The genus Helichrysum consists of an estimated 600 species, in the sunflower family (Asteraceae).
Helichrysum italicum (also known as Helichrysum angustifolium) is steam distilled to produce a yellow-reddish essential oil popular in fragrance for its unique scent, best described as a mixture of caramel and florals notes. Angustifolium means narrow leaved.
Helichrysum angustifolium yields are very small ranging from as little as 0.08 to 0.18%.
France is offering a viable alternative to the Croatian origin as harvesting restrictions over recent years in Croatia have resulted in a significant reduction in their annual production. Contrastingly France has been working to increase their capacities and will manage 200 kilo in their July 2016 harvest, an increase from 80 kilo in 2015.
The current season witnessed helichrysum oil production in abundance. Eastern Europe countries hold sizable stocks as the many producers in France support the harvest in large numbers. Bad quality helichrysum oil distillation by producers continues to remain the biggest area of concern. Demand for the oil continues to grow from the aromatherapy sector.
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