The eucalyptus oil story began in 1788 with the arrival of the First Fleet and Surgeon-General John White. Within a few weeks of arriving, White recorded in his diary the presence of olfactory oil in the eucalyptus; the genus being named eucalyptus by the French botanist L’Heritier in the same year. Governor Philip sent a sample to Sir Joseph Banks. Surgeon-General White distilled a quart of oil from the "Sydney Peppermint", Eucalyptus piperita Sm., which was found growing on the shores of Port Jackson, where Sydney now stands.When the oil was tested in England, it was reported to be "much more efficacious in removing all cholicky complaints than that of the oil obtained from the well known English peppermint, being less pungent and more aromatic". Following this discovery other people extracted eucalyptus oil, including the pioneer, Dr Officer in Tasmania, and the pastoralist Charles Armitage, but none of them exploited it.Baron Ferdinand von Meuller, the Government Botanist in Victoria, encouraged Joseph Bosisto, a Victorian pharmacist, to investigate the essential oils of the eucalyptus on a commercial basis. Joseph Bosisto was a Yorkshireman who had qualified as a Pharmacist in Leeds and London. He arrived in Adelaide in 1848 at the age of 21. In 1851 he moved to Victoria in search of gold, but instead opened a pharmacy in Richmond, where he built a laboratory to investigate the chemical and medicinal properties of Australian plants.As a result of the collaboration with von Meuller the essential oil industry of Australia began in 1852, when Bosisto commenced operations in a small, rudely constructed still at Dandenong Creek, Victoria, using the leaves of a form of E. radiata (then known as E. amygdalina) which grew profusely in the district. Bosisto soon built other distilleries at Emerald, Menzies Creek and Macclesfield.
Eucalyptus has a clear, sharp, fresh and very distinctive smell, is pale yellow in color and watery in viscosity.The Australian Blue-gum can sometimes reaches a height of 100 meters (300 feet), making it one of the highest trees in the world.