My mother has a beautiful garden brimming with blooms of all kinds ; roses in several varieties (ever her favourite – she’s been scolded many times for sneaking into neighbour’s yards for a sniff or a sample!), last month purple wisteria and the most delightful jasmine; there were freesias when I was little (I still look for them every year), and there are always pansies and violas of some sort. She loves her garden. I, unfortunately, live vicariously through hers because I have no garden to speak of (yet – I have plans!!). Right now, it’s the nasturtiums that have captured me.
I’ve recently started to think about flowers in a whole new light – not just for their perfumery and beauty, but I’m also researching edible flowers. (Dear Mum, Just letting you know I took two dozen nasturtiums for my salad tonight). And there has been so much talk about tincturing in natural perfumery circles lately that I’ve decided it’s time for me to explore this brave new world too.
My first experiment will be with my mother’s nasturtiums. I’m excited to discover just what elements of their acidic/bitter/green/nectar fragrance will be released into a tincture.
And so, for all you tincturing newbies like me, my first steps go like this:
1. Collect flowers
2. Place into sterile jar and cover with perfumer’s alcohol (for me, natural grape ethanol)
3. Cap tightly and store in cool dark area. Shake daily, and strain and add remove old and add new flower every few days.
4. Continue for 6 weeks or until desired strength is achieved.
I’ll let you know how it turns out.
(PS I’m also getting crazy ideas about tincturing seashells, burnt sugar, plum leaves and salt! Let me loose!)