What is tincturing?

by Amanda Jones Aromatics

by Amanda Jones Aromatics

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.


3 thoughts on “What is tincturing?

  1. Hello Amanda I have just come across your blog. I am searching for ways to make frangipani oil. I will try making tincture with vodka. I have many frangipani trees growing in my garden that I blog about and would like to capture the scent in a bottle. Please stop by for a visit. http://benthamshouse.blogspot.com

  2. Hi Islandgal, thanks so much for stopping by and best of luck with making the frangipani oil.
    Have you heard of enfleurage? It’s another technique besides tincturing that can be used to make a nice frangipani oil and is well-suited for delicate flowers like frangipani, although it can be a bit time-consuming. You can google info about it, and I will also try to write a post on it here soon. For the tincture you can also try using Wray & Nephew Overproof Rum. It’s a Jamaican rum that sells in the main supermarkets (Supercentre, etc.) and it’s 63% alcohol, so stronger alcohol content than vodka I think, and might make a nice tincture, althouh the smell of the rum might be too strong for the delicate nature of the flowers.

    • Thank you I have been reading up on the various methods of oil extraction and was wondering where in Barbados I can get 100+ proof alcohol unless I get some mountain dew from the islands.. I will look for the rum you recommend. I have been reading up on enfleurage and was wondering if shortening we use for baking can be used. Another thing I want to try is soap making. I am surrounded by coconut trees and have tried making coconut oil with some success. Where are you located? I would love to meet up with you sometime.

      Take care

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *