First night in Addis Ababa Ethiopia, reclining in a hammock, chewing on some Chaat and gazing at the moon at 2,355 meters above sea level. She feels closer somehow. Supporting a huge halo, I’m comforted by her unchanging presence no matter where in the world i might be. The blend of fragrances in the air […]

Civet Perfume Tincture 2014

Though I hate to open on a negative note.  I’m going to anyway :-). I’m still shaken up by the small fire in my lab the other day. Small being a relative term. It is a small space and could have been much worse given all the high-proof alcohol tinctures and essential oils crowded in […]

Distillation of fresh Spruce sap with pressure cooker pot-still and Allihn condenser.

How to make a pot still  Likely the simplest and most versatile distillation apparatus that one can make at home, is a pot still. With a pot still one can Distill essential oils from aromatic herbs, flowers and seeds, oleo-resins like Frankincense, Myrrh, Pine and Spruce via hydro or steam distillation. Make grappa or moonshine from wine, mash or other […]

My apologies for the long delay posting here. My intent was to deliver part 2 of “How to distill essential oils from spruce and pine sap” a long time ago. But life doesn’t always unfold the way we plan it. Instead, I find myself in Israel with no pine sap and without my distilling equipment. […]

In the production of essential oils, I believe this is the only practical way to keep the integrity of the fresh plant, the nuances and depth, their healing potential, and the metaphorical “heartbeat” of the plant intact through the process. Something not achievable on an “Industrial scale”. Though each batch may differ slightly in complexities of fragrance, I believe these small distillations using planet friendly and non destructive practices, built on intimate personal relationships with nature, from the tapped or exposed saps of the trees, yield perfume and therapeutic ingredients of far higher quality, than commercial distilleries can ever offer.

Distilling essential oil of Wild Ginger

Distilling Wild Ginger Essential Oil Distillations, mistillations and musings No matter how much experience and knowledge we have, how much care and control we exercise, we will still, on occasion, make critical mistakes. We are quick to record and share our successes, but usually, slow to share our failures. However, if we adhere to a […]

Being Saturday’s Child and ruled by Saturn, this last full moon was perfect for harvesting Witch Hazel leaves and twigs at their fullness, before they succumb to bugs and the wear and tear of the year. I feel a sense of delight each time I point out Witch Hazel trees, and the thrill of exposing […]