Showing posts from March 23, 2012

The Perfumer's Obsession - Harvesting rare plants for extraction

I believe I was the first perfumer in American to grow and harvest the Aglaia tree, aka the Chinese Perfume Tree, and I've been extracting the scent from the tiny flowers for about four years now. I've shown the flowers in other photos previously on this blog, but I don't believe I ever showed them with another object that would put them in scale.  Notice how tiny the panicle of flowers are, and how tiny each flower is.  The latest harvest is the first one where I've ever been able to clip a group of panicles, rather than just grab the individual panicles at the base and strip off the flowers.  This is because the tree has started to produce clumps of panicles, and I just snip off the clump, along with some leaves, as you can see.   The 3/4-full quart jar of aglaia flower tincture has been added to about three dozen times, the typical number for a traditional French enfleurage, even though, of course, this is not enfleurage.  It's just that