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Sourcing About Our Essential Oil Distillers

With Exclusive access to the highest quality medicinal essential oils in the world, Melissa’s Botanicals produces the Very Best in French Medical Aromatherapy.

Melissa Farris and Michél Meneuvrier inspecting Winter savory at S.A. Plantes Aromatiques du Diois in Vercheny, Provence, France

SAPAD
S.A. Plantes Aromatiques du Diois
Distillers of 100% organic essential oils.

About SAPAD

Michel Menuvrier is the owner of a cooperative specializing in organic and biodynamic cultivation of medicinal plants and essential oils. Michel is a man of great integrity who has been practicing the art of biodynamic farming for nearly 15 years. His cooperative is located in Provence, France, at the heart of the exquisite Die valley. Everything produced by Michel is certified organic by ECOCERT, a highly respected international certification agency. The Die valley provides ideal conditions for the cultivation of Lavender, various chemotypes of thyme and rosemary, marjoram, hyssop, oregano, sage… the list is truly endless for these native Mediterranean medicinal plants. The Die valley is said to be the origin of Lavender Angustifolia’s first blooming flowers.

Michél and one of his farmers at S.A. Plantes Aromatiques du Diois.(SAPAD) is 100% Ecocert certified organic and partially Demeter certified Biodynamic. The Die valley provides ideal conditions for the cultivation of Lavender, various chemotypes of Thyme and Rosemary, Peppermint, Marjoram, Hyssop, Oregano, Sage… the list is truly endless for these native Mediterranean medicinal plants. The Die valley is said to be the origin of Lavender Angustifolia’s first blooming flowers.

Essential Oils & SAPAD

Our distillers produce the highest quality medicinal essential oils offered world-wide. These organic essential oils are produced with the intention of being used medicinally for their healing properties. Organic farming and distilling is not just a job, it’s a way of life. Encompassing a passion for plants and combining modern and historic techniques is a fine art that can take decades to develop.

Michél Meneuvrier Left hand- fresh fennel seed ready to be distilled. Right hand – fennel seed after distillation.

True Lavender

Melissa’s friend, Albrecht von Keyserlingk, Owner of Essences Naturelles Corses. The first organic and biodynamic farmer in Corsica, France

Albrecht was the first Corsican to distill Helichrysum Italicum oil in 1991. Because 1 ton of Helichrysumflowers only produces 1.8 Liters, Albrect decided that wildcrafting was not sustainable, so he started farming helichrysum.

The Exceptions

Though the vast majority of Melissa’s Botanicals products hail from SAPAD, we obtain three exquisite oils directly from the distillers themselves: Rose Otto, Frankincense, and Cocoa in Jojoba oil.

Rose Otto from Bulgaria

The Bulgarians have been growing roses in the fertile, and aptly-named, Rose Valley for centuries. Melissa’s Botanicals is lucky to have a long relationship with Enio Bonchev, the region’s oldest and most revered rose oil distillery. Founded in 1909 in the village of Tarnichene, the artisanal, family-run operation chooses its customers carefully and is no longer taking new clients. Their pristine rose oils are in such high demand that we put our orders in years ahead of time to reserve our share!

Melissa and Andrea sitting in a distillation unit with our distiller pouring freshly picked rose blossoms over us!

Rose flowers after distillation. This is what is left of the plant after everything has been steam distilled. It is now ready for the compost pile!

Frankincense from Somaliland

Much like roses in Bulgaria, Frankincense and Myrrh have been vital parts of Somaliland’s economy and culture for centuries. When it comes to these treasured oils, there is no better producer, and no more responsible a citizen, than Boswellness. Melissa has been a longtime supporter and fan of how they focus on working directly with local harvesters and their communities. Besides producing some of the best Frankincense and Myrrh essential oils in the world, Mahdi, Jamie, and Casey have helped establish cooperatives to formalize best harvesting practices and fair trade principles to ensure everyone can profit for centuries to come. They also collaborate to improve access to water, food, education, and basic health services. “By working with and for those touching the trees, Boswellness is able to apply holistic solutions for sustainability for both people and plants,” says their top-notch distiller Casey Leon. Boswellness returns 20 percent of its gross revenue to the region to support these initiatives, so when you buy Melissa’s Frankincense, you’re supporting them too!

Mahdi, Jamie, and Casey from Boswellness
On the Left, Casey Lyon. Owner of Boswellness – 100% organically certified distillery in Vermont.

Cocoa in Jojoba from France

Melissa’s Cocoa in Jojoba Oil is made exclusively for her by a world-class perfumer in Grasse, France. Even though Cocoa is the only essential oil we offer that is not intended for medicinal use (which is why SAPAD doesn’t carry it), it’s one of our most popular products. The idea for a Cocoa oil came to Melissa after hearing from frustrated parents who were unable to get their children to tolerate the smell of beneficial oils such as Lavender and Tea Tree. It turns out, kids aren’t the only ones who love chocolate! Adults love it too, especially when mixed in body care products.

Produced in single batches by a French perfumer who graduated from ISIPCA https://www.isipca-school.com, where they accept only the world’s most discerning noses for study, this really is a one-of-a-kind product with an aroma and consistency you will not find anywhere else in the world.

Cocoa beans in chocolate
This is a photo of Cocoa beans. The heavenly scent of our Cocoa in Jojoba is one of a kind and cannot be found anywhere else. Melissa has this special oil made from a “Nose” – one of the top perfumers in the world.

The FDA has not evaluated the statements on this website. No claims are made by Melissa’s Botanicals as to the medicinal value of any products from Melissa’s Botanicals. The information presented here is for educating our customers about the traditional uses of essential oils and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. You are responsible for understanding the safe application of these products. If you have any questions, please call or email us for further information.