Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Definitions: Tincture


As part of the Perfume Illuminated series I am starting a section on descriptions so that when we delve into our formularies we have a point of reference.

Tincture:
tinc ture /ting(k)-cher/
An alcohol extraction of a material utilized in herbal medicine, cosmetic preparations and natural perfumery. The etymology of the word comes from the latin tinctura meaning "to dye", in reference to color and tint.

In natural botanical perfume we use tinctures primarily to extract the aroma of a substance. This methodology is also used to draw out the color and or magical properties of the prima materia.

Perfume formulas of older fragrances depended heavily on tinctures, referring to them as macerations. The most common botanical tinctures were those of Benzoin and Orris. In today's modern botanical and natural perfumes a variety of substances are tinctured, including animal excretions, hair, etc. In botanical perfume the substance is limited to that of plant origin.

2 comments:

AromaX said...

Tinctures... you can have so much fun by making them and playing with them... But you need a lot of patience as well...

One of the favorite tincture of 2009 was rosemary. While rosemary oil has a fresh camphor-like top note of cineol, the tincture reveals a herbal treasure of the heart notes. Really loved it as a part of Hungarian Water and different Eau de Colognes.

What are your favorite tinctures, Roxana? What was your surprising tinctured discovery of 2009?

Roxana said...

Aromax, yes tinctures require lots of patience...especially some materials. I have an Agarwood tincture that has been "alchemizing" for many months while my Frankincense are ready quickly.
Off the cuff, I'd say the Frankincense tears are my favorites.