner of ours and is very popular in Ayurveda. Our lavender grows at an altitude of up to 4,000 - 5,000 ft in the foothills of the Himalayas. The intensity of the odour is due to the higher ester components of the oil (acetates) and is a must to experience for lavender enthusiasts. There is not much available at present and normally has to be booked in advance of July harvest.
SPANISH SPIKE LAVENDER
Lavandula latifolia (Spike) yields around 3x more oil than l. angustifolia. It is a completely different odour profile due to its dominant camphor odour. Because of this, spike is not often used for stress relief but to ease aches and pains; it has strong analgesic and expectorant properties, is more energising, and promotes concentration and focus. We source our Spike from a third-generation family grower / distiller Spain.
Lavandula x Grosso
This is a hybrid of lavandula angustifolia (English Lavender) and Lavandula latifolia (Spike Lavender) and has a distinct camphor scent. It is also the most traded type, since it makes up most of the world production. In other words, it is commercially grown due to its high yield of oil as a lower cost source of lavender fragrance. We source conventional from France and organic from Spain. We offer two grades, with ‘grosso’ being higher in camphor (12-15%) and ‘super’ being lower (5 to 10%). Super is a little more expensive as it has a higher percentage of Lavandula angustifolia in the cross, so yield is correspondingly lower.
We regret that we can only sample bona-fide companies. If you are a smaller entity, then you are welcome to visit our Oxfordshire laboratory to see the oils first hand.
For any further questions please do call us on: (+44) 1993 882883