Sometimes you can’t see the forest for the trees. In our case, this means we haven’t shared about our role as artisanal distillers. In addition to offering select, alive, high quality essential oils from our distillers in India and France, we also distill our own essential oils and hydrosols from plants that grow near us here in the high desert of northern New Mexico. Our offerings from our distillers are based on our deep relationship with them and their commitment to sustainable practices and for our essential oils and hydrosols, based on deep relationship to the land and climate around us. Nature is alive and conscious.
We wanted to share more about our process and the essential oils and hydrosols we create here. First of all, you might not have an appreciation for the diversity of plants that have figured out how to thrive in the harsh environments of the high desert, where it is very cold in winter, very hot in summer and extremely dry most of the time. The local plants are masters of survival, but not only that, they carry deep wisdom and a joy in their survival. Years ago someone said “The desert strips away everything that is no longer necessary.” The local plants embody that and have a stark beauty. The desert is a powerful place for spiritual growth and in many traditions, there are stories of wise people living in the desert, to be removed from the distractions of big cities and to be in deeper communion with Nature, through connection with these local, powerful plants.
When we distill from these local plants, we often get a very small yield of essential oil. So you might not find the essential oil listed on our website, since there’s not enough. If we get enough yield, we have done private sales to our email list, which is a good reason to join our email list, i.e. being offered rare essential oils that aren’t available in other ways. We do get a larger yield of hydrosol, so for many of these local plants, we are only able to offer the hydrosol on our website.
We are artisanal distillers. We distill small amounts mindfully. Our goal is to share the healing power and teachings of the local plants in a respectful way and a little essential oil or hydrosol go a long way. Currently we’re using a small copper still. We respectfully collect modest amounts of the plant, so that after we are done, it looks as if no one had been there. We make offerings. As we prepare the plant materials we collect, we do it with love and gratitude, within a day after collecting the materials. We distill slowly, since we want all the molecules to come across, so we don’t cut off the distillation too quickly. We feel strongly that you should only work with these plants’ oils and hydrosol by smelling them, not mixing them in products. That way, a little goes a long way and these volatile constituents evolved to communicate in the low levels found when they travel through the air, so the plants can communicate with each other, across species with us and even to influence the local microclimates.
Below are some local plants we have distilled over the years. As we said above, we only have hydrosol for most of them, but if you join our newsletter (below at the bottom of the page), we will let you know when we are selling small amounts of these essential oils. For more info about each plant, click on the links below.
Sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata): Because it has a good yield, we offer both hydrosol and essential oil. If the essential oil is out of stock, check back or click on the notify me link for sagebrush, since we will distill it again soon.
Yarrow (Achillea millefolium): This one is interesting. We offer the essential oil from our distiller in France, but we wild-craft the hydrosol right here near Taos. This is the only plant for which we do this.
Yerba Mansa (Amenopsis californica): We offer both hydrosol and essential oil, both locally wild-crafted. If the essential oil is out of stock, check back or click on the notify me link for it, since we will distill it again soon.