• Vanilla CO2 Part 2

    Suzanne and I hope that as we proceed deeper into Spring that all of you are enjoying nature’s fine seasonal offerings. In recent weeks the grand decidous trees and confiers around us have unfurled their leaves and needles creating a sublime range of shades and hues of green. When we departed and returned for our recent trip to Northern California we flew to Seattle over the Olympic Peninsula and beneath us we could see an incredible green leaf tapestry of maples, alders, cottonwoods amidst the conifer forest. Yesterday we enjoyed them from the ground looking up as we hiked along Lake Crescent.
    The giant maples in particular were spectacular as sunlight struck their translucent leaves, illuminating them and diffusing the light as it fell to the forest floor. The conifers also made an aromatic contribution to the visual beauty of the scene by uniting their individual aromas into a rich balsamic fruity resinous bouqet that permeated the path along which we walked.

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  • Aromatic Absolutes

    Introduction to Nature’s Aromatic Gifts
    The world of aromatic plants provides the raw material for distilling/ extracting a wide range of sublime essences in the form of absolutes, essential oils, attars, CO2 extracts and hydrosols. Each technique of distillation/extraction is capable of removing some dimension of the plants complex aroma. Up to this time no technique has been devised which can fully capture the total fragrant bouquet lying at the heart of each aromatic spice, balsamic resin, precious wood, exotic flower, fresh grass, earthy root, etc.

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  • Curry Leaf

    It seemed appropriate today to offer a newsletter on Curry Leaf Essential Oil as today we had a fine Indian lunch prepared by Suzanne. Since we both went to school in India and have lived and visited there many times we have a fondness for Indian food (although a bit less spicy than is normally found in India itself). One of the delicious ingredients in many Indian dishes is fresh leaves from the tree Murrya koenigii (which also also has supremely fragrant white flowers) This condiment is little known out side India and neighboring countries as it is best if one picks the fresh leaves directly from the tree and puts them into whatever dish they are preparing.

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  • Kadam Flower

    The Kadam flower grows on the tree Anthocephalus cadamba tree. This tree has been much appreciated in India since ancient times and I have encountered it several times on journeys through India both in Karnatika and Rajasthan States. The aroma radiating from the golden globed flowers enchanted me on the first encounter and it has remain one of my favorites. Arctander describes it thus-“yellow oily liquid with a woody-floral and sweet odor with a short lived but strong minty borneol topnote. The dryout is delightfully sweet-floral reminiscent of champaca and neroli. The tenacity of the fragrance is almost incredible.”

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  • Cocoa

    The chocolate tree is indigenous to the Americas, originating in South America in the upper Orinoco River basin, in the Venezuelan Amazon and in Central America. The Theobroma genus is several million years old and belongs in the family Sterculiaceae, which also includes the genus Cola nitida - the kola tree native to Africa. Within the Theobroma genus there are many plants related to T. cacao that produce fruit and up to 70 wild species. However the main Theobroma species that produces the seeds which are made into chocolate is Theobroma cacao.

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  • Masala Chai Newsletter

    Those who have lived in India are acquainted with the central role Chai or Tea plays in the lives of the Indian people. From morning to evening Chai pervades the social and cultural atmosphere of the country. Early morning cups of aromatic cup of Chai are, in most households, a “must” for getting started into the days activities. Periodic breaks throughout the day are taken for this delicious refreshing beverage. The simplest form which it takes is black tea leaves steeped in boiling water to which liberal amounts of sugar and milk added, but many home recipes include various spices such as anise, ginger, lemongrass, cardamon, cinnamon, cloves, black pepper, fennel, etc . Each delicious variation of this classic drink has its own character and one can find endless delight in concocting their own unique aromatic home brews.

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  • Ajmer Perfume Newsletter

    This month’s perfume is called Ajmer and celebrates the state of Rajasthan where I have lived and traveled many times in the past 30 years. In that dry, desert landscape many aromatic plants thrive, such as Vetiveria ziazaniodes/Vetiver, Rosa bourbonia/Edward Rose, Boswellia serrata/Indian frankincense, Anthocephalus cadamba/Kadam, Nelumbo nucifera/Pink lotus, and Lawsonia inermis/Henna/Hina Flower. The essences of these and other botanical treasures have been combined in Ajmer perfume to capture the cherished feelings I have in my heart for the Land of the Kings as the word “Rajasthan” connotes.

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  • Amrit Newsletter

    About 8 months ago I started working on a project that is very special to me in terms of expressing in aromatic form the experiences I had in India over the years. The seeds of this project were planted in 1971 when I first went to live and farm in South India. The experiences of simple rural life in the subtropics played a key role in gaining appreciation for the sublime world of aromatic botanicals as the place where I lived was surrounded by Night Queen, Jasmin sambac, Frangipani, and many other fine plants. As increased exposure to India and Indian culture arose over repeated trips to that ancient land in subsequent years, I became aware just how deep the role of fragrance played in the lives of the Indian people and their impact on me also was profound.

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  • Cassie

    In the realm of perfumery one encounters two different aromatic essences which are extracted from the flowers of Acacia. The golden blossoms of Acacia farnesiana produces the Cassie concrete/absolute. This is generally extracted in France and Egypt. Acacia dealbata, A. baileyana, Acacia decurrens and several other species provide the flowers for Mimosa absolute which is mainly extracted in India particularly in the Palani Hills and the Nilgiri Hills of South India.

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  • Marula

    During the past several years, Suzanne and I have been endeavoring to build our modest aromatic enterprise around a palette of organic and wild harvested essential oils, traditional attars, exotic absolutes and supercritical CO2 extracts. We have on occasion offered a few carrier oils but until recently have not considered regularly stocking them. When I started experimenting with making solid perfume bases, I found the Marula oil of South Africa to be ideal as a base and this led me to consider offering a limited selection of the excellent carrier oils that Clive Teubes is offering from that fascinating region of the world. For many centuries the people of Africa have explored the virtues of many seeds yielding oils for protecting and nourishing the skin and today folks in other parts of the world are beginning to appreciate the discoveries they made.

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  • Spring of Joy

    Fragrance is the voice of inanimate things. The air is full of the cries of leaves and grass, softer than those of the flowers. In the dark night of the cedar there is a different atmosphere from that within the dusk of beeches or the green gloom of April larch woods. Sometimes, in places where there are no flowers, aromas dart upon one like little elves with sharp teeth, from corn and fir-cones, damp soil and toadstools, keen grass and pungent bracken. Even rock sends out a curious redolence in hot weather which unites with dried ling and herbs to form an undercurrent to the mellowness of gorse.

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