Bambi Meets Bamboo

Forest Musk Deer by siwild

Forest Musk Deer, a photo by siwild on Flickr.

Green at first, a shy musk deer is hiding among tall grasses, digging its nose deep in the ground, as if in search for truffles. Earthy-green notes are the first to show through the blades of cut-grass muskiness: Egyptian geranium, with it’s baby-powder muskiness and looming above all is rooty-green angelica with its sharpness tempering its otherwise candy-sweet. Ambrette seed accentuates the wine-like qualities of geranium and brings out the musky qualities even more. Frankincense adds more depth and bright mystery, deepening its desert-like dusty and musty-urine aspects. The entire ensemble sings in an alchemical unison that hardly reveals its components to the untrained nose, and creates a rather striking illusion of castrated Tonquin musk – it’s disturbing sharp greenness and dusty fecal notes included, but not the cruelty involved in procuring it.

It’s hard to speak of this Musc Botanique as having top, heart or base notes. It behaves more like a single musk note or “accord” and each of the individual notes I’ll list below are just part of the whole, but not enough to describe it.

Notes: Angelica Roots, Egyptian geranium, Frankincense, Ambrette Seeds

Absolute Angelica

Angelica Kult, originally uploaded by Jari Kaariainen.

As a preparation for the first class in the Botanical Alchemy (about the origins of aromatics), I have set to prepare some aqua mirabilis for demonstrating a liquor that can be worn as a perfume (or vice verse). The only recipe I found was for Carmelite Water. However, the recipes were vague (using measurements such as pinches or no measurements at all!), plus I had a shortage in lemon balm leaves. So I decided to modify the recipe to my liking (and limitations).

It went like this:

Carmelite Water
1 cup lemon blam (dried or fresh)
½ cup dried angelica root
zest of 1 lemon
2 tsp. coriander
1 tsp white pepper
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp nutmeg (ground)
1 cinnamon stick
5 cloves
750 ml vodka
500 ml orange flower water

- Crush the spices in mortar and pestle
- Add all the ingredients (except the orange flower water)to the vodka and let it mature for 2-3 weeks
- Filter through coffee filter or a fine cheescloth
- Add the orange flower water
- Let mature for another week
- Serve or wear!

Absolute Angelica, originally uploaded by Ayala Moriel.

I will let you know later how it turned out after maturation and filtration.

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