Tuesday, December 20, 2011

In Praise of Citrus

There are so many gorgeous citrus fruits available now and I have been remembering how when I was a child my mother taught us how to make pomanders that we would hang around the house for the holidays. Pomanders are traditional Christmas and New Years gifts and ornaments. They are often hung by red ribbons, and made by pushing cloves into fresh oranges which are then rolled in cinnamon powder. Over time the orange shrinks and it exudes a delicious scent. In Victorian times these ornaments were often hung in closets and kept in drawers to keep away months. Orris root can be used to preserve the ornaments, this comes from the root of the Iris. My pomander was rolled in cinnammon powder and I placed a drop  of sandalwood and ginger essential oils at the the top. At the top and bottom I also added handmade beads made of glass.

In my practice I love working with citrus oils. I feel that the scents of orange, bergamot, lemon, pink grapefruit and blood orange are like working with liquid sunshine. Mandarine and tangerine are other favorites that I use in pediatric treatments. Citrus oils have a short shelf life and should be stored in the refrigerator.
In natural perfumery they are considered top notes.
In Chinese herbal medicine the peels of citrus fruits fall into the category of herbs that Regulate Qi. For example tangerine peel, is called Chen Pi, or Pericardium Citri Reticulatae. It is acrid, bitter, warm and aromatic. It regulates qi, dries dampness and helps to prevent stagnation.

This week, I am off to the land of my people, Spain. I am in search of many beautiful and delicious scents, flavors and plants. Wishing everyone sparkly holidays. 

1 comment:

  1. HA. OMG, we are so in tune....Stephanie Sellars just visited my perfume studio in LA, with gifts from her organic orchard in Simi Valley. She brought me passionfruits, keffir lime leaves, blood oranges, and some lemon verbena, two kinds of is *pink* inside...........and we ate the pasionfruit, then I added it to a perfume I had made for a private client that was being delivered in an hour or needed something to round out the rose heart Stephanie noted, the heart was like lace curtains, until I added the passionfruit.....and some of the keffir lime leaves. So pretty, your images. Thanks again for the beauty expression. I am so wishing you well on your voyage, and looking forward to reading more about your trip. xoxox L