Flavors and fragrances make up multitier industry consisting of
--Manufacturers of aroma chemicals and growers/processors of such products as natural essential oils, exudates, and secretions
--Compounders of finished flavors and fragrances sold to manufacturers of consumer goods
--Manufacturers of finished products (consumer and industrial goods) who compound flavors and fragrances as a relatively small part of their operations (captive manufacturing)
Essential oils and other natural products
Essential oils are volatile materials of vegetable origin that are isolated from particular plants and flowers mostly by steam distillation or solvent extraction. Some, however, are prepared by enfleurage, maceration, or expression. Although more than 3,000 essential oils have been identified, only 150-200 are commercial products. Other natural products include the absolutes, concentrates, concretes, and terpenic by-products of essential oils, exudates from resins, gums, balsams, beans, and other plants, as well as animal secretions such as ambergris, castor, civet, or musk. Many of the exudates and most of the animal secretions are used as fixatives rather than odors in fragrance comounds. All the natural products suffer from uncertainties of supply. Many come from remote coutnries. Their availablility varies with weather and other factors and their prices fluctuate sharply.