Hey friends, we're back! We drove all the way to Utah to prune cliffrose from a client's land who had considerable damage from last year's flooding. Cliffrose aka Purshia stansburyana has one of the most amazing perfumes of all the high desert plants. Its leaves smell like a spicy, desert musk with notes of jasmine, cinnamon and hot dry soil - its flowers a heavy, sweet honey and orange blossom. In the spring, this heady fragrance fills the desert carried on the wind. 🌸🌸🌬🌬
So we knew we were heading into a bit of weather when started. But a little weather soon turned into rain, snow, sleet and freezing winds. While we don't mind a little cold (it's actually helpful if you are doing an enfleurage out in the desert as it keeps the fats solid), we were concerned about flash floods in the canyon where we'd set up camp. Especially after pruning off dramatic flood damage from the cliffroses all day. Long story short, we were able to get three charges of the flowers in our chassises, but decided to play it safe and go to a motel (where we set up our campstove in the parking lot, lugged full chassises and piles of prunings into our room and watched the storm come through.) ⛈🌸🌿
Like many woody perennials, cliffrose flourishes with pruning or wildlife grazing. Cliffrose is also one of the few flowers that is best enfleuraged with its leaves as well as blossoms, as its the combination of these two that is so intoxicating. 🌸🌸🌸
For those of you not familiar with the process of enfleurage...it's an old French method of making perfume that captures the exact scent of a flower, as you don't use any heat that can kill of the delicate aromatics. It requires massive amounts of flowers and time as each chassis is laid and sealed off, allowing the scent of the wilting flowers to be captured by the fat. We open the chassis and remove the spent flowers every few days, replacing them with new ones - and doing 10-30 times. And that’s just the beginning. We’ll fill you in on how we specially treat cliffrose in our next post - this is getting a bit long. Xo, Cebastien + Robin ...