Scottish Hydrosols

January 26, 2014

soap on walk march 13 020

Scottish Adrnamurchan Heather, Bog Myrtle (Sweet Gale) and Scots Pine Hydrosols

The Alembic Still filled with Oakmoss - with a rainbow!

The Alembic Still filled with Oakmoss – with a rainbow!

I have been trying out all sorts of flowers and herbs like Scottish Heather, Sweet Gale (Bog myrtle) and Scots Pine for a range of flower water sprays to frighten the Scottish midge!

Wildcraft distilling in Camas Inas

Wildcraft distilling in Camas Inas

I am a wildcraft distiller and I thought I would show you some photos of Camas Inas and my still….

Scottish Hydrosols

The new growing tips of the pine in the Still

Camas Inas is in the Ardnamurchan peninsula in the North West Highlands and is achingly beautiful.

It is an area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in the lichen dressed Oakwoods, the sea Loch of Sunart, the shy wildlife of Otters, Pine Martins chasing the birds away from the bird table, massive Red Deer wandering in front of the cottage, Wild Cats occasionally parading past the burn and the Eagles circling high above the Loch from the hills behind as they survey the heather filled valleys and clumps of old Scots pines; all go to make it a very special place.

Cutting the Scottish lavender outside of the cottage

Cutting the Scottish lavender outside of the cottage

I collect just enough flora to make my hydrosols, sustainability is the key here. The pine hydrosols were much softer than I had expected, with a light citrus undernote, very fresh and not at all resinous – I guess because I used such fresh tips.

Collecting Heather above Loch Shiel

Collecting Heather above Loch Shiel

The heather smelt of honey, rich and sweet with a slight green/fresh end. It is a surprising the  scent, with more depth than I had imagined.

It was the Bog Myrtle that took my breathe away, light, fresh, citrus with an end of sherbet-dip,  such a welcome surprise. Bravehearts and Crofters  use to add a sprig of Bog Myrtle into their Tam o’Shanter hats to keep the dreaded midges at bay –  I have found the hydrosol does the same.

I had read about Oakmoss as being one of the original scents used in Chanel No 5 and as it grows abundantly by the cottage I thought I would try out a hydrosol.

Oakmoss in the Alembic Still

Oakmoss in the Alembic Still

The scent was so rich with a fungal rawness about it – like a wet oak leaves after a rainstorm. It transported me with its depth instantly understood why it is used to pull all of the light top notes together.

 

 

Winter in Camas Inas

Winter in Camas Inas

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