Monday, May 18, 2009

The Scent of Lilacs

The lilacs have been blooming for over a week now and the scent as I walk out my back door is intoxicating. I love lilacs. As a child we had one next to the patio that I used to play around and had my kindergarten graduation picture taken next to it.

It seems a mystery why the scent of lilacs cannot be captured by distillation. When I distilled lilac the aroma was quite similar to my son's dirty socks; not something I'd like to elaborate on. I know the scent molecules are there since they enter my nose. I guess the boiling point of those molecules is just not compatible with the distillation process. I've been extracting lilacs in alcohol, but so far only have an alcohol scent. Perhaps a good way to do it is similar to enfleurage, or an oil extract. Maybe I still have time to try this before their blossoms fade.

I recently did a guest blog at Etsy Green and Clean as part of a series on herbs in skin care. You can read it here:

I have been participating in the Longmont Farmers Market and will continue to do so relatively regularly for the rest of the summer. Markets are Saturday morning from 8-2 at the Boulder County Fairgrounds. If you live near or are planning a Colorado vacation this summer stop by and say hi and try a tester of my new parsley eye serum!


Anonymous said...

We too tried to distill lilac. Tried fresh, twice, dried, once, frozen, dried in salt and extracted from once did we have anything but the dirty socks. It was a nasty, nasty mess. Do you have any ideas how to extract the scent?
A Wild Crops Farm

Cindy said...

The only suggestion I have is to extract in fat of some sort. I am trying that now in palm oil. I haven't yet had good results, but know of others who have had.


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