Essential oils market
1.1 Presentation and definition of the essential oils market
The essential oils are defined as complex mixtures of volatile and odorous natural chemicals contained in all or part of an aromatic plant. Traditionally, these essential oils are extracted by hydrodistillation or cold pressing. These two processes are long and require a certain amount of know-how.
There are many plants and flowers used to produce essential oils, but examples include lavender, rosewood, eucalyptus, ylang-ylang, chamomile, tea tree, geranium, citrus fruits, mint and patchouli.
It should be noted that the content of essential oils in plants generally remains very small, ranging from 0,01% (e. g. rose petals) and 1% (example of cloves). Thus to obtain one kilo of pure essential oil, it is necessary to distil between 4 and 7 tons of rose petals, from 115 to 200 kg of lavender, or even 1 ton of orange blossoms.
The main markets of opportunities for the manufacture of essential oils in the world are food processing, perfumes, cosmetics, aromatherapy, cleaning products and pharmaceuticals (Quimdis). The world market for essential oils is booming, driven in particular by the consumption of Western markets (France is a very dynamic region), particularly with the fashion for aromatherapy and the manufacture of cosmetic products.
Essential oils represent a real growth driver for the cosmetics market. In an article in December 2018, Le Figaro titled "Essential oils revitalize the cosmetics industry."
There are several players on the market, often with very different positioning:
- Producers of vegetable raw materials (flowers and plants intended for the production of essential oil).
- Essential oil producers who distil or cold press flowers and plants. They vary in size, from craftsmen to large industrial groups.
- Companies consuming essential oils from various industries (cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, agri-food).
- Regulatory and control bodies that check the quality and harmfulness of oils and certify them.
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