A few days ago, I came across an article about making a lilac perfumed oil simply by repeatedly infusing fresh flowers in the same carrier oil. I knew that this could be done with lily-of-the-valley and can hardly wait until my new plants increase enough for me to give it a try! But after reading about the lilacs, I got to wondering if this could be done with many flowers. Apparently, roses work very well too, and I sure wish I had known all this a couple months ago! Patience is not one of my strong points, so I didn't like the idea of having to wait through another long winter before I could even try it. So I asked myself what strongly fragrant flowers I still have blooming in the garden. Ah yes, petunias!!!
These old-fashioned petunias have a heavenly fragrance and I've often wished I could capture it to enjoy during the winter.
Googling "Petunia Infused Oil" didn't show many results, which made me rather doubtful, but I did find one recipe for a "room spray" that was basically just an infused oil. However, I have some doubts that whoever wrote the article actually tried it first. I was a little puzzled when it said to set the jar of flowers covered in oil into a pot of boiling water, let it cool naturally, and then just sit for about a week. I know that is sometimes done with herbs, but flowers? Well, I decided to give it a try anyhow.
Of course, all the flowers wilted and lost their color, the oil became cloudy, and when I opened the jar it smelled like...well, cooked flowers! I ended up throwing that batch away. But the next day I decided to try again, this time following the directions for the lilac infused oil. This is Day 2 and so far it is turning out well! I simply packed the 4 oz. jar with petunia flowers (no foliage) and covered them with sunflower oil. Within a few hours, the oil had already taken on a light fragrance. Today, I strained out the oil, and then packed it with fresh flowers (it's very important to keep the flowers fresh, as they can take on an off-smell really quickly). I will be repeating this daily for about a week and we'll see what happens!
Has anybody else tried to do this with petunias? What other flowers work well for you in a perfumed oil?
I am a passionate gardener and seed-saver, who also enjoys playing the violin and accordion, running, spending time with my 4 golden retrievers, keeping chickens, photography, and reading.