We started off the day with a lecture and discussion by Dr. Malte Hozzel of Oshadhi. He might just be the most inspiring, knowledgeable, and soulful person I’ve ever met. We also watched videos on the distillation of Bergamot in Calabria, Italy and Jack Chaitman’s Scents of Knowing – a one man hydro distillation outfit in Hawaii. He is a true artist when it comes to distilling the oils. And like any true artist he spends all of his time on his craft and none of it on the operations as is evidenced by the fact that each page on the Scents of Knowing website takes anywhere from 10 to 60 second to load. Hang in there for those who are impatient. Good things come to those who wait, as you will see.
Just a little excerpt from their website to give you some flavour:
We at Scents of Knowing are lovers of the wind, the water, the fire, and the earth.
In union with these elements, we practice the art of distillation: working together with the rhythms of nature, we distill aromatic plants to their essence.
At the same time we find ourselves refined by this process and feel inspiration assisting the plants to reveal their beauty and wisdom.
We are thankful to be joined in a symbiotic relationship with the plant world and welcome you on a journey to discover your own
Scents of Knowing.
Each of his blends has an associated poem and an 8 ml bottle will set you back $125 US. I long for the day when my nose is sensitive enough to distinguish from such masterful and soulful distillation work. My nose is however sensitive enough to distinguish how wonderful the Oshadhi oils are. After sniffing at least 10 different oils, they all smelled sweet and felt like going home, or like I knew them in a previous life even if I was only smelling them for the first time in this one. My new obsession – osmanthus. More rare than jasmine, this beautiful flower is harvested and distilled in China. One ml of 80% absolute will set you back over £30. The heart wants what the heart wants!
In the afternoon we visited the Musée et Jardins de Salagon which was a real treat to go around touching and sniffing all of the plants that we had been learning about. They have quite a good collection – at least 10 different varieties of lavender, sage, thyme, etc. Almost every variety had a citron (lemon) version. You put citron with any herb in my book and I’m a really happy camper. Ohhhh I can smell it now!