For some of us more adventurous types, distillation becomes part of a natural progression through perfumery. A few years back I received a small copper distillation unit from a company in Portugual, Iberian Coppers S.A. For the first six to eight months, the still was just a pretty ornament and point of curiosity sitting all shiny and bright on a shelf. And I got a lot of ribbing about making my own "hooch". In the past year, however, the little two-liter al-embic has been an invaluable tool in my perfumery education. Thanks to diligence, determination and a strong sense of experimentation, my copper al-embic has provided me with nearly a gallon of beautiful frankincense b. carterii hydrosol, a few liters of cucumber "hydrosol", a liter of whole fruit distilled lemon hydrosol, peppermint hydrosol, ambrette seed hydrosol, and a few milliliters of lemon essential oil.
Distilling your own perfumery products offers another benefit -- peace of mind. How many times have you wondered if an essence you purchased from a dealer is real?
So if you're into tincturing and infusing and macerating and old-time enfleurage, why not jump into distillation? Make your set-up with copper tubing and a pressure cooker (for which blueprints can be found online), or find a glass distillation unit on ebay, or hit up Iberian Coppers.
Iberian Coppers S. A.
Post by: J
Photo: Iberian Coppers S.A., Essential Oils' page pic