There are some plants that make an indelible impression on you. Kukumakrankas are one of them, and not only because of its unique folk name, which comes from the Koina language, an extinct Khoi tongue. In the Cape Kukumakrankas have an almost fabled reputation, partly because its rarerity, its mysterious growing faces and of course the highly perfumed flowers and fruits. [Read more...]
Here in South Africa October brings those glorious spring days that is of narcotic beauty. It lulls your mind and body to believe that you are in an eternal Eden; a place between, where time does not exist. The air is filled with sweet fragrances rising in the warmth of the sun. Butterflies and bees happily buzz between floral delights oozing with nectar, while birds and frogs chatter with spontaneous joy. [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.
In January I finally met Karen Knott in person. It was wonderful to hear all the fascinating stories behind the Omumbiri project. They are sponsored by the British WWF. One wonderful story she tells is how they went about identifying the various Commiphoras. It took them a long time to collect branches with leaves from a wide area, with which to approach the Himba ladies to identify. To their horror the ladies promptly pulled off all the leaves [Read more...]
Africa is perhaps best known through the ages, for its Frankincense and Myrrh, though not many people are aware of how many varieties of Myrrh and Frankincense there are, and how different their scents are. True Frankincense has for an example a lemon/lime citrus scent and Olibanum (Boswellia.serrata), mainly from India, has an orange citrus scent and is generally darker in colour. In Africa Somalia is especially renowned for both Frankincense and Myrrh [Read more...]
I have a pond here filled with waterblommetjiies. Waterblommetjies is as Cape as it can come. I remember as a child that in Winter in Paarl where I grew up, there were people selling bunches of waterblommetjies on most street corners. We had a friend who just moved from England to South Africa. One day he saw the ladies selling the bunches of waterblommetjies and decided to buy a bunch of these lovely flowers for his girlfriend [Read more...]
The area where I am now living is Gordon’s Bay. Gordon’s Bay is best suited for the indigenous fynbos that can survive the winds and heat. If something is sensitive to winds it need protection here. Most of the trees here lean into one direction with the wind facing side blasted bare. The Cape Doctor – the south easter reigns supreme here but with the result the air here is always fresh and filled with the scent of the fragrant fynbos. [Read more...]