Man has for ever sought the use of flavours and fragrances for variety of purposes. India has been one of the major centers in production of perfurmes and cosmetics for more than 2000 years. The art of preparing attars was developed in this country. At present, more than 50,000 tonnes of essential oils other than turpentine oil, obtained from over 100 species of plants are utilized by the perfumery and flavour industries of the world. Few years ago, a large part of natural essential oils was replaced by synthetic turpenes obtained from turpentine oil and petroleum products as raw material. Later on, it was realized that synthetic essential oils were not safe and could pose health hazards to human beings. Hence, there has been a significant increase in the use of natural essential oils recently with the increase in use of essential oils, there has been a considerable increase in the know how of agrotechnology of these crops during last 30 years.
At times it has been felt that there is a need for a publication which deals with various aspects of agrotechnology, which includes genetics, agronomy, post harvest techniques, etc.
This book contains information on 44 commercially important aromatic plants. Each chapter contains botanical description of plant, its habitat and distribution, cultivation practices, distillation, uses, chemistry of oil, bibliography along with colour illustration of the plant.
The present publication is an attempt to compile most of the data available on agricultural practices of these plants in addition to origin, geographical distribution as well as chemical constituents and uses of these crops. It will be found useful among the users of essential oil crop agrotechnologies for promoting their production.