Oh Cottonwood, how I love you.
your scent is warm, inviting, comforting and intoxicating all at the same time.
When I am harvesting and processing cottonwood buds I feel like I am reaching back in time, as if I am with all of the people who have used and loved this tree for centuries.
the sticky resin is the magic
some of the buds look old and decrepit, like a strange animal talon. While some of these are old and hollowed out by time, some are full and rich with resin-y goodness.
here is a leafy part on its way to be a bud and it is sooo sticky and good
this was the harvest from last year this time. I infused the buds in olive oil in a double boiler on lowish heat for a good long time. Maybe 3 hours. I let it sit (infuse) in the oil for a month or two. Not because it needs to, because I don't think it does, but because it will keep and I am busy.
Also, it looks amazing in the jar, the buds, some floating and some suspended by the resins look otherworldly and ancient.
Once I finally strain the buds from the oil, I simply heat it and add beeswax enough to make a solid and pour it into tins and voila! the best natural perfume ever.
I know, there are a million medicinal uses for cottonwood, but this Balm of Gilead as a magical scent can heal things you never knew ailed you.
this resin will take awhile to come off, but with it's heavenly scent, I'm not so worried.