Indonesia’s ability to export essential oils is inversely proportional to the ability to produce downstream products such as perfume and cosmetics. As a result, Indonesia produces essential oil which imports a lot of finished products from processed essential oils. Perfume is one of the important body care needs for someone. However, if asked what is essential oil, maybe not everyone knows it.

Perfume and essential oils have strong links.

Essential oils such as patchouli oil can function as an important binding agent for perfume making. Essential oils or essential oils or also often called aromatic oils are not as popular as finished products.
This “perfume seed” is extracted from plant parts such as leaves, fruit, seeds, flowers, roots, rhizomes, bark, even all parts of the plant. In addition to perfume, essential oils are also raw materials for cosmetics, pharmaceuticals / medicines, and the food and beverage industry. Essential oils are produced by 160-200 various aromatic plants, some available in Indonesia.
It is estimated that there are 12 types of Indonesian essential oils exported to the international market from 80 essential oils in the world. The types of essential oils exported include patchouli oil, fragrant lemongrass, fragrant roots, cananga, ginger, and nutmeg.
Patchouli oil becomes a star for Indonesia’s essential oil export exports. Indonesia supplies around 85 to 90 percent of the global patchouli oil market volume of 2,000 tons per year. Patchouli oil production is dominated in Java and Sumatra, but in recent years it has begun to shift to Sulawesi. Sulawesi produces around 80 percent of Indonesia’s patchouli oil. Part of the export is still in the form of unprocessed oil into downstream products.
The export value of essential oils is one of the main sources of foreign exchange for Indonesia. In the list of 10 potential commodities from the Ministry of Trade, the export value of essential oils and fragrance cosmetics was around $ 580 million to $ 637 million during the period 2011 to 2015. The main export destinations among the United States and Europe. Unfortunately, the downstream industry in the country has not been able to maximize this great potential. The proof, the import value of essential oils and fragrance cosmetics is always greater than the export value of essential oils, with import values ​​in the range of $ 750 million to $ 1.1 billion from the period 2011 to 2015. In 2015, Indonesia had to import $ 962 million, but the export value of these commodities only $ 637 million.
This fact is further confirmed by the absence of a list of Indonesian fragrance cosmetics producers which are included in the top 10 lists of world companies engaged in flavoring and fragrances. For the record, according to data processed by Statista, the top position on the list is Givaudan based in Switzerland.

In 2014, Givaudan was able to record sales of $ 4.82 billion. In the second position there is Firmenich which is also based in Switzerland with a sales record of $ 3.38 billion. The company is working with famous perfume brands to produce perfumes such as Boss Bottled by Hugo Boss and Romance by Ralph Raulen. Third place is International Flavors & Fragrances Inc. (IFF) based in the US with sales of $ 3 billion.
Tantalizing figures from world perfume producers, this proves that the downstream industry that processes essential oil fragrance raw materials is not negotiable anymore. Unfortunately the domestic industry is still limited to exporting essential oils that have not been processed as finished products.
In Indonesia, there are indeed a number of large producers who are involved in the fragrance industry, including Kinocare Era Kosmetindo and Mandom Indonesia. Kinocare produces products such as Eskulin, while Mandom is famous for its products such as Gatsby, Spalding, and Pucelle. In 2015, Mandom recorded sales of Rp 2.3 trillion. While Kinocare recorded sales of Rp 3.6 trillion. This value is very far when compared to Givaudan or Firmenich who focus on perfume products. This global producer is able to reap the money from the global fragrance market. According to a survey conducted by Leffingwell & Associates, the global flavor and fragrance market is valued at $ 24.1 billion in 2015, and Southeast Asia accounts for 10 percent.

Seeing the reality of the fragrance and perfume market, it is unfortunate if Indonesia is only an exporter of essential oils. Downstream industries including essential oils are unfinished homework. If left unchecked, Indonesia is only a consumer country of downstream fragrance products. A chronic irony.


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