The demand for essential oils evolves year after year for several reasons:
Increasing consumer demand for natural products, make essential and vegetable oils a “TENDANCE” product.
For this reason, it was obvious for our company to create a plant for the extraction of vegetable oils and a distillation unit for essential oils and hydrolats.
History and origin of essential oils
The uses of the odorous substances of plants have been known since ancient times. The first texts relating to the use of fine oils and perfumes are Egyptian hieroglyphic papyrus dating back more than 2,800 years. The Ebers papyrus in Egypt, as well as the accounts of Herodotus, Pliny and the physicians Dioscorides and Galen, show that the Egyptians used the oils extracted from plants, the perfumes and essences of several aromatic plants, which they used for pharmacology and embalming. They knew three methods for extracting essential oils, maceration, enfleurage and an archaic form of distillation. The Chinese and Indian civilizations also used essential oils for therapeutic and cosmetic care:
Emperor Chen Ning wrote a treatise on herbal medicine, and it is known that in India, Ayurvedic medicine and the sacred books of the Vedas knew more than 700 spices (basil, cinnamon, nard, myrrh, sandalwood, among others) and perfumes were used for liturgical and therapeutic purposes. More generally, herbal medicine, the use of plant-derived substances in medicine, is known to all civilizations. The birth of modern aromatherapy is due to the chemist René Maurice Gattefossé, in the 1920s
Essential oils: a growing world market Perfumery, food, aromatherapy:
So many destinations for a market for essential oils whose world production, which is growing steadily, is estimated at more than 110,000 tons. While food represents a considerable outlet, the perfumes and cosmetics market benefits from solid fundamentals.
World production of essential oils
About 150 essential oils are currently on the market, compared to 300 50 years ago. The world’s leading essential oil by tonnage is orange essential oil, which is a by-product of orange juice production since it is extracted from orange peel by cold pressing. It is produced to the tune of more than 50,000 tonnes, mainly from Brazil and Florida, which together account for almost 90% of the total volume marketed. Next comes mint (Mentha arvensis), estimated to produce 32 000 tonnes, followed by essential oils of eucalyptus (4000 tonnes), peppermint (3300 tonnes).
Lavandin essential oil, which is typically produced in France, is the tenth most widely produced essential oil in the world (1000 to 1200 tonnes). World production of essential oils has recently been estimated at more than 110,000 tonnes. Nevertheless, the three best-selling essential oils in the world account for almost 90% of the total, with two major groups: citrus and mint.
WORLD PRODUCTION, THE 13 MOST IMPORTANT ESSENTIAL OILS
- Brazil is the world’s largest producer of essential oils in terms of volume,
- The second most likely being India for its production of essential oil of mint, which is developed particularly north of Delhi. India has taken over the leadership of this production at the expense of China.
- Eucalyptus, produced mainly in China, is also one of the major products of the perfumery industry, mainly used in functional perfumery related to personal hygiene
The main emblematic products of alcoholic perfumery are:
- Patchouli, of which 1100 tonnes are produced in Indonesia,
- Clove nail, of which 1000 tonnes are also produced in Indonesia,
- Vetiver, with a world production of about 200 tons coming mainly from Haiti and Indonesia,
- The ylang ylang, produced in the Comoros and Madagascar, for a world production of close to 100 tons,
Not to mention rose, the emblematic essential oil of perfumery, produced mainly in Bulgaria and Turkey with a global production, depending on the years, of the order of 3 to 5 tons.
While all of the essential oils mentioned above are well used in perfumery, the perfumery industry uses other natural raw materials derived from plants by solvent extraction.
Finally, if these essential oils come, for the most part, from developing countries, in terms of volume at least, others such as orange in Florida, mint in the eastern United States, lavandin in France, tea tree in Australia, have been able to establish themselves in the long term. Usually benefiting from exceptional soil and climate conditions and largely optimized production factors by producers.
A 3% growth market
For several years now, the market for essential oils seems to be growing. ” Frost and Sullivan”, a specialist consultant, predicted in 2008 that the European market would grow by around 3% per year, while the major trade flows are mainly between the European Union, the USA and Japan.
If we look at the market for European products, it has to be said that production no longer meets demand. There are three main reasons for this:
- The craze for natural raw materials is no longer just rhetoric it is now a fact
- The aromatherapy market has experienced a real development in recent years. For lavandin alone, it is estimated that it accounts for almost 10% of the market
- Very often, production has not been able to keep up with demand in the traditional production areas. Indeed, farms are already at the highest level of production and the emergence of new areas presents many difficulties, particularly in terms of investment and know-how.
Four major destinations :
Food, perfumery and cosmetics, and aromatherapy are the four main destinations for essential oils:
- The food market is a considerable outlet, mainly for the beverage industry. It has changed significantly over the last 40 years, going from practically “all synthetic” to natural, which is now in the majority. The main essential oils used remain citrus and mint essential oils.
- The perfumery and cosmetics market
The perfume and cosmetics market has strong fundamentals. It shows continuous growth over the very long term but, despite a slight slowdown, growth remains satisfactory (source “Les Echos” 2013). Although historical markets remain strong, emerging countries are the main sources of growth (South America, Asia).
If the communication of perfume companies revolves largely around the natural product, with a few exceptions, they are little consumers of essential oils compared to synthetic products. It is nevertheless a question of not opposing the two, indeed, the finesse of fragrances is always obtained by a subtle alliance between synthetic and natural products. Few companies market organic toilet water, containing only 100% pure and natural essential oils.
The global cosmetics market, a considerable market in terms of turnover, is also growing.
The CEO of L’Oréal estimated that in 2014 (source: Le Figaro) this growth will be between 3. 5 and 4% per year. Like perfumery, cosmetics are low in essential oils.
Nevertheless, the use is developing notably through companies such as L’Occitane, which largely emphasizes the positive cosmetic impact of such or such essential oil (cf. the lavender, the immortal… ).
A special case for organic cosmetics, which represents a global share of cosmetics of 3% with an annual growth of 8% (source: Organic Monitor), double that of conventional cosmetics.
Given the quality sign AB (Organic Agriculture) it is certain that this type of market is proportionally more consuming of essential oil.
Although accounting for only about 2% of world trade in essential oils, the aromatherapy market is growing. It increased by almost 20% in value in 2012 (source: Pharmacy Monitor, June 2013).