Took my first walk past Livadia yesterday. Actually, a walk to Krios had been planned but my walking partner couldn’t make it. And I prefer not to walk alone in isolated places. Not anymore.
It was about 20 meters past the last bathing establishment that I smelled it—a smell so strong that it sent me into a state of déjà vu. Elicriso. A scent so full of memories, of happy memories. My first reaction was to pick it and hold it near my nose as I walked. But I am trying hard to control the urge of appropriating the material as a means of dragging a magical moment into the future so I just walked on.
My memory is like a overflowing closet. Cluttered. And often invasive. So, I tell myself, a moment must remain just that. A moment. But the moment has lasted a day and the smell of elicriso is still in my nose.
Elicriso’s aroma was unknown to me before living in Tuscany that’s why I still call it elicriso instead of its name in English, helichrysum (its name comes from the Greek words helisso meaning “to turn around” and chryros meaning “gold”). The dried flowers can be used to make sachet bags as I often use to do. But recently I learned that, as an essential oil, helichrysum does wonders. Used for hundreds of years in Africa, it helps in reducing muscle tension, joint pain and is effective in treating wounds and bug bites. Helichrysum also helps stimulate cell regeneration meaning that it can help ageing skin regain some of its elasticity. So, if I learn how to transform it into an essental oil, I may soon be picking it again. But this time for a different reason!
Because it takes so many flowers to make it, helichrysum essential oil is very expensive. Generally, essential oils are made by means of a water and steam distillation process but go HERE for a very simple method of making helichrysum oil by macerating the flowers in macadamia oil.
p.s. After seeing an ad for Helichrysum Tincture, it seemed like trying to make my own was a good idea as tinctures are fairly simple to make. However, I must do more research first as I’ve read that helichrysum essential oil cannot be taken internally–don’t know about it in the form of a tincture.