Saturday, May 18, 2013

Lilacs are in full bloom! Making Lovely Essential Oil...

Finally! A good crop of Lilacs! The past few years I haven't had healthy aromatic blooms on my lilac shrubs - they either got frosted, or just didn't flower well. I used to only make lilac essential oils on the years when the flowers were especially fragrant, since oil doesn't get infused with the scent that easily when using lilac. I decided to try it again this year.

I collected a grocery bag full of fresh healthy flowers (enough to densely fill the medium sized crock pot I would be using). Being sure to pick them when they were in full bloom at mid day, when they were dry of dew and warmed by the sun. I removed the tiny blossoms from the stems by simply pulling them through my closed hand to strip the blooms away, and then discarded any greenery.
 I decided to use my food dehydrator to remove the excess water within the flowers because it's faster. But if you don't have a dehydrator you can layer the flowers between paper towels and let them sit for 12 - 24 hours. With both methods you just want them to get slightly wilted - still soft, not dried, before processing them. This will ensure that the water contained in the blossoms has evaporated away, but that the oils contained in the flowers is still present to provide scent. Any water left in flowers will promote mold in the end product.
Next I poured an ~18 0z bottle of Grape seed Oil in the crock pot, added the now dehydrated blossoms and turned the covered crock pot to the low setting to let it simmer for at least 8 hours. Or you can simmer it while covered on low heat on the stove if you prefer.
Every hour, the flowers were stirred around in the oil and bruised a little with a wooden spoon. I turned the crock pot off when the desired pleasant scent wafted up at the last stirring.
When it was finished and cooled slightly, I placed cheese cloth in a cullender and then drained the oil through it into a bowl. Gathering up the cheese cloth full of spent flowers, I hung the bundle over the side of the cullender and pressed it with the wooden spoon several times to squeeze out remaining oil. Then I left the bundle over the side of the cullender to drain further and to also let the sediments settle completely to the bottom of the bowl below.
Without disturbing the muck at the bottom of the bowl, I  used a baster to transfer the clear oil on top back into the original grape seed oil bottle and capped it tightly. I just discarded the murky oil at the very bottom of bowl, ending up with a little less oil than I started with.
I'll be sure to label it with the type of oil it is, the date it was made, and the use by date at 6 months later. It will be stored in a dark, cool, dry place. But if you don't have a dark place convenient for storage you can store it in a different dark colored bottle or place a opaque label around whole bottle to keep the light from deteriorating it if needed.   
 My efforts resulted in a somewhat darker green, lovely scented oil that I am quite pleased with!
~ ~ ~
Your Lilac Essential Oil will have a lovely floral scent that blends well with other floral and spicy aromas.
 It can be used:
For Aromatherapy - soothing your mind and promoting increased energy and sensuality. 
To Scent - homemade candles, potpourri, shampoos, lotions and hand creams.
As - a perfume oil rubbed directly onto your skin, or diffused oil to scent a room.
As Herbal Remedy - Some modern herbalists use lilac essential oil to treat skin ailments such as rashes, sunburns and minor cuts and scrapes. (The ingestion of lilac was used as treatment of parasitic worms, malaria and fever in the past.)
 For Ritual Use - Anoint the back of the neck to improve memory, attract health and longevity. Or use at a pulse point or in environment to promote peace, harmony, happiness, creativity, intuition, wisdom, abundance, clairvoyance, divination, protection, psychic awareness, good luck or as a general spiritual aid.
*** Warning: The use of, or processing of, essential plant oils can trigger allergies or asthma in those susceptible to these possible irritants.


  1. What a lovely post (I found your blog as I am making lilac infused oil right now!! :D) I did not know that they should be picked around noon, I just assumed that with a lot of flowers they should be picked early in the morning. The next batch I harvest will be in the middle of the day (thank you so much for the tip! :D)

  2. Ashesela, Thanks so much for the kind comment :) I trust your fragrant batch came out well despite having picked the blooms earlier in the day! Please visit again and let me know! Rhonda