The Art of Distillation: Alchemy in practice. How to make and use your own essential oils and hydrosols. Weekend workshop. NEW DATES COMING SOON. Petaluma, Sonoma County, CA


In this full two day weekend workshop you will be taught how to:

~ Distill in copper and stainless steel
~ Good manufacturing process & sterilization
~ Separate essential oils
~ Maximise EO yield and quality
~ Preserve hydrosols 
~ Use Biodynamic principles in caring for aromatics & plants
~ Use sustainable harvesting techniques

~What parts of the plant to distill

~Essential oil and hydrosol properties for healing, cosmetics and emotional health
~Essential oil safety and guidelines
~ Make & blend custom hydrosol-based toners for cleansing and toning the skin
~ Custom make aromatherapy pulse points for optimising health and immunity
~ Learn about the power of aromatherapy for emotional and spiritual balance

Day One:

Have you always dreamt of making your own hydrosols and essential oils? 

Have you ever wanted to understand how to use the natural gifts of your garden and your environment to create unique, potent and high-quality cosmetic and healing ingredients?  

During day one you will discover the very special and unique experience of distillation in a professional, traditional copper still, as well as create an affordable stove top cooking device. Alice will share her passion and knowledge about the science and alchemy of the distillation process.

Students will learn the difference between hydro-distillation and steam distillation as well as the ways to improve yields of essential oil extractions with simple kitchen apparatus and lab gear. Students will be taught the difference between essential oil extraction and hydrosol extraction; and although they may be part of the same process, they present distinct techniques for enhanced results!

Alice will introduce the class to the basic principles of alchemy. She will also put light on biodynamic principles of plant harvesting: optimising the health of our plants and the quality of what you produce as well as the relationship of the distiller to its natural environment. Standard manufacturing processes and good manufacturing processes will be covered in order to optimize shelf life and preserve the quality of your precious waters and oils.

During the second part of day one, students will dive deep into the incredible power of hydrosols for cosmetic, culinary and health purposes. Over 30 different distillates will be passed around with an emphasis on Alice's top 10! You will realise what incredible tools they are for the massage therapist, natural healer, esthetician and formulator.

A hands-on workshop will be offered in the afternoon on how to create a hydrosol based toner, introducing blending ideas and suggestions, as well as how to add cosmeceuticals, natural ingredients and preservatives for optimal skin care routines.

Day Two:

The magical world of essential oils

How to separate and preserve essential oils

You will be shown how to separate the essential oil from the hydrosols, clean, store and preserve them.

Distillation and wild harvesting

Local essences and their properties will be passed around and discussed. Alice will talk about aromatherapy safety, dilution and how to use them in your everyday routines while being aware of their potency. We will also learn how to separate and preserve essential oils from the distillation process. 

Working with aromas and emotions

In the early afternoon a ceremony will be held around a carefully selected range of essential oils used for personal transformation.

Essential oils have a powerful impact on stress, hormonal balance, and mood. Alice will introduce students to the concept and powers of Psycho-aromatherapy, experiencing the effects of plant essences on the emotional realm and soul’s activity; an introduction to anointing and self-prescribing. Students will get to create a gentle essential oil blend from the oils presented that day that will be blended in a choice of artisan made hydrosols and distillates.

As we all know, the sense of smell creates in each one of us powerful physiological responses, emotions, memories, and inspirations. Because scent biologically influences the same brain receptors that process emotions- students will explore, through a series of games, their own emotional and physiological responses. Alice will invite students to delve deep into a sense of “feeling” more than “thinking” as they discover and rediscover the aromas of enchanting & healing essential oils. Playful approaches to this new way of experiencing scents will invite an opening to the pathway that connects smell, emotions, memories, and body connections. Opening our senses to the pure essence of the plant is a gateway to traveling deep into ourselves, in our emotional patterns, past traumas, and physiological blockages that words cannot always heal.

Participants will be introduced to a number of common and rare essential oils. They will rediscover their unique profile and properties as well as create an aromatherapy self-portrait of their own desires and inspirations.

All participants will bring home an 8-ounce bottle of freshly distilled hydrosol, a custom made toner, an aromatherapy inhaler or roll-on pulse point, a self-portrait  aromatherapy & hydrosol blend, as well as a thorough hand-outs packed with useful information for your own distilling adventures! 

Important notes: Lunch is not provided, please bring lunch as there are no close locations for a lunch break. Hat, a notepad, and water are recommended.

A $50 cash material fee will be charged the day of class.

The class will start promptly at 10 am. Please show up at the latest at 9.45, in order to settle down, find your marks and make yourself a cup of tea...The class will mostly be held outside, in a small group, so spaces are limited! Biophilia products, hydrosols and skin care will be available for purchase throughout the event!!!

For your own accommodation planning, the class will be located in Bloomfield, Petaluma, 94952. The final location of the class will be provided the week of class.

Customer Reviews

Based on 1 review
Katerina Schreiner
Best Sunday learning day ever!

Alice is so knowledgable and passionate about the art of distillation. The class is very well formatted and flowed in a lovely rhythm. And the gardens are beautiful! Gratitude Alice...