For years now I have been combing the local beaches hoping to one day find some ambergris. In fact, I just returned from the beach with my consolation prizes – seaweed, when I received an email asking whether I will be interested in some 4.8kg of Ambegris found in Hermanus. [Read more...]
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.
This year my Forest Bride come forth and bloomed in all her fragrant glory. I have been waiting patiently and diligently carried buckets of water to keep it watered in the Summer’s heat. As it naturally grows in Summer rainfall area, I knew that if I wanted it to bloom abundantly, I had to keep it well watered, since here in the Cape it is the driest time of the year. [Read more...]
I remember with clarity when I fell in love with spices. During our winter holidays my family often took a trip up to Durban by train. It was like stepping into another world arriving from the cold wet Cape winter into the tropical heat of Durban. The scents were the first thing I noticed, the very air smelled exotic, but for me the most memorable event of the trip was going to the Indian market. It was like entering a page of the Arabian Nights [Read more...]
Dabney Rose’s post about the potent scent of her Moonflowers on Facebook, jolted back to my mind my youthful memories of Moonflowers. My mother was wise in teaching me early which plants were edible and which ones were poisonous. When she introduced me to Moonflowers, I was enthralled. That it was also poisonous only added to its mystery to me. To me it was like a femme fatale; mysterious and seductive, with the deadly [Read more...]
Perfumes are often given as gifts of love. To give a perfume as gift does require the giver to intimately know the recipient, but have you ever given gift giving any further thought? In the runic alphabet, the rune Gyfu has the meaning of gift. It is shaped like the Roman letter X and it was used to denote things dedicated to the gods. [Read more...]