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Making essential oil

The essential oil of lavender is somewhat unusual in being sufficiently stable to withstand the steam distillation process. The essential oil is contained principally in the calyx of the plant.

picture The steam is passed through the harvested flowers which have been packed down in the distillation chamber.
picture The steam then passes through the condensation coil which is immersed in a tank of water.
picture The result is a mixture of essential oil and hydrosol (lavender water).

The resulting oil needs to be set aside for some time to mature. It has a very raw odor right after distillation. It can be used after about 4 months but continues to improve for several years.
English lavender (angustifolia) yields 15-20 kilos of oil per hectare. Lavandin yields 60-150 kilos. However English lavender fetches 4-5 times the price of lavandin.