Here is an account of a distillation I did this last summer on the Blue Blue Moon:
I did a special distillation today with a friend. We like to do co-distillations on the full moon and today's was particularly wild and wonderful....a Blue Moon no less. I harvested a giant armload of "ARP" Rosemary (nice and vibrant this time of year) from a huge rosemary bush I started from a sprig 7 years ago. This was placed in the still halfway in the water and halfway above (1/2 hydro-distilled, 1/2 steam distilled yields a well-rounded oil.) On top of this we put a bride-sized bouquet of white sage, followed by a gallon of Roman chamomile, and another couple gallons of Lemon Balm. We contemplated adding some peppermint but decided it may try to dominate the blend and decided to keep it out.Then we sat by the still while the copper was slowly heating and deconstructed our current life situations, talking and sharing about our parallel paths. By the time the distillate started flowing we were well on our way into the thick of it.
The first aroma to step out of the condenser was wild, bold white sage. At first it seemed that sage, so strong and sure of itself would dominate the blend with it's overwhelming confidence. But then rosemary marched out shortly thereafter, refusing to be outdone, wearing a vibrant green sillage and and effusive earthy sincerity. It was all very intoxicating.
Late afternoon light slanted through the dancing birch. Black peppers and white pumpkins grew closer side by side. The vines of the morning glories and grapes nearby turned their tendrils towards the still to see what would happen next.
The fragrance smoothed and took on a texture like suede leather. Our dialogue wove back and forth- affirmations of strength and connection laced through with summer mirth. A feast of plums and nectarines was involved. It felt like a harvest celebration.
It WAS a harvest celebration.
As the distillation wound down the Roman Chamomile and Lemon Balm stepped slowly forward with feathered hair - showing sweet rounded edges, gently speaking through the rosemary-sage power duo. Amazing how these delicate aromas found their place without being overpowered.
We drew off our oil from our hydrosol (about 10 ml of oil and two quarts of hydrosol). We rinsed the separator with grain alcohol and made a lovely cologne. When all was said and done we concluded that in distillation we deconstruct ourselves and come back together better than before. The outer process mirroring the inner transformation.