To obtain essential oil crops, we think farming is the best. Sometimes we say the very best is wildcrafting. However, I will show you some things and let you decide if wildcrafting is the very best in every case, because I can tell you that it’s not the best in every case.
Consider poor farming practices: people growing the plants and distilling in poor countries don’t have adequate equipment. They cannot afford to do crop rotation, they cannot afford to let fields lie fallow for a summer, they cannot afford to do organic farming, and they cannot afford the expense of fertilizers. So they plant and they grow, and whatever they get is what they distill. Whatever they distill, they try to sell. And lo and behold, there is a buyer out there for every drop of an essential oil, regardless of its quality.
In 1878, the perfume industry first started synthesizing compounds and realized that they could start duplicating compounds, like phenol, found in many essential oils.
Today, 135 years later, they can duplicate every molecule in every essential oil that they can identify, although we do have compounds that have not been identified yet. So they’ll take these substandard oils into a lab, they will manipulate them with synthetics, or they will even take compounds from another oil; for example, lavandin. Lavandin is the greatest example of a structured oil in the world, and companies will sell it but call it something else.