Friday, March 12, 2010


Years back, before I got an ultrasonic, I tinctured. Like a fiend. I tinctured valerian root, aloeswood chips, sandalwood shavings, coconut, dried lemon peel, olive leaves, figs, sugar, dirt, long pepper, white pepper, boysenberries, saffron, oregano, lawn clippings, honeysuckle, jasmine, rose leaf, local oakmoss, rose petals, lemon leaves, animal poop, cheese . . . there really wasn't much I wouldn't try to tincture. But my very favorite botanical to tincture was, and still is, tea. I have tinctures and evulsions of Earl Grey, gunpowder green, China green yunnan (jade supreme), China jasmine (da zhang select), China green (chun mee dao ming), China black (flowery orange pekoe), season's pick green (gen-mai cha), China green tea (chun mee), Sungma Estate 2nd Fl. (darjeeling), China keemun (dao ming), and Banaspaty Estate (assam). Suffice it to say, tea is one of my favorite things -- to drink, to tincture or evulse, to use in perfume. So diverse, yet retaining all that rich, earthy tea-ness. My favorite of all of these is my gunpowder green -- it's turned to resin; rich, oozy, dark green tobacco-like scent with faint notes of sweet fruit, something like cactus pear, dominated by notes of wet grass, powdered henna, and damp earth. It's just really special.


  1. I have tinctured rooibos and China Jasmim Tai Um Long Zhu. Now looking for gunpowder.

  2. Teas are lovely when tinctured. The jasmine teas are very nice-- delicate little creatures. I once had a delicious osmanthus tea tincture that was ethereal and dark, not at all like osmanthus flower absolute, but with its own alluring character.

    Gotta love the teas!

  3. Yep, green tea tinctures are much closer to a priori tea than the absolute extractions are.

    Black tea, too, for that matter.

  4. I just find tea tinctures amazing in their diversity of scent, and, really, how EASY they are to make.

    I have to admit, though, that I do use them quite sparingly while formulating. I am Gollum and teas are my ring :)

  5. I have some green tea CO2, and it is fabulous, but won't totally go into solution in a perfume, it leaves a sludge at the bottom. I use it in solids, where it won't matter as much.

    Do you find that the tinctures & ultrasonic extracts go into the alcohol better?

    Thanks for all the great info you share here!

  6. I find quite a few alcohol extractions, once the go resinous and the alcohol has evaporated don't disperse into alcohol as well (again). I've tried reconstituting several evaporated tinctures/evulsions with moderate success -- fig tincture, teas. The only thing I can suggest that can be done, as I do it, is to filter out the sludge when the perfume has matured. Or use them more in solids :) They also don't do well in oil.

    Very good question, thanks for bringing it up.



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