The cape waterlily blooms at the height of summer, when it is jolly hot and one does not mind getting
wet wading out into the dams to pick the blooms.
Rural waterways come to life with the elegant blue blooms which emit a sublime aquatic floral essence
- only discernible before the heat of the day vapor rises it.
This highly elusive fragrance can only be captured through the ancient perfumery technique of
enfleurage - a labour of love.
Fresh blooms need to be harvested daily ( yes every day ) ...and placed upside down into a fatty
medium. This is then covered and sealed to create a kind of a womb - like environment in which
all the perfume vapors are captured and trapped in the fat.
Animal fat was used in ancient French perfumery ... but I prefer to use vegetable butter.
The blooms are then left for twenty four hours in the butter at room temperature , after which
they are discarded and a fresh round of blooms placed into the same butter.
Yes - that means going back into the dam and fetching more blooms - every day !
After roughly twenty repetitions of this process , the butter is then sufficiently impregnated with
floral essence to enable the blending of a perfume .
The butter is then washed in alcohol to transpose the floral essence into the solvent - from whence
a perfume is born.
The laborious process of daily harvesting and infusing , seemed somehow symbolic of the pregnancy
process - a journey of time and energy to create and birth a fragrance