The Art And Science Of Tinctures

There are several ways to make perfume ingredients from raw ingredients, but my favorite by far is tincturing. The process of tincturing takes raw ingredients such as resins, flowers, woods and other materials and creates from them a potent ingredient that can be used in fragrance composition.

While, as a perfumer, I can often find many ingredients from retailers, I must admit that there is a certain je ne sais quoi about creating your own ingredients and using them in a composition. Sometimes I prefer to do this when an ingredient is otherwise difficult to source. Other times I do this because it adds something personal and unique to what I am creating. It makes any fragrance that I create using it much more personal. And it can often add a touch of mystery to a fragrance.

I recently went through six different Dragon's Blood accords, so-called "essential oils" and other oils looking for a true Dragon's Blood to use in compositions such as Anubis. This went on for some time before I realized that a true dragon's blood simply didn't seem to exist.

I decided to make my own.

I went about picking up some Dragon's Blood resin, ensuring that it was one of the true resins. The one I wound up choosing was Daemonorops Dracora. I chose this one because it doesn't seem to be endangered and was ethically sourced. It also happens to have a stronger fragrance than the endangered version. Win-win!

I decided to experiment as well. Using the same parameters for both tinctures, I created a tincture from the normal resin (above), as well as a second modified resin. Those that know Dragon's Blood know that it has a somewhat weak smell as a resin, but the scent comes out when it is burned. So, with the second tincture, I melted the resin over open flame.

Both tinctures dissolved nicely. Within a few months, each tincture was finished and I found that both had a great, true Dragon's Blood scent. The melted version, however, was much deeper and possessed a very incense note as well as the earthy resin scent. The finished product also had a spectacular, blood-red color.

Since this experiment, I have created several additional tinctures including California Bay, Matcha Tea, Peruvian Copal, and Frankincense. Fossilized Amber is next!

Check out these amazing fragrances featuring tinctures made by Redwood Alchemy!

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