Néroliane Quality

By Jean-François Cotte

Doctor in chemistry; director of the Albert Vieille company laboratory.

“In the laboratory, our first approach is olfactory: does the essence have a good aspect; does it really smell as it is supposed to smell? It delineates its olfactory identity. A vast collection of samples allows us to draw on referents in case of doubt, for an essence that we might have need to bring back to memory, to the nose. The so-called subjectivity of olfactory research makes little sense when it comes to identifying essential oils. Our work is like that of a piano tuner seeking the right note. The acceptable margins of fluctuation are known and limited: nature is playful but rarely produces aberrations.

When this first test is passed, it is time for the physical and chemical analyses. The essence is divided up into its different constituents which must develop along the coordinates of well-established values and which also must undertake certain relationships between themselves which are verifiable markers. The proportion of constituents one to the other represents a more rigourous “fingerprint” than the presence of the constituents themselves.

Finally, during the process of gathering all this information we come back to the nose in order to re-evaluate the harmony of the essence. The whole is a great deal more than the sum of its parts, and subjecting an essence to analysis is a necessary but insufficient exercise. Somewhat as the absence of illness does not certify health. There is a soulful supplement, something born from the synergy of all these elements, and doubtless others which we don’t see, which will determine whether the essence offered to us will be accepted or denied.”