Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Day 81 ~ One Year, One Nose

Kunzea oil ~ not necessarily a perfumery oil as it is astringent and bitter, along the lines of eucalyptus and tea tree, but gentler, not as medicinal. I add it here because is it lovely despite its obvious medicinal scent -- it possesses a lavender-like quality of softness, and peaky lemon notes as well. It is touted as a kind of miracle anti-infection oil, used to cure resistant staph and resolve sinus issues that may be related to mold or bacterial infection. I like it. I mean, I wouldn't want to put it on my skin because I don't want to smell like I spent an evening hanging out with a koala, but I would use it in a steam to help with recurrent sinus bugs.

Elderflower absolute ~ yummy! Elderflower absolute is sweet and green and hay-like, but also possesses this weird cherry note, like syrupy cherry cough medicine. I am a huge fan of elder anything -- as a child living in and around the Sierra Nevada's, elderberry picking was common in the fall. We'd run amongst the elder bushes, clipping off the loose clumps of elderberries into a gunny sack, then run off to the gooseberry coolies, slip on leather gloves that were borrowed from people with big hands, and clumsily pull the spiky berries off and toss them into the gunny sack with the elderberries. Then to home when the sacks were full to boil and mash and strain and create the stock for jellies and syrups and wine. It's been years since I went elderberry picking. The last trip was made when all my children were still living at home and it was a lesson in futility -- not having been raised in 'the wilds' as I was, my children didn't understand what they were doing and we made it home with only enough elderberries to make a very small batch of winter syrup. In the spring people I knew in the hills would pick the flowers for tea, though I never acquired a taste for the stuff, I always loved the scent of the flowers, fresh and dry.


  1. We seem to be on the same exotic Australian note path, Buddhawood, Kunzea . . . I have to disagree with you on this one, though. I've smelled three different extractions and each exhibits a slightly different scent profile. The sample I have (according to my notes) is "earthy, dirty, woody, reminiscent of a furniture repair shop. Lacquer. Gourmand notes of musky durian or exotic asian fruit." In my suppliers shop today I smelled an aged bottle of Kunzea and both my daughter and I remarked how it smelled like ripe banana. Yet another more recent extraction smelled like lavender and banana. In all three there is a distinct fruity note that might not appeal to some, but I love what banana does to ylang (I have a nice tincture of the freeze-dried fruit). Off to see if Kunzea tames that shamelessly intense floral.

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    2. Thanks Maggie. I didn't get any banana notes, all I was getting was an astringency and that lavender note. I should probably dilute it for study. I did use it in a steam, but since I was huffing I don't think it really counts as an evaluation per se. Aging might be part of the issue as well. I have no idea how old this sample is. Thanks for the comment, now I want to find more kunzea samples to study.



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