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Questions & Answers

About our Logo...
The main feature in the coat of arms in Corsica is "U Moru", Corsican for "The Moor", originally a female Moor blindfolded and wearing a necklace made of beads. An early version is attested in a 14th-century Armorial, where an non blindfolded Moor's head represents Corsica as a state of the Crown of Aragon. In 1736, it was used by both sides during the struggle for independence.

In 1760, General Pasquale Paoli ordered the necklace to be removed from the head and the blindfold raised. His reason, reported by his biographers, was "Les Corses veulent y voir clair. La liberté doit marcher au flambeau de la philosophie. Ne dirait-on pas que nous craignons la lumière ?" (English: "The Corsicans want to see clearly. Freedom must walk by the torch of philosophy. Won't they say that we fear the light?") Later the blindfold was changed to a headband.

The current flag of Corsica is the Bandera testa Mora ("Flag with head of Maure"), is male rather than female, and has a regular knot at the back of the head.

We have slightly transformed it to feature the Immortelle ( everlasting ) / helichrysum Italicum flowers...

The plant ; Wild or Cultivated ?
The cultivation of helichrysum is a much safer way to achieve better oil as fluctuation in quality is high in the wild. This is how we did it :

In secret guarded locations in Balagne but also in the south around Porto Vecchio and Bonifacio, in mountains or by the sea in the sand, we started to collect in the Corsican wilderness 7 years ago . To start with we used to distill all plants together. The level of Neryl Acetate was around 28% max.

Then back 2011 we steamed distill and  experimentated distillating each plot of land separetely and discovered that some locations had a higher quality than others. After making an analysis of each different one, the best results were achieved from the maquis behind a small well know beach and beauty spot near Porto Vecchio called Palombaggia :  high italidione levels and 44% Neryl Acetate were achieved !! Goodness in action...

The quantities however were not sufficient to start a trade ( only 220 gr of oil produced from the plot in 2011) but quality was indeed paramount.

We then decided in 2012 not to use oil from this wild spot that was probably the best in Corsica and that nobody paid attention to at the time. We let the Immortelle pass the harvest stage and in September collected all the seeds produced that we planted in November 2011, first in pots in conservatory, then in February in soil. Now nearly 5 years on the roots have developed. Yield in 2012 was very bad ( 4 tons of plants to make 1 kg ) but now it is much better.

Our Neryl Acetate is now close to 40% (one the highest on the planet ) and although we call our oil Home Grown , cultivated , it is 100% made from the Palombaggia paradise known by so many unrespectful tourists. I have been in the same spot in August 2016 , south of the beach, and I found no trace of  our Immortelle, probably collected , roots and all....

We still collect in the wild, but amount achieved are very little ( 18 kg last year ). Usually we were used to blend it with our HG but in 2016 stated to propose it separately. At time of writing this piece in January 2017 I have almost all sold by reservation....

Corsica origin or not ?
Read our post on our FB about pollution affecting Balkans region. Ask yourself a question : is it worth taking that risk for your customers while Corsica is probably the cleanest Island of South Europe ?
Unesco attest that Balagne ( where a lot of our Helichrysum is collected ) is a Nature reserve, one of the most preserved in south Europe



For us there is no doubt : it can only be one and it is Corsica ! There are 600 species of Helichrysum available with various sub species. The only one worth buying is Helichrysum Italicum ssp Italicum or ssp Serotinum. Be very suspiscious of various companies based in South Africa & the Balkans to name only the most reported to us,  that pretend to sell you "Immortelle". They only use this generic name as a sesame to your wallet.
Ask the MSDS (see ours here ) and the full analysis before hand please. Do ask for references of other customers based in the US or Europe for instance and go to the extend of requesting them. Watch also for the level of Neryl Acetate and if it is under 15% avoid please. Pure organic virgin oil would even be better for your skin.
Numerous customers have reported various sophisticated scams to us. For instance an initial delivery of samples not corresponding to the main future bulk delivered or an "immortelle oil" delivered of Helichrysum odoratissimum , Helichrysum bracteiferum or Helichrysum gymnocephalum.

The subspecies include:

  • Helichrysum italicum ssp. italicum
  • Helichrysum italicum ssp. microphyllum
  • Helichrysum italicum ssp. serotinum
Skin Care Cosmetics : DIY
Just buy for a few pennies a well known baby lotion or quality family cream at your local store and just add 1% of pure helichrysum italicum ( a few drops ). This home made skin care for your personal use will be powerful and a good introduction to the power of the plant, hydrating your skin .
NB :  Never use essential oil pure on the skin but in a carrier ( olive, Jojoba, sweet almond or like above suggested in a baby lotion...) .

Distillation :
See here details of our operation http://www.helichrysum-italicum.com/distillation-2-23-w.asp
We collect / harvest plants once a year at the earliest 10th of July , at the latest 1st of August. After a period of semi-dessication ( we never distill the fresh green plant ) of one week all plant are distilled .
They also need after distillilation a resting / airing period of one week as fresh oil has an unpleasant herby smell. The full and sweet aroma of helichrysum is developped after this period.

Neryl Acetate . What is all the fuss ?
Nearly 40%+ in 2016  ( 38% in 2015 ) in our Helichrysum Italicum !!!

Neryl acetate is the key molecule in immortelle essential oil used in all good skin care. Neryl acetate boosts micro circulation, collagen production and protects from free radicals. Neryl acetate multiplies the natural anti-ageing properties of the plant already enhanced by a complex of active ingredients present in its composition. Neryl acetate target the heart of skin cells, combats metabolic and replicative cellular ageing.

Our Immortelle de Corse main components are : Monoterpènes : limonène (5.23%), alpha-pinène (2.48%), Esters terpéniques : acétate de néryle (39.69%) Propanoate de néryle (5.38%) Italidiones : italidione (5.75%) Sesquiterpènes : gamma-curcumène (12.26%)
 
Helichrysum plants are prolific producers of a host of different metabolites, including : - Pyrones, Triterpenoids and sesquiterpenes - Flavonoids, acetophenones and phloroglucinol. According to studies done by the Department of Biology at the University of Boozok in Turkey, these are responsible for the remarkable antibacterial, antimicrobial, antifungal & anti-inflammatory effects of the extracts, with its anti-proliferative activity & anticancer properties.

Helichyrsum’s protective properties are expressed partly like a corticoid-like steroid, helping to lower inflammation by inhibiting action in different pathways of arachidonic acid metabolism. Researchers from the Department of Pharmacy at the University of Napoli in Italia also found that due to ethanolic compounds present in the extract of helichrysum, it elicits antispasmodic actions inside of an inflamed digestive system, helping to reduce the gut from swelling, cramping and digestive pain.

How much do we produce ?
Roots of helichrysum will go deeper every year in the soil (like vines) and the yield increase with age ( as well as quality & acetate ) . The first year of production gives about 1 kg for 2000 kg of semi-dried plants.

We would like to point out also that mainly the flowers are distilled and not the stems. Distilling the stem will increase yield but lower quality. Some companies in other contry have not hesitation to do this. However read their analysis : Neryl Acetate in their analysis rarely goes higher than 8%.
As for us right now we yield 1 kg of oil for 1100 kg of plants.

In 2017 we should produce about 400 kg of oil and lots of floral water. However the cost of transport for floral water is enormous and to deliver 1000 kg drums to the other side of the world cost several times more than the hydrolat itself . You can of course organised it to collect it in Marseilles to be shipped by sea freight...

Reservation for 2017.
We produce a Corsican product with all our work force based in France ( Corsica is a French Island ! ) but our global selling head quarters are based in London UK since 2009.

Sizes on offer
We are a B to B company and our minimum trade price is 1 kg. although we propose to date on line smaller sizes. If you buy our oil in bulk please tell us.

updated in London UK in May 2017
 
All oil is gone now from 2016 harvest. Sorry.
Watch out for the July 2017 production