The May 2019 vintage is a first flush harvest, and as such, smells of green or champagne mango, the chartreuse brightness and chlorophyll from freshly juiced wheatgrass, sweet peas, and the froth of a milkshake with fresh bananas.
Each vintage of Gandhraj is a gardenia soliflore (single note perfume). Gandhraj is available in a sample size of 1ml (25 drops), which comes in a glass sample vial with applicator. Or choose from larger 3ml, 5ml or 10ml clear glass vials with atomizers. The 10ml frosted glass roller ball bottle is convenient for travel. Please make your selection from the menu.
This is a labor intensive product using the whole flowers, through more than 90 charges of the enfleurage pommade, followed by multiple washings with organic ethanol to produce an extrait of enfleurage. Enfleurage is an archaic, non industrial method of extracting fragrance from plants. I make many of my own extracts and this one is truly my own from bud to bottle. I am excited to share it with you. Limited quantity.
Photos: gardenia in the Wild Veil perfume gardens, fresh flowers collected for enfleurage, the enfleurage process, extrait in amber glass bottle, extrait in 5ml and 10ml black violet glass roller ball bottles.
To learn more about the enfleurage process generally and at Wild Veil, please continue reading below.
Wild Veil's Gardenia Enfleurage:
Each day fresh blossoms are culled and laid on the pommade (plant based fats and waxes), and spent blossoms are removed. This ancient technique is the only method of scent extraction that captures the entire arc of a flower's headspace, from opening to last breath. Other technologies: tincture, steam distillation, and supercritical co2 extraction freeze and capture but a moment in a flower's aromatic evolution. Only enfleurage records the full expression of fragrance, with all the nuances from immaturity to maturity. Sometimes the old ways are best.
Wild Veil is dedicated to enfleurage, and my gardenia enfleurage is a deep and powerful way to commune with the flower, with 14 varieties from my gardens contributing their distinct aromas. The result is an organic gardenia solid perfume-- a rarity. Its scent is indulgent, deep, creamy, and languorous, the olfactory equivalent of a southern drawl. Something more than the sum of jasmine, star jasmine, tuberose, and lily. Enfleurage brings out the nuanced wintergreen and pine back notes of this thick white custard of a flower.
Gardenia jasminoides: all the same species but each cultivar smells distinct, and each one goes through an incredible scent arc from bud to bloom. To name a few:
Aimee Yoshioka’s enormous flowers announce their fragrant presence before you see them. Its quilted white petals are the scent of heaven on earth. The Double Mint is a little lemony and fresh butter, like lemon curd, upon opening, then takes on a fruity peach-jasmine scent that lasts until a pungent musk emerges in its final days. August Beauty is a ripe mango that strangely gets fresher before acquiring a green mushroom odor at last. Daisy opens buttery with some of the richness of champa, expiring in mushroomy indole death. Crown Jewel is a pineapple burst, a hint of apricot patchouli typical of osmanthus. And Tea has a loamy crimini profile undercutting its grand sweet nectar.
In my enfleurage I select fresh blossoms in all the stages of bloom so the pommade will memorialize this flower’s complexity. Each day (sometimes twice a day) I check each flower resting on the fat to make sure it is still moving aromatically. A flower will last on the fat for anywhere from 1 to 5 days. There’s a lot of indolic musk in this product, so be forewarned!
Literally, "in flower," enfleurage is a traditional, labor intensive, and pure method of extracting fragrance, utilizing only fat and plant material. Enfleurage is also the method of perfume extraction that most closely replicates the odor profile of the original flower: each flower's complex fragrant arc from bud to bloom is imprinted in fat, where it is stored. The scent is true to the blossom, but subtle, requiring you to bend in close for a sniff.
When I smell gardenia, I feel medicated, hypnotized, lulled. The world slows down and I am "into" the flower as with no other. I have used enfleurage to capture gardenia's enveloping, exotic aroma. Enfleurage produces a "pommade," which is a highly scented solid perfume and not to be confused with pomade for hair! This pommade consists of hundreds of individual organic gardenia blossoms that I gathered from my perfume gardens, laid on a bed of organic avocado butter. They are left to breathe on the fat through their fragrant lifespan, then removed, washed, and dried. I repeat this process to reach a high degree of fragrance saturation. Each reposition is a "charge," and this enfleurage was charged the traditional 36 times. The aroma is thick, tropical, and southern. It is very much the opposite of the shrill, overpowering version of a synthetic floral you find at the fragrance counter. Only you and those closest to you will be able to smell it. Apply to pulse points.
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Wild Veil natural perfumes are composed by me, Abby, using homemade, wildcrafted and organic aromatics in Vermont. These include my handmade enfleurage, tinctures, enfleurage extraits, absolutes, resinoids and concretes, and floral waxes. I spend as much time growing plants and foraging as I do composing perfumes.
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The best way to experience a natural perfume is to apply it to well-moisturized skin, without rubbing in (absorption only shortens the wear time of fragrance) and without scrubbing off. Natural perfumes are dynamic and take a minimum of 2 hours to reach their final stage, or dry down. Enjoy the alchemical changes as they unfold from the initial intensity of top notes, to the warmth of the heart, to the depth of lower base notes.
☽•☾ Wild Veil ☽•☾ alchemy between earth and ether ☽•☾
☽•☾ All aesthetic material copyright Abby Hinsman 2019 ☽•☾