My garden in Italy is a forest of walnut trees, my neighbours are peasants and they do not like walnut trees, they always tell me: “cut these trees, nothing grows under the walnuts”. I tell them “I do not cut trees, I plant them”. And when the heat of the summer comes, the dense walnuts foliage make such a shade that my garden is the best place to stay around, cool and ventilated and I am so glad that I did not listen to them.
The smell of walnuts leave is beautiful and we shall attempt to extract the essential oil from them.
Bashir has been my first Italian student of distillation, he is now quite expert and he has even learned how to build distillers. We are 2 technicians and we have added a few innovations to our distillers that make them really unique.
Our double stage condenser is designed so well that it consumes very little water and the distillation water comes out of it just a little warm.
Our steam boiler of 50 litres can be transformed in minutes into a smaller distiller. For it, we use only the first stage of the condenser and a pressure cooker as a smaller steam generator.
We crop the branches, they have also small fruits. We shall chop the whole branches, included wood and fruits, and fill the 150 litres distiller because we expect very little essence to come out.
Bashir has brought his son Hadi to learn the craft.
After 2 hours of distillation, the essence stops coming out. We imagined that there was little essence to obtain, but not that little. Out of 40 kg of raw material, we got 4 grams of essential oil, but what a wonder, it is an iris-like walnut leaves smell, extremely persistent.
We have been waiting a month to let the essence mature and the perfume of Walnut leaves “Eau de parfum” is now ready to be shipped to curious profumistas around the world in small bottles of 4.4 ml.