Enfleurage is an ancient technique used to extract the essence of flowers
Lavender Plants Today, I am excited to share with you the secrets of enfleurage, a technique I stumbled upon by accident. A friend gifted me with bunches of lavender straight from her garden, which put a big smile on my face. Initially, I distilled a few bunches of lavender to create lavender hydrosol, but the process can be time-consuming and requires careful supervision to ensure everything runs smoothly.
I had some leftover lavender and decided to seek inspiration from my skincare group as to what I could do with it and that's where I learned about the ancient technique of enfleurage. By infusing the aromatic petals of fragrant flowers into a neutral oil or solid fat, we can unlock the hidden scent and therapeutic properties of flowers. Enfleurage captures the very essence of flowers and is a simple yet effective way to create aromatic products.
#1 Lavender Buds #2 Melted Coconut Oil #3 Lavender Buds in Oil #4 Solid Oil with Buds
Enfleurage enables anyone to create personalized aromatherapy products that capture the true essence of flowers. The process is very simple. Layer the petals upon a bed of solid fat or oil, let them work their magic for a day or two, and witness the birth of your very own fragrant masterpiece. The petals are then left to infuse their fragrance into the fat over a period of time, typically 24 to 48 hours. Gently melt the oil or extract the petals from the oil or fat. This process is repeated with fresh petals until the fat is saturated with the desired aroma. You set the pace. The resulting fragrant fat can be used as a foundation for perfumes, balms, soaps, or salves. You can even mix and match flowers for some unique scent combinations.
There are two approaches to enfleurage: hot and cold. The images displayed above demonstrate the hot method that I employed. Since coconut oil has a relatively solid consistency, I had to liquefy it before adding the lavender buds to the oil. As the mixture cooled, the oil became solid again. With the cold method, you need to place the flowers into the oil or fat in a flat pan, then press them deeper into the fat using a similar size pan and then secure them in place with saran wrap and leave them for 24 hours. This is to help the fat or oil begin to absorb the flower's fragrance. Extracting the flowers the next day (so that you can replace them with new ones) can be a time-consuming and messy process. This process is repeated over the course of a week until the fat/oil assimilates the desired fragrance. You have now created your own perfume!
Enfleurage is a superior method of extracting delicate flower aromas, offering unique advantages over other methods. The gentle nature of enfleurage ensures that the essential oils extracted retain their full therapeutic potential. These oils are ideal for aromatherapy, promoting relaxation, uplifting mood, and addressing specific health concerns. Lavender, for example, is well-known for its calming effects on the body. By incorporating enfleurage oils into your daily self-care rituals, you can harness the healing power of flowers in an aromatic and effective way.
The resulting product obtained through enfleurage can be used as a luxurious and fragrant ingredient in balms, lotions, creams, and oils. When applied to the skin, these enfleurage-infused products provide deep hydration, nourishment, and a subtle natural fragrance. Enfleurage allows us to embrace the beauty of botanicals not just through their therapeutic aroma but also through their skincare benefits. Why not try this ancient technique for yourself? Experiment with enfleurage at home by selecting your favorite fragrant flowers. Simply choose your favorite fragrant flowers, purchase some refined coconut oil, and follow the tips above to get started. Now, imagine the possibilities. I'm thinking of using the lavender enfleurage in some soap or lotions, or perhaps leaving it as a solid perfume. With enfleurage, you can become the maestro, blending the scents of nature to create aromatic blends tailored to your preference.
Peace and Herbal Blessings,
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