You're never better served than by yourself! At Essenciagua, we're proud to be both producer and artisan-distiller. We have made the bold choice of distilling the vast majority of our essential oils and hydrolats ourselves, because distilling is the best way to master plant extracts.
Slow distillation - Patience is the watchword
The art of distillation is a matter of patience. Distillation must be slow and thorough, using low-pressure, low-temperature steam to obtain the "totum", the richness and full complexity of the plant, without damaging the most fragile components or "burning" the lightest ones. We distill according to the rule of 1 liter of hydrosol for 1 kilo of fresh plant. Every distillation is fraught with uncertainty and surprises. It's a question of remaining humble in front of the plant: the same humility as that of a mountaineer in front of a summit.
A circular supply network
We only distill fresh plants from organic farming. Organic certification guarantees the absence of pesticides in our essential oils and hydrolats. Essenciagua has set up a supply chain with certified organic farmers and pickers close to the distillery.
Everything is designed with a circular economy in mind, to make the most of local resources and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Essenciagua controls the entire production chain to guarantee exceptional quality. Plant residues from distillation are composted and used by the distillery's partner farmers.
Our process: Innovation & tradition
At Essenciagua, you're entering a land of passion: we're obsessed with perfect distillation. We distill with Lozère spring water, in unique alembics, fed by a stainless steel food-grade steam boiler, free from any chemical treatment. This is the only way we can offer you exceptional quality. The quality of great terroir vintages...
We receive our fresh plants, many of them harvested within a 150 km radius of the distillery by farmers and pickers in the Occitanie region. All are certified organic.
We load the plants manually into the pre-heated alembics: the tamping operation, carried out "by foot", allows the steam to pass slowly through the entire plant load. Only the loading of a reasonable quantity of plants, and therefore the choice of an artisan-sized alembic, ensures good mechanical contact between the plant and the steam. In principle, this very simple process does not lend itself well to industrialization.
For the sake of authenticity and quality, our alembic stills have a swan-neck closure, also known as a retort, and are used for wines and spirits. This specific shape is Essenciagua's signature. It's what makes our oils and hydrolats unique.
The birth of a grand cru
The essential oils and hydrolats obtained simultaneously are separated after decanting. They are left to rest for several weeks in cold storage, in barrels or containers that have been subjected to high-pressure steam to ensure perfect hygiene. The storage temperature is kept constant to ensure slow maturation, just like a fine wine. Only then are the oils and hydrolats filtered and packaged in small bottles or flasks.
Still warm when distilled, the plant residues from the distillation process are composted by one of our farming colleagues. The compost is used in our organic farming processes. The whole cycle comes full circle.
Our essential oils and hydrolats are 100% pure and natural, straight from the extraction process. At Essenciagua, we've always said NO to pasteurization, NO to plant extracts "cut" with water or alcohol, and NO to preservatives. At Essenciagua, quality means organic, demanding craftsmanship and a preference for local products. We control the entire production chain, guaranteeing optimal, unique quality.
"Slowly uncork an Essenciagua bottle and close your eyes; you're in the earth, in the middle of a large lavender field! Let the violet notes spread their aromatic richness and touch your childlike heart! "
Did you know that the Egyptians attached great importance to preserving their essential oils? They kept them in gold containers or in violet glass vials. Essenciagua drew its inspiration from this tradition to create this packaging... in violet glass! Thick, high-tech glass, tinted in the mass.
This choice is also based on scientific principles: to better understand them, we need to remember that light is broken down into visible (from blue to red) and invisible (infrared (IR), ultraviolet (UV), etc.) rays. Visible light is involved not only in the development of life, but also in the degradation of living organisms. Violet glass provides an absolute barrier to visible radiation, while UV and IR radiation are not blocked by this type of glass. On the contrary, these frequencies are picked up by living organisms, and play a vital role in cellular communication and the propagation of light energy within biological systems.
Comparative tests on brown and violet glass bottles containing rosewater have conclusively demonstrated the benefits of using violet glass to preserve aromatic molecules. The glass we've chosen not only provides optimum protection for our essential oils and hydrolats against visible light, but also allows their bioenergy to pass through UV and IR.