Essential Oils possess the characteristic odour of the plant from which they are extracted. In Tasmania they include peppermint, spearmint, boronia, parsley, fennel, dill, blackcurrant, hops, clary sage, mountain pepper and lavender. Hops have been grown here for 150 years and lavender, commercially, for over eighty.
Following presentation of experimental products at an International Congress for Essential Oils in Cannes, markets developed and wide ranging production began in Tasmania in the 1980s. Initial expansion was followed by a decline in the 1990s before renewed expansion in 2000. The industry was originally set up by a joint initiative of the Tasmanian government and the University of Tasmania (Essential Oils, Tas Ltd). In 2000, Bronson and Jacobs, the owners of Bridestowe Lavender Estate, Lilydale, began large scale production of essential oils, paramedicals, chemicals and cosmetics for world markets. Due to favourable climatic conditions and its isolation, as an island, from disease, Tasmania has the most diverse production of essential oils in Australia.