Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Luban Dakar

The first distillation yielded about 1ml of oil -- lovely, still-scented, high balsamic, piercing, lemony. The second distillation included the hydrosol from the first distillation and the oil that remained free-floating throughout, along with another half-dozen handfuls of raw frankincense gum. The gum used is a relatively inexpensive boswellia carterii from Egypt. The third distillation, the one cooking now, includes another handful of gum, plus a few tablespoons of the tincture made in 2006 from a batch of Somalian boswellia carterii gum, and fresh water. The hydrosol is unbelievable.

This project has not gone on without a hitch -- there was one moment when the still popped its seal and gooey beige frankincense slush oozed from the breach and covered the side of the still. After a quick wipe down, and a reapplication of "sealant" (rye flour/water), she was back in business. Ah, but the scent of that escaped melted gum . . . heavenly.

The combination of wet, hot copper and frankincense created an intoxicating scent in the air -- animalic and balsamic, wild.

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