helichrysum yellow flowers growing

After last month’s magic of three, working with lavender, lemon, and rose geranium, all super strong, well known ingredients battling it out to get prominence, we are going down a lesser known path.

I wanted to try out some Helichrysum in this month’s mix. You may have heard of Helichrysum in the context of aromatherapy as it has strong anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties, but of course I’m most interested in the smell.

The plant, which takes its name from the Greek helisso meaning sun and chryssos meaning gold, produces an oil from the flowering top of the plant. Although it is a resilient plant which grows in abundance and which we may know a version of in our gardens as the curry plant, it is very expensive mainly as it takes a ton of plant matter (literally!) to produce, via steam distillation, a litre of essential oil.

It is deceptively strong with an initial green spicy note which remains prominent in mixing.

I have tried to give the blend a flowery and sophisticated base, using both ylang ylang and vetiver, and have added a bit of fruitiness with some juniper berry essential oil and a tiny bit of sweetness with fennel.

The result is quite complex and reminds me of early evening drinks in the garden (of course the juniper is a delight if you like gin and tonic). If I had to give this blend a name I would call it Sundown, as it encapsulates that relaxing end of the day, looking forward to what's in store for supper feeling...but I'd love to know what you think.

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