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.
I have two Philadelphus bushes in my garden.  They are on either side so when I walk into the garden when they are in bloom, the air is filled with this magical fragrance that is so different from any other.  To me it is like the scent of oxygen, if it had any.  Just so refreshing and light and a hint of vanilla.  I have often thought about trying to capture the fragrance somehow and the scent is so unusual.  So this year I decided to collect the flowers and pour oil over them to see what happened.  I have done this with roses and viola, but one of the dogs got into that jar and licked it up!

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.


  1. Hejsan! Oboy är chokladpulver(med massa socker i) som man blandar i mjölk så det blir chokladmjölk. Vet du då vilket jag menar?

  2. Nice; such a lovely idea :D
    Its sounds lovely

  3. Sounds beautiful, I wonder if the same could be done with jasmine flowers.

  4. Tulipan's - Ja, nu vet jeg vad det er. Jeg ma prove recepten, den er sikkert medet god.

    Soaps and... It is, I just double checked and the scent does actually come out really nice and true. It just lacks the almost effervescent qualities of the fresh scent, but I'm really please to be able to capture it at all.

    AromaBeauty... I am pretty sure that this method can be used for any fragrant flower and Jasmine has such a wonderful scent that it should come out really nice. Just make sure you cover the flower petals and stir to keep covered so it doesn't go moldy. I have a Jasmine plant, but it doesn't flower very profusely, but I would love to try that.


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