I like the smell of Yerba Buena. A relative of the mint family, it has light aromatics but some depth of flavor. I had been plucking sections of the herb and rubbing it between my fingers, enjoying the smell. I sort of wanted a way to capture that, but didn’t want a big hassle.
Hydrosol is the answer. Water extraction to get all the smelly oils. Pick a couple of hands full of the herb. Put a brick in the bottom of a large pot (I used an inverted pyrex pie plate) and fill up the pot with water up to the top of the brick (or pie plate). Put a bowl on top of the brick to catch the hydrosol.
Add plant material to the water. Turn up to medium. Put on the lid. Add ice to the top of the lid. This will condense the oils on the lid of the pan and then drip the oils into the bowl below.
Worked like a charm for me. I got a quarter cup of essence of Yerba Buena. Thanks to Kami McBride for the methodology and Yerbamansa for the tip.