A Valentine's gift idea from the Hammacher Schlemmer catalog: a Copper Alembic Perfume Distiller.
Handcrafted in the Iberian Peninsula by Al-Ambik, makers of fine distilling instruments since 1853, this copper alembic distiller is reminiscent of those used for over 1,200 years to extract essential oils from plants for use in perfumes. It was invented around 775 A.D. by Jabir Ibn Haiyan (Geber), renowned as the Father of Chemistry. Simply place water and fragrant plant leaves (such as lavender, peppermint, or thyme) into the 2 2/3-quart cucurbit, light the oil lamp and place it under the cucurbit. As the water boils, steam extracts essential oils from the plant and fills the vessel with oil vapor. The oil vapor passes from the cucurbit through the swan-neck tube and, once it reaches the water-filled condensing pot, it is cooled and converted into a concentrated liquid. The aromatic oil is deposited into a copper cooling cup for use in perfumes.
$350 at Hammacher Schlemmer. Many thanks to Kelly Red for the link!