Copper Still for Hydrosol

How did I get into aromatherapy and aromatic distillation?

How did I get into aromatherapy and aromatic distillation?

First essential oil, first book

The first essential oil I encountered was a tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia). My mother – a medical doctor – gave it to me to soothe the mosquito bites for my son. And it worked very well for him! I wanted to know more.

I bought the only aromatherapy book that was available in my native language at the time – P.Davis’ “Aromatherapy from A to Z”. While this encyclopedia-type book is full of valuable information, it was not the best option to actually learn aromatherapy from scratch. I formed my set of essential oils but it grew smaller and smaller until only lavender and a couple of conifers were left in it as time passed. Learning online wasn’t available at that time and my knowledge almost did not progress for about a decade. Well, at least I was using aromatherapy skincare products.

Copper alembic changes everything

Everything changed in 2018 when I accidentally was introduced to a copper alembic still. My friend got it into her disposition for a couple of weeks. Since her daughter was still a baby – I was the one who got to play with the alembic 🙂 We had only a brief instructions on what to do.

The first botanical that we distilled was a mint from my garden. To this day I remember the moment we experienced the first “angel’s mist” – a burst of aromatic molecules just before the first drops of hydrolat came out. All the chatter immediately stopped and all the attention turned fully to the distillation. I was so present, so “in that moment”, with all my senses focused on what was going on. I was so amazed! I still have a vivid memory of how everything looked and felt. I can “travel” back to that moment anytime.

I did a couple of more distillations and I knew I wanted to learn about it. You need a lot of botanical material for distillation and I felt an inner need to use it most responsibly. Also I wanted to know more about hydrolats – what are they actually?

Studies of aromatherapy and distillation

Thankfully online learning and blogging were already mainstream things this time. You also could easily buy books online from anywhere in the world. My first source of information on distillation and hydrosols was Jades Shutes’ series of blog posts about distillation.

A few months later I bought my first copper alembic (10 l with a column) and Ann Harman’s book “Harvest to Hydrosol” (1st edition). I distilled, took online courses and bought more books. I also built a gear set that allows me to set things up easily and quickly.

Eventually, I decided that becoming a certified aromatherapist would help me both in my everyday life and my distillation journey. After taking several free courses I chose Jade Shutes and her “School for Aromatic Studies”.

More specialty courses followed at „Tisserand Institute“ (US), „Penny Price Academy of Aromatherapy“(UK), „Healing Fragrances School of Aromatherapy“ (Canada).

Now I‘m a member of the Lithuanian Association of Aromatherapists. I’m also a part of its Communication Team since I have a professional background in strategic marketing.

Eventually, I decided to start my own blog and social media presence to share my knowledge and connect with the worldwide community of enthusiasts of aromatics.

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