Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Guild Perfumer Dominique Dubrana Creates a Portable "Perfume Organ" with Diffuser to Teach in Schools

Natural Perfumers Guild Perfumer Dominique Dubrana creates yet another innovative and exciting piece of fragrant art - the latest in his educational tools - "The Wind Organ" - as part of his ongoing olfactory education efforts. Pictured above is the "keyboard" labeled with the ten aromatics the perfumer can diffuse through the air, and quoting from his site:

"The player of the organ receives the scent from a pipe situated over the keyboard while the public receives it blown trough the bigger pipe situated the front of the organ, with a powerful ventilation system that diffuses it to a distance of 10 meters. In this way the player smells exactly what the public does, and at the same time."

More information and a photo of the larger diffuser can be found on Dubrana's website. Click on the link on that page for more on his olfactory education projects.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Arlys Naturals Announces New Stock of Sweetgrass Hydrosol is on Sale

Natural Perfumers Guild Supplier Arlys Naturals Is Offering the Freshest Distillation of Sweetgrass Hydrosol - More Due in Next Month

Sweetgrass Hydrosol

(Hierochloe odorata)
Class: Organic
Origin: Canada
Process: Steam Distilled

Description: While there is no Sweetgrass Essential Oil, there is a lovely hydrosol being distilled. The scent of Sweetgrass is distinctive. It is reminiscent of a fresh spring rain on the prairie or new mown hay. The dried grass is used to scent pillows, clothing, and for weaving baskets.

The fragrance is due to the presence of coumarins, a compound which is also present in a number of other species including Sweet Woodruff (Galium odoratum), Sweet Clover (Melilotus officinalis), and Sweet Vernal grass (Anthoxanthum odoratum). The aroma becomes more pronounced when the grass is dried, and it can last for many years.

Coumarins have been used for a number of purposes including as a flavouring agent for candy, soft drinks, vodka, and tobacco. In the USA, coumarins are allowed for flavoring alcohol but not approved for food. There is concern because high levels of coumarin act as a blood thinner where too much in the body causes hemorrhaging (internal bleeding).

The burning of Sweetgrass braids for ceremonial purposes has long been part of the Native American culture in North America. This is often what comes to mind when the species is mentioned. The use of the plant however is not restricted to North America. Aromatic plants have been used by cultures all around the world since the beginning of time. Sweetgrass was once used in Europe as a strewing herb where it was laid at the entrance to churches especially on Saints’ Days. The practice of using the grass in European churches gave rise to the botanical name Hierochloe or Holy grass.

Sweetgrass hydrosol can be misted into the air as a liquid smudge where the burning of Sweetgrass braids is not allowed such as in hospitals or other public places where smoking is not permitted.

Sweetgrass is found growing across the prairies of North America, in boreal regions, and right up into the Arctic. It is circumpolar in distribution which means the species also grows in Greenland, Iceland, northern Europe and Asia. Approximately 13 species of Hierochloe are reported to exist, but there is some confusion as to which ones are actually a separate species, and which ones are merely a closely related race of the same species. There is even one species, Hierochloe redolens, found in Tasmania, and an alpine species, Hierochloe alpina, found in the mountains of North America.

Packaged in a green PET bottle with white fine mist sprayer.

Suggested Uses:

1) Can be misted into the air as a liquid smudge where the burning of Sweetgrass braids is not allowed such as in hospitals or other public places where smoking is not permitted.

2) Has been used as an ingredient for cooking eg. Sweetgrass syrup, cheesecakes, tea.

3) Could be used as an ingredient in cosmetic products.

4) Makes a unique fragrance alone or blended with essential oils to be used as an air freshener for vehicles, bathrooms, etc.

5) Add to essential oil infusers along with oils or in place of them.

6) Can be sprayed on the body or hair to layer with perfume.

Sweetgrass hydrosol is available in 1- and 4- ounce sizes.

Click here to visit the Sweetgrass Hydrosol webpage.