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Showing posts from April, 2016

Goodbye sweet osmanthus- come again soon!

So after 4 weeks of consecutive flowering of my osmanthus bushes, starting at one of the line and working their way down (each bush flowering after the other one), I have harvested the last of the usable blossoms for a final distillation. With the previous experimental distillations I added a base aromatic to try and bind the fragrance together. this one I wanted to keep very light and fresh, in memory of the beautiful autumn we are experiencing in Palmerston North. So the hydrosol base was a commercial lemon verbena (which did not have the essential oil removed). In to the still went the osmanthus flowers and the last of the heavily fragrant lemon blossoms. I now have around 500 ml of lovely (slightly cloudy) light, citrus and floral hydrosol just for me to enjoy! I hope you have enjoyed my osmanthus experimentations- hydro-distilling is such a lovely pastime and takes very little effort and even with only small amounts of aromatics you can create something quite bespoke.

Heavenly Scents from the garden-various versions!

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 fr

Abundant Osmanthus Second Distillation

Autumn has brought with it some welcome rain, however the air temperatures have still been quite pleasant with daily averages in the low 20's (Celsius). The Osmanthus hedge is now covered in tiny white fragrant flowers and I am entering the second stage of my experimentation with this flower. I am wanting to make a intense an aroma as possible using the still. I don't have the time or expertise to make and haven't yet sourced perfumers alcohol to try a tincture. For this distillation I decided to do a total immersion (hydro) distillation with double the amount of flowers as my first attempt. I picked the flowers in the evening (it had been raining) so left them on a paper towel spread out over night to dry out totally. As I was trying to condense the aroma as much as possible I decided to distil using previous versions of osmanthus hydrosol. The Stats 60 gm of fresh flowers picked 14 hours earlier 125gm of osmanthus hydrosol distilled 1 week ago (th