Tuesday, 22 October 2013

aroma-therapy or lavender fields forever

Though I did not know until we arrived in Provence, the land and its craft really compliments the reputation that I am quietly garnering, only famous—as it were, to a few, as a crazy oil person.
There is no English equivalent for eine Kräuterhexe, which is a much more apt term. Driving through the countryside, we saw endless rows of lavender, shorn a bit as if it already had been harvested but everything smelled fresh and tranquil—if not a bit spinsterish but in a rustic and good way, and the source of one of my many potions. Unschooled and still learning about their application though I am, I do have the equipment, a starter set of essential oils (Ätherische Öle) with a little pouch of spells I carry with me, like the utility belt of the conjurer character Getafix from the Astérix le Gaulois saga (plus a diffusing gadget at home). Needless to say, with this air, I found very little need to sniff, supplement or to otherwise get a fix. Later, we visited the city of Grasse, another surprise, discovering that this metropolis of perfumes was instrumental in plying the trade, workshops perfecting the techniques to extract and distill the essence of aromas.
Despite still learning, I found myself already thinking how I could build a boiler and how hard it might be to produce my own oils and what other olfactory powers might be needed to complete my quiver. Lavender, incidentally, is promoted by homeopathic practitioners as a mood-stabiliser, as well as attending to a host of other problems from moths in the closet to allergies to sensitive skin but like any medicine is not magic and no panacea—meaning pan-prescription.