Essential Oil Apothecary


Saucer Magnolia Hydrosol


Saucer Magnolia (Magnolia x soulangeana) hydrosol locally foraged and distilled at our apothecary.

Saucer Magnolia 2024 Distillation

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As I enter my second year for some of these distillations, I feel good about some of the techniques I’ve developed. Certain flowers need to be processed and distilled within twenty four hours like saucer magnolia and others need some drying time like the California sage I distilled last fall. I’m compounding many of these hydrosols: using last years hydrosol in this year’s distillation. I only distill for the hydrosol which is a very different process than distilling for essential oil and selling the hydrosol as a byproduct. I also allow the essential oil that comes through to remain naturally emulsified in the hydrosol so that the final product can have more uses than skin care. The distillation is made with natural perfumery use in mind.

Saucer magnolia has really benefited from my kooky experiments (or maybe I’ve really been the one to benefit.) Her She holds spicy, state fair cotton candy notes that are as difficult to capture as the wily lilac but in this second year, I got her number. I know the right time to harvest, when to distill and tincture for a perfume concentrate and I know that despite it being the most medicinal of all magnolia trees, no amount of delicious wild oak honey with her fragrant petals for syrup makes her any less a bitter pill to swallow.


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