Photograph by Sam Murphy



Extract fragrances from your favorite plants, using steam.

By Sean Michael Ragan

This all started when Mom was exposed to radiation and developed a super-power. Seriously, at 58, my mother was treated for cancer with injections of radioactive iodine. When it was over, her cancer was gone, but she’d developed an unnaturally acute sense of smell, which seems to be permanent. She soon became fascinated with perfumery and aromatherapy, and one day asked me, “How do you capture a natural fragrance?”

The trick ...

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