Here is an alternate t0 the Bay Rum Aftershave recipe published in yesterdays post. Instead of placing the herbs and spices in rum you can place them in a pure grain or grape alcohol. This process is called tincturing. A tincture is defined as: Prima materia (plant or other material) placed into alcohol to extract its aroma or medicinal properties. Ideally a high proof alcohol without additives. Bay Rum and Bacardi is the alcohol base in the Bay Rum Aftershave. In Botanical Natural Perfumery we use tinctures in our perfumes as a base or in addition to your base alcohol (AOL). An alternative would be to grind the bay leaves, allspice and cloves and place them into a pure AOL in a clean glass jar. Record the names and exact weight of all your materials in a journal or binder. Allow the prima materia to marinate for as long as possible, ideally a full menstruum (30 days) or longer. In some cases material is changed everyday utilizing the AOL over and over so that a strong concentration is achieved. Shake your preparation everyday. When finished, refrigerate and then filter using an unbleached coffee filter until clear. This method can be done with all sorts of material, I encourage you to experiment. To this tincture you can add essential oils to enhance the aroma. For a Bay Rum aftershave or cologne add bay laurel (Laurus nobilis) or bay leaf (Pimenta racemosa) essential oil. Add approximately 60 drops of essential oil to 15 mls or 1/2 oz of AOL. Adding a drop at a time is the best way to access how many drops is necessary. Remember to document your work. Other essences that may work nicely with the bay are spices, woods and citruses. Want to learn more? E-mail me about upcoming classes. (roxana at illuminatedperfume dot com)
"Pilgrims are poets who create by taking journeys." —Richard R. Niebuhr
Here is yet another fun item to create with spices.
LAYERED SPICE OIL by Aztechan Pettus
1) Layer dried seeds and berries in a mason jar
2) Pour cold pressed virgin olive oil to cover
3) Bask in Sun and Moonlight for one month
or Simmer on stove top or crockpot
4) Strain through filter, such as muslin clothe
5) Add essential oils, if necessary
6) Add this mixture to sea salt or other product or Use as an accord in a solid perfume.
This process is called infusion.
Top image: Photograph of bay leaf tincture. Middle: Bowl of dried bay leaves from Santa Cruz. Bottom: Assortment of Roxana's infusions and tinctures.