Operation Magnolia for Esscentual Alchemy’s natural botanical perfumes has begun ;) I need a theme song!
Oh how about this one:
They are sweet, like sugar
I have started some enfleurage, and maceration of the magnolia blooms.
After a day of doing this, I’m thinking I just will switch to doing only maceration. The blossoms are already falling. I’m not sure if that’s because of the snow, or they just don’t last long. I need more time to properly enfleurage them, and the maceration is going quicker. Which means I’m going to get more recharges of my maceration. Which will give a stronger product in the end, scent wise.
Soooo Double, double, toil, and trouble.
I have to say a crockpot is way easier than a pot over a fire. And I hope the end result isn’t wicked LOL
Just in case you weren’t aware, the difference between maceration, and enfleurage (exerpt from Septimus Piesse’s book on perfumery):
Maceration._–Of all the processes for procuring the perfumes of flowers, this is the most important to the perfumer, and is the least understood in England; as this operation yields not only the most exquisite essences indirectly, but also nearly all those fine pomades known here as “French pomatums,” so much admired for the strength of fragrance, together with “French oils” equally perfumed. The operation is conducted thus:–For what is called pomade, a certain quantity of purified mutton or deer suet is put into a clean metal or porcelain pan, this being melted by a steam heat; the kind of flowers required for the odor wanted are carefully picked and put into the liquid fat, and allowed to remain from twelve to forty-eight hours; the fat has a particular affinity or attraction for the oil of flowers, and thus, as it were, draws it out of them, and becomes itself, by their aid, highly perfumed; the fat is strained from the spent flowers, and fresh are added four or five times over, till the pomade is of the required strength; these various strengths of pomatums are noted by the French makers as Nos. 6, 12, 18, and 24, the higher numerals indicating the amount of fragrance in them. For perfumed oils the same operation is followed; but, in lieu of suet, fine olive oil or oil of ben, derived from the ben nuts of the Levant, is used, and the same results are obtained. These oils are called “Huile Antique” of such and such a flower.
Enfleurage._–The odors of some flowers are so delicate and volatile, that the heat required in the previously named processes would greatly modify, if not entirely spoil them; this process is, therefore, conducted cold, thus:–Square frames, about three inches deep, with a glass bottom, say two feet wide and three feet long, are procured; over the glass a layer of fat is spread, about half an inch thick, with a kind of plaster knife or spatula; into this the flower buds are stuck, cup downwards, and ranged completely over it, and there left from twelve to seventy-two hours.
Some houses, such as that of Messrs. Pilar and Sons; Pascal Brothers; H. Herman, and a few others, have 3000 such frames at work during the season; as they are filled, they are piled one over the other, the flowers are changed so long as the plants continue to bloom, which now and then exceeds two or three months.
For oils of the same plants, coarse linen cloths are imbued with the finest olive oil or oil of ben, and stretched upon a frame made of iron; on these the flowers are laid and suffered to remain a few days. This operation is repeated several times, after which the cloths are subjected to great pressure, to remove the now perfumed oil.
- First Magnolia of the year (esscentualalchemy.wordpress.com)