Until now, that is. A New Zealand company is claiming to have developed the world's first hypoallergenic, prestige grade lavender oil for the personal care industry. Thanks to the work of two men from Canterbury on the main southern island of New Zealand, the company NZLavender, says it is now ready to supply the oil worldwide. Dr Philip Simms and Owen Dexter took two years to develop the lavender oil, and, having established the company, have now started full production. An oil unique to New Zealand "This is truly a unique New Zealand operation," said Simms. "The particular lavender cultivar we use was developed in New Zealand and we understand that New Zealand is the only country in the world where this cultivar is in production and producing commercial quantities of prestige grade oil." Simms goes on to explain that the lavender oil it has farmed and developed meets global standards for efficacy and functionality, but is significantly lower in the less desirable aroma compounds that can lead to allergies. Specifically he states that NZLavender's oil has been shown to be particularly low in a compound that the European Union and the US regulation authorities have described as 'allergy causing'. "The best lavender oil in the world is grown at altitude, while ours is grown on the Canterbury Plains, which is only just above sea level," said Dexter. "One major consideration is the very high levels of UV light during the New Zealand summer, which we believe is equal to the relative levels of UV light found in the French highlands, where the world's best lavender oil is produced," Dexter added. Best growing conditions On top of the growing conditions the business partners have also developed a distillation system for the oil that does not subject the flowers to long periods of high temperature, thus preserving the resulting oil's efficacy. The distillation process basically means that the lavender flowers are heated up in the quickest possible time and then steamed for the shortest possible time. The business partners say that they have already received considerable interest in the lavender oil from personal care providers and formulators, specifically from those in the prestige fragrance industry.