Showing posts from January, 2010

The Neroli Tree Mystery

A photo of the Neroli blossom Citrus aurantium var. Bouquet de Fleurs I posted this on several Yahoo groups today and I'm hoping to suss out the mystery of the proper name for the neroli tree: For years, I've questioned why C. aurantium var. amara was named as the source of neroli in all the aromatherapy (AT) books. I studied at a Citrus Research Center at the University of California, Riverside (UCR) and two of my professors there were among the authors of the industry Bibles, The Citrus Industry Vols. 1-4. I was taught that C. aurantium var. Bouquet de Fleurs was the source of neroli. We had a beautiful stand of the small, rounded trees growing on campus. Early one Sunday morning, my husband and I went down the row, bucket in hand, vodka in bucket, harvesting as many flowers as possible. The tincture was heavenly! For years, however, in my dyslexic way, I reversed the name. I called it Fleurs des Bouquet, and I couldn't find any reference to it. I've since lost

Lemongrass, Ylang ylang and verdant dreams for Haiti

Lemongrass plantation - Malaysia I've always been a dreamer and an optimist. Time to move forward with the project I touched upon in my last blog. Backstory: I dropped the ball in September of 2008 when I was scheduling a lunch with someone from the biggest vetiver distillation company in Haiti. That week, and the week following, huge storms swept Haiti, causing horrific flooding and loss of life. I figured to just back off as she took care of business, and I just felt superfluous to the problems they/she were facing, and lost contact with her. As I wrote recently, I'm going to direct efforts into reforestation efforts in Haiti, as soon as I can connect with a local agency. They're impossible to contact this week, but I'll keep at it. I'm also going to recontact my distillation connection for several reasons. I feel terrible I just gave up when faced with the situation in 2008. I guess I suffer from PTSD from all the hurricanes we get here in Florida, and

A Natural Perfumer Looks at How to Heal the Earth

  After the Haiti Quake: Heal the Earth, Heal the People photo source: The Natural Perfumer is Not an artist 100% of the time,  they're a caring person 100% of the time: For me, our art is linked with our responsibility to the environment and other people. The image above shows the stark reality of the deforestation of Haiti in contrast to its contiguous neighbor, the Dominican Republic, to the right (east). The first thing that came to my mind when the horrific quake hit was that the people of the cities of Haiti can't flee the city for refuge in the countryside, because their countryside is bare, eroded earth. When it rains, and it will soon, those hills turn into mudslicks, and mudslides follow. Haiti has been plagued by mudslides for decades due to the systematic deforestation of the countryside. Thousands of years of topsoil, created slowly by the breakdown of the underlying rock has

Boronia boudoir

About 1.5grams of pricey, rare boronia absolute, just in from Tasmania, just spilled in my studio I posted about my Patchouli panties in 2008. This undergarment scenting occurred by accident when I put a washcloth that I had mopped up a minor patchouli essential oil spill with into the laundry with my undergarments. Due to a farktabulous spill I had about an hour ago when pouring the 2010 boronia absolute for the Natural Perfumers Guild buy, I'll now have a boronia boudoir. This was the biggest spill I've ever made, with one of the most expensive, rare aromatics in the world. We in the Guild are fortunate that the Tasmanian producer sells to us, as he had in 2009, since their supply is so low. They're just servicing their longterm corporate clients, but made an exception for the Guild, realizing that it is lovely to get some spread around amongst the artisan natural perfumers. About 25 Guild members are anxiously awaiting their boronia, and one is coming by this af