Autumn has finally arrived in the Southern Hemisphere. It has been a long hot Summer at the Southern point of Africa. Although we have been wilting in the heat, the fragrance of the flowers have been the best I have smelled in years. I have been busy this Summer extracting the scents through enfleurage. I have been using enfleurage for five years now, but this Summer, I had a goal of recharging 30 times and I did! [Read more…]
Have you not ever wanted to capture the lovely scent of burning frankincense, and other resins and woods to give another dimension to an incense accord? The action of imparting scents onto the fats is called enfleurage; although it is traditionally used with flowers, the Sudanese techniques of perfume and cosmetic making gave me the idea of how to make Scented Smoke Enfleurage.
On Sunday 9 July 2011, South Sudan seceded from Sudan and became the world’s youngest country. The conflict in Sudan has been well documented, but little attention has been paid to the crafts and arts of Sudan. Few people realize what a rich reservoir to the aromatic past Sudan is, and that Sudan once played a vital role in history of Perfumery and the trade of aromatics. [Read more…]
The Cederberg has always drawn me with an inner call, as if profound mysteries were hidden in its ancient soil. To my delight my dear friend Kimber invited me to come along for a trip to see the San rock paintings. Besides seeing the San rockpaintings, my heart leaped knowing that I will also be able to see Hyraceum in situ as well as the Cederberg’s legendary flora. [Read more…]
Michel Mane contacted me to give me the good news. The French “persistence and stubbornness” has paid off and Mane has distilled the Commiphora wildii resin to produce the beautiful oil.
Sometimes it is hard to separate my love of cooking and that of creating perfumes. Groot Noem Noem – Carissa macrocarpa (Also called Natal plum and Amatungulu in Zulu) symbolizes for me how these two passions can happily co-exist. You will often find on the same bush both flowers and ripe fruit. [Read more…]
Glorious spring has arrived and the air is filled with the sensual delights of spring blossoming fragrances. Right next to my stoep there are several Buddleja salviifolia and Buddleja auriculata trees. As soon as the sun goes down the lilac-like fragrance wafts through the air into the house. [Read more…]
Buchu is perhaps the best known Aromatic herb from Southern Africa. I am particularly fond of it since my great grandparents farmed it in the mountains of Piketberg. I have vivid childhood memories of going down to the celler and burying my face in the big bags of dried Buchu leaves to immerse myself in the minty black current scent of Buchu. [Read more…]
Western Civilization owes its intellectual accomplishments to the achievements of two great cultures. Egyptians are credited with the origin of language and writing, the basis of scholarship, while ancient Greeks lay claim to our understanding of nature, science and reason. But while these two great empires are often blazed in the books of human history [Read more…]
In essence enfleurage only absorbs the volatile perfume given off by the flowers. The beauty of enfleurage is its simplicity and the purity of scent you can extract. The scent is like the scent of the fresh flowers, or the headspace of the flowers. All it takes is patience and lots of flowers, the rest is easily available. I have been using enfleurage for many years now and have picked up a few tips over the years.
It could not have been a more beautiful day for a drive out to Riebeek Kasteel. It has been raining for a couple of days and sky cleared to reveal all sparkling colours of blues and greens, perfect reflection of the blue and green oils I knew I will be smelling. [Read more…]