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Showing posts from January, 2015

Rosa damascena distillation January 2015

I used my final remaining dried rose flower heads (including some leaves) and dislled using the copper alembic still (hydro distillation. I immersed the 40 gm or so of dried flower heads in approx 700 ml of boiling water and heated over the gas stove. I had cold water going over the condenser from the start as from prior experience disllate comes out very quikcly with my littles still. Sure enough with 5 mins. I had distillate coming out. In total I collected  approx 670 ml of decent hydrosol. I filled them in 125 ml bottles and labelled each with the time and number as the aroma varied from bottle to bottle. For the final amount I had a paper filter going from the still and was able to see a yellow staining on the paper (some precious otto perhaps). It really was at the end and I am sure all the water had gone from inside as the aroma was a sweet caramel, raw tobacco like with a slight hint of 'cooked. the final 50 ml was a cloudy yellow and I am going to put that bottle and th

Co Distillations with lemon Geranium parts 1 and 2

I use lemon geranium hydrosol, commercially produced by Lavender Impressions in a lot of my skin care products. For a few very special products I use a co distillation made of out Rosa damascena flowers which I grow organically and these are co distilled with the lemon geranium hydrosol as the base. I produce so few of the flowers at the moment so I dry the flowers until I have enough to use. I downsized from my column alembic still (where the plant material is encased in a metal basket and not immersed in the water) to a smaller still where it is in the water. This was my first distillation using plant material this way. I think aromatically the steam distilled has a nicer aroma, softer and fresher and I feel the colour of the distillate is clearer. I have found that some plant material ends up in the condenser so next time I will do smaller volumes and see what happens. I am going to do redistill the left over liquid (not distillate) and see what I get. Wendy  Part One: Rose

Osmanthus Distillation Experiment

Happy new year! Ahh, Osmanthus fragrans, one of the most delicious aromatics I can think attempts to grow this wonderful flower for distillation has been spoken of here , and the subsequent knowledge that the plants I invested several hundred dollars in were mislabelled at the nursery was a heavy blow to my heart. Three years on they are still healthy and have doubled in size but no sign of ANY flowering. Anyway I have trying a one off 'plan B' to capture that wonderful aroma again just for myself. Three years ago I had secured a small amount of genuine osmanthus hydrosol which had been imported from India into New Zealand. I was using it for a range of natural skin care products for a client, but when the source of the hydrosol dried up I turned my last few litres into a gel to incorporate into other things. Just over 3 litres remained and due to the time frame I wouldn't want to use in skin care products now, even though it had been well preserved, so I hav