Absolutes in Natural Perfumery
Fragrance has a spontaneous and invisible power to penetrate our consciousness. It is at once tangible and intangible, earthy and sensuous, priceless and personal, real and magical.
Ancient people took pleasure in rubbing scented substances such as herbs, flowers and spices into their skin and perfume was used in rituals, in praying, as medicine, to make love and war, and in death.
Natural perfumery is based on aromatherapy practice, making use of aromatic plant substances. A natural perfume is made from pure essential oils and absolutes that can work deeply on a psychological and spiritual level.
Absolutes have a special place in my heart they are the wild cards of aromatherapy…..potential skin sensitizers in a therapeutic formula but medicine for the soul where it plays a part accessing our higher realms of consciousness to beauty, darkness, light and nature.
So what is an absolute? It is a highly concentrated aromatic extract obtained by the process of solvent extraction (also known as enfleurage) of aromatic plant material.
Natural essences evolve over time and come to life more fully after being applied to the skin as they begin to interact with the body’s own scent. From deep therapeutic action to the subtlety of genuine perfume. An aromatherapy perfume is blended with vegetable oil, beeswax or is blended into a base of natural grain alcohol.
One does not have to be an aromatherapist or botanical perfumer to create a natural perfume. With a little creativity, awareness and sensitivity you also can rediscover a lost art and see for yourself its pleasures and possibilities.
Four of my favourite absolutes:
Jasmine sambac: another variety of Jasmine that is to me like a fine sweet champagne
Lavender: richer then the essential oil the absolute has a green herbaceous wine-like scent
Labdanum: an ancient incense and embalming agent it’s scent is extremely complex deep and warm
Orange Blossom: sweet, sexy and tenacious the flowers yield Neroli the essential oil