Hyrax, also known as "Africa Stone," is a unique and ancient material used in perfumery. The substance is derived from the excretions of the rock hyrax (Procavia capensis). Over time, these excretions harden and petrify, creating a material that has been used for centuries in traditional fragrances, especially in the Middle East.
Hyrax has a complex scent profile that includes notes of musk, leather, civet, castoreum, dried fruits, and even a certain sweetness. When used in perfumery, it provides depth and a rich, animalic undertone.
Hyrax/Africa Stone: Ensure you're using authentic, ethically-sourced hyrax.
Perfumers alcohol: As with the previous tinctures, 190-proof ethanol (like Everclear) is recommended due to its efficient extraction capabilities.
Grind or crush the hyrax stone into smaller pieces or a coarse powder. This increases the surface area and improves the extraction process.
Place the ground hyrax in a clean glass jar. Depending on the desired strength, a starting ratio could be 1:10 (e.g., 10 grams of hyrax for every 100 ml of alcohol).
Pour the perfumers alcohol over the hyrax, ensuring it's fully submerged.
Seal the jar tightly.
Allow the mixture to macerate for a minimum of 4-6 weeks. Given the complexity of hyrax's scent profile, a longer maceration can result in a more profound and multi-dimensional aroma.
Shake the jar gently every few days to assist the extraction.
After the desired maceration period, strain the mixture through a fine mesh sieve or muslin cloth to remove the solid hyrax particles.
A second filtration using a coffee filter can result in a clearer tincture.
Pour the hyrax tincture into a dark glass bottle, seal it tightly, and store in a cool, dark place. The scent will continue to mature and evolve over time.
Using Hyrax Tincture in Perfumery:
Deep Base Note: The rich, animalic notes of hyrax make it a powerful base note in many perfumes.
Blending: Due to its complexity, hyrax pairs well with a variety of notes including woods, resins, florals, and spices. However, due to its potency, it should be used judiciously to avoid overpowering a blend.
Dilution: Given its intensity, hyrax tincture should be used sparingly. Begin with small quantities and adjust based on the desired fragrance profile.
Remember that hyrax, like many animal-derived ingredients in perfumery, comes with ethical considerations. Always ensure that any material you source has been collected sustainably and without harm to the animals or their habitats.