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Showing posts from 2013

Lemon Verbena Harvest & Distillation December 2013

Aloysia triphlla (Lemon verbena) in flower Lemon verbena (Lippia citriodora) or Aloysia triphylla is a precious essential oil which has a low yield and is quite hard to come by the genuine oil. Details as to its origins and habitat can be found here on Wikipedia.  It is believed many so called lemon verbena oils on the market are heavily adulterated with lemon thyme, Litsea cubeba (May chang) or synthetic citral. Previously I have used lemon verbena hydrosol my friend produced on his lavender farm ( ), with only a tiny amount of oil obtained. Most of his lemon verbena leaves are destined to be dried and sold as a herbal tea. On the 29 December 2013 I was able to take part in the harvest and distillation of his organic lemon verbena. The key difference this year is that it is the flowers and leaves which are being distilled, not just the leaves. Leaf only essential oil can produce a high (up to 35% citral) content which, being an aldehyde may irri

Sweet orange blossom distilation

It is mid spring here in NZ and my citrus trees are really starting to blossom despite starting their life in poor clay soil with wet feet. I moved them to higher slightly better drained ground just over a year ago. Most of the trees are blossoming so I decided to have a go at distilling some sweet orange blossom as this tree was laden with flowers, far too many to form fruit. Ideally I would have liked to use a smaller copper still than my 20 litre copper Alembic still- but it is all I have at the moment. I hand picked the open flowers early in the day to preserve the aroma on them. I will be posting photos when I can access them! I picked approximately 120 gm which filled about 2 cups and pakced these in the column of my still so they were  the water level. I had pre filled the base of the still with boiling water to speed up the heating and my still sits on a gas stove top element with speciality plumbing for the water and drainage. I set up the condenser and popped i

Aromatic Adventures Workshop at APA Hong Kong November 9/10 2013

I am posting some links here as provided in the workshop for reference purposes. These links are open for all to access as long as usual copy write is respected. 1. Work Shop 1: Bounty from Down under Geographical differences in chemotypes of Manuka Oil -link to full article here Ecological differences between manuka and kanuka described here 2. Work Shop 2: Aesthetic Aromatherapy References  (a) Touw, M (1982). Roses in the Middle Ages, Economic Botany, 36 (1), 71-83 (b) Babael, A. et al (2007). Microsatellite analysis of Damask rose (Rosa damascena Mill.) accessions from various regions in Iran reveals multiple genotypes, Plant Biology, 7:12, 1471-2229 for trips to Turkish rose fields   3. Work Shop 3: Aromatic Hydrosols and essential oil mouthwash for radiation induced mucositis Published articles by Wendy relating to doctoral research avialable here at Google Scholar Collaborative Studies with Dr. Myung-haeng Hur in Korea on oral

Newsletter 6 Melissa Disillation

Aromatic Adventures News Letter 6 Melissa I had delayed this newsletter to hopefully share my experiences making my first distillation of osmanthus hydrosol but after planting the trees a few months ago and lots of vigorous growth and a lot hot summer, there has been no sign of any flowers....I found this great website packed with information about this most incredible smelling oil and the hydrosol is just as gorgeous ( But my anticipation and excitement will have to wait a while....   Melissa Officinalis Hydrosol I have completed one distillation of melissa hydrosol ( about three weeks later than I had planned but it turns out waiting was a good thing as the plants not only grew bigger but there is a lot of new growth underneath to carry over to the new season. As an essential oil, melissa is one of the most expensive with one of the lowest yields. it is also often highly adulterated. So i thought I would give the hydroso

Archive Newsletter 6 Post Botanica 2012

W elcome to this belated Aromatic Adventures Newsletter # 5-sorry no space to feature an oil of the month. Some time and some miles have been travelled since my last aromatic has all centered around attending and being a speaker at the most incredible Botanica 2012 conference in Dublin. This event brought together over 250 people from over 28 countries for three glorious days when Dublin put on its finest autumnal weather in many years! Over the years I have always loved getting together with aroma enthusiasts as we all have much in common, and this event was no different! Rhiannon Harris (Editor of the International Journal of Clinical Aromatherapy) did an incredible job putting together an amazing team of people around her to bring together such a diverse mix of speakers and topics. There certainly was something for everyone! It was my very first trip to Ireland and I was like an excited child for most of the time. I had taken my husband with me an

Archive Newsletter 4 Meet the Lina's

Archive Newsletter 4 Meet the Linas June 2012 the Winter Solstice and Matarkiki  (Maori New Year)  in New Zealand just passed but for us the worse of our winter is to come. My emerging fragrant garden is holding up well to the frosty onslaught with the help of frost cloth. The osmanthis hedge seems settled and happy in its sunny and sheltered spot (we get a fierce cross wind here).  This newsletter is about some oils which I like referring to as 'The Lina's"- Rosalina and Nerolina. These are two wonderful oils native to Australia and gentle cousins of teatree. The other issue I would like to touch on is essential oil quality which I get asked a lot about. A really easy way to think of this is to equate essential oils to the wine industry- fine champagens from specialist suppliers right the way down to the wine on the bottom shelf of the supermarket that you used to drink as a student.  Firstly back to basics -an essential oil is"   “…a product made b

Archive Newsletter 3 Petitgrain Oils April 2012

Archive Newsletter 3 April 2012 Greetings from autumnal New Zealand- it has been great having some extended sunshine after our dismal summer. The biggest excitement at aromatic adventures HQ has been the planting of my 14 precious Rosa damascena bushes, finally after a year being pot bound. These will be used exclusively for distillation for hydrosol and I will update on their progress in the blog . I have also just started planting a hedge of Osmanthus fragrans , also destined for the still in spring. As promised this newsletter  is all about the wonderful world of petitgrain essential oils. Petitgrain literally means ‘small fruit’, and is generally used to describe the essential oil obtained from the leaves and twigs from the bitter orange tree. All petitgrain oils are obtained by steam distillation of the leaves and twiglets from varieties of citrus trees from the rutaceae family. Often they are produced after fruit harvesting has finished and the trees have routine