Saturday, February 18, 2012

Day 16 ~ One Year, One Nose


Hyacinth ~ a study



Some years ago a friend sent me a small sample of hyacinth absolute to study. It was diluted to 10% yet was still very, very strong, almost too strong, and thus began my love affair with hyacinth.

Since beginning the One Year, One Nose project, I've been revisiting a lot of 'old friends' -- frankincense, bergamot, lemon, santal, patchouli, hyraceum, and a host of home made and home grown tinctures. The fay green glass bottle that has been home to my hyacinth tincture sits quietly, unassuming, 'til the stopper is pulled and slowly, like a newborn blossom, the scent begins to unfurl. It is at first rustic, earthy-green and 'crunchy', literally, like smelling the skin of a stale roasted peanut, then comes the headiness, the blueness of hyacinth emerges, then it quickly ducks behind a peanut; shades itself with a dewy leaf and buries its toes into cool, loamy earth. On the skin, after the alcohol dries and the peanuts fall away, the scent is that of hyacinths blooming in a flower box in the window, the breeze blowing the scent in, then drawing it back out. Hyacinth tincture is a peek-a-boo scent.

Hyacinth absolute, even diluted to 10%, has a very high scent intensity, somewhere in the neighborhood of 8-9 (on a scale of 10). I would venture to say that a lower percentage would be easier to study, and use, than the one used for this study, about a 2-3% dilution. Hyacinth absolute dilution is like a dessert wine, the warmth of it settles in the back of your nose and throat. It smells of dark, ripe berries, waxy, thick-petaled flowers, amber, and oak. It is a slow scent, sensual, rapturous, seductive and tingly.

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