The cut flowers are packed into a metal distiller, and water is added to the bottom.
It's a cool, overcast afternoon on Vashon Island, in the Puget Sound across from Seattle.
At Lavender Hill Farm, a group of harvesters walk out into the fields, carrying baskets and sickles.
The lavender is in full bloom. They reach down, brushing away thousands of bees, and grab bunches. With a quick motion, the flowers are cut, and dropped in a basket or crate.
The flowers are carried out of the field up to the house, where the distillation equipment is kept.
The distiller is attached to the top of the boiling chamber. The mash (lavender flowers in this case) is brought to a boil.
The boiling water turns into steam. The hot steam rises into the distiller and passes by cold coils, condensing. The water drips down a tube, and into a glass instrument. The oil rises, the water sinks, separating the oil from the water. The water is hydrosol, the oil is lavender essential oil.
A Hydrosol, also known as floral water, is created during essential oil distillation.
It is like an essential oil, but much milder.
Our hydrosol is used as a skin toner and freshner. Hydrosols act like astringents to constrict and contract the skin, help balance the pH and prepare it for moisturizing creams.
Spray the mist into the air, and walk through it. It feels like walking into a cool, dew-filled garden in the morning.
Note: Our hydrosol is made by hand in small batches from a pesticide and herbicide free lavender farm on Vashon Island. Learn more about the farm on their website!