L’Ylang ylang: Un Parfum Subtil
by Christian Brulé & William Pécout
pub. by V.F. Aromatique et Arco-Charabot (undated, believed to be pub.
Copyright © Tony Burfield June 2004
This fabulous edition is now a
collectors item, comprising a lime-green boxed book, of outside dimensions
41.5cm x 30.5cm x 2 cm., used as a presentation gift, containing a plain green
loose leaf folder entitled L’Ylang ylang: Un Parfum Subtil, with a map
of the production zones of Ylang ylang in fine print on the back inside cover.
The text is organised over 16 pages as 2 x 4 page booklets magnificently
illustrated with photographs, each page organised as French text on the left
hand side, an English version on the right. A definitive description of the
craft of Ylang ylang distillation is contained within the 16 pages – it is a
great pity that an expert like Brulé cannot share his knowledge on this subject
more widely, especially as there is still a dearth of accurate information about
this subject in the public domain.
Sixteen full page photographs 29cm x 40cm follow
the initial text section, showing various scenes of coppiced ylang ylang tree
plantations in Ambanja Madagascar and Nosy-bé; ylang ylang flowers being picked
by women (and one of a boy) workers, women carrying the flowers in baskets to
the distillery, location shots of the distillery in Nosy-bé and Ambanja, shots
of the wood-fired naked flame alembics and distillation process. A map of
Madagascar and the Comores completes the set.
I had the privilege of meeting Christian Brulé in
Paris in 1994, and he was kind enough to duplicate some slides for me from his
collection, for a presentation I was giving on essential oils to the British
Society of Perfumers (subsequently written up by Liz Jones in SPC 1/6/1994).
His knowledge of distillation in Madagascar & the Comores, I remember
surpassed anything I had previously encountered, and I lapped up all I could!
A great and highly treasured presentation piece.
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