The sweet smell of flouve from hay

Summer has come to an end and with it comes a new harvest of hay. Its smell is an annual reminder of the rhythm of the seasons and life outdoors.  Many would be surprised that hay, or “Flouve,” is a signature essential oil by prestigious natural ingredients manufacturer, Payan Bertrand.

A pioneer in the treatment of hay

For nearly 170 years, nature has always been at the forefront when producing the highest-quality essential oils, extracts and innovative molecules.  Recognized by the global flavour and fragrance industry, Payan Bertrand’s goal is to offer the finest products which respect the environment and are sustainable.

Payan Bertrand was a pioneer in the treatment Flouve’s botanical species.  Anthoxantum odoratum L. can be grown in undeveloped pastures and acidic soils and is reseeded naturally. Its resulting oil, flouve, was developed between 1935 and 1946 by chemical engineer, Louis Labaume.  As a result, Payan Bertrand is regarded as an expert manufacturer of this material.

From field to fragrant essential oil

This herbaceous perennial plant, which reaches between 15-60cm, grows in natural meadows by three generations of the same family.  Every year, they harvest 70 -100 tons of hay for the company based in Grasse.

The whole plant is steam distilled to produce Flouve essential oil.  Aside from the obvious scent of sweet hay, flouve oil is also known for its coumarin, nutty, almond and woody characteristic. Amber to brown in colour, it is used in very low concentrations in perfumes with chypre, fougere and oriental bases.

As an absolute, it also has mossy notes. Flouve Absolute blends beautifully with oakmoss, labdanum, pine and lavender oils. But its application isn’t limited to fragrance.

It tastes sweet, liquorice-like, a bit malty and herbaceous.   It is used as a flavouring for confectionery, carbonated drinks (root beer!), chocolates, caramel, teas, liqueurs and ice creams.  Interestingly, it also enhances tobacco flavours.  It acts as an intensifier and modifier of vanillin, anethole and fenugreek extracts.

The Flouve family

Flouve oil is among Payan Bertrand’s emblematic specialities which includes Ambrette Seed, Violet, and Mimosa to cite a few. These outstanding creations bear witness to Payan Bertrand’s expertise and knowledge handed down through multiple generations.

In all its presentations – Flouve oil, Flouve Absolute, Flouve Absolute MD 100% natural (Mollecular Distillation) or their own creation, Flouve Creation oil (a mixture of flouve essential oil and synthetic ingredients) – this earthy scent, reminiscent of the countryside, continues to be a true standard bearer of the company and its history.

As part The Stort Group, Zanos Ltd. offers a diverse range of aroma chemicals and natural ingredients for the flavour and fragrance industry, including the full range of Payan Bertrand ingredients.

Please contact our sales team today on 01565 755899 or email to experience this exquisite oil.

Feature photo of field with hay thanks to Beth Macdonald  and photo of arm on hay thanks to Ranurte, both on Unsplash 


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