Geranium(Pelergonium graveolens)/Himalayas, India(organic)



Olfactory qualities of Geranium(Pelargonium graveolens)/Himalayas, India(organic)

The study of the fragrance of the essences distilled or extracted from different species of the same genus is a delightful one. In the world of natural aromatics there is an increasing number of such essential oils, absolutes, co2 extracts, hydrosols, enfleurage and attars available. In the ten years since we started our modest business and began interacting with distillers and extractors in different parts of the world, we have seen quite a number of unique essences appear that either had never been available before or were restricted to the palette of famous perfume houses. Due to world wide internet availability, better means of transporting goods via international courier, better extraction and distillation techniques and a deep interest in the aromatic treasures of the botanical world, the aspiring natural perfumer can draw upon a great variety of resources to create essences of rare and unusual beauty.

In the case of Geranium one find essential oils and absolutes of Pelargonium graveolens, Pelargonium asperum roseum, Pelargonium asperum roseum var.bourbon,etc.
It is not that there are just different species and varieties available but also distillations from the very same genus and species can present unique aromatic characteristics depending on the region which it is grown, the method of distillation and extraction, the time of harvest, etc. The olfactory explorations of these subtle and sometimes not so subtle differences is what makes the world of natural perfumery a true delight to participate in.

In the past 10 years there has been a genuine aromatic revolution within India. When I first traveled there for the purpose of exploring the countries ancient and modern aromatic traditions in the company of Ramakant Harlalka, who kindly took me to many places in that vast land where distillation and extraction was taking place, there were just a few major oils being distilled like palmarosa, lemongrass, sandalwood, peppermint, basil, cedarwood, jasmin grandiflorum, etc were being produced on a commercial scale. Many oils were being distilled in a minor way for local industry but lack of proper equipment, quality plant material, horticultural expertise etc were holding the industry back. But in the span of a decade that whole scenario changed in a dramatic way. Now there are well over a hundred essences being distilled or extracted both for commercial consumption and export.

At the time of my first explorations with Ramakant, a small quantity of high quality geranium oil was being produced in the Nilgri and Palani Hills of South India and on one of our early explorations I had a chance to visit a government field stations where such work was going on. It was a lovely experience to stand in the cool mountain atmosphere near Kodikanal and see healthy geranium plants growing, being harvested and distilled all in one place. The expertise which they developed in that field station(which eventually was closed) did not die out but was preserved and now has been transferred to the lovely rural mountain areas of Uttaranchal-a state in North India which encompasses pristine mountain valleys where farmers are growing geranium and several other aromatic crops organically. Ramakant,being the natural pioneer that he is, was instrumental in helping setting up these early projects with geranium, designing the distilling equipment appropriate for the local area and teaching the farmers how to distill their geranium crop properly under optimum conditions.

The geranium oil from the Himalayas has a sprightly fresh, sweet, green, herbaceous-minty top-note, very complex and full. Underneath it sits a delicate spicy- bouquet. In the heat-note phase the scintillating sweet minty, complex herbaceous bouquet comes to the forefront. It is this note which clearly distinguishes the rose geranium from South Africa(which is also a great favorite of mine) As Rose Geranium goes into the heart-note phase the roseaceous/herbaceous note predominates. Deep in the dry-out phase of the Himalayan Geranium, a delicate floral note emerges amidst the minty-herbaceous accord, interplaying nicely with them. The radiance and tenacity of both oils is very good. It is a real joy to sit and smell both oils side by side through the different stages of their aromatic lives.

Blends well with ambrette seed co2, eo and abs; anise, star eo and co2; artemisia oils; basil eo, co2 and abs; bergamot eo; birch, sweet eo; caraway eo and co2; cardamon eo, co2 and abs; carrot seed eo, co2 and abs; cassia bark eo and co2; cistus eo and abs; clary sage eo and abs; clove bud eo, co2 and abs; cubeb eo; cumin seed eo and abs; currant, black abs; davana eo and co2; fennel, sweet eo and co2; frankincense eo, co2 and abs; hop eo and co2; hyssop eo and abs; jasmin sambac abs; jasmin auriculatum abs; jasmin grandiflorum abs; labdanum eo and abs; lavender eo, co2 and abs; marigold eo and abs; neroli eo; orange, blood eo; orange, sweet eo; orange essence eo; orange flower abs; orange flower water abs; patchouli eo, co2 and abs; petitgrain oils; rosa damascena eo and abs; rosa centifolia abs; rosa bourbonia abs; rosa rugosa eo; rosa odorata eo; rose leaf abs; rosewood eo; tagetes eo and abs; thyme eo, co2 and abs, tuberose abs and attar; vanilla abs

In perfumery is can be used in colognes, chypres, rose bases, amber bases, herbal bouquets, high class florals, forest blends, culinary perfumes, literary perfumes