When I reflect back to a time when our family was closest, it was the 1990s and mushrooms were a very big part of our time together. When the autumn rains fell, dropping leaves to ground and wetting the forest floor, our family would drive up Vancouver Island and spend the day or overnight foraging for gifts of sea and land. We would wait for low tide to respectfully harvest all the seafood we could eat, noting that the table was set when the tide was out. We would all hike deep into the wet, mossy forest to collect wild mushrooms, my then young son running ahead to find Turkey Tail or Boletus or Oyster mushrooms growing on trees. We were lucky foragers because my mother’s partner was a Mycologist. We hung with mushroom people. We talked about medicinal mushrooms and how someone found a Lion’s Mane as big as their head a year before and what Paul (Stamets) was finding in his part of the woods. We would bury ourselves deep into David Arora’s, “Mushrooms Demystified” with the heat of a biblical experience, in hopes of baptizing a new species of the fungi family. Even then, I was rubbing plant material onto my wrists. Boletus (Boletus – Superior, edulis – edible) to be specific. I loved the wet, boreal forest floor scent the fresh plant would leave on my skin. Later in the day, it would round out to dark chocolate notes and of Vegemite. I thought it was beautiful.
We don’t forage mushrooms together anymore, although there is talk of such this fall. But our Cepes Mushroom Absolute transports me back to that mossy forest, to my little boy identifying wild mushrooms with joy, the closeness of our family. Cepes is a special absolute; it brings with it a history of Mother Earth, from her Prehistoric fungi stories to present day survival tales. It is one with fougere or smoky blends and creates body in amber accords. And like that swipe of Boletus on my wrists so long ago, it has the ability to connect one back to a perfect part of the earth: the scented forest.
Suggested uses: This is one absolute that does stunningly well in an alcohol base. Very little is needed in a masculine composition. Adds wet forest, seaweed, mossy notes to an ambergris, amber or musk blend.