Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Perfumer's Palette - Poplar Bud

I have a new fascination .

One thing leads to another , as we all know , and learning to recognize a new fragrance note is like getting a new badge in girl scouts ( I was never a girl scout , but still....) . I recieved a sample set of Gobin-Daude fragrances ( thanks to Kathryn ) and the first one I sniffed - Seve Exquise - bowled me right over . I mean eat my arm and cry....
During our e-mail exchanges , Kathryn mentioned it was her favorite too , that it reminded her of the Poplar Trees in her Grandparents yard . What else to do but go investigate the note listed in Seve Exquise - poplar bud .
Yesterday , I was e-mailing Wendy back and forth and we ended up talking about Le Galion fragrances . Which ones she has , which ones I have....you know how one thing leads to another...
After our "talk" I went and kneeled before my Le Galion parfums ( LOL ) , my favorite being Bourrasque . so I applied some to my wrists and inhaled deeply . Ahhhh , the thick , fruity-woody goodness stays close to skin so I sat very still in my reverie .
Life gets in the way of these kinds of strenuous persuits , so I went about the house doing my thing . Sometime later I sniffed my hands and there was the beautiful aroma of poplar buds . Wait a second . Wha-......t ?
I haven't put on Seve Exquise today...it was Bourrasque . Is there poplar bud in the drydown of Bourrasque ? I applied more at bedtime . This morning ? Poplar bud discretely charmingly resinous on my wrists . I'm so pleased !
And it is my new fascination to find fragrances containing poplar bud ( until we can convince Victoire Gobin-Daude to go back into production.....)

Populus balsamifera , Balsam poplar tree , yeilds and oleoresin from the flower buds in late winter/ spring which is steam distilled for the essential oil . Long used by Native Americans and early trappers for it's healing , anti-bacterial , anti-spasmotic properties and for bruises , sore muscles , and skin problems , balsam poplar also has a deeply nourishing and uniquely relaxing effect , is great for wounds and scars .
Known by many names , poplar buds are also known as balm of Gilead , or Mecca Balsam .
Only smelling the variety of poplar essential oils will tell the true story , but the genus-species name Populus balsamifera is supposedly the true balsam/balm of Gilead . Possesing a fresh , green yet resinous , sweet-woody aroma , the buds contain large amounts of sticky red sap when harvested fresh in the early spring .
Chemical constituents :
Salicylic acids and sequesterpenes : b-and y-curcumene , cadinene , a-muurolene , amorphene , trans alpha bergamotene
monoterpenes ( a-pinene , d-limonene )
sequesterpinols a-bisabolol , B-eudesmol , nerolidol
and oxides

" Matter is most spirtual in the perfume of the plant..."
-Rudolph Steiner

6 comments:

deeHowe said...

Salicylic acid? I love to rub that on my face!

It's interesting to learn that Balm of Gilead (I'm thinking Biblical reference) contains active ingredients that really are effective, at least cosmetically. I wonder what other ancient cures I use daily under another name...

Thanks for the article Carol!

waftbyCarol said...

more accurate for me to say salicylates , which are in aspirin...but both very effective on skin . I will double check this...

olenska said...

The phrase "eat my arm and cry" made my beverage come out through my nose. :D

waftbyCarol said...

hey O
You mean to tell me you've never done that ?
*wink*
sorry about your beverage...

Kathryn said...

Oh, thank you, Carol, for tracking all this down!!! I am thrilled to know about Le Galion Bourrasque. (And not surprised that it would be Wendy who led you to it, if it's the same Wendy I know)

I've been dreading the day I come to the end of my Seve Exquise. I'm so happy to know that there is another Balm of Gilead fragrance out there.

My grandfather swore by the healing power of Balm of Gilead buds. Every spring he would make a salve from Balm of Gilead buds simmered in leaf lard and then strained. Sounds awful, I know, but I think any other fat that would solidify at room temperature would do. It smelled wonderful. It must have been the salicylic acid, the active ingredient in aspirin, that soothed his aching muscles.

Dixie said...

I need some Balm of Gilead for my soul right now.