For thousands of years, essential oils have been used commonly in cooking, medicine, perfumery and the cosmetics industry.
But it was at the end of the 19th century, in France, that the modern history of aromatherapy began, when the ability of essential oils to neutralize bacteria was scientifically proven (around the same time, discovered antibiotics, which had the effect of removing aromatherapy from the field of medicine).
We owe René-Maurice Gattefossé, in 1928, the first use of the term aromatherapy. We also see, but rarely, perfume therapy.
Obtaining essential oils is done either by entrainment by steam in a distillation operation, or by dry distillation, or by cold expression (zest).
The quantity of essential oil contained in plants is always low, sometimes very low, even negligible.
This explains the high cost of essential oils, it is linked to the rarity and not to the extraction process which remains the same for most plants.
It sometimes takes several tons of plants to obtain one liter of essential oil.

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