I have been told on occasion my instructions here could be clearer.  Though I’ve been meaning to rewrite some of them or do video tutorials, I just haven’t found the time.  Luckily, my Aromatherapist friend Robin Schiller-Kessler took the initiative, built my “Magical Couscousiere” still, and recorded the process step by step. I named it the […]

Gratitude to Christianne L’Esperance for shooting, editing and posting this video. It shows how easy it is to distill essential oils at home. In it I share some of the basic principles, terminology, dos and don’ts, easy to access parts and where to get them. Though by no means a step by step walk through, I […]

Frankincense Frereana essential oil distillation in separatory funnel.

For those who will be in South Central Ontario this weekend As promised, I will teach a distillation workshop this Saturday in the Apothecary’s Garden at the Teaching gardens in Churchill Park Hamilton. It will be part of the Hamilton Herbal Weekend. Short notice, but it will keep you limber. You will learn How to distill essential oils […]

Carefully veiled around us, is a world of ancestral knowledge and timeless wisdom. Within it we find ancient mysteries, lost sciences and arts, dormant magic and technology both forgotten and yet to be discovered. It is ours to draw from if we so choose.

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.

Today I received my much-anticipated package from Addis Ababa Ethiopia. What a treat for the senses!!! This first shipment of two, contains unique essential oils distilled from fresh harvested local oleo-resins. Boswellia and Commiphora. Rare Ethiopian Frankincense and Myrrh essential oils, Palmarosa, Lemongrass, and fresh pressed Black Cumin, and Neem oils to stock the store […]