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Amazon Rainforest Fragrance Extraction

Aaron Pomerantz
Canopy.jpgFragrance extraction refers to the extraction of aromatic compounds from raw materials, using methods such as distillationsolvent extractionexpression, or enfleurage. The results of the extracts are either essential oilsabsolutesconcretes, or butters, depending on the amount of waxes in the extracted product.
To a certain extent, all of these techniques tend to distort the odour of the aromatic compounds obtained from the raw materials. Heat, chemical solvents, or exposure to oxygen in the extraction process denature the aromatic compounds, either changing their odour character or rendering them odourless.
Ben and Sally of Feral Studio recently had the opportunity to explore fragrance extraction in the amazon rainforest in partnership withRainforest Expeditions and Trelex Residencyvia a project titled “TAMBOPATA HYDROSOLS: AN OLFACTORY EXPLORATION OF PLACE.

Summarizing their project they write: Tambopata Hydrosols is an evolving olfactory exploration of place. Conceived in Madre de Dios, Amazonas, the project connects with local knowledge in temporary locations to gather scent material and associated narratives as we journey through South America.
Working with tropical forest ecologist Dr. Varun Swamy, the pair explored the rainforest to find new sources of fragrances:

“..rubbing, scoring, snapping, pulverizing, peeling any potentially scented material. We followed clues found in a fading photocopy of Gentry’s Field Guide to the Families and Genera of Woody Plants. We immersed in extended conversations with those that had an intimate knowledge of the rainforest through a lifetime of close contact – the chefs, porters, guides, members of the Infierno community – all generous with their wisdom, revealing personal botanical perspectives shared in a gentle vernacular. With our improvised apprenticeship now complete we were ready to fully immerse in the intoxicating neotropical world of aromatic possibility.”
The results of project are quite interesting. Read the full articleat http://feralstudio.co/tambopata_hydrosols/index.html

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