Enfleurage

An infamous extraction technique designed specifically to develop fragrant extracts out of materials known for being adverse to most other extraction procedures. It was developed out of a necessity to capture the deep and complex aromas of materials such as jasmine and tuberose, who’s delicate aromas were lost after undergoing the harsh processes of distillation. Usually some type of animal fat is used in the process, and acts as a waxy coating for the flowers or substances; covering them throughout the time they are macerated and left to sit. Fresh components are added along the way to further boost the strength and density of the aromatic mixture. Afterwards, the fatty components are then either washed with ethanol to produce an absolute, or left alone to be sold as enfleurage pomade.

Two different methods for undergoing enfleurage have traditionally been used, both procuring their own desired outcomes. The two methods, cold and hot enfleurage, differ slightly in the exact steps they take. As the name implies, no heat is involved in the cold method’s processes, whereas hot enfleurage involves the heating of fat: slowly, and in a controlled manner, whilst elements of organic matter are stirred into the mixture.

The leftover fatty solution is often used in soaps, since it is already considerably aromatic after the process of enfleurage is finished.