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Drawing the best nature can offer directly from the source

To get the best our land has to offer, we enhance the biodiversity of our production sites. Through partnerships with producers of natural ingredients in Provence, Latin America, and Sri Lanka, we encourage regional expertise and integrated production methods which combine environmental protection and fair trade. By setting up sites locally, our customers are ensured that we control the nature of our raw materials perfectly.

Provence – lavender blue territory

A land of sunshine and scents, poised between the influences of the Mediterranean and the Alps, the Provence region offers a mild climate that is ideal for the cultivation of aromatic and fragrant plants. At a bend in a path, beyond fields of violets, jasmine and roses, you see hills planted with bitter orange trees and wilderness areas covered in late spring broom flowers or winter mimosa flowers. In the distance are vast expanses of lavender and lavendin.

In the Middle Ages, lavender was grown in the gardens of abbeys and was a popular regional remedy that itinerant herbalists from the Lure mountains sold all over Provence for its beneficial, relaxing and antimicrobial qualities.

Production in France's organic cradle

Further north, on the border of the Alps and Provence, the Drôme area has an amazing biological diversity. In the seventies, the cultivation of organic Fragrant, Aromatic, Medicinal Plants (PPAM) developed in Ardèche and the Drôme areas. Currently, 50% of local PPAM production is certified as organic.

To obtain high quality plants, organic local Drôme farmers use elaborate techniques which involve hoeing, earthing-up, subsoiling, biological control of pests (using natural predators), thermal weed control, solarization, etc. Their knowledge of vegetative cycles and relations between plant species ensure that the region’s biodiversity, water quality, soil quality and landscapes are protected.

In this region, we are the exclusive partners of farmers in Sica Bioplantes , France’s leading producer of Organic medicinal and aromatic plants. All their products have been certified as organic by Ecocert.

Through this stable and long-standing partnership, we promote the organic cultivation of spices and medicinal plants. In this way, we ensure that farmers comply with European organic specifications. Producers agree not to use synthetic chemicals or GMO products, to ensure animal well-being, to comply with conversion periods before selling their products under the Organic label (2 years for annual plants and 3 years for vine and orchard plants). In return for this, we agree to buy the farmers’ produce at a fair price, i.e. high enough to maintain local production. We provide them with a set of services, technical advice on farming and production support. Nestling in the valley of Eygluy-Escoulin, our distillery makes essential oils and hydrolats, in partnership with Sica Bioplantes producers.

In 2017, ELIXENS France selected an innovative technical solution to limit any impact of its distillery on the nearby river, Sépie. An adiabatic cooler is a box the size of a transport container operating in a similar manner to a car radiator. It is the passage of air through a possibly humidified support (to increase the cooling capacity) which comes to cool a secondary circuit, allowing the extraction of the calories from the distillation vapors and their condensation. This unit runs on electricity and has been sized for start-up when the air temperature is high, a situation that has unfortunately become more and more common in recent years.

The distillery is classified Organic thanks to its direct water supply from the mountain source Sépie, it has 2 stainless steel process lines (distillers, tanks and reactors) for the processing of local and regional natural products.

Sensual fragrances from the Indian Ocean

Bathed in the humid air of the Comoros Archipelago in the Indian Ocean, the tropical plants exhale evocative fragrances. The island of Anjouan is filled with the scents of orange flowers, frangipani, ylang-ylang and vanilla.

This is where our subsidiary Bambao acquired and developed its expertise in the collection and production of essential oils. It now plays a major role in this market.

On its 27-hectare plantation, Bambao produces concretes from frangipani, orange flowers, vanilla and ylang-ylang.

As well as conventional essential oils, we also develop organic products certified by Ecocert for the European market and by USDA NOP for the USA, like essential oils of basil, neroli, ylang-ylang (extra, I, II and  III) and orange flower.

To process the plants, the site has a distillation facility equipped with nine 1,000-litre stills and a volatile solvent extraction facility equipped with two 400-litre extractors.

The fragrance of rose geranium

Reunion Island is a major player in fragrances and spices. The essential oils of rose geranium and vetiver produced on the island are considered to be the best in the world. The strong, sweet and slightly menthol scent of rose geraniums is similar to the scent of roses. Its essence is much appreciated in fine perfumery, it is a perfume base for cosmetics and it is used for the transformation of floral bases or fruit flavours. It is also used to make soaps and pharmaceuticals. It has numerous medicinal applications – when diluted in water, the essential oil can fight certain infections.

On Reunion Island, our partner Caheb (Agricultural Cooperative for Bourbon Vanilla Essential Oils) groups together the islands’ producers and exporters of essential oils. This cooperative produces 100% pure and natural essential oils from plants grown in the Reunion, i.e. rose geranium, vetiver and pink peppercorn.

Biodiversity of the South American Continent

Natural Alpha Bisabolol

Exceptional climatic conditions added to new regulatory constraints related to environmental protection in Brazil, were seriously impacting  raw material volumes and therefore  potentially disrupting production schedules for most cosmetic firms since 2010. In line with our philosophy of technical control of raw material, our role is primarily to keep you rapidly informed of the situation but also to seek solutions to ensure security of future supply. Striving to achieve this, we recently signed a partnership with a local producer committed to respecting constraints of the IBAMA (Brazilian Institute of Environment and Renewable Natural Resources). Our analysis further confirm that, the drying conditions having been met, the raw material available has suffered no damage in its olfactory quality. Thus, we  can announce having recovered a stock level covering a steady supply of our high quality Natural Alpha Bisabolol for our clients. The recovery of production coupled with a favorable currency also allows us to reduce tensions in pricing. Our sales and technical team is at your disposal for further information on prices and quality. Be assured that we are also available to study  supply requests for new clients.