All around the world, from the mountains of Provence to the outback of New South Wales; from the tropical island of Madagascar to the Valley of the Roses in Bulgaria; there are organic farmers and distillers (mostly small and medium size family enterprises) working with nature with great sensitivity and intelligence to produce the really fine natural and certified organic oils we supply. We are very happy to represent these people here in Ireland.
by David Kelly
After studying Geology and Industrial Chemistry, I was living in Mayo, working in the laboratory in Ceimice Teo Syrup factory in Ballina. In 1983 my wife Aine went to America on holidays and brought back a Weleda Lavender Bath milk. I thought this was great stuff, and on my next trip to Dublin searched for another bottle without success. Then I visited Greenacres health store on Fleet Street where the owner suggested I buy a bottle of pure Lavender oil instead. I soon discovered Patchouli and Ylang Ylang oils, and the surprising fact that different Lavender oils smelt different. And so a certain fascination developed and persisted. In 1984, the Ceimice Teo factory closed. We had no prospects of employment so we opened a Health Food Shop where, among other products we stocked essential oils. After a year we closed the shop and in November 1985 we began wholesaling oils to Health stores. Over the next few years, most of the Health stores in Ireland took on our range of essential oils. We also started supplying quite a wide variety of customers, from pharmacies to nursing homes, from aromatherapists to educational establishments. In 1989 we moved back to the east coast. After a few years working from our garage at home, in 1995 we rented premises in Bray, Co. Wicklow.
In 1985 we bought our first organic Lavender oil sourced from the Fra family farm in Haute Provence, who still supply all our organic lavender. Over time we developed good working relationships with organic growers in many countries, particular in France where they combine rich traditions of herbal production with judicious use of new technologies. We have steadily increased our range to become leading specialists in the supply of organic essential oils. We are certified in this by the Organic Trust Ltd.
As well as essential oils, carrier oils and floral waters, we have developed, with our own unique formulations, ranges of aromatic massage oils and pure essential oil blends.
We now operate from our small premises in Bray where we manufacture our products. We are registered as Cosmetic manufacturers with the Health Products Regulatory Authority. We have developed close relationships with other like minded businesses in our field. To keep abreast of technical and regulatory matters which arise we work with the Obus School of Aromatherapy, Leixlip, Co. Kildare, and we are members of the Irish Health Trade Association (I.H.T.A.)
Our team have all been with us for many years and have a wide range of skills and qualifications which help us maintain consistent quality of both products and services.
Directors: David Kelly, Aine Kelly, Roisin Kelly
General Manager: Michelle Murphy
Assistant General Manager: Roisin Kelly
Sales Manager & Aromatherapist: Ellen Cox Dip. Aromatherapy Member I.F.P.A
Quality Assurance: Jonathan Roche B.Sc. Herbal Science
Production: Colin McGrane (Supervisor), Mandy O’Connor, Shane Slevin
The essential oil business changes continually and we change with it. Here are a few examples...
Wild Harvesting - Historically, many essential oils were distilled from wild harvested plants. While this works quite well for some shrubby plants such as Rosemary, for others such as Sandalwood it involves cutting down the trees and is not sustainable. Until recently most of the worlds Sandalwood oil came from wild trees in India. Since 2016 we source oil from the first ever major Sandalwood plantation located in Kunanarra in Australia. Similarly, we source Cedarwood oil extracted from waste wood from commercial forests in the Ardeche, France rather than from wild trees from Morocco.
Developing World – Production of essential oils has become important in the developing world. The distillation process is a relatively straight forward and low-cost form of industrial development. The concentrated essential oil can be shipped from remote areas more easily than transporting huge quantities of vegetable matter. We source quite a selection of oils, including Pepper, Clove, Geranium and Lemongrass, from fair trade organic certified sources in Madagascar, Congo and Uganda. These projects provide much needed local employment in both agriculture and manufacture and help develop local infrastructure. Over the last few years, we supply Frankincense oil distilled in Somaliland. Up to now, the resin for this was always shipped for distillation in Europe, which was of much less benefit locally.
France – La Drome is a region situated in the north of Provence. Since the 1970’s it has developed as a centre for organic agriculture with an emphasis on cultivation of aromatic and medicinal plants. This has invigorated a region which previously suffered from rural depopulation. Currently 40% of La Drome is under organic cultivation, which has a positive effect on the flora and fauna of the area. From here we source Camomile, Clary Sage, Helichrysum and Thyme.
Each essential oil has its own story. Some things can remain unchanged over generations. Others can change rapidly. We continue to keep abreast of developments in the oil world and adjust what we offer accordingly.
David S Kelly