SECRETS OF THE LILAC
by Jeanne Rose
The Lilac (Syringa
vulgaris), Order Oleaceae, is a loved flower, but does little to
further its reputation in the field of aromatherapy as its elusive
scent is difficult to capture in a bottle. It does not yield its
fragrance to distillation — and enfleurage is no longer much
employed as a means of extracting this delicious odor. It is said
that in the early part of this century, Lilacs were extracted by
enfleurage and only Lilacs that had been picked in the early morning
hours that were very warm were selected. These They were then rushed
to the still-room where they were treated by enfleurage to produce a
thick odorous perfume that was then diluted with refined alcohol.
(pure Potato Vodka, no doubt).
Neither the little produced Lilac flower perfume at $100,000 per
kilohas yet found a use in aromatherapy. It is just too expensive.
So if you go to a store and find Lilac perfume or Lilac-scented
soap, please note that it is a fake and synthesized version of this
most fabulous of odors. Do you have a garden? Only with a garden and
the knowledge of the ancient alchemists can you extract scent from
this purple beauty to make a sweet scent.
Just now the lilac is in bloom
All before my little room;
And in my flower beds I think,
Smile the carnation and the pink;
And from the borders, well I know,
The poppy and the pansy blow.
TO EXTRACT THE ODOR: You will need patience and lots of
flowers but the end result will be pleasing and therapeutic for your
soul and psyche. Fill a small jar with the flowers and then cover
the flowers with pure* 95% alcohol. [150? vodka will not work]. The
alcohol will extract both the color and the odor of the flowers.
When no more color is in the flowers, strain out the flowers and add
new flowers to the alcohol or you may just pour the alcohol onto a
new batch of flowers in another jar. You will have to repeat this
procedure over and over again using the same alcohol and new flowers
until the alcohol is a deep violet color and has the odor of the
flowers. This will take an entire season. At this time store the
alcohol in the refrigerator so it will retain the odor and the
TO USE THE LILAC PERFUME: Dilute your cologne with a bit of
water or oil and apply to your body. Another use is to put 1 oz in a
4 oz spray bottle, add 3 oz of spring water and let your husband use
this to heal his skin of nicks after shaving.
LILAC USES: Jeanne Rose's Herbal Body Book, page 94 describes
how to use the flowers . . . Lilacs steeped in warm spring water for
30 minutes, strained, bottled and refrigerated) is used on the face
as a tonic and healing spritz for some facial afflictions. * * * In
The Secrets of Flowers as revealed by A. Stoddard Kull, the Lilac is
a symbol of the first emotions of Love. To find a Lilac blossom with
five instead of four corolla lobes means good luck. Some say the
purple color denotes sadness and mourning.
LILAC MEDICINE. The leaves and the fruit is used and the
properties are as an anti-periodic, febrifuge and tonic. Hilda Leyel
in Compassionate Herbs says . . . “The Lilac tree appears in an
inventory made by Cromwell at Norwich and was probably introduced in
Henry VIII's reign. It has been grown as a flowering shrub for many
centuries. In medicine it has been used successfully in the
treatment of malaria and in American is given as a vermifuge.”
SOURCES*: For professionally-made Lilac absolute or perfume
alcohol you will have to make it yourself.
# # #
All rights reserved 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006. No part of this article may
Rose, Jeanne Herbs & Things
Kull, A. Stoddard, The Secrets of Flowers
Leyel, Hilda. Compassionate Herbs. Faber & Faber
Limited, London, 1946.
be used without prior permission from Jeanne Rose.
© Authors Copyright Jeanne Rose,