Re: Essential oils come from
"Where do essential oils
come from"? So many answers, so little time!
I'm not positive from your question whether you mean location on the planet, or more technically, what are they made from? To quickly cover both...How Essential Oils are Made
(see more on the Making of Essential Oils here.
Most folks will know that essential oils are volatile - or "easily evaporated" - chemical compounds extracted from plants. Technically, the term 'essential oil' means the volatile compounds extracted via steam distillation - though we've expanded this definition a bit to include compounds extracted using liquid carbon dioxide as well (more on that in a moment).
"Classic" essential oils are made simply like this: Plant material (say, the flowering tops of Lavender
plants) is placed in a container - now, typically, a large stainless-steel vat. Steam is passed through the plant material from the bottom, and is captured at the top. When the steam is cooled to liquid water, on top floats an oily, aromatic substance. The water is drained from the bottom, leaving the essential oil.
A simple example of where an essential oil comes from can be this: Imagine smelling a flower. What you are smelling is a chemical compound (several natural chemicals at once) evaporating from that flower's petals, and reaching your olfactory senses. Essential oils are these natural chemical compounds, collected and concentrated.
A similar process is used with carbon dioxide (CO2) instead of water. When CO2 is put under very high pressures, it becomes liquid. When this CO2 liquid is passed through the plant material in lieu of water, some larger - but still 'oily' - molecules end up in the resulting 'essential oil'. The process also happens at a much lower temperature than steam distillation. The resultant aromatic product can be of greater therapeutic benefit for certain conditions.Where on the planet to the oils come from?
You'll see on each single page of our essential oils that a source country is listed in the brief description of the oil under the price list. These OCCASIONALLY will change, as will the note on the bottle itself, if we choose to receive the oil from a distiller in a different country. We are conscious that the essential oil from the new location is of the same "chemotype", meaning the balance of its natural chemical constituents is similar to the 'original' essential oil. They can be quite different - Rosemary, from Morocco or Tunisia are very similar, yet Rosemary from France is significantly different, and goes by a different chemotype name (in this case "Verbenone" rather than "Cineol").
Most essential oils do not have chemotypes, and it's also fairly rare we would change the source country. A great many oils come from the country they do because the plants from which the oils are extracted are most healthy and productive in that country. Due to factors such as amount of rain, temperature, elevation, sunlight, etc, Roses do very well in the Kanzalak valley of Bulgaria...and the best Rose essential oil (Rose Otto) is considered to come from this region as well.
We hope this is a good summation of the question! Let us know if we can be of greater help!