Heavenly Scents from the garden (Archive 2016)

I often co distil where I use a commercially produced hydrosol as a base (usually lemon geranium or lavender) and redistil with fragrant plant materials. I often to this when I don't have enough of the raw material to make a decent single distillation. For this experiment I decided to mix it up totally to try and create something completely different. As with all of my distillations I do not attempt to remove any of the essential oil which may be present. I only use a small copper alembic still (3 litre). For this complete fragrance experience I first prepared the base hydrosol, using lemon geranium hydrosol from a commercial distillation and re distilled this by itself (2 litres hydrosol to obtain 1 litre more concentrated hydrosol). If you are not familiar with lemon geranium it has a sweet, honey like quality to the aroma.
In to this I added the following my garden:

  • osmanthus blossoms
  • lemon blossom
  • rose geranium leaves (young tips only)
  • dried Rosa damascena blossom from earlier in the year.

I then added 65 gm frankincense resin I had stashed away and a chopped and crushed vanilla pod (not from my garden!). I then added these to the still and covered with the litre of double distilled lemon geranium hydrosol and distilled for 30 minutes. Very quickly a milky distillate emerged which had strong aroma of frankincense. I even was able to extract about 4 mls of an essential oil, which I suspect was mostly frankincense. the end hydrosol I froze in case there was any more essential oil present (a few drops) and I got almost a litre of a beautiful rich aromatic hydrosol which had several layers to it, resinous, sweet and tangy all at once. Definitely an experiment worth conducting!Wendy

A week later I repeated this experiment, but mixed up the aromas. used about 50 gm myrhh resin and used commercially produced lavendula angustifolia hydrosol as the base. Into the hydro distillation I added osmanthus flowers, lemon blossom, white lavender flowers. The aroma after 30 mins was again the most delicious, sweet aroma, with a soft resin base (not as over powering as the frankincense). I filtered and decanted into spray bottles and use as a perfume! Interestingly the lavender is not a big presence at all, the osmanthus and lemon blossom seem to have command of the blend. I am loving the mystique of these blendings and there is probably enough for one for mixed distillation, which I will do using lemon verbena hydrosol- watch this space for next weeks attempts! 

Posted: Tuesday 4 January 2022