Tuesday, April 13, 2010

DIY Natural Rose Perfume: Infusing Roses & Davana

One of the techniques of making Natural Perfumes is Infusion. This is a really simple way of making a Naturally Perfumed Rose Oil. I have done this technique with several flowers, and Roses seem to be the best to carry the scent forward.

A very straight-forward technique of Infusing flowers it only takes a bit of patience & time-lets, say about 4-5 weeks.
If you have the Roses for it, you should definitely find the time!

I start with about 40-50 blooms of fragrant Roses, washed and drained, as early in the morning as possible. Rosa centifolia is the commonest available in India- of that, the lighter pink variety which is more fragrant is the one I chose. 

I lay them in a metal platter of oil - virgin coconut- the most commonly available here- blooms facing down, and pour enough oil to wet the petals and a thin layer of oil over the surface.

Cover with a thin sheet of cotton, place it in the sun for 2 weeks.  At daily temperatures of 103-106 F degrees, its a cinch. Summer in India reaches upto 40-42 C. Make the best of it.

Change the flowers by draining & filtering out the oil through 3 squares of cotton. I tried to pick them out, but the stalks were dried up and stung like thorns- yowtch..

 Redo from start.
This time only the petals & no stings.. At 1 week, it looks like this.And the oil starts to be mildly scented in 3 days.
2-3 more weeks in the sun,
I am left with this fragrant moss greenish oil.Success with a sweet smell. 

This simply stunning yield of "Infused Rose Oil" is unlike anything I could compare with-
with marked floral undertones mixed with spicy-herbal ones, The coconutty tones do not detract from it, but make it more sensual (Think Monoi de Tiare with Rose).

Scent Comparison
The Roses impart a lighter fragrant oil,  without those  honey-like undertones of the Damask Absolutes & Rose Otto, and varies from both Rose Egyptian & Rose Moroccan.
An undertone from the very complex notes of Carnation absolute turns up-.the way the "green" of Turmeric in blends reminds of Tuberose Absolute.

By the end of the year, friends and family just sniffed and took some away.
I used it through the winter months for my 3&5 yr olds with dry skin, they were smooth-skinned and smelled amazing and to this day, adore to massage and be massaged!


For the longest time, I've wanted to trying my hand infusing Davana, described as the most gorgeous male fragrance ever by who, the name slips the mind!

I've used this rare, difficult to work with essential oil to form the heart notes of one of my perfumes called Male Delicious, its fruityness further enhanced on a bed of benzoin and Rock Rose and forever fell in love with Davana.

Davana (Artemisia pallens) is a Heart note with a  Fruity (apricot) odor of hay and licorice.

Davana, is in the same species as Wormwood & other fragrant plants of the Artemisia family but with its distinct smell. Robert Tisserand lists it as non-toxic and very midly irritating.
The smell of Davana essential oil , I could say, is like a combination of Oakmoss & Honey absolutes.
The smell of this infusion, from the leafy stalks of Davana, for now, is mossy & green.
Both the green stems and the leaves carry the fragrant scent, so I have put both in the infusion. Updates will follow

Now my knowledge of Davana till then, was leaf and the few essential oils I have sampled, rich and fruity and green. So I was unprepared for what the result was.
The 2-times infusion I was left with, had a tiny bit of fruity & green scents , but gave off a rich smoky smell - more like OakMoss..
Back then, I was still into floral & fruity, I was just not into "smoke".
I regret that I didn't use it into perfumes to form that just so intangible smoky leathery smell!

It is skin sensitizing, even more than the EO- no question about using as a Body or Face Oil.
But there it went....

Next Summer, oh, next Summer, I am so having me some fun.

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