Interesting. I've been reading too and it seems the Lilac is an elusive scent to capture.
It is purely a fun experiment, and I began the process today.....
I enlisted the help of small daughter and we took advantage of a small brighter patch of this afternoon. We selected only the fresh newly open blooms and plucked them very carefully one by one so as not to bruise them.
The blooms are maturing extra slowly in this very wet weather, so on each spray, about a fifth are turning brown at the edges already, about two fifths are opening wide and the rest are tight in bud. This may serve our purpose better than being all ready at once.
(all pics been replaced by advertising pics so I've removed them)
Cold fat enfleurage:- I have a really wide necked jar. The ordinary white fat was melted in the double boiler very gently. Poured into the jar and rolled around the sides under the cold tap in a successful first attempt to line the jar with fat. Then popped the whole thing in the fridge to solidify properly (don't).
The florets are double and sometimes more on my tree. The first slight issue I encountered with the cold fat was that mine had got too cold and the flowers would not stick to the fat. The second is that the florets are long and not obligingly flat like a rose petal. This meant there was a slight matter of which bit of the flower to stick down. This was solved by the fact none would stick anyway. As these are in a jar anyhow with the lid on, they are just sitting there in the centre of all the lining of fat. That will be fine if I am capturing headspace in the way fat captures smells from a fridge.
Maceration in warm fat - I used the same white fat as the cold, heated it in the double boiler very gently again and just poured the flowers in. They went translucent very quickly and I have left them on top of the range on the slightly warm bit. The top has solidified a bit and the bottom is still liquid as far as I can see. The bits sticking out have already gone brown.
Edited by mumsy - 5/19/13 at 3:36pm
Oil tincture - Just because I have lots of lilac, I hunted for an oil that was least miscible in ethanol. I tried my jojoba, but I can smell that. I tried my grapeseed and I can smell that too. I found a sunflower oil that looked the palest and I can hardly smell it, so I have used that. I tested them all in ethanol, and they don't look like they mixed readily. I cannot micro measure this.
I filled a clean jam jar and have filled it with the flowers and this oil.
We will just have to see what happens now.
I have only used readily available supermarket fats and oils so far. I tried to investigate palm oil and ended up in a Lush soap shop where the lady told me they never use palm oil because of the eco issues with it.... (If anyone chooses to elaborate, then that is fine by me.)
My only doubt is the solid fat I used. It didn't smell when solid, nor on my skin, but it did a bit when heated up. I hope it doesn't go into the perfume. I don't suppose it matters for an experiment. If it works then I will do it next year with better quality ingredients.