Saturday, June 02, 2012

Gardenia Enfleurage and Other Saturday Things

I began my very first gardenia enfleurage today and I'm taking photos to record the process. First, I bought a pound of organic refined coconut oil because I didn't want the scent of coconut interfering with what I hope is a beautiful gardenia pomade. Then the coconut oil was gently melted and poured into a clean Pyrex dish, then the dish was placed in the freezer so the oil would harden. Once that was done, me, the Pyrex dish of coconut oil, a pair of scissors and a bowl went out to the gardenia bushes and the snipping commenced. When the bowl was filled with gardenia blossoms (about 15 or so) they were placed face down onto the hardened oil. Now, the way I had wanted to do this was to suspend the hardened oil over the gardenias without the two ever touching, but the temperatures here are going to be well into the 90s so the oil would have never stayed solid, and the other option, to place this enfleurage 'kit' into the refrigerator, was a no-go because one, there's no room, and two, I don't want gardenia and chow mein scented coconut oil. So the blossoms are face down in the solid oil, and the Pyrex dish placed in a cool, dark cabinet. Now I wait, and while I do so, the gardenia bushes continue to push out new blossoms for the next infusion.

So mum came by today bearing plants -- what they are are anybody's guess -- one looks like holly, and the other, well, I don't know. But plants are always welcome. We're in the process of putting herbs in the flowerbeds out back, replacing all the scraggly ornamentals that have been growing out there for years, like the ornamental garlic that do nothing but provide loving homes to snails and slugs and stink the place up when touched. That bed will be turned to lavender and rosemary and balm. We're also working on plans to hang gutter gardens along the future chicken coop wall, a tier of about three will do. One of the tiers will contain strawberry plants we have that are just going crazy but can't find a sunny enough spot to put them just yet. Gutter gardens don't take up much space, and lots of yummy food can be grown in them.

I'm gathering all the tools and do-dads to teach the soap class. I'm also taking some stuff to demonstrate perfume, so with any luck I can get a few of the future soap makers interested in becoming future perfumers. Time to get back to work.

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