There are several ways to capture the oil of a flower for your own essences. One way is to evaporate it from flower petals in a tightly closed glass container. This is done on a windowsill or in the sun for several days.
A pint of flower petals (you usually want very aromatic ones) will give about a tablespoon of oil. Pick your flowers early in the morning, before the sun comes up. Remove the stems and pack them tightly into your small sterilized jar. Close the lid and place in the sun.
The sun then evaporates the water and oils from the flowers. As the flowers are shriveling, the oil is falling to the bottom of your jar. Keep an eye on your jar for exact timing on when to pull from the sun. If it sits too long the now dried out flowers will start to re-absorb the oil. You want to try and get it as soon as you see the moisture has stopped dripping.
Place a funnel into the final amber or blue sterilized glass jar that will hold your essence. Take the top layers of flowers off with a pair of tweezers or chopsticks. Press or squeeze the lower flowers on or over the funnel to help get the lower level of oil out of them. If there is any oil in the bottom of your jar, pour it into the funnel. (You may need to let it stand and drop for a while).
1 pint (about 18 ounces) flower petals.
Small sterilized jar.
Funnel and final sterilized amber or blue glass jar.
Another method for capturing flower essence is to use the oil you just made, or a commercially prepared vegetable or aromatic oil, to then capture the aroma of other highly scented herbs.
You can also combine herbal powders and then dissolve them into a strong alcohol medium (such as vodka). Some people add commercially prepared herbal oils to their medium as well. The entire mixture is then filtered through a parchment filter. These essences are sometimes referred to as “spirits”.
Some of the more highly scented herbs for oils are: Camelia, Cardamom, Chamomile, Geranium, Jasmine, Lavender, Lemon, Peppermint, Rosemary, Sweet cicely and Vanilla, not to mention Rose.
Rose oil is quite rare and expensive. But, if you grow your own roses, you now know how to make your own rose oil!
What are some of your favorite flowers to turn into essences or oils? Share them here and see what other people’s favorites are too!