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Collection: HESPERIDAE - Rare Essential Oils from the Citrus Family

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The Garden of the Hesperides is  Hera's (Ancient Greece's queen Goddess) orchard, where depending on accounts either a single apple tree or a grove grows, producing the mythical golden apples, which were a wedding gift of Gaia (mother earth Goddess) for her marriage with Zeus. 

In later years it was thought that the "golden apples" might have actually been oranges, a fruit unknown to Europe and the Mediterranean before the Middle Ages.

Under this assumption, the Greek botanical name chosen for all citrus species was Hesperidoeidē (Ἑσπεριδοειδῆ, translating as hesperidoids), hence Hespridae in English and Hesperidées in French (sometimes used more restrictively for oils produced only by cold extraction)

This specialized name for the citrus family points to an ancient ingredients family of perfumery,  as essential oil can also be obtained by cold pressing, without necessity of distillation (both techniques give interesting results) 

Originating in Asia, different citrus are used there in perfumery, medecine and incense making, but their use is nowhere as prominent as it is in "French Style" alcohol based (nowadays industrial) perfume making where it is ubiquitous, and used since the beginning of this recent tradition (late XVIIIth / early XIXth century). 

Citrus family / hesperidae notes are often part of the first impression of perfumes as they usually adorn them with their distinctive top notes. They literally give "zest" to the perfume: a volatile, fresh, invigorating and joyous energy. They are of course at core of Eaux de Colognes (many of which have become virtuosity displays of their creative uses) and what we call in French Eaux Fraîches.

In this collection I aim to offer quality classics but also extremely rare oils, produced on a very small scale by skilled artisans, that is oils from rare species of citrus that are little known, hardly ever seen, and interesting for both perfume making and scentient work.