CINNAMON LEAF & CYPRESS LEAF
BROWN-EYED ROCK ROSE & TOLU BALSAM
CORIANDER SEED & CLARY SAGE
BERGAMOT RIND & OLIBANUM
JASMINE & BENZOIN SIAM
NEROLI & RED JUNIPER
LEMON RIND & LIME RIND
You might be familiar with cinnamon bark - usually rolled, dried, and used in cooking. Cinnamon leaf has a much lighter, spicy scent, hence its inclusion in Summer 19. The finest quality of cinnamon leaf grows in south west Sri Lanka - our Sri Lankan cinnamon is harvested from 2 year old plants, and steam distilled at source.
Our cypress leaf oil comes from the branches of the northern white cedar tree in its native northwest Canada. In the spring, new growth twigs and leaves are harvested and steam distilled to obtain the woody, camphorous oil.
Cistus latdaniferus var maculata
Traditionally, labdanum was taken from the coats of goats who grazed the rock rose covered hillsides of Crete. Times have changed. Our rock rose grows wild on the plains of Almaden de la Plata outside Seville, Spain. In late summer, the leafy stems of the plant are sickle harvested and plunged into hot carbonated water. This mixture is then distilled to obtain a resin - labdanum. The plant remains are used as biofuel.
The Tolues, an ancient pre-Columbian people, believed so much in the healing powers of tolu balsam that they took the resin as their name. Ffern tolu balsam is wild harvested by a network of families in northern Columbia.
Our coriander is grown by farming cooperatives in the famously fertile soil of the ‘Central Black Earth’ region on Russia’s western border. The entire fruit is harvested late in the summer, and distilled on site with a traditional steam based method.
You might have heard of a rare perfumers ingredient called ambergris. The key fragrance molecule in ambergris is ambroxide. At Ffern, we were eager to explore this unique ingredient, but remain steadfast in our commitment to 100% vegan perfumes, today and always. Hence, we had to find another way. Enter clary sage. It turns out ambroxide can also be derived in small quantities from clary sage oil - and that’s where ours comes from.
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 Spring 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.
Olibanum is a resin taken from the bark of a 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.
Mid note; elegant, floral, clean, fresh, light Winter 19 was made with a complete jasmine sambac oil - hand picked at night in the Eastern Himalayas. For the summer, we wanted some of the lighter, airy jasmine notes, but to avoid the richer, earthier side that comes with them. Hence, this time we are not using the complete jasmine oil, but a much lighter subset (c.1-3%).
Benzoin siam is a balsamic resin taken from the bark of the styrax tree. The trees grow wild in the Annamite mountains, Laos. In September, a v-shaped cut is made in the tree bark, and brittle white ‘tears’ of benzoin resin acccumulate over a three week period. This process is known as ‘tapping’.
Citrus aurantium amara
Our neroli oil is extracted from the blossom of seville orange trees on Cape Bon in northern Tunisia - a peninsula that juts out into the Tyrrhenian sea, across from Sicily. The blossoms are hand picked at daybreak, once dew has formed, in the Spring. The flowers are immediately pressed and distilled - every second they sit in the morning sun detracts from the characteristically fresh scent that wooed Orsini, Princess of Neroli, and won the oil its name.
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.
The La Faces are a third generation citrus farming family, and the go to source for citrus expertise at Ffern. They grow lemons on the northeastern tip of Sicily - just across the 3km straight of Messina and in sight of our bergamot on the Calabrian shores. The fruit are picked by hand, and the rinds are cold-pressed on site.
Ffern key lime is grown in the north of Peru. The fruits are harvested in the afternoon to avoid the oil loss caused by their early morning turgor. Next, they are passed through a pelatrice, and the gathered Liquid is centrifuged to obtain a pure lime rind oil.