Strawberry Tincture

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.

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!

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Vanilla Bean Tincture

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

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.