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  1. #1

    Default Wooden frames of cold enfleurage

    Good morning everybody!

    In printed and online literature (amateur and professional) concerning cold enfleurage i was not able to find answers for 3 important questions:

    1) Why were the used frames made of wood?

    2) What kind of wood was it?

    3) The closure created by the frames has to be totally airtight or it must guarantee a minimum passage of air?

    Thanks a lot to everybody will help me and to all others too

  2. #2
    Basenotes Plus

    Join Date
    Jul 2020

    Default Re: Wooden frames of cold enfleurage

    I have done a successful enfleurage of jasmine from flowers on vines in my local neighbourhood over about three weeks in September 2019.

    1) I don't know - but I don't think it matters.
    Perhaps because it was a readily available lightweight material to mass produce frames from?

    2) I don't know - but probably pine, whatever was cheapest.
    All the pictures I've seen show an unfinished light-coloured timber frame.

    3) I've never been told by anyone with experience (though I read it in the post linked below), but I trapped air in mine using cling wrap. My theory was that the aromatic molecules stood more chance of being captured in the fat if they were trapped there, and not given the chance to fly away into the air. Though, looking at the scale of operation shown in the images on the below link, you'll see that the frames are stacked high, and air-tightness would probably not be possible. The amount of jasmine aroma floating through the air in those factories would be enough to knock you over! So, given that, I don't think they were as worried as I was about capturing every last molecule possible.

    Watch out for humidity and mould, and if some occurs, carefully scrape it out of the fat. Also sometimes insects get in there from the flowers. You have to carefully inspect each one and remove any green matter before adding to the fat.

    I used dinner plates and melted the fats first so they would be easy to pour into the plate and then they solidified nice and flat.

    I used three plates with a different fat in each: Cocoa butter (hardest), Coconut oil (softest) and Shea butter (the best all-rounder).

    The cocoa butter has it's own mild odour which does contribute to the resulting extracted jasmine aroma in the alcohol. Being the hardest, I believe this is why it absorbed the least aroma (my guess).

    Coconut oil also contributes its own character, in which case you get a delicious coconut/jasmine effect which is quite appealing. The flowers would sink into the oil sometimes as it liquefies at springtime temperatures here in Melbourne. Also some spillage occurred when I moved the plate and hadn't realised how soft the oil was. Lucky for the cling wrap.

    Shea butter is basically odourless, and is the best if you're looking to capture the pure jasmine scent without the fat's own smell. It also absorbed really well and was easy to work with and did not liquefy until it was time to do so.

    I don't have the equipment to do a low-pressure evaporation so I just used my alcohol as a tincture and made it into a room spray (very low concentration, but very natural and pretty smelling). and in future I don't think I'd bother trying to extract into alcohol given the time and effort that went into picking the flowers and recharging the fats every day for three weeks.

    Also, filtering the alcohol (chilled, then paper funnel into a clean, empty jar) resulted in a fair bit of loss and did result in a change to the aroma of the alcohol.

    If I do jasmine enfleurage again, and I still don't own or have access to a rotovap (required to evaporate the alcohol and leave behind the tiny amount of jasmine material) I will simply make soap with the fats. I made some soap from the mixture of fats which had been extracted in alcohol and the aroma was still there, however more like a ghost of jasmine, but still nice.

    This is where I drew my inspiration and information from:

    My conclusion is that now I would prefer to pay the amount asked for jasmine absolute, because I now have a clear understanding of how labour intensive it is to create.

    It was a fun experiment though, and if I one day have a jasmine vine of my own I'll give it another try.

    See below for photos:


    01 enfleurage.jpg
    From enfleurage101: frames.
    02 enfleurage.jpg
    From enfleurage 101: frames.
    03 jasmine.jpg
    1 day's worth of collected jasmine flowers.
    04 flowers on plates.jpg
    Flowers on plates of different fats.
    05 enfleurage fats.jpg
    Each fat type in its own jar after weeks of constant recharging with jasmine
    06 extracting scent to alcohol.jpg
    Added alcohol to extract scent.
    07 Jasmine soap .jpg
    My jasmine soap

    Last edited by jameshillier; Yesterday at 04:08 AM. Reason: Edited for clarity around clingwrap, and added photo of my jasmine soap

  3. #3
    Basenotes Junkie
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Saint Augustine

    Default Re: Wooden frames of cold enfleurage

    That was great, thank you so much for sharing !

  4. #4

    Default Re: Wooden frames of cold enfleurage

    James, that is so cool!!! Would it have been possible to extract the absolute by first dissolving all the fats in hexane & then extracting with EtOH?

  5. #5
    Basenotes Plus

    Join Date
    Jul 2020

    Default Re: Wooden frames of cold enfleurage

    It could have been possible but I have never grasped the concept of extracting using hexane, nor would I know where to get some hexane. Something to keep in mind for next time.

    I’d also like to mention that I referenced the videos by Charlie Pan ( but she appears to have removed the videos showing filtration and evaporation using the rotovap at low pressure.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Wooden frames of cold enfleurage

    Dear James,

    thanks a lot for your beautiful and didactic report.

    Thanks too for your considerations about my 3 questions.

    Can I ask you what quantity relationship between fat and flowers (before), and between fat and alcohol (after) you followed.

    I'm going to do like this:

    1 part of fat + 2,5 parts of flowers (exemple: 100 gr fat + 250 gr flowers)

    1 part of fat + 1 part of alcohol (exemple: 100 gr fat + 100gr alcohol)

    I'm interested of knowking in particular about the quantity you stick to in the "Lavage" stage.

    I'll enfleurage violets flowers and I need to obtain an alcoholic tincture (it does not need to be excessively flavored) to use in an alcoholic product.

    Thaks for all you answers

    Regards from Italy!!!!!

  7. #7

    Default Re: Wooden frames of cold enfleurage

    It might be déclassé, but I've done enfleurage in disposable aluminum baking trays using plain Crisco as the fat, and it worked fabulously well.

  8. #8
    Basenotes Plus

    Join Date
    Jul 2020

    Default Re: Wooden frames of cold enfleurage

    What type of fat is Crisco? Coconut? Palm would probably work well too, but I'm anti palm.

    First decide how much fat you will use, then balance that with your supply of flowers. You don't want to use up all your flowers in the first day or two, you need to be sure you will have a constant and steady supply. You need good coverage, and of course the more flowers, the better. I don't believe every single flower needs to make physical contact with the fat. Think about how your butter absorbs the onion taste in the refrigerator just by being nearby something that had onion in it. Based on this, I think fats are really good at absorbing scent.

    Some days you might leave the flowers on for 48 hours, some for 24. It depends what you can be bothered with and whether you notice the flowers developing an odd or off aroma on day two. Always remove if the scent being produced is not to your liking, because the scent will end up in your fat.

    I did not bother to score my fat as the smooth surface was much neater, and did not want small crumbs of fat coming off on the flowers when I changed them over. With the smooth surface I was able to easily tip the flowers off into the bin.

    I suggest as this is your first run (of many hopefully?) you might be able to experiment when it comes time to soak the fat in alcohol, try a few different jars with different ratios and see what happens with each... One could be a 1:1 ratio, another could be 1:1.5 then the third could be 1:2. Make sure you use jars that seal really well, as the alcohol can evaporate easily if not well sealed. You may also need to stick a knife in and chop the fat while it is in the alcohol to create more surface area and really get it blending well with the alcohol. Never heat the fat as the whole idea is to do it at cool temperature to preserve the floral essence.

    @ourmess I don't see the difference between a plate and an aluminium tray

    Regards from Melbourne, Australia (still in lockdown :P )

  9. #9

    Default Re: Wooden frames of cold enfleurage

    Comparing the effort to the output for hobby scale enfleurage, this is truly a labor of love!

  10. #10

    Default Re: Wooden frames of cold enfleurage

    Quote Originally Posted by jameshillier View Post
    What type of fat is Crisco? Coconut? Palm would probably work well too, but I'm anti palm.
    Soy and palm, yeah:

    I can understand your concerns. I've also seen reporting that anti-palm-oil campaigns have been making it harder to create a sustainable farming system for it...I don't know where the reality lies, but I'm sure it falls under "It's A Lot More Complicated", as many things do. ;p

  11. #11
    xii's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2015

    Default Re: Wooden frames of cold enfleurage

    I did lilac enfleurage this year but forgot to share. Updated here.

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