Tincturing is something I’ve been experimenting with since the arrival of my vast amount of 190-proof, natural grape alcohol. My latest tincture experiment I thought I’d share with you is a strawberry tincture.
190-proof natural grape alcohol added to dried strawberries
Ta da! Filtered strawberry tincture
Tuberose strawberry truffle perfume
I took some freeze dried strawberries and placed them in a sterilised glass jar. I covered them with the 190-proof natural grape alcohol and gave it all a bit of a shake for a couple of weeks. The freeze dried strawberries transferred their colour and aroma over to the alcohol quite quickly, so I possibly could have removed them a bit sooner. I filtered off the strawberries and now have a beautiful strawberry smelling alcohol to use as a base for future perfumes. I’m finding the strawberry aroma adequate after just the one lot of strawberries. In fact, it’s a lot stronger than I had anticipated.
Late last night I opted to use my strawberry tincture to make a perfume rather than going to bed early! I’ve been contemplating what approach to take to make a Tuberose perfume for myself for a little while now and so thought I’d see how the strawberry base works. I’ve never been partial to Honore des Pres Vamp A NY bubblegum take on Tuberose preferring Aftelier’s tempering of the sweetness with Cepes Absolute in Cepes & Tuberose, but over time I am actually starting to appreciate the cloying sweet component of Tuberose.
So, late last night I had the idea of a fruity Tuberose, chocolate truffle type perfume. I included Cepes absolute but in a trace amount only, added Cocoa absolute to a base of Vanilla, Labdanum, Oakmoss, Sandalwood and Benzoin and then made a heart of Tuberose, Orange Blossom, Bulgarian Rose and Linden Blossom. I chose Linden Blossom as it has this amazing fruity rum ‘n’ raisin like vibe and I took a punt that this aspect would marry nicely to the strawberry base, Cocoa absolute, earthy Cepes and sweet Tuberose. For the top notes, I’m using citrus with a dash of Peppermint for subtle freshness. So far so good. The strawberry is actually the first thing I smell, with a definite rum ‘n’ raisin back note.
I also thought I’d give a little pictorial update on the Vanilla Bean Tincture. Here it is, looking dark and delicious!
Vanilla Bean Tincture
Vanilla Bean Tincture after 4 weeks
It was with much excitement (for me!) that my natural grape alcohol arrived today. A whole 20L of it! This alcohol is 190 proof and comes from the Barossa Valley in South Australia and will now replace the denatured ethanol 95PGP4 that I have been using in my perfumes to date.
I recently bought some lovely plump and gorgeous smelling organic vanilla planifolia beans from Papua New Guinea. Somewhere in my internet travels I came across the following information on tincturing vanilla beans by Steffan Arctander: coarsely chop 125 grams of beans and place in 1000 grams of 95% alcohol. I’ve adjusted the quantity to suit my needs. Here is a photo on day 1:
Vanilla Bean Tincture
So now I patiently wait …. for around 6 months, giving a daily shake. When I think it is ready, I will then filter it. I am hoping that the final result will smell lovely like the Vanilla Bourbon CO2 from Madagascar that I currently use.
Tincturing is something I’ve been keen to do for some time, however, I’ve been rather limited by the alcohol situation. I’ve been using denatured alcohol and as it costs $40 per litre (not including postage), I’ve not wanted to experiment with wild abandon.
That is all about to change! I now have a permit to purchase pure natural grape alcohol which is en-route from the distillery as I type!
Tonight I pulled out and filtered a couple of my denatured alcohol tincture experiments that have been doing their thing for many months. I’m pleased with the results and look forward to doing these with my natural grape alcohol in larger quantity.
The beautiful dark tincture is of a french earl grey tea. An insanely beautiful tea by Tasmanian tea company the art of tea. This tea is laden with bergamot, hibiscus flowers, sunflowers and rose petals. The tincture is almost a complete perfume by itself! On the skin the florals are the first to appear enveloped by a lovely light tea aroma before leaving behind a subtle smoke and balsamic aroma.
And on the right – in stark contrast to the dark tea tincture is a lovely clear basmati rice tincture. This doesn’t last very long on the skin but definitely lends a creamy, basmati rice note to the alcohol.
I’m looking forward to sharing my tincture adventures and some great new fragrances.