Friday, April 16, 2010

Perfume Illuminated: Dandelions

Roses are red,
Violets are blue;
But they don't get around

Like the dandelions do.

~Slim Acres

The above than normal rainfall this year has produced splendid hues of green throughout the Santa Monica Mountains. The native Quercus agrifolia remain green all year while the other species of oaks commonly found here, Quercus lobata, lose their leaves and regain them in Springtime. For the most part the only other constant green throughout the year are the Rhamnus shrubs, also termed Coffeeberry and the holly like shrub Toyon. The very green non natives begin to appear in January and about now are in full abundance. Among these European immigrants are the dandelions, the topic of today's illuminated post.

Arriving to America in the 1400's the plant was named after a lions teeth due to the look of the sharp serrated leaves. Through the herbalist David Crow I became aware that these plants we term weeds are excellent for cleansing the liver and contain an abundance of nutrients. The entire plant is edible and has been consumed as both a food and medicinal herb throughout history. Dandelions are mentioned as far back as the 10th and 11th century in the texts of Arabic physicians. Read more on the medicinal history of this plant here.


As far as I am aware there is no dandelions essential oil, absolute or C02 extract for sale. I imagine if there was the essence would be similar to the aroma of the very green Galbanum or Violet leaf. The sharp bitter green taste would probably translate as a sharp, bitter aroma with perhaps a hint of spice. So, how would we go about recreating the scent of dandelion for perfume? First begin by going to the market, or garden, and fully experiencing the plant. The color, the texture, the aroma and the taste. Here is my suggestion for creating a dandelion accord
that you could build upon based on your own observations and adding some tincture or infusion of dandelion.

Dandelion Accord for Botanical Perfume
Jasmin Sambac
Galbanum essential oil, C02 or absolute
Violet leaf absolute
Pink Peppercorn

FLAVOR: Beth Schreibman Gehring
Please continue reading about Dandelions at the Windesphere Witch blog

IMAGES: Opening image is a Dandelion print by Etsy seller Sarah Miller from her shop Crackedpale. The second beautiful dandelion print is titled I Dream by Etsy seller Maleah of Urban Design and the third print of the toy car amidst the dandelions is called Vroom by Mindy Strauss. Thank you to all these talented artists who generously allowed me to use there work!! The botanical print of the Dandelions, the Nose and Mouth are old engravings that I have cleaned up and modified.


Anonymous said...

I love this, I was just out photographing more dandelions this afternoon! Thanks so much for including my print!

Illuminated Perfume said...

Maleah, I am so grateful for the use of you image. Pretty pictures are truly worth one thousand words. Thank you so very much.