Sunday, July 13, 2008

Greetings from Naxos

I spent the last month (June) distilling on the island of Syros in the Cyclades. I distilled rosemary, helichrysum, geranium and Bay Laurel. The Rose Geranium reacted with the copper of my Alembic distiller. The oil was initially clear but shortly turned into a "day-glow" green. This was easily remedied by adding citric acid to the oil, which precipitated the copper creating copper citrate. After decanting, the oil was the expected green color. I was pleased with the yield of oil from the Bay Laurel. The oil was on the low end of the expected yield (probably due to the wrong harvest time for the leaves), but it is extremely nice aromatically. The hydrosols are quite pleasant. I have sent the oils and waters off for analysis. Pictures will be added once I return to the USA in September. I'm currently on the island of Naxos Naxos is the largest island in the Cyclades. Unlike the other islands, there is plenty of water here. there are many lush (relatively speaking) green valleys here. Among the plants I've found here for potential distillation are: Vitex, rosemary, cypress, Jerusalem sage and lots of helichrysum. From here I'm headed to Chios to view the Mastic harvest and hopefully distillation of the essential oil. Then off to Crete for the Rock Rose (Cistus) resin harvest. I'll post photos as soon as possible. Kalo kalokairi!!