Spring is coming and we’ll have little windows of time to grab some of our favorite fragrances and capture them for the year. We are ending our narcissus season right now but I look forward to lilacs, jasmine, rose, gardenias, and more.
Here’s the vision: On a good day this spring, find a fragrance you love and make a little springtime project out of preserving it for every day, even your bad days. You can put it in a little perfume roller bottle and pull it out on those bad days for just a little reminder of one of your favorite flowers. You could buy a perfume but I find that the little homemade projects put a bigger smile on my face. I bet it would be the same for you. (Some of you know my framework here from the “Good Days Strategies” emails I send out on occasion.)
You can capture these fragrances in water using the stove top method of making a flower water (a hydrosol I wrote about here). I’ve used this method on a number of delicate flowers and it works but it’s a little harsh on the petals and the scent isn’t quite as exquisite as you might hope.
A second approach is to draw out the scent using alcohol. You simply place your fragrant petals into a high-proof alcohol, let them sit for a few hours (or days), strain the petals, and retain the alcohol. Then take a shot… Wait, that’s another post (and it would be a bad idea if your flower was not edible to start with.
You end up with a floral perfume. Do you know those alcohol-based perfumes? Yes, that is what you are making.
Here are some principals to keep in mind for your project:
If you are used to a perfume, you might find that your own homemade version doesn’t stick with you very long as a fragrance. Depending on the flower, it may disappear as soon as the alcohol evaporates from your skin. The gardenia in the picture is one such flower. You could tool up on perfumery and add some “base notes” — scents that will last longer. That is a fun hobby in itself.
For my purposes, I just keep the simple little fragrance in a roller bottle and pull it out when I want a little sniff. I rub it on my wrist and it disappears but it served its purpose. 🙂
I have no gotten addicted to collecting fragrant plants. Here is the loot from a recent trip to the central coast of California:
We got a great collection of plants this week on the Central Coast, all of which should have been planted in the fall. I repotted all of them — they were root bound — and put them in a greenhouse. One sage plant reproduces by rhizomes and I actually potted 25 seedlings from the plant itself. I could probably repot 25 more but just ran out of energy. #sage #herbs #gardening
Fight Bad Breath with this Homemade Mouthwash, Natural and Antiseptic
A natural mango lip scrub to put an end to winter’s chapped lips (in a lesson from India)
A graphic picture as evidence that prevention is easier than treatment when it comes to skin cancer (and a simple remedy you can try today)
A luxurious homemade rose facial cream to fight off dryness and aging (in a recipe from India)
A rose-based facial toner with a variation for dry skin (in a lesson from India)
Make fragrant herbal “flower waters” that cost $5/ounce, with this stove top hack
Your next floral-infused massage oil (also a bonus moisturizer)
Perfume Bottles For Your Essential Oils