NUTMEG & OAKMOSS
PATCHOULI & BLACK PEPPERCORN
JAMAICA PIMENTO & DOUGLAS FIR
CEYLON CINNAMON BARK
GUAIACWOOD & OLIBANUM
Our nutmeg grows on the Banda islands of eastern Indonesia. These islands - the original source of nutmeg - were a global secret throughout the 15th century, until in August 1511 they were discovered by a Portugese general, and the European race for nutmeg trade dominance began. Today the fruit is harvested with handheld telescopic pickers and left to dry in the shade - the seed oil is then steam distilled at source.
Oakmoss is not in fact a moss but a lichen. Our Oakmoss is foraged from the trunks and branches of wild growing oak trees in the hills of Samokov, Macedonia, and transported to Grasse, where the oil is extracted by a family run distillery.
A Ffern regular: Haitian vetiver. We’re incredibly fond of this ingredient. We chose the Haitian variety over its Javan competitor for its fresher, sparkling notes which work well with our bergamot, and because the root provides such a valuable and sustainable source of employment for the south Haitian community.
Scentless when fresh and native to Asia, Patchouli is a member of the ‘Lamiaceae’ or Mint family. Our Patchouli is hand harvested on the Indonesian Island of Java. It’s then shade-dried, and briefly fermented, helping to break down the cell walls before the copper still hydrodistillation.
Black peppercorn is a perennial climbing vine, native to the Indian Malabar coast. We turned to this ‘Pepper coast’ for our Autumn fragrance - the pepper that grows there has an earthier, more autumnal feel than the popular Madagascan variety. The reddening corn clusters are picked when ripe, and sun dried for three days before hydrodistillation.
The La Face family planted their first bergamot in the 1930’s. Through three generations they have become the world experts on citrus oils. Hence they were our first port of call when it came to sourcing bergamot for Autumn 19. Grown on Calabrian hills overlooking the Ionian Sea (one of few places globally where bergamot can grow), the fruit is hand harvested and the oil extracted at source.
Our Jamaica pimento - or ‘myrtle berry’ - is harvested by Jamaican tree climbers. The use of machetes is prohibited as the iron blades can react with and poison the tree, so the twigs and branches are snapped by hand and dropped. These branches are then flailed to loose the berries, which are sun dried for 7 days, crushed, and distilled at source.
We take Douglas Fir needles from Canada and extract the absolute in France. The note is very long lasting, and it comes to prominence circa 2 hours into Autumn 19.
Cinnamon has a long history as a valuable and sacred spice - imported to ancient Egypt from its native Sri Lanka as early as 2000BC. We chose the Ceylon variety, also known as ‘true cinnamon’ for Autumn 19. Grown along the SW coast of Sri Lanka (sandy soils lead to higher quality oil), the bark is stripped, hung to dry for 5 days, and steam distilled.
Grown wild in the Gran Chaco jungles of western Paraguay, guaiacwood is known locally as ‘Palo Santo’ (holy tree) for it’s supposedly extensive healing powers. It ranks among the heaviest and hardest of woods known to man. As a slow growing tree, the harvest is closely regulated to ensure long term Sustainability. Our wood is cut into chips and steam distilled at source.
Olibanum is a resin taken from the bark of the Boswellia tree. In our case, Boswellia carterii - a species native to Somalia. The trees grow wild along the Gulf of Aden in northern Somalia, and the resin ‘tears’ are harvested by local collectors over a period of weeks.
Red juniper is a coniferous evergreen native to Northeastern USA. Harvested in its native Virginia when the plant is young, the wood is steam distilled at source to extract a pure red juniper oil.