Mock orange / Philadephus coronarius - oil infusion
|My mother gave me that colander and I use it for all sorts of|
things. It's perfect to separate the stamens from the petals.
It is time consuming to collect enough quantity, but I was in the company of eager bees and it was nice and sunny. The bushes were absolutely covered in flowers so they still looked pretty after I had raided them. I then tried to isolate the petals from the stamens (the things in the middle of the flowers) and was successful using the old Swedish colander that my mum gave me and shaking it. Then I put the petals in a jar and poured oil over. This I let sit for only 24 hours during which I try to poke the petals into the oil. They tend to float up. I find that longer time does not work well with Philadelphus petals, they wilt quickly and start to look bad. When that happens there is no fragrance left in them. So I strain them out and let the oil sit for a bit. There are always some impurities and bits that gather at the bottom. These are water based and and heavier than the oil so they sink to the bottom. When the oil looks completely clear I pour it into another container. A turkey baster also works well.
I managed to make two infusions, one with Apricot kernel oil and one with almond oil. I infused the first 3 times and the second 2 times. The fragrance that was left in the oil smelled surprisingly of pinapple to me. It's not the same as the fresh scent of the flowers, especially when I sniff the oil directly. But when I put it on my skin it smells heavenly. I intend to make this into a body lotion. I know that this would never survive a lye bath.
I looked for medicinal uses for Mock orange and found some described for P. lewisii which is the American variety. I haven't found anything about it's European cousin, P. coronaria, and don't know if they are similar in this respect or not. But the American mock orange is described as used by native Americans as anti-hemorrhoidal and anti-rheumatic, used as a poultice or in oil. Apparently the leaves are very high in saponins and can therefore be used instead of soap. I found that a bit amusing.