Tincturing is when you take flowers, fruits, herbs, leaves or any other plant materials (fresh, not dried) and soak them in undenatured alcohol for a long period of time so that you can extract and capture their scent. The alcohol solution is usually stored in a clean, sterilized wide-mouth jar in a cool, dark place and at regular intervals – for example, once every two days – you replace the plant material with fresh ones. After a while the alcohol solution should be left nicely scented with the chosen plant material.
So far I have tinctured bay leaf, lemongrass, lime leaves, raw cocoa, broad-leaf thyme, tea leaves and soursop with varying degrees of success. It can sometimes take weeks or longer before the alcohol becomes scented and some plant materials are more willing to release their scent than others. I haven’t used any tinctured alcohols in my perfumes yet.
Tincturing is often used by natural and artisan perfumers, and there is almost no limit to what you can tincture. It allows you to feel more appreciative and sensually connected to the natural plant world around us.