Thursday, August 18, 2011

For all lovers of Orange Flower

field of bitter orange trees
A few months ago I came accross an essential oil company I hadn't heard of before...
A Fahkry & Co, an Egyptian company that distills and sells an amazing collection of essential oils and absolutes, including a special organic collection the widest range of orange flower, neroli and petigrain versions I've ever come accross! The website is pretty impressive in it's description of it's various organic endeavours, from new organic farms to seed saving and gentle extraction methods...and it's so refreshing to see companies outside of Europe adopting green approaches! I'm always a bit suspicious of companies I've never heard of before, esp. those that make organic claims, but these guys are very forthcoming with information and sent me an amazing collection of samples along with sheaves of accompanying paperwork with detailed analysis sheets for all the oils! And I'm rather impressed with the quality too, no cheap synthetic knock offs here!
I'm going to review the oils I've got here in groups, because there's simply too many to cover in one post!
What really blew me away was the range of citrus products! Ive never seen so many forms of petigrain and biregarde in one place before!
I know that this is a particular love of many perfumers, so I thought I'd write about them in more detail with my own scent impressions!

Orange flower absolute  Deep, fruity with almost nutty undertones

Petigrain bigarade absolute This one I particularly love! It has such lovely fresh twiggy notes along with the petigrain freshness and a wonderful tea note!
neroil egyptian a tangy neroli

mandarin petigrain  wow, a petigrain with a touch of mandarin sweetness! It's also got that fresh twig sappy feel to it....a real natural sorta woodsy mandarin touched scent!
key lime petigrain  and then a real tangy, citrus petigrain...almost lemon verbena notes!
biregarde flower extract this is a zingy floral, lighter than the orange flower absolute
petigrain bigarade  earl grey notes...very elegant

bigarade green  notes of green mandarin
bigarade rouge this is softer than the petigrain's just lovely...softly mandarin sweet fresh green....
distilled fruit birgarade  this is soft sweet citrus, undefinable which one, and much gentler than the straight cold pressed oils....I want to use this one in a floral perfume, with maybe a delicate white rose....
Key Lime distilled I want to bathe in this one! Lime lollies on steroids! I've loved lime essential oil for a long time, but this key lime has an added tang, almost like a touch of grapefruit and lemon verbena...I'm in citrus heavan!

My nose is dizzy just from reviewing them all one by one! So much vareity within a simple theme...absolutely lovely!
They also have an impressive range of herbal oils, as well as some really nice rose and jasmines....which I'll be reviewing later on!
All up, I'm delighted to have found these people!
They also have one of the holy grails of hard to find oils: CAROB essential oil! They were out of stock when I contacted them so I'm still waiting impatiently!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Alchemy for Wytchy Ways

Spent a wonderful day today with the lovely Suzanne Naseby of Wytchy Ways
Suzanne came up to my workshop to consult with me about creating two massage oils for her online store, and it was a true delight! I had met this wonderful woman previously, when I took part in one of her "Soul Collage" workshops and had been impressed by her warmth and knowledge as a counsellor, and was delighted when she approached me about designing the scents of her new products! We spent an hour gossiping on my sunny verandah before we got down to work, catching up on stories of all the people we know, and our lives as middle aged women teetering on the edge of menopause...
And then, after mislaying our coffee cups and being held up by dogs and cats demanding attention of my new guest, we settled down to the actual work.
Custom design is my favourite thing to do. It's always fascinating to see which scents a person is drawn me it's almost as intimate as having a peek in their personal diary, and the session with Suzanne was decidedly fun!
She had two very different scents in mind: One for use on Sabbath celebrations, one for Esbats. For those non-pagans amongst you, Sabaths are the Solar celebrations in the Pagan calender, such as Eostre/ Easter, Samhain/Halloween and Winter Solstice/Chirstmas. The Esbats are celebrated on the full moon. So we are basically working on a solar and a lunar scent. Suzanne had brought a few of the oils she had already bought with her, including a delightful smelling benzoin, which proved too thick to work with this morning, even with the help of a warm water bath...but we came up with a few rather nice blends...on the solar side, Suzanne had something foodie and luscious in mind, seeing as good pagan celebrations always have great food and a feast as a central part of them....what we ended up with is a rather scrumptious warm spicy sweet melange which will work to stimulate and awaken all the senses.....ginger, cinnamon, fruit and more all combined to give it life and zing in a totally delicious way.....the lunar Esbat blend is much softer...elegant clarity built around the Rose of the Goddess, and the deep, sacred beauty of frankincense. She has also chosen a really interesting smokey base to underline the incense notes, which gives the blend a true "temple" feel...Each bottle will also have one drop of pur herbal oil of mugwort or wormwood, which Suzanne has magically charged during ritual herself, to give the oils an even greater effect.

The bottles she has chosen are interesting too. Simple, elegant aluminium flasks which she is planning on decorating with swing tags and material. So we ended the session with 5 little bottles of potion, samples to go home with Suzanne to be sniffed and pondered at leasure...over the next week or so, each of the scents will  undergo a further alchemical transformation as the individual oils blend and interact with each other, so we'll see how they settle down. It's quite an involved process getting it "just right", and I'm sure it will take a few more changes and trials to find the "perfect blend"...
But they are going to be pretty special!

'Twas all up a very nice day...Alchemical Scent Magic at it's best!