Perfected by the 19th century French perfumeries, enfleurage fell quickly out of favor with the advent of chemical mimicry, but this simple technique still stands out as an inexpensive way to indulge in fleeting fragrances like lilac long after the flowers are gone.
Tisanes (‘tee-zahn’), a lesser-known French term for any hot herbal beverage fell out of usage early this century but is making a comeback. So what exactly is a tisane? What many of us refer to as ‘herbal tea’ doesn’t actually contain any tea leaves. Tea is the term for the leaves of the Camellia Sinensis plant, which grows well in Asia but is much more difficult to cultivate in the United States.
The origin of the flower’s name comes from the Spanish conquistadors, who ‘discovered’ this striking plant in their explorations of Peru. The structure of the flower lends itself to depictions of the events surrounding the crucifixion of Christ, also called the Passion: the ten outer petals symbolize the apostles present at the crucifixion, the five anthers the wounds of Christ, and the three stigma the nails used on the cross.
Fair Folk is a radio show and podcast exploring folk culture and music from around the world, hosted by Danica Boyce. On this episode: Kulning, you'll hear traditional herding calls from Sweden and Norway, with an interview with Swedish folk musician and kulning instructor Siri Holm.