From Citronella Factory to Rumah Atsiri Indonesia

On our walk in Plumbon Village, Tawangmangu, Solo – Central Java, one day, we came across an abandoned factory complex: something we found out later on as a Citronella distillery facility from 1963. Intrigued by the remaining facility and the unusual façade of the factory, we decided to dig deeper into its history.

The distillery factory—intended to be the biggest in Asia that day—was called 'Citronella factory', a silent witness of the economic cooperation between Indonesia and Bulgaria (as Bulgaria had expertise in rose essential oil and supplies around 80% rose essential oil in the world). Plumbon village was selected as the site location due to its natural potentials that fit the planting of essential oil's ingredients; like citronella.

The factory went through a series of ownership exchange, until PT. Rumah Atsiri Indonesia decided to officially take over the establishment in 2015; and revived it into an edu-recreation complex that also includes MICE facilities, research & development and marketplace for essential oils.

We believe that the complex and its surrounding village was a reminder of Indonesia's abundance and potentials to play an essential role in the global economy. We feel responsible to preserve and revive the knowledge, skills, and innovation related to essential oils in Indonesia. In Rumah Atsiri Indonesia, we do this through various means of education, research, development and training projects, as well as cross-industry collaboration and marketplace design.