Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Prima Fleur Essential Oil: ROSE GERANIUM

Pelargonium graveolens (geranium) leaf oil - USDA ORGANIC cert. BCS Öko-Garantie GmbH
We are pleased to tell you about our new Malawi geranium. Although we are very loyal to our suppliers from Madagascar and Egypt, our new Malawi Geranium is becoming quite a hit. The project is so worthy and the essential oil is exquisite. Certified under the USDA’s National Organic Program as well as EU certified through BCS OKO-Garantie GMBH Germany, this oil is a gorgeous emerald green with heavy notes of rosy floral and herbal-infused honey. Its oil is very special because of its scent quality as well as the source [Prima Fleur No. 157].
We also take this very appropriate time to honor our Egyptian Geranium [Prima Fleur No. 126]. We are expecting in the next few months to receive more Madagascar Bourbon Geranium [Prima Fleur No. 132] which has been in short supply.

More about Rose Geranium ~ by Jeanne Rose
History and Growing Conditions: The great part of the world’s supply of Pelargonium oil comes from the island of Réunion (Bourbon), a very fertile island about 400 miles east of Madagascar. The plant was introduced to the island in about 1880. The original plant grown for essential oil production was different from that cultivated today.

In about 1900 P. graveolens was introduced from Grasse in France and was a plant that grew larger and bushier, and therefore produced more oil—and the oil was of a sweeter, more rose-like odor. Since Pelargonium changes and develops according to the climate and soil type in which they are grown, the essential oil of Réunion also changed and altered.

Reunion oil contains more citronellol than that grown in France and less than that grown in Egypt and China. Pelargonium plants like a soil that is neither moist nor dry, a temperate climate with sea moisture (such as occurs in San Francisco) and do not like periods of heavy rain or torrid heat. Cuttings of this plant have been taken throughout the world and various plantings have been started.

Bourbon Geranium • Quest for the True Bourbon
By Jeanne Rose from AROMAtherapy 2037• APP, Winter 99/00
How many times have you heard about an essential oil called Geranium Bourbon? Did you stop to think what that was? Though I know what it means, I was bored and looking for information one day in a cabin in northern Canada and decided to call the various geographic survey organizations to see if they could tell me where Bourbon was.

Geranium Bourbon means that is a Pelargonium, probably grown on the Ile de Bourbon. However, if you look at a world map there is no Ile de Bourbon. The National Geographic Company that maintains maps from all over the world couldn’t find it. The organization that maps the world via satellite, however, did give me the correct information.

Bourbon was renamed Réunion in 1793. Réunion is the largest of the Mascarene Island group located in the Indian Ocean, SE of Madagascar. Réunion is a volcanic island, 3,069 meters (10,000 feet) high. St. Denis is the capital and it was founded by the French and named after the French royals, the Bourbons, in 1643. Bourbon is a seigniory in Central France as well. Ile de Bourbon (now Réunion) was named after this French family who were the rulers of France from Henry IV in 1589 until 1793.

Could you please tell me why we still call this particular Pelargonium Geranium Bourbon when it is now grown in Madagascar? Why is it that aromatherapy enthusiasts and herbal practitioners are so dreadfully behind in their geography and Latin binomials? In fact, in Guenther’s six volumes, The Essential Oils, the word ‘Bourbon’ does not exist. These books are copyrighted in 1950 and have managed to call Réunion by its correct name, which it has held since 1793. It goes on to say, “The greater part of the world’s total supply of Geranium oil” came from Réunion (formerly called Bourbon). But now this is no longer true as other countries are now producing quite a bit of ‘Geranium’ oil.

A fine, green-colored Geranium oil from Pelargonium graveolens comes from Madagascar; another supply comes from China, and some from the United States. So okay! Forget the word Bourbon when it comes to Geranium essential oil, because it just does not exist. Learn your essential oils by Latin binomial, variety, chemotype and part of the plant that produces the essential oil.

·      Rose, Jeanne • “A Profile of Geranium”, Scentsitivity Magazine, 1996.
·      Guenther, Ernest • The Essential Oils. Kreiger, 1950.
·      Encyclopedia Britannica

For information on our Premier Products and pricing, please visit our website. For questions and to explore custom development with exquisite botanicals from our extensive library of raw materials, please contact ~ or call (415) 455-0957.

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