The kit for tincturing raw Hyraceum includes:
– 100 grams top grade Hyraceum stone, enough for 300 ml. of tincture
– A flask of 50 ml. 96° organic alcohol
– The detailed instruction sheet for tincturing Hyraceum, with the secrets of the trade.
Hyraceum is formed from the urine of a Hyrax or Dassie. The urine is not as fluid as that of other mammals but is rather passed as a jelly like substance.
Hyraxes will always use the same place to urinate and mostly a different place to defecate. This product is mostly very old and a Hyrax colony would build up a large mound of Hyraceum only over Centuries, and not over a few years.
The reason for the product being hard or stony is probably firstly chemical and secondly it is compacted by the Hyrax itself because it moves over the urine to get to the same spot all the time and does this for centuries or as long as the colony exists.
Hyraceum is then the crystalized and petrified form of Hyrax urine. It is no wonder that Hyraceum is considered in South Africa a remedy for kidney and bladder diseases and dysfunctions.
All mammals expel their pheromones through urines and the leathery smell of Hyraceum shows that it contains a lot of these, and in fact, in South Africa Hyraceum is used as a remedy against epilepsy, just as other pheromones such as Ambergris, Musk deer or Civet musk are used for the same disease in other countries.
Hyraxes choose a place nearby their homes and it is probable that this odoriferous mass has a social pheromonal function (for example regulating the sexual maturity of the individuals), as well as marking the territory of the colony.
It is said that perfumery Hyraceum is fossilized, and it is in fact extremely dry, heavy and hard like a stone, but I could not ascertain how old is the product, 10 000 years as some say, or are just a few years in the dry climate of south Africa sufficient to dry it out so thoroughly? The least one can say is that it is petrified rather than fossilized.
The tincture is obtained by infusing the powdered raw material into pure alcohol for six month. The smell is akin to Castoreum but has a distinct urinary note that can be found only in goat hair tincture among perfumery materials.
Hyraceum definitely has an affinity with human beings, as its medical use shows. Its smell as well is not at all disgusting as one may think, but it could be described as “interesting”, even to unprepared people who are not at all perfumers.
In fact we are genetically conditioned to react to this type of smells, particularly women who by their nature of mothers have to do “biologically” with children’s urine.
Pheromones from different species are not that much different, even those of insects and mammals. This is why we human can be influenced by such substances, and aromatic Hyraceum can certainly participate in the construction of the tri-dimensional perfume You can add your Hyraceum tincture as a fixative to your favorite perfumes. Animal tinctures are unique for giving to perfumes a sensuality that no synthetic material can mimic.
Comments on Hyraceum from the blog of Denyse “Grain de Musk“