Consumers have grown familiar with seeing the terms natural, “organic”, and essential oils in their products. Whether they apply to our food, personal care or cosmetics, we’ve come to expect a level of quality when we hear or see these on the packaging.
But all is not always what it seems.
Having grown botanicals for several decades, Baylisss is an avid supporter of sustainability and biodiversity. In 1983, when she took control of the 4th generation rice farm and began raising organic lavender and other botanicals, the floral names of synthetic flowers and herbs were listed as ingredients in perfumes, lotions and cosmetics.
If the label said it had gardenias in it, people reading it assumed the product had these ingredients in it, she said. But since around World War II, “man had replaced Mother Nature.”
Bayliss began a mission to bring truth and reality to organics.
Bayliss has helped craft industry standards that consumers can count on. She championed the adoption of standards for botanical distillates, co-authoring the California Organic Products Act of 2003. She worked to craft European standards to help harmonize global standards, founding the International Distillation Standard Group, which sets product standards for organic hydrosols (a byproduct of the distillation of essential oils).
As far back as 1990, when the Organic Foods Production Act was taking shape in California, Bayliss took a bold stand in an industry known for synthetic ingredients that hers were authentic and organic. She even presented the opportunity to become involved in purchasing them directly to the Estee Lauder family.
At that time, the industry was just beginning to wake up to the concerns about synthetics.
“It’s been an evolution,” she said.
Bayliss strongly believes in putting only real and organic herbs and flowers into a bottle in liquid form for her botanicals. This is evident with the quality of products offered by Lavender Botanicals, a global business that grows and distills 15 different varieties of botanicals, all of them certified organic.
Sustainability is a key factor to the success of Bayliss Botanicals. Since Bayliss planted her first crop of organic lavender, then added a number of other botanicals, within five years she succeeded in increasing water conservation on the ranch by 90 percent. Beehives produce lavender honey and assist in natural pollination of the surrounding crops and by-products left over from distilling plant material are used for natural weed control, and any weeds are used to feed the livestock. It’s a natural closed circle.
We also try to focus on a Mediterranean palette, says Bayliss. These include botanicals and herbs such as rose geraniums, lemon verbena, rosemary and clary sage. They take less water and are drought tolerant.
“We’re raising the bar,” said Bayliss.
By that, she also means that the amount of pure lavender they use is far and above the pack. They count the amount of blossoms used in each bottle of botanical products, a highly unusual practice in an industry known for cutting or diluting its product to attain lower prices.
Her company puts 50,000 blossoms of lavender into a 12-ounce bottle.
“That’s what we call “getting real,”’ Bayliss said.
Consumers may be surprised to learn that the organic standards don’t require that they use real lavender in products labeled with the ingredient!
“It’s hard to compete against the other brands that sell not-pure lavender (products),” Bayliss said.
Bayliss Botanicals recently launched a new line of products in its Lavender Ranch collection. Included in this collection are:
- a Body Wash and Lotion, both of which have 10,000 lavender blossoms of essence in each 12 oz. bottle.
- An organic hand sanitizer that kills 99.9% common germs in 30 seconds or less and includes a moisturizer so it doesn’t dry your hands. Its 12 oz refill has 50,000 blossoms in it!
The company plans to introduce a deodorant based on the same concept. It will be organic, like the sanitizer, and will kill both odor and germs.
Bayliss noted that the sanitizer, being lavender, could also be used as a bed bug deterrent. “They’ve used lavender historically for fleas and bed bugs for centuries,” she said.
All the flowers and herbs grown on Bayliss Ranch are distilled on-site site into a certified organic and trademarked “AllPlant Essence,” most of which are sold to high-end, botanically-based cosmetic companies around the world.
“This is real lavender – uncut, unadulterated, not synthetically replicated,” said Bayliss. “It’s always smart to know your source and buy from the U.S.,” she said.
“We focus on real flowers, real essence, real power.”
Bayliss Botanicals are available at Bayliss Ranch’s Garden House Boutique, which is located at the corner of Hwy 99 & Rio Bonita Avenue in Biggs, California (near Chico) and online at LavenderRanch.com.
Filed under: Fun sustainable products Tagged: | AllPlant Essence, Bayliss Botanicals, Bayliss Ranch, bed bug, California Oprganic Products Act, certified organic, cosmetics, Donna Bayliss, drought tolerant, essential oils, Estee Lauder, lavender, natural, Organic Food Production Act, organic standards, sustainability, water conservation