Of late my days and nights begin and end with jasmine flowers. In the evening, usually just before bed, earlier if I remember, I turn on all the lights that will illuminate the front side of the house where all the clay pots of the jasmine sambac plants are and I slowly begin picking. Quite often I will encounter spiders and their webs, sometimes I hear rustling under the oaks where they have spread a nice carpet of leaves to hear the footsteps of the four leggeds. In those instances I stomp my feet so that whatever is over just yonder knows that I am about. I’m not too concerned about raccoons or coyotes, but skunks I’d rather not have an encounter with.
One of my regular daily friends is this praying mantis pictured above. I’ve seen her grow from a little babe into this young adult. In the Autumn she’ll find a male to mate with and bite his head off.
I have yet to see what insect pollinates the jasmine flowers. Honey bees and hummingbirds buzz around the plants but the pollinator of these intoxicants is probably a nocturnal being like a moth.
In the morning one of the first things I do is go out and check for newly opened blossoms or any I missed from the night before. The plants have been producing such a large number of blossoms that I currently have three different forms of extraction taking place all at once. The tincture was the first extract I started, in that process the sweet smelling flowers are placed into organic grape alcohol. The second might be termed a cold infusion or maceration, in this scenario the white blossoms are put into organic jojoba oil.
The third process, which was begun this week, is an enfleurage. Each morning I place each posy face down covering the entire surface, in the evening before bed I remove them because they oxidize very quickly. After only three days of adding blossoms the base has already been well impregnated with the delicious aroma of the tantalizing florets.
I have also begun a plumeria enfleurage, although I don’t have nearly as many flowers and plants to work with as the Jasmine. It’s all a bit of an experiment, if it goes well I’ll get more plants and move onto bigger production. A plantation in for organic jasmin sambac and plumeria flowers Hawaii is what I will visualize each time I inhale the euphoric inducing aromas.
These type of processes are no longer used by the perfume industry because they require much labor and costs. Since profits are king in this realm synthetics, which are cheaper and consistent, have become queen, Among the indie natural perfume and herbalism crowd you will find quite a few keeping these old world practices alive. Judging from what is happening with the rise of the artisanal food scene, I suspect more and more will be surfacing.