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  1. #1

    Default An enfleurage question about lilac flowers

    I have had my beady eye on the lilac tree outside and it is being a little slow to bloom because of the rain, but half of the flowers are out and I want to play with them this year. The smell is wonderful, deep and heady, like a jasmine sambac, and I wish to capture it as accurately as I can.

    I intend to get some lard and do ordinary enfleurage, but as the tree is huge, I may do a variety of methods and see which works best.

    I have various oils at my disposal here too and I wondered which oil out of jojoba, grapeseed and maybe even kitchen oils, would be the least miscible in perfumers alcohol in the longer term.

    Has anyone else had success with lilac and what did you use?

  2. #2

    Default Re: An enfleurage question about lilac flowers

    Iíve not tried this, but I believe modern thinking on enfleurage is that palm oil is the best stuff to use - itís solid at room temp, I donít think itís soluble in ethanol, though youíd need to check that, but best of all it is stable and almost odourless.

    Good luck with this - itís a fantastic scent - at one time this was made as a commercial product by one of the big, French players so it can certainly be done.
    Chris Bartlett
    Perfumes from the edge . . .
    Twitter: @PellWallPerfume

    If you are looking for a perfumery consultation Iím happy to quote: if you want free advice, thatís what these forums are for
    You can also join my blog if you wish to ask questions of me.

  3. #3

    Default Re: An enfleurage question about lilac flowers

    Brill, thanks. I haven't ever tried palm oil. I looked at the others and it seemed even the waxy jojoba oil still dissolves slightly in the alcohol.

    I shall try some directly in the alcohol as well, but I expect I would get the colour too.

  4. #4

    Default Re: An enfleurage question about lilac flowers

    Directly in ethanol, Iím fairly sure does not work well. You will get the colour, but more to the point youíll get all the water from the plant tissues as well and the scent is very, very faint and difficult to concentrate. Iíve not done lilac, but I have tried enough other flower tinctures to be pretty sure it wonít be a success.
    Chris Bartlett
    Perfumes from the edge . . .
    Twitter: @PellWallPerfume

    If you are looking for a perfumery consultation Iím happy to quote: if you want free advice, thatís what these forums are for
    You can also join my blog if you wish to ask questions of me.

  5. #5

    Default Re: An enfleurage question about lilac flowers

    I should be able to use this old fashioned double boiler for one of the attempts.... I just got given it yesterday.

    DSC00766.jpg DSC00767.jpg

    I would imagine it would keep oil at a constant warm temperature. I think I read that lilac could take a little heat. I will double check.

    You're right about the alcohol. I may do a tiny vial just to see what colour it goes out of curiosity alone.
    Something I have been looking for for some time is a cheap centrifuge. I'm sure that would be highly useful. I've seen a very crude helicopter style one. It might separate out undesirable things such as the water factor you mention.

  6. #6

    Default Re: An enfleurage question about lilac flowers

    I think itís technically maceration if you immerse the flowers in the hot oil to extract the fragrance and Iíve no idea whether that works better for lilac or not in the sense that the fragrance may or may not dissolve better in the oil that way. It was I think the main way that Jonquil absolute was once produce (still is on a small scale I think) so it might well do.

    If it works your boiler should be ideal for it, and also that technique lends itself better to a flower that is produced in large quantities over a short flowering season. Enfleurage works best with flowers that go on releasing their scent long after they are cut and have a long flowering season so that you can go on exposing the same fat to more and more fresh flowers over months, which you obviously canít do with lilac.

    So all in all, my money is on the boiler.

    The centrifuge is an interesting idea and could be useful for removing sediment and for separating an oil/ethanol mixture. However itís no use at all for separating fluids that are fully miscible with one-another such as ethanol and water: for that you need to distill or dehydrate chemically.

    I wonder if it might be possible to rig up something using a short tube that would fit into a salad spinner? Not very high-tech but it would be a cheap way to test the usefulness perhaps.
    Chris Bartlett
    Perfumes from the edge . . .
    Twitter: @PellWallPerfume

    If you are looking for a perfumery consultation Iím happy to quote: if you want free advice, thatís what these forums are for
    You can also join my blog if you wish to ask questions of me.

  7. #7

    Default Re: An enfleurage question about lilac flowers

    I have been learning for some time about each of these different traditional ways of extraction... I intend to try all the methods available to me whilst the tree is in flower to see which one gives the best result. Traditional cold fat enfleurage, hot oil maceration, straight tincture and anything else that came to mind. I have all the equipment necessary for a small still but I don't think lilac would respond well to that method.

    At the moment with all this rain, the blooms are half open and unwilling to continue. The fatter part of the whole lilac bloom has opened and the flowers that first opened are already getting brown edges. The rest of the buds are tight shut still. If I can have just a few sunny mornings for dry flowers, then maybe the slow bloom will do me a favour by elongating the flower heads life.

    The centrifuge I did find was a thing that looks like it would fit on the end of an upside down old fashioned drill. I see no reason not to come up with a Heath Robinson centrifuge like that. I suppose there is a danger of it pinging off at high speed. It could be quite amusing to see who could come up with the most effective one.... I'm very unwilling to buy one without seeing if would be remotely useful. I have been trying to blag a local scientist to let me into the labs.

    I've just read interestingly, that the winter forced jasmine blooms were harvested at night which makes sense as that is when the tree smells most fragrant. It will not help me much with the picking in the dark..... It then says they were placed in water to preserve them. I think this must be referring to the cut flowers because I'm sure enfleurage needs dry petals.

    More reading....

  8. #8

    Default Re: An enfleurage question about lilac flowers

    My new bible doesn't even make a mention of lilac in the main enfleurage section. I think I may be about to find out why... the hard way.....

    ..... another eek. Palm oil may be a problem to source sustainable stuff because there seems to be an endangered species and deforestation issue affecting the Orangutang. So not going that direction unless I can find some kindly sourced stuff.

    .... (I'm not going to marry a tree BTW)
    Last edited by mumsy; 1st May 2012 at 11:23 PM.

  9. #9

    Default Re: An enfleurage question about lilac flowers

    Wow! You can do this with lilacs? I have never heard of lilac absolute being used. I assumed it was one of those things that needed to be synthetic. Also, is there a way I could learn about how to try enfleurage myself? Is there good book out there on this subject?

    Can you tell from my picture that I have a thing for lilacs too?

  10. #10

    Default Re: An enfleurage question about lilac flowers

    Both books I have, say there is not a commercial method for extracting lilac (but they are from 1932 and 1956), so things may be different now. We may discover that nature will wish to reserve some treats just for her own use. I will find out the long way.

    The internet is a mine of such information. Basically for enfleurage you press the freshly gathered flowers into clean odourless fat which has been spread onto glass sheets, making a sort of flower sandwich. One on top, just above and not touching, and one below with the flowers stuck on. It gets recharged for as long as the plant flowers. The top fat being alternated with the lower.

    For a kitchen sink method, I have read of two dinner plates with tape around them. I plan to use a huge jar with a wide neck and put the solid fat all around the outsides and seal the lid. It is wide enough at the top so I can get my whole hand inside and remove blossoms. I do not know if it will work well or not. I think the blossoms need changing about 36-ish times. I would imagine a lilac blossom would behave like a jasmine as the flower is a similar structure. The flowers must be removed as soon as there is any indication of smell change, so between one and three days between each change over.

    The other maceration method is to submerge the flowers in warmed fat and recharge them regularly, presumably by means of a plastic sieve and not metal. I would imagine the flowers would need changing more rapidly with this method.

    After each method, the charged fat is then placed with the alcohol and tinctured. I need to check how long. Till it's pongy enough.....? Then the fat cooled enough to solidify and the perfume poured off. Then the alcohol is evaporated off and the absolute left (we hope).

    For my own use, I do not intend to do that last stage as I would be diluting an absolute with the same alcohol anyway so would be putting it all back again.

    This is my hobby, so not serious, but I may be rather disappointed if it didn't work at all.

  11. #11

    Default Re: An enfleurage question about lilac flowers

    A commercial absolute was produced at one time by Robertet of Grasse, which was described as having been produced through enfleurage - I know because a bottle was recently bought by someone I know - they donít list it any longer and Iím not sure just when it was produced, much less the method used.

    A couple of thoughts that might help though. Although the physical structure of the individual florets is similar between lilac and jasmine there are some differences:
    1) Lilac releases most of itís scent during the day, while jasmine releases most of itís at night. Jasmine flowers for making the commercial absolute are still picked at night. I think lilac will be best when itís had a bit of sun on it (if we get some!).
    2) Jasmine flower petals are very thin and delicate, lilac much thicker - jasmine flowers therefore contain much less water. That in turn means they donít rot so easily - I think youíll need to change the flowers more often to avoid capturing the smell of rot instead of lilac.
    3) I donít know how lilac flowers store the scent, but in jasmine itís stored in the base of the flower petals. Not all flowers do that however and I donít know where to look it up in this case - which of your methods will work best (if any) may be crucially affected by this information. There might be a botanist somewhere working in this area who could tell you and perhaps save some experimental grief.

    Sources differ as to whether the flowers should touch the fat in true enfleurage - some of the older sources suggest not and Iím inclined to think thatís right - because the fat will tend to pick up the green, fleshy odour of the plant tissue rather than the flower scent by touch. Difficult in practice unless you have the proper stacking enfleurage plates to do that in practice though so I donít know if it helps.

    All quite difficult really - my money is still on the maceration option - though I have not seen any historical precedent for that so my instinct could be totally wrong.

    Good luck - itíll be a fascinating experiment whatever happens.
    Chris Bartlett
    Perfumes from the edge . . .
    Twitter: @PellWallPerfume

    If you are looking for a perfumery consultation Iím happy to quote: if you want free advice, thatís what these forums are for
    You can also join my blog if you wish to ask questions of me.

  12. #12

    Default Re: An enfleurage question about lilac flowers

    Great thread Mumsy. Keep reporting as you progress. My lilacs are still a week away from blooming so, based on your experience I will soon follow.

  13. #13

    Default Re: An enfleurage question about lilac flowers

    Also check out this. It's from 1880 so they probably get the lilac smell in some natural way. Maybe there are write ups about how Lilac Vegetal is made.

  14. #14

    Default Re: An enfleurage question about lilac flowers

    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.


    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).

    DSC00778.jpg DSC00776.jpg

    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.


    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.

    DSC00771.jpg DSC00781.jpg

    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.
    Last edited by mumsy; 2nd May 2012 at 10:22 PM.

  15. #15

    Default Re: An enfleurage question about lilac flowers

    This is so cool Mumsy that you are journaling this experiment here. I will definitely be following this thread.

  16. #16

    Default Re: An enfleurage question about lilac flowers

    What a lovely journal, mumsy, thank you for sharing! I've done some lilac enfleurage in the past with only meager results, probably due to the high humidity here (couldn't get the flowers dry enough without compromising the scent). As far as the fat goes, I use vegetable shortening for mine, that is basically food grade hydrogenated palm and or soy bean and or coconut oil (but it depends on the producer, so you'd have to ask your supermarket).
    For cold enfleurage I use glass oven dishes like these with a lid:

    Please keep us posted

  17. #17

    Default Re: An enfleurage question about lilac flowers

    Sorry I haven't been keeping up to date. My computer has died on me so I am having to do this on an iPad. I have no idea how to post pics on this.

    The real thing against me here is the wet. Day 2, it was pouring all day, so I probably left the first lot of flowers in a bit too long. then the florets still were not dry, so I had to leave all methods empty for half of the next.

    When I finally got some more dry florets, I examined where I had got to. The hot oil maceration stunk to high heaven of nasty fat, and the flowers were pallid and pale brown so I have abandoned that one already. The oil also stinks after just two lots of flowers, so I have abandoned that one too. The cold fat was the best one, so I have recharged that twice now. the flowers seem to last for two days in that, as long as I keep picking out any browning florets.

    Today has also been pouring, so I have no new dry florets. I wouldn't all hold your breath for the lilac. I am holding out very little hope that the flowers will last long enough outside on the tree for my experiment.
    However, for the purposes of method research, there is no law saying I cannot use mixed flowers, so if my lilac runs out, then I shall continue with another flower on top to complete the 36 or so changes necessary.

    I am not entirely happy with either the oil or the fat I am using. I do not think they are of sufficiently high grade to warrant such work. I wish I had bought something nicer. I suspect it will be like making wine. If it isn't good at the beginning, it will not get any better.

    I may have a tiny go using my Fractionated coconut oil and just leave it as it is as a medium for use.

    I have a feeling in the olden days, they treated their fat with lye I think. I need to go back and check what exactly they did. It is interesting that I thought I knew what I was doing until I really did it.

  18. #18

    Default Re: An enfleurage question about lilac flowers

    I was wondering how people would manage to change the flowers out 36 times every day or so, because lilacs only seem to be in bloom for a couple weeks or so.

    Mumsy, what if you added lily-of-the-valley for your next round of flowers, if you have any handy? I've heard it's difficult to get much smell from them, but maybe you could get something. They should be blooming soon and they might smell nice together with the lilacs. At home there is a gigantic patch of lily-of-the-valley. I wish I was there to experiment it but I'm taking summer classes so I'm stuck in the city. There are plenty of lilacs around campus but I would probably make a lot of enemies getting them!

  19. #19
    gecko214's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Canton de Vaud, Switzerland

    Default Re: An enfleurage question about lilac flowers

    Mumsy on your problem with the fat, the following article (from 1976) may be of use. Pretty laborious process. I have always wanted to do it but have never had the time/courage. In my research I also remember looking at some of the old books, can;t remember if it was Piesse or another one, and although this article does not mention it, they always added benzoin as a preservative (can't remember the percentage, but I think 1%?) -- it also probably affected the smell, but it was standard, so all (?) the enfleruage in the 19th century would have had that benzoin scent in it too...

  20. #20

    Default Re: An enfleurage question about lilac flowers

    Thank you for those suggestions. The fat I bought was the best quality beef fat which was pure white and smelled of nothing until I heated it. I am on the fourth charge now, but I did have to use the florets slightly wet, so I shall be emptying it each day and wiping the moisture off the fat with a tissue. It does smell moderately floral now. I also began another oil one using jojoba oil. The lilac florets are seeming to last two to three days in the cold fat which is longer than I anticipated. My neighbour has offered me access to her lily of the valley crop, so I may well do that next. The rain is actually on my side I think, because apart from the damp issue, it is making the tree flower much more slowly than it would. I am just having to pluck the open florets off individually as half of each bloom is brown and the tips are still tight in bud.

  21. #21

    Default Re: An enfleurage question about lilac flowers

    I did wonder about freezing the florets to give me longer. I may try that because I know you can freeze dandelion petals for winemaking purposes. However, it may merely liberate the juice and not the smell. The only trouble with my freezer is that I froze loads of Seville oranges one year for marmalade before I knew about perfumes. What I can tell you for absolute sure, is that it is an excellent way to remove the orange essential oil......into the freezer.....and it is most effective at perfuming any other foodstuff within days. If nothing I try works, I shall leave my cold fat enfleurage in there instead to get lilac and bigarade.
    No pics because my pute is still down. I will take them though for later.

  22. #22

    Default Re: An enfleurage question about lilac flowers

    I have managed to get a sunny day at last and recharged all the flowers in a nice dry fashion for a change. I have been very careful to only select the very best florets individually and reject any browning ones. Up till now, I have been swabbing the fat with tissue each time to remove any moisture. The flowers get quite warm in a jar, and it is in quite a warm kitchen. I have been changing the florets every two to three days and removing any brown ones nearly daily.

    Just out of idle curiosity this evening, I scraped tiny bit of fat off the lid.... and to my complete surprise, it already quite distinctly smells of fresh lilac flowers. I am actually surprised because the jar doesn't smell that much, but the pomade is stronger than I expected after only 12 days. The smell is much fresher on my hand than the overall smell of the whole jar would have led me to suspect. So from being fairly sceptical, I now actually feel fairly positive about the cold enfleurage one.

    The jojoba oil has only had two charges so far and I may have rejected the other oil too quickly because this one now smells fairly rank. I wonder if the early smell is just of damp vegetation and maybe that is what I took the cheaper oil to be, and then mistrusted it. Perhaps I should have kept on with all methods, but I have to admit the process is so intensive that any signs of failure mean it is easier to just stop. If anyone is intending to have a go too, I suggest a small jam jar is enough flowers to collect and change so regularly. My huge jar is quite an undertaking when such a busy person. It has been easier trying to do it in a coffee break so it becomes routine. I am also now realising that such a huge jar of fat means buying rather a lot of perfumers alcohol so this better jolly well work......

  23. #23
    gecko214's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Canton de Vaud, Switzerland

    Default Re: An enfleurage question about lilac flowers

    How very exciting Mumsy. I am writing from my hotel in London where I am for 24 hours for business so I think I got some of your nice sunny day yesterday. I do not recall where the article was (on the internet) but I read a paper where they did a careful (scientific) comparison of the yield of jasmine done by enfleurage vs solvent extraction and the yield was much higher with enfleurage (multiples I think). Obviously not the same plant, but still since they last so long you may well be getting a pretty high content of oil in your fat. I can't wait to see what your final result is.

  24. #24

    Default Re: An enfleurage question about lilac flowers

    I do, so, hope this works. I love the scent of lilac and I fear for my (relatively tiny) lilac trees, if it does work as I shall not be able to resist next year . . .
    Chris Bartlett
    Perfumes from the edge . . .
    Twitter: @PellWallPerfume

    If you are looking for a perfumery consultation Iím happy to quote: if you want free advice, thatís what these forums are for
    You can also join my blog if you wish to ask questions of me.

  25. #25

    Default Re: An enfleurage question about lilac flowers

    Dang Gecko.... How long are you over for? I have things for you to smell. PM me.....

    The good weather is back to rain. I recharged the main cold jar and put the content in the hot oil one again. I realised I wasn't sure how the maceration one worked.... How long to leave each charge in and whether the temp was supposed to be constant or not. I need to read up much more on this process.

    The lilac tree is now half brown and I am getting worried about how many charges are left before they are all gone, so I had a go at freezing a batch. I sort of knew it wouldn't work for the smell but they did look very pretty whilst frozen. Upon thawing, they just went pale brown in about half an hour and smelled of damp vegetation. I have taken pics but not got my computer back yet. I have no idea how to post a pic from an iPad.

    The next stage is maybe to try drying some. Pot pourri still smells....... Hmmmmn
    Last edited by mumsy; 14th May 2012 at 11:38 AM.

  26. #26

    Default Re: An enfleurage question about lilac flowers

    Ok peeps. The bit is firmly between my teeth on this. There is another thread about obtaining the smells from fruit that has been inspiring me too. The biggest problem I am about to have, is that my lilac tree is going to run out of flowers soon, probably this week or next. It depends on the rainy weather, which seems to have been my friend in this case so far in making the whole tree blossoming time last longer.

    Problem - Lilac blossom running out.
    Experiment - To find a method of preserving the smell long enough to steal it.

    One of the primary issues is the preservation factor of something delicate. What can preserve?

    I read somewhere that in fact, lilac is edible. So I ate a blossom in the name of science, and have to say as flavour goes, there is little to recommend it alone. One time honoured method of edible floral preservation is sugar flowers. The flower gets painted in egg yolk and then dipped in finely ground sugar using tweezers. = impractical for this, but may do some anyway just because I can.

    Remember the Elkie Brooks song Lilac wine? My other hobby, closely related to perfumery in many ways, is wine making. Another honourable way of preserving fruit and flowers. I decided that if I may not be obtain its smell successfully, then at least I will drink some of it whilst considering the matter. A batch will be started soon just because I can.

    Jam and pickling. The ultimate kitchen preservation method. Why not?

    Infusions. I picked a pint of sunwarmed blossoms and soaked them in fresh spring water last night. I drained them this morning and tried the water. This would make a very nice refreshing summer drink with maybe a little lemon juice. It had managed to capture the smell slightly in the taste.

    One of the ultimate methods of preserving delicate flowers is in a cordial using sugar. This has been tried and tested for centuries and we know it works. I make loads of them all the time for the kids. They freeze too.

    The delightful thought that has occurred to me is that sugar has been used for a grinding medium in perfumes many moons ago. Could these kitchen skills not be successfully amalgamated with perfumery? If water and sugar can extract the essence of a particular fruit or flower, then it would seem to naturally follow that the smell would be possible to be extracted at leisure? ..... only one way to find out. Maybe I should start blogging.....

    I have been taking pics of these things I am making, but just cannot post them. I promise to if you want them.

  27. #27

    Default Re: An enfleurage question about lilac flowers

    I'm trying some floral winemaking methods just out of curiosity. The lack of pics makes this less interesting, but I can add them in later. For reference, the strength is 5 oz of sugar to each pint for a 13% ish strength wine. Usually about 4 quarts of flowers to a gallon demijohn.

    Poured boiling water over some sugar, lemon and lilac blossoms. Discoloured over the day and the florets were pale and spent by late afternoon. The sugar water is sort of creamy lilac and tastes the same. Hardly any niff. Have drained out the florets. May recharge but it was soaking today outside.

    Cold sugar/lemon water. Florets have stayed coloured and fresh looking. Tastes fresher and has kept more of the aroma so far. Left florets in under a weight to keep them submerged. This method is normally left for three days or so to infuse.

    Spring water alone. This was left overnight with the florets in and was the freshest and the most fragrant surprisingly. So far anyway. One of my very ancient wine books says about Rose petal wine, to pour fresh water many times over petals until the desired perfume strength is gained, and to refresh the petals accordingly.

    The last one is to start the wine off and then to add the florets on the second day and leave for a week. I have begun the starter bottle with champagne yeast as it is the most gentle for flowers in my opinion. A starter bottle is a dessert spoon of sugar, juice of half a lemon and the yeast with yeast nutrient tab. I think a tiny bit of marmite works too if you don't have tabs.

    I hunted in my ancient Mrs Beaton book, expecting to find out all about preserving flowers, but nothing as yet. I have in my murky mind a memory of layering sugar with fruits or flowers and need to look it up. I keep lavender, cinnamon and vanilla in sugar (separately) for baking purposes. I see no reason not to use lilac, but sugar doesn't take a strong smell, just a nice hint. Might be worth a try for fun.

    I haven't dried any yet. It may be nice but I cannot see how it would help enfleurage much. All the oils will have been dried out.

    I cannot think of any other methods. This may do for now. You would think I had nothing to do. It's amazing how much can be achieved before the kids go to school when on a mindset. No second coffee until there are some more lilac blossoms. Unless it's too wet of course.

  28. #28

    Default Re: An enfleurage question about lilac flowers

    I used the lard method, putting fresh blooms everyday for 1 week on a tray, wrapping secure with selafane, then melting straining out the dead blooms. then adding perfumers alcohol to large jar. STILL SMELLS LIKE I JUST PICKED THEM AND IT'S BEEN ONE YEAR!!! FANTASTIC RESULT!!!

  29. #29

    Default Re: An enfleurage question about lilac flowers

    Hi hun, I'm so glad someone had success.

    Mine was an abject disaster in the end. The fat smelled completely wonderful after the lilacs, but in my wisdom, I thought it hadn't done enough changes up to the 36 or so my elderly book deemed necessary, and my lilac bush was spent, so I then decided to make it into a multi floral, own garden enfleurage.

    Firstly I added peony flowers which was fine and I was very pleased with the results, although at the time I did notice the peony petals had made stains on the fat which the lilac hadn't.

    I then waited, because it has been so wet in England that no next batch of suitable flowers were ready. The muguet had finished and probably wouldn't have lent anything to the fat anyway. So the fat was left uncharged for a week or so.


    When I next looked, the fat had gone mouldy where the peony petals had stained it. The whole thing smelled of musty mould.

    Live and learn....... next year. Disasters are just as valid a learning curve... but it was a lot of careful work.... never mind.

    I am just drying a load of privet flowers and shall do a dry infusion instead. I absolutely adore the catty smell of privet and cannot imagine why it isn't a common essential oil. It would serve for jasmine and civet together IMO.

    We will see.... onwards and upwards......

    - - - Updated - - -

    P.S. The lilac wine is doing very well..... so not a complete loss...

    - - - Updated - - -

    P.P.S. The dried flowers worked very well and kept their colour, but sadly not very much scent. Pretty for pot pourri though or dried floral arrangements.

    - - - Updated - - -

    P.P.P.S. The spring water infusion with nothing was the very best and most refreshing drink for a hot day. The others were ok, but didn't have such a freshly picked taste.

  30. #30

    Default Re: An enfleurage question about lilac flowers

    I hope the lilac wine makes up for the loss of the fat, which is very sad.

    For next time I think the peony may be best left out completely - Iíve noticed that the flowers of several of my varieties seem to have a very high propensity for going mouldy in less than ideal conditions and I think they may carry a mould on them all the time that just waits for the right conditions to flourish.

    Just thinking about the wine has put Elkie Brooks into my head . . .

    Chris Bartlett
    Perfumes from the edge . . .
    Twitter: @PellWallPerfume

    If you are looking for a perfumery consultation Iím happy to quote: if you want free advice, thatís what these forums are for
    You can also join my blog if you wish to ask questions of me.

  31. #31

    Default Re: An enfleurage question about lilac flowers

    It is also produced a liliac co2 extracts, I have tried it, but I'm very interested in smelling the absolute
    Giovanni Sammarco
    natural perfumer

  32. #32

    Default Re: An enfleurage question about lilac flowers

    The lilac wine is doing very well. It is on the first racking now and is a clear dark golden colour. Very exciting. At least something came of it.

    My dried privet flowers worked for a while but lost their smell fast. The dried lilacs are still pretty. I can always cheat and spray them with lilac scent....

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