Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Day 63 ~ One Year, One Nose

Spearmint ~ Mentha Spicata


I'm particularly fond of spearmint. I've grown loads of the stuff, and have cleared a spot in the back for a mint garden, spearmint is to be among them. Spearmint's conjurations include, of course, chewing gum, and summers in the valley; hot, dry wind blowing across dry field grasses, the scent of spearmint gum keeping the heat at bay and warding off a desert dry mouth, the sight of the foothills in the not so distant horizon providing hope for cooler days to come. The scent conjures craft festivals of yore with displays of soap piled high in the booth of Sierra Soapourri, Poppymint soap in prominence, the stack dwindling faster than the rest until there is nothing there but the lingering scent of spearmint. I have made distillations of spearmint and peppermint to obtain the hydrosol and used it to cool a room, an overheated face, gardening-sore hands, and it never fails to do the trick. It's especially nice on feet when the heat gets to be too much, the AC's broken, and the ice-maker takes a vacation. Spearmint, oddly enough, is a dense, heavy scent, thick with high 'mint' notes and fatty, creamy almost vanilla-like base notes. Takes to dilution very well, in fact, needs it to release and open up all those airier mint notes and tone down the fatty low notes. Dilution frees the spirit of spearmint.

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