Monday, September 24, 2007

Dark Angel

hvönn og sólarlag, originally uploaded by saraella.

Angelica root absolute, on the other hand, is a completely different story. The specimen I will be talking about was not only grown in a different soil, it is also a different species: Angelica sinensis. It was grown in China, where Angelica has been used for thousands of years for its medicinal properties and is almost as important as ginseng. The Chinese doctors use as many as 10 different kinds of angelica, mostly to treat women’s fertility issues but also to strengthen the spirit (Julia Lawless, Encyclopedia of Essential Oils).

This particular angelica absolute is dark in colur and semi-viscous in texture. It has an incredibly musky and smoky fragrance and I can see it working beautifully in spicy and warm orientals and leathers. Another use for angelica is in chypre and fougere compositions, but I feel that the root oils might be more fitting for these uses. Strangely, it shares some similarities to immortelle – living on the borderline between herbaceous and bizarrely sweet.

I’ve used it recently in two of my mods for a perfume called Gaucho which I’ve been working on for the past 7 years. Although it seemed to have provided an interesting counter points to the other elements in that perfume (dry-green and coumarin-bittersweet) it did not provide a breakthrough. Plus I made the mistake of also using the angelica root oil with the celery dryout (which is definitely not what I was looking for!). The angelica absolute on its own might just be the answer for an animalic musky note sans the lactones sensitization issues that costus poses. It’s by no menas a substitute for costus, but it may provide the aspects of costus I am wishing for in this composition. After all, being named after a Gaucho just asks for some animalic elements!

So what's the next step? Perhaps pairing some angelica root absolute with my first mod for a champaca soliflore. Or as a base for a peppery-leathery composition. When the fear of a note is lifted many doors are opened…

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