Saturday, January 28, 2012
After ranting in my last post, here’s my rave of the week. A while back I wrote about several different species of Artemisia, a genus that I’ve been exploring recently as a source of essential oils for natural perfumes. I just got a new one to add to the list, Artemisia ludoviciana, also known as peach Artemisia, silver wormwood, owyhee, prairie sage, or white sagebrush, and I’m loving it. It’s native to the western US, growing in all the usual places where sagebrush grows. The USDA map shows it growing throughout most of the USA and Canada. As its name implies, the leaves are sliver-white, on a small to medium sized perennial shrub.
My first impression of the essential oil, sniffing it from the bottle, is that it’s bitter, herbal, camphorous, and medicinal, with foody-chamomile like nuances, the overall character being almost industrial-smelling. On paper, it maintains this medicinal-industrial character for a few hours, but once the most bitter and camphorous of the green notes burn off, there’s a distinct, oily-fruity canned peach scent along with the woody notes. By the next day, the peach note is all that remains - a sweet, light impression of fresh peaches along with a sprinkling of sage.
Applied to my skin, the progression is the same, just faster. The oily peach note appears within a half hour, producing a lovely camphorous-herbal woody, sweet-fruity scent. I can see using this oil in all-natural compositions where I’m looking for a true-to-life fruit note in the heart. The oil will also provide strong aromatic, herbal notes in the top. I’m looking forward to some experiments using Artemisia ludoviciana in a perfume.
[Peach Artemisia photo from Wikimedia]