French lavender oil has been out of stock for some time now... When is it coming back??
As you are probably aware, french lavender famously grows in the higher altitudes of France. These high altitudes give the plant a higher yield of natural Linalyl Acetate (Ester) levels which makes this variety of Lavender oil among the most sought after. True lavender is very resistant to cold - in fact, it often thrives at 1100-meter altitude. Unfortunately, the plants suffered from times of severe drought and extreme cold in the growing season of 2017. That meant the plants had to be uprooted and replaced - which is typically done every ten years. This left a deficit in oil production that was not felt right away. It is only now that oil is not available, so many customers are looking to replace their supply and not much is to be found.
So what can we do?
Well - pricing of any available stock is quite high. It will eventually come back down once the growers can produce more stock. Until then it is a waiting game.
As a consumer, there are other varieties of Lavender oil to consider.
High Altitude Lavender oil from Bulgaria is a strong contender and a suitable replacement for the french lavender oil. Analytically, the two oils are quite similar. This Bulgarian variety typically has a higher ester content - and the aroma is a sweet, somewhat floral scent with hints of honey throughout.
No matter what you consider - please note that growers in France, Bulgaria, Russia and Ukrain are all facing shortages due to poor weather conditions during the 2018 growing season. This will affect the market now through harvest in 2019 so it is a good time to stock up. We are already noticing increases in pricing and lack of availability in Bulgarian Lavender Oil... it will not be long before we must increase our prices or discontinue purchases until prices come down.