Last year when the lilacs began their flowering season here in Santa Fe, I wasn’t quite ready for them since the bulk of the necessary lab equipment and supplies were still sitting in a POD out in Albuquerque.
This year however, I am not only prepared with my lovely new space, equipment, tools, etc., but I have been monitoring several bushes around town and I also have a tribe of friends on the look out for me as well.
Although I have not yet worked with this beauty, which I believe is the Syringa vulgaris, I’ve been hearing many natural perfumers on the East coast rave about their results with capturing her fragrance via the enfleurage process.
Having been monitoring a few shrubs in the area, (photo above) I knew that the bloom cycle was about to happen at any moment. Thus, I headed to the local thrift store for glass pyrex and prepared them over the weekend. Then today, I received a text from a friend who drives a FedEx truck in the neighborhood alerting me to a spot where I could find some flowering.
By observing the flower heads I can see that its a bit early in the cycle, but I decided to pick a few bunches anyway since I’m studying and getting to know her a bit. In fact, this evening I will be sleeping with a small bouquet next to me, perhaps int he dreamtime she will impart a message or two.
Below are two photos of the first enfleurage bed with fresh lilacs, it looks like I’m baking a lilac pie, doesn’t it? I’ll be posting more about this process in the student forum for Art of Botanical Perfume online course.