“Geranium is a rustic plant. Unlike the other flowers we grow, the leaves are what releases the fragrant essence.” Olivier Polge, CHANEL Perfumer
A harvest day in
Geranium Rosat, a distant cousin of the rose
The thin downy layer hidden beneath the leaves of this subtly scented plant is what contains the essence with a delicate, minty floral fragrance. The House of CHANEL has chosen to cultivate the Pelargonium graveolens variety.
The stems and leaves are harvested when they are mature, but still green, no later than September 15 and before the autumn rains. A custom-designed mowing blade is used to cut this 'carpet of green'. The harvest is immediately loaded into the trailer and taken to the processing plant. 1.5 kg of vegetation is produced per mature geranium plant. 40,000 geranium plants per hectare.
Upon arrival at the processing plant, the stems and leaves are loaded into the still, ready for distillation. Six hours of metamorphosis are required to obtain a clear, pale green essence that will gradually take on an amber hue as it matures. 700 kg of foliage can be distilled at once in the still.
The final step takes place in two small essenciers to separate the essential oil from the water. The essential oil is then filtered until it is perfectly clear. 1 ton of freshly cut geranium is required to produce 1 kg of essential oil.