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March 21, 2019 6 min read

With four samples of Jasmine sitting next to me and one more on the way from India, I am fairly excited about writing this behind the scenes letter to you. There has been a lot going on this Spring that I am finally ready to share! Here I present to you essential oil samples for March 2019.

As some of you know from the sales letter at the beginning of the month, I have narrowed down what aromatics I will be importing this year. Based on that short list, I have already started collecting samples and am really happy so far with many of them!

Vetiver...

I started with searching for a high-quality Vetiver at the end of February. I was even lucky enough to find an artisan distiller for it! The artisan distiller uses a copper still to obtain small batches of his Vetiver. I was surprised to find out that his Vetiver was actually the same one that Phytochemia wrote about in one of their recent blogs about “a unique vetiver.” The chemistry is definitely different, as was the color!

The color was a very astounding green – very much like Ruh Khus but he said it was not Ruh Khus. If you follow me on Facebook or Instagram, you may have seen the photos. But the aroma… It is very different than what I was expecting and I adore vetiver (even though I can only do tiny amounts at a time). It has a very grassy and herbal aroma that weighs heavily from the initial dry down all the way to the end. The sweet heady and rich aroma I was expecting was not at all what I found. It is one that at some point I hope to have available, however, it is one that I simply could not persuade my nose to love the same way I do my Haitian vetiver.

With that being said, I have a gorgeous Vetiver from Haiti that will be arriving soon. It is hydro distilled using only the roots. And the color – it is simply perfect! It has a nice brown tint and is fairly thick. I am not sure even the largest reducer will allow for it to drop out correctly so I will have to remember to make note of that on the website. And if I forget – you can remind me! The aroma is sweet, soft, rich and sumptuously grounding. I can’t wait to get it analyzed!!!

Jasmine...

Now I know I mentioned I had four Jasmine samples in front me and am waiting on another from India. This is one I have been dying to get for a long time but wasn’t ready to. By the end of this month I will be ready to share in next month’s behind the scenes letter which one I select. For now, I will tell you about the ones I have in front of me.

First let me share a secret about me. I am not a huge Jasmine fan. It can be utterly overwhelming for me. This year though, I found that I actually do enjoy it in tiny amounts! However, my nose has become quite discerning and I can tell you without a doubt, that I prefer Jasminum grandiflorum over Jasminum sambac. Sambac is sickly sweet to me. Although it is beautiful in blends, on its own I found even sampling the Sambac left me not wanting to reach for it again. Diluted though….it can be stunning. So, if you are not a fan of Jasmine, try diluting it and you may rethink your likes/dislikes for it.

One of my samples as you can guess was a Sambac from India. It is verysweet and bright with green floral notes that go on forever when undiluted. It is one that I enjoyed but ultimately did not do it for me.

The next sample I have in front of me is a Jasminum grandiflorum. I am going to get straight to point on this one. I did NOT like it. At. All. This one is from Egypt and while I love Egyptian aromatics, this one fell very, very short of my expectations. It has a harsh note that screams from the rafters, completely over powering the soft floral aroma that I slightly picked out. It is not robust by any means and after the final dry down the best description I can share is that it lacks the balance and depth that I have found on previous occasions with the Egyptian grandiflorum.

The next one is from India (prepare to swoon!). This sample is very floral and sweet, but holds a beautiful musky lower note that gives it a perfect balance. It is delightful – especially diluted! This one I keep coming back to and have taken to keeping it at my computer.

I actually have two different samples from India in front of me (with a third from India on the way) and can tell the difference between them both. The latter tends to be more sweet with not enough of the musky undertone to help balance the sweet, floral side of it. I suspect that is because it is from a completely different area. However, they are both beautiful. But because I can tell the difference between the two however slight the difference is, the second is just that. Second. Until I get the final sample in and can compare all three.

Other samples and distiller information…

This month I spent some time distilling. I fell in love with a new citrus – Sweet Lemons or Citrus limetta. It is not one I will be selling as I want to work with it more and also get the chemistry for it before selling it, but it is one that I do adore! I also was able to procure some blood oranges this season. Unfortunately, the fruit was not as robust as it has been in past years and the hydrosol does not sing like it should. Having said that, I reached out to an artisan distiller I know that does produce it and have some being sent to me. As soon as I have the microbial testing on it, I will release it for you to have. Her hydrosols always tend to be exquisite!

A few other samples I have been working with include a US Clary Sage (Salvia sclarea), an organic Blue Tansy (Tanacetum annum), and even a new German Chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla) from Bulgaria. I want to share a few notes on these because I think it is incredibly important for you to understand my reasons for getting sooo many samples.

I currently offer a beautiful Clary Sage from France, however it is time to replace it so I am sampling everything I can to make sure I get the best one can find. The US Clary is earthy, almost too earthy and has only hints of florals. Because I love the one from France so much, I am taking a hard pass at this one. Don’t get me wrong, the sclareol content is great and it works magic for anyone that struggles with painful cramping. BUT the smell. I am pretty certain I will be sticking with my French distiller for this one!

Blue Tansy is NOT on my list, however, if there is a chance that the distiller that makes this one also has a stellar Neroli, I *might* try to swing it. This sample is really THAT good. I made an inhaler last weekend with it and it blew me away. If I do decide to get it, I will give you the details on the aroma and yes, it is that good!

German Chamomile…I have offered the one from the Nepals for a long time because initially, it met two needs and was affordable. However, the sample I got from Bulgaria was so much better and the blue was really blue! The color difference between the Nepalese and Bulgarian chamomiles is sooo different! The aroma is quite different as well. I do enjoy both of them but I have more demand for the Bulgarian. If you are a fan of the Nepalese German Chamomile, you will want to get it before the summer as I am hoping to have run out of it by then and will have already replaced it with the one from Bulgaria.

Other news…

I hope you are as excited as I am this month about the new oils I am going to import this year. The samples have all been amazing so far. But, sampling new oils has not been the only project I have been working on (surprise!). I have been quite busy creating a blend that will be a new permanent blend.

I also wanted to share that I have disabled the “pick up at Be Kind Botanicals” shipping option on the website this month. I was having too many individuals accidentally utilizing that feature unfortunately and I just cannot absorb the shipping costs. I truly wish I could, so for now it is disabled. IF you are local to me and do want to pick up here at Be Kind Botanicals or at a local market, please email me so I can facilitate your order pick up. Thank you for understanding as I have struggled with this for six months and want to be able to continue offering this service but need to do it using another avenue.

Thank you again for supporting me and reading through my emails. If you have any questions or just want to chat, please feel free to respond to this email and I will answer you as soon as I can! AND Thank you for being part of Be Kind Botanicals!