Our Story

In 1852, an enthusiastic young pharmacist named Joseph Bosisto began championing the medicinal properties of Australia’s native eucalypts.

He opened his first ‘still’ in Dandenong Creek Victoria to bottle this magic golden oil, advertising its remarkable powers for everything from coughs to indigestion.

Bosisto’s Eucalyptus Oil quickly became a global phenomenon and was Australia’s first indigenous export product, sold all around the world.

 

Today, it’s still a staple in family homes and one thing hasn’t changed in all those years: we’re still a champion for eucalypts. Eucalyptus runs in the blood of our company’s owners, the Abbott family, brand custodians for the past 45 years. Two generations of Abbotts (and a third waiting in the wings!) have nurtured Bosisto’s eucalyptus plantations at Inglewood Victoria, now grown to almost 10,000 acres.

Bosisto’s farm is home to the ‘Super Trees’ project - one of the most ambitious agricultural experiments ever seen in Australia. By selectively breeding a high-yielding eucalypt variety, Bosisto’s has been investing in the future of local oil production in Australia. 

 

But we’re more than just eucalyptus. 

 

With a huge range of essential oils, cleaning, laundry and aromatherapy and personal care, Bosisto’s is about wellness: helping replace harmful chemicals in your home so your family can live a more natural life.

The history of Bosistos

  1. 1788

    Surgeon-General John White arrives on the First Fleet; he notes in his diary the presence of ‘olfactory oil’ in the native eucalyptus.
  2. 1789

    A quart of oil distilled from the so-called “Sydney Peppermint”, Eucalyptus piperita Sm., is sent back for testing in England. It is, according to reports, “much more efficacious in removing all colicky complaints than the English Peppermint…. less pungent and more aromatic.” Despite this flurry of official interest nothing much is done with it for the next several decades.
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    1848

    Yorkshire pharmacist Joseph Bosisto arrives in Adelaide aged 21. He moves to Victoria in search of gold but instead opens a pharmacy in Richmond, where he builds a lab specifically to investigate the medical and pharmaceutical properties of Australian plants.
  4. 1850

    Joseph strikes up a friendship with Government Botanist Baron Ferdiand von Meuller, a founder of the Royal Botanic Gardens in Victoria. The Baron is an avid fan of the eucalypt and encourages Joseph to investigate its medicinal properties and manufacture it commercially.
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    1852

    Bosisto opens Australia’s first commercial distillery, at Dandenong Creek in Victoria, followed by others at Emerald, Menzies Creek and Macclesfield. He begins selling the oil locally.
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    1865

    Businessmen Alfred Felton and Frederick Grimwade see the possibilities of the trade and their firm, Felton Grimwade & Co. become the distributors of Bosisto’s “Oil of Eucalyptus”. They form a new firm, the Eucalyptus Mallee Company and purchase Antwerp Station near Dimboola, Victoria, full of low-growing Mallee eucalypts perfect for cropping.
  7. 1882

    By June 1882, 40 pounds of oil had been produced for export to England and Germany.
  8. 1885

    The Antwerp Company was merged with Bosisto’s original business and a firm called J. Bosisto and Co. was formed.
  9. 1891

    Bosisto’s Oil of Eucalyptus is the darling of the international exhibition circuit, awarded prizes in 17 international exhibitions.
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    1892

    A elaborate new label was produced as well as a thousand circulars attesting to the powerful properties of oil of eucalyptus for “arts, manfactures, medicine and sanitary purposes”. Popular Bosisto’s products of the time included asthma cigarettes (with or without tobacco) and Syrup of Red Gum for ‘bowel complaints’.
  11. 1900

    By the turn of the century Australia’s eucalyptus oil industry was well established and supplying the world market – including the UK, Germany, USA, Canada, South Africa, India, China, New Zealand and the Far East - with substantial quantities of various high grade oils.
  12. 1939

    World War II arrives, and with it, a new work standard. The ‘old breed’ of eucalyptus workers – old bushmen and victims of the gold mining bust - make way for a younger generation with designs on a different way of life. They will no longer accept low wages and poor living conditions and this greatly increases labour costs.
  13. 1950

    The cost of producing eucalyptus oil in Australia had spiked so much that the oil could no longer compete against Spanish and Portugese oils. Advances in machinery and technology means wheat becomes more profitable as Australia’s eucalyptus industry, which dominated internationally for 80 years, regresses.
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    1974

    Current owners the Abbott family purchases the company Felton Grimwade & Bosisto and a new era for eucalyptus oil begins.
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    1987

    Bosisto’s Eucalyptus Spray is introduced. Pure essential oil in a spray can, it revolutionises eucalyptus oil use in Aussie homes, making it easier and more convenient for cleaning, laundry and freshening.
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    2000

    Bosisto’s begins collaborating with the Melbourne University School of Botany on a unique eucalypt breeding program (the ‘Super Trees’ project), with the aim of radically increasing eucalyptus oil production in Australia.
  17. 2005

    Bosisto’s launches Tea Tree and Lavender Essential oils, complementing its growing range of eucalyptus-based products.
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    2006

    The Eucalyptus Distillery Museum opens in Inglewood, Victoria – a unique tourist attraction in the heart of Bosisto’s Eucalyptus country.
  19. 2007

    Bosisto’s Laundry Powder hits supermarket shelves – including Bosisto’s famous antibacterial Eucalyptus Oil, it remains popular to this day.
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    2012

    The first harvest of Bosisto’s ‘Super Trees’. Today there are almost 10,000 hectares planted at Bosisto’s eucalypt farm in Inglewood, Victoria. Bosisto’s also celebrates its 160th anniversary.
  21. 2017

    Expansion into the Cleaning category with ready-to-use Multi-Purpose, Bathroom & Floor Cleaners: all with the natural cleaning power of Bosisto’s Eucalyptus Oil.
  22. 2018

    An exciting year as the brand moves into Aromatherapy: first Aroma Mists and diffuser oils in grocery, followed by the Australian Native Botanicals range of oils, mists and roll-ons.
  23. 2019

    Bosisto’s introduces Personal care – Hand and Body Wash - to its ever-expanding range.
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    Today

    Bosisto’s now produces more than 60 individual products, ranging from cleaning and laundry, to health, aromatherapy and personal care, with the aim of helping families “live a healthier and more natural life”.

Did you know?

Mechanical harvesting hasn’t been around as long as you’d think – horse and cart was still being used as late as 1974!

A New Beginning

 

The Australian industry has declined by about 85 per cent over the last 60 years. We once supplied 100 per cent of the world requirements whereas we now contribute only five per cent of the total.

 

This is a situation Bosisto’s has begun to change. Over the past two decades the company has invested significant time, passion, energy and finances into a large scale agriculture project in conjunction with the Botany Department of Melbourne University. Over 12 years of research went into producing a new breed of high yielding eucalypt (nicknamed ‘super trees’) in the hope that wide-scale production on a more financially profitable basis might begin to turn the fortunes of the industry around.

 

The first plantations of Bosisto’s new ‘super trees’ began in 2012 and over 4 million have been planted to date. It’s a new beginning and a new hope for our once-great industry, a part of the history of every Australian.

Eucalyptus oil uses:

Cough & Cold: Eucalyptus oil is a unique natural product with antiseptic properties. Most popular as an inhalant, vaporised in warm water to help ease nasal congestion, it is also an active ingredient in cough lozenges, throat sprays, drops or gargles.
 

Personal Hygiene: Medicinal eucalyptus oils and eucalyptol are used in mouth washes, toothpastes, balms and ointments and soaps.

 

Muscle Aches: Used widely by athletes and physiotherapists for decades to ease muscular aches and pains. commonly included in liniments and sprays.

 

Laundry: With cleaning and deodorising properties, eucalyptus is terrific for freshening clothes and in particular, for soft and fluffy woollens.
 

Antiseptics: Eucalyptus oil is used in antiseptics and and household disinfectants because of its pleasant odour and ability to kill bacteria.
 

Always read the label, use only as directed, if symptoms persist see your healthcare professional.