Capturing the Essence - Distilling Essential Oils

Capturing the Essence - Distilling Essential Oils

Part of the beauty of distilling essential oil is the fact you are “capturing” the essence of the lavender flowers and have access to the scent long after the flowers have left the field. Instead of watching the flowers wilt away at the end of their life cycle, they are dried to preserve their color in beautiful bouquets, or are put through the distiller to extract and utilize the scent in a multitude of products.

The process of steam distillation is an age-old technique that allows us to capture the essence of lavender's beauty and therapeutic properties, transforming the blooms into a potent and fragrant elixir.

The first time I used my distiller, I watched in awe as the the hydrosol and oils began to flow out into the separator. The smell was intoxicating and the process, though based on science, felt like magic.

All the long, hard days of work that go into the planting, pruning, watering and harvesting feel so worth it when those first drops of oil are extracted. It is the first step to bring the experience of the lavender farm into your home. The aromatic oils and hydrosol are incorporated right here on the farm into a variety of natural products that will provide you with a feeling of relaxation and serenity.

The Distillation Process

  • Harvesting: The process begins with the careful selection of lavender blooms at their peak. Timing is crucial, as the aromatic compounds are most concentrated during full bloom.
  • Preparation: The harvested lavender is sorted and most of the stems removed, ensuring that only the finest blooms are used for distillation.
  • Steam Distillation: The most common method for extracting essential oils, steam distillation, involves subjecting the lavender to gentle steam. This vaporizes the essential oils within the blooms, carrying them through a series of copper tubes.
  • Condensation: The steam, laden with essential oils, is then cooled inside the condenser, causing it to condense back into a mixture of water and essential oil. This mixture is then collected in a container known as a separator.
  • Separation: As water and essential oil have different densities, they naturally separate. The essential oil, being lighter, floats on the water's surface.
  • Collection: The collected essential oil is carefully skimmed off the top of the water, leaving behind the aromatic water known as hydrosol or floral water.
  • Filtering and Bottling: To ensure purity, the essential oil is then passed through filters to remove any remaining impurities. The filtered oil is then bottled and sealed, ready to be enjoyed.


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