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Davana Oil

By: Pierre-Jean Hellivan, Vigon International
Posted: October 21, 2011, from the November 2011 issue of P&F magazine.

Much has been written about the great classic ingredients that dot the palettes of perfumers and flavorists. Surprisingly, however, there are few references to an extraordinary essential oil, davana (Artemisia pallens). Its history in the industry is short; first distillations were reportedly conducted in India in the first half of the 20th century, yet it was not until 1970 that exports from India started intensifying, and not until 1985 did davana become a household name marketed to fragrance consumers with the launch of Davana by Franka M. Berger. Today, davana remains a small-volume essential oil; the 2010–2011 crop period yielded production of 4,000 kg, according to estimates by Kancor Ingredients. Despite this, the essential oil has earned a special place in perfumers’ and flavorists’ palettes, particularly in the United States and Japan, where it is a flavor ingredient for bakery, tobacco and beverage applications.

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