One evening, on the way from my apartment to the laundromat, the aroma from a neighbor’s orange tree was so arresting that I found myself sniffing for the good part of an hour, my clothing bags at my feet. The perfume was the most extraordinary thing I’d ever smelled. I tried distilling the fruit, but the acids in the juice were unstable - we couldn’t get a consistent aroma from one bottling to another. Then I realized: let’s use the flowers instead. It takes an hour to harvest a pound of Mandarin blossoms. It takes 100 pounds of blossoms to do just two bottlings of our vodka. Since we only pick at the height of bloom, we’re constantly battling time and the elements, and we have to do it in giant bee suits. The complex, floral aroma is always worth the trouble, and much more.