Thursday, January 31, 2008

Alchemy in the Casitas Pass


"You are an alchemist; make gold of that." - William Shakespeare

Alchemy is often associated with the art of botanical perfume due the transformation of physical matter through the process of distillation. Sandy Messori of Rivendell Aromatics and I have aligned our passion and skills to bring you a day of distillation, plant wisdom and scent making. We have chosen Feb 23rd for Incense Cedar and March 29th for White Sage. Both of these sacred aromatic plants are part of the California Chaparral Biome. In Alchemy transformation of raw matter into a divine form is achieved through extensive purification. The two plants scheduled for the opening of our series are held sacred by the Native People of America specifically utilized for purification. What a perfect symbol for the start of this new year.

Our day begins at 9am at Rivendell Aromatics with hands on preparation of the plant material to be distilled. (Feb 23rd: Incense Cedar, March 29th: White Sage) Once the Prima Materia has been prepared and put into the still we will study the plant from all perspectives including: historical, medicinal and perfumery.

Rivendell Aromatics resides among 3000 Hass Avocado Trees in the lovely Casitas Pass Valley, near Santa Barbara, California. A 50 gallon stainless steel distillation unit with a glass condenser is utilized to distill their own oils and hydrosols from organically grown plants. The farm is owned by the Messori family and operated by Roland and Sandy Messori. Sandy and Roland are graduates of Cal Poly University, California.

Sandy will be the main conductor of the day, as we harvest and prepare the "physical matter" to be transformed into the "quintessence". I will contribute my aromatherapeutic blending and botanical perfumery background to the experience as we learn and create from the plant matter harvested. Together Sandy and I will demonstrate different ways to use both the hydrosol and the essential oil produced from the distillation.

Each participant will take part in the alchemical transformation of the plant matter from solid mass to aromatic treasures as well as prepare at least one item to take home with them. This is a unique and special experience in our local community with a boutique distillation in a gorgeous, peaceful setting. A light, vegetarian lunch will be served. Our day will end at 4pm. Please wear suitable clothing and bring a notebook to write in.

The fee for the entire day, including materials is $140, half of which ($70) is due up front to reserve your seat. The balance is due before the day of the class. Due to the nature of the class, participation is limited, we encourage you to reserve your seat now. The deposit is non-refundable. We require the fill amount at time of registration if you choose to pay with a credit card. Please contact Sandy to reserve your seat and directions: Sandy Messori

Roxana Illuminated Perfume
Rivendell Aromatics

2 comments:

mvmontgomery said...

Sounds amazing. I am definitely interested.

Lito said...

Ignoro si aceptan comentarios en un idioma que no sea ingles. Pronto lo sabre.
Fantastico lo que proponen pero Buenos Aires queda muy lejos de Casitas Pass.
Luis R