Here's a President Lincoln rose. Lovely, yes?
Today I checked on my various rose mixes. My rose petal vinegar has a delightful bouquet. My rose petals tinctured in kirsch smell yummy. My yarrow tinctured in vodka has an intriguing spicey smell (in a good way). My cottonwood buds collected this past spring in olive oil have an, um, unusual smell. Not rancid, but ... I screw the lid back on and shove the jar back into the pantry, to inspect again later. Perhaps the trees I'd collected these buds from hadn't been Black Cottonwood ... Hm.
On the other hand: I open the jar containing my Black Cottonwood buds in olive oil, collected on Vashon Island in 2007. Wow, luscious. The buds have been there for two years! I take a small jar, shave some beeswax, filling the jar a quarter way. Then I pour the beeswax into a sauce pan, and gently melt the wax I pour some of the Black Cottonwood oil through cheese cloth, filling the jar 3/4s of the way, then add the filtered oil to the melted beeswax. After mixing it, I turn off the heat, pop a spoon into the mix, then put the spoonful into the freezer and leave it for a few minutes. When I check the consistency of the salve, I find it is just right. Hurrah! Last time I made Black Cottonwood salve (a couple of years ago), I'd added too much beeswax.
Back to the saucepan. I turn on the heat enough to warm the salve some more, and melt the salve from the spoon. Pour the salve into the jar. The salve now sits on the counter til it cools completely, then I'll screw on the lid and stash it away. I've tried some of the salve, and boy does it have a warm, delicious feel. And the scent -- mmmm!! My Balm Of Gilead salve is a success!