Preserving Ancient Perfumery Techniques

Have you heard of enfleurage before? It is an ancient technique used to extract essential oils from delicate flowers. The first records of enfleurage date back to the 18th century in French Perfumeries. This method is preferred for some flowers because their fragrant molecules are denatured with the presence of heat, thus altering or completely losing their scent by way of steam distillation.

Enfleurage is an intensive multi-step process where each flower must be rapidly hand picked and layered in a base fat or oil which captures the precious essential oils as they are released from fresh flower petals. Carefully, spent flowers are removed daily and replaced with new ones until the base is completely saturated with aromatic oils. The resulting scented pomade could then be washed with alcohol to finally isolate the pure essential oil!

Many many flowers are necessary to yield a meaningful amount of oil. In a study by Dr. Albert Hesse it was shown that only 800 grams of oil was derived from more than 2000 pounds of fresh tuberose blossoms with the enfleurage method. Because of the large amounts of plant material required and the significant labor involved, enfleurage productions are very rare and limited today. Presently, solvent extraction is most common for delicate flowers because it is more convenient and affordable than the traditional way of enfleurage.

Luckily we have sourced several enfleurage extracts from suppliers around the globe that are dedicated to preserving this aromatic art form. These artisans use organic jojoba and palm oil bases and in some cases the pure essential oil has been fully extracted utilizing organic alcohol, also known as extrait. These are some of the rarest organic essential oils in the world!

A few drops of our Gardenia Enfleurage extrait added to a teaspoon of coconut mct makes for an enchanting single note natural perfume. Other florals which can be found extacted by enfleurage include blue lotus, carnation, cassie, heliotrope, jasmine, jonquil, lilac, lily, neroli, rose, violet and ylang ylang. Which one would you like to try let us know in the comments below!

Your use of these products helps to support local craftspeople, small organic farmers and the continuation of this ancient perfumery tradition! Shop now with 20% off any size purchase, use code POPULAR at checkout. Free U.S. shipping for $99 orders or more!


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