While I love rose scented things, there is nothing more tedious to me than a rose scented item that is so obviously fake that the smell just never goes away. Years after you get rid of some of those super fakey things, you can still smell them and the super chemical fakey base used to make them.
But Rose Essential oil is SSSOOOOO expensive! What to do? I found a really nice fragrance blend that smells like real roses! AND it’s not a super toxic, kill-you-dead one, either!
This soap is just a beautiful, super hard, tallow soap enriched with Almond Oil, Castor Oil, Cocoa Butter, and Olive Oil then colored with Herbs and Minerals. Awesome.
I saw Queen of Hungary Water, also known as Hungary Water, mentioned in a book I was reading. Decided to look the stuff up and see what all the fuss was about. The exact date of the invention of Hungary Water is lost to history. It is equally unclear who created it. Some say that a monk-recluse who first gave it to The Queen of Hungary, though most likely it was made by a court alchemist. The oldest surviving recipes call for distilling fresh rosemary flowers (and possibly thyme) with strong brandy, while later formulations contain lavender, mint, sage, marjoram, cistus, orange blossom and lemon.
The legend takes it further – how this stuff made a 70 year old Queen look so good again that a man many years her junior proposed marriage.
Other legends have it that early gypsies formulated it and claimed it to be a panacea. It has been claimed to be the first herbal product ever marketed.
So, the original Hungary Water was made with alcohol and rosemary flowers (and most likely thyme), then the formula appears to have morphed into containing rosemary, thyme as well as citrus (all therapeutic, not just good-smelling!). Then, whether it was Gypsies or an herbalist who decided to use vinegar, a whole new dimension was explored there.
Taking a look around the internet, one can find versions of Hungary Water in perfume/cologne format that would blow the heck out of a $100 bill – some of them not even leaving you a couple bucks for your buyer’s remorse soothing after-spending treat… LOL :) Others are vinegar-based herbal delights that are very affordable.
The recipes that turned up in my research were interesting and varied – ranging from essential oils blended into vodka or commercially made witch hazel to herbs (fresh, dried or both) steeped in apple cider vinegar for a time, then blended with aloe, rosewater (or other hydrosol, such as orange blossom) or commercially made witch hazel.
Because I love fermented and cultured stuff, I decided to try one of the recipes that used apple cider vinegar as the base. I made it, of course, taking my usual deviations from the recipe (no recipe is safe). I used it and LOVED it. The vinegar scent was there, but not excessive. Once it dried, the floral scent was all that was left. However, my husband isn’t a vinegar fan and has mentioned it a couple of times.
So, for my next attempt, I used all my chosen flowers herbs and steeped them in rum. My rosemary plant was blooming and I wanted to get at least a few of those blossoms into the mix. I didn’t have the heart to steal them all from the bees, though.
It is a wonderful toner/astringent for the face. Most of the herbs are easy enough to find – especially if you shop at Mountain Rose Herbs! While the initial amount paid for all the supplies may seem high, this stuff goes a long, long way and I can’t help but believe it to be quite a lot less expensive and much healthier than even the cheapest commercial toner – it’s chemical free, too!
I noticed the tone and condition of my skin improving after just a couple of weeks using this nightly. On the days I use it both morning and night (I hate to admit it, but I don’t tend to my skin THAT often!), my pores seem to get even smaller and tighter.
The ‘parts’ can be any measurement you choose. An ounce, a tenth of an ounce, a teaspoon, a cup. Keep in mind, though, that dried herbs weigh lightly, so an ounce of some of these can be very BIG!
Whatever ‘part’ you decide upon, make sure your vessel is large enough to accommodate the herbs with some room for the liquids. My ‘part’ for this was .10 oz – I ended up with over 2.5 oz of herbs and flowers – it’s bigger than you think! It ended up filling a gallon jar half way.
3 parts Lavender flower buds – anti-inflammatory
1 part Helichrysum flowers – regenerative, fades scars
3 parts Chamomile flowers – anti-inflammatory
2 parts Calendula flowers – speeds healing
6 parts Roses – astringent, vitamin c, aromatherapy
1 part Jasmine flowers – aromatherapy
2 parts Elder flowers – mild astringent, gentle stimulant
Rosemary flowers – not easy to obtain unless you have a plant
1 part Rosemary – improves circulation, astringent
3 parts Lemon Balm (aka Melissa) – antiseptic, calming
1/2 part White Sage – improves circulation
1 part Comfrey Leaf – soothing
2 parts Lemon Peel – fights acne, antiseptic, vitamin c
1/4-1/2 part Peppermint Leaf – reduces redness, cooling
1/2 tablespoon Witch Hazel Bark – astringent
1/2 tablespoon Turmeric Root – anti-inflammatory
1 tablespoon Rose Hips – vitamin c
1/2 teaspoon Frankincense powder – antiseptic, aromatherapy
1/4 teaspoon Myrrh powder – antiseptic, aromatherapy
1/2 grapefruit rind – vitamin c, aromatherapy
Vodka or Rum to cover
(you may use Raw Apple Cider Vinegar or OR 1/2 ACV and 1/2 vodka/rum)
Rosewater, Aloe Vera Gel (commercially made) and/or Witch Hazel (measures follow)
1. Place all the herbs in a wide mouth jar and cover with chosen liquid (alcohol, vinegar or 1/2 and 1/2). Be sure there is about 2 inches of alcohol/vinegar above the herb blend. Cover tightly and let sit in a warm place for 2-3 weeks.
2. Strain and set liquid aside.
3. To each cup, add 1/2 cup rosewater, witch hazel or commercially made Aloe Vera Gel to the blend – it is very refreshing!
4. A few drops of essential oils as desired.
I go a few steps further, adding skin loving algae extract, wrinkle fighting NaPCA and a little of my favorite ferment, Jun (pronounced JUNE). It goes into a spray bottle – I can spritz it right on my face lightly on a hot day or spritz onto a cotton pad for use in my beauty routine. One to two sprays does the job for either use.
If you’d rather just purchase this, it is $7.95 for a 2 ounce spray bottle here.
Some of the most ‘active’ ingredients you can find in skin care today are vitamins and minerals. To be
honest with you, I SO want to just get preachy about taking your vitamins here because I truly believe that most, if not all, maladies begin with a deficiency. Yes, toxins are a huge issue, but our bodies really can combat most things as long as there are no deficiencies holding them back. But I won’t do that today.
Vitamin C is a very important antioxidant. It promotes an increase in collagen in the skin. Taking C internally is good, but to stimulate your skin into forming new collagen, applying it topically is surprisingly effective. Take a look around – there are a couple of very famous vitamin C serums that run about $100.00 – $150.00 PER OUNCE. While those famous serums are a little more complex than what I’m going to offer you here today – having other vitamins and nutrients besides C (and I question the logic of putting zinc in with C since zinc and C compete and cause oxidation to accelerate), the active in the serum is vitamin C. Specifically L-Ascorbic Acid. You can find L-Ascorbic Acid at Amazon, Making Cosmetics and Lotion Crafter. It isn’t super expensive to buy an ounce or so of the powder to try your own serum. A dollar or two for the dropper bottle (yes, recycled ones are ok as long as you get all of the previous contents out completely), and you’re good to go!
OK, on to the recipe. This is approximately a 10% concentration of Vitamin C. If you find that it tingles too much at first, you can wet your face before you apply it or add a little more water to your first batch to get accustomed to the C. Over time, the skin does develop a tolerance to the tingling that is felt at first. Some people have worked up to 25% serums.
1 – amber or cobalt 1 or 2 ounce glass dropper bottle (a 1 oz bottle is preferred – once your serum is oxidized, it will turn orangey, it’s not as beneficial as fresh, so don’t make up a lot at a time)
L-Ascorbic Acid (vitamin c)
Small dropper bottle
small bowl to mix
Into a small bowl, measure 1/2 tsp L-Ascorbic Acid, 4 tsp distilled water and 1 tsp glycerin – Note: I don’t use glycerin. Here in Arizona, there is no moisture in the air for the glycerin to draw on, so it draws the moisture from the skin and I don’t care for the way it gets to feeling. Try this without the glycerin and with the glycerin – see what works for you.
The L-Ascorbic acid can take some time to dissolve completely, so be patient. Once dissolved, mix well and pour into your dropper bottle. This will last nearly a month. As it oxidizes, it will turn orange. Once it is orange, it’s no longer very beneficial for the skin. Pour it out, clean the dropper bottle and make a new batch!
Some of you know about my struggle during November-January with Epstein Barr Virus. What I did not tell many people about is the fact that the virus had gone so far that it started expressing itself in these little sores on my body. Epstein Barr is a member of the Herpes family. There are several viruses in the Herpes family including the variant that produces cold sores as well as the one that causes the STD. One of the lesser known variants is Herpes Gladiatorum – found most often in wrestlers and those who frequent the gym regularly, Gladiatorum expresses itself with little blisters, then the blisters pop and the resulting area looks a little like a ringworm. I don’t know that my sores were Gladiatorum or EBV, they didn’t always have the blisters, but this blend worked great on my outbreaks!
This essential oil blend in a roller bottle brings a lot of relief and helps these heal pretty quickly.
10 drops Rosemary EO
10 drops Sage EO
10 drops Basil EO
10 drops Lemon Balm (Melissa) EO
10 drops Juniper EO
10 drops Thyme EO
10 drops Geranium EO
2-10 drops Frankincense EO (Optional – I ended up using 10 drops for my situation)
into a roller ball, fill with a carrier oil such as fractionated coconut oil – leaving a little room at the top in case you decide to add another oil, or more of any certain oil
10 drops Oregano EO
10 drops Myrrh EO
(if the condition needs heavy antibacterial action, use both)
I keep my bottle at my bedside so that I can use it on the spots before trying to sleep – they can be itchy or hot enough to interrupt sleep.
Cleansing Oil? :) Yes. In Ancient Rome, Olive oil was used as a cleanser for the skin – it was lathered on, then a scraper type tool was used to scrape the oil and dirt away. I’m not suggesting that a scraper be used on your face… :)
For those who haven’t tried it, there is a very famous, very nice oil one can buy for about $15 for 2 oz. While 2 ounces goes a long way (no, I’ve never bought that stuff, just made my own), I decided that I could match it and skip a few chemicals along the way.
This is the most excellent cleanser I’ve used – especially for taking makeup off. It’s quick and my eyelashes are super happy. Even on days that I don’t wear makeup (which is most days), however, this is a great way to cleanse the face. I’m posting a recipe here, but if you’d rather just buy it, click here.
To use: Massage a few drops into moistened skin. Tissue off. Follow with normal skin care routine. I usually follow with a toner such as Queen of Hungary water (watch for the recipe in coming days), then a treatment serum such as a vitamin C serum (watch for a simple recipe in coming days) or moisturizer such as Super Emollient.
For those of you who did not know it, I am a biker chick. :) For my 10th wedding anniversary, my awesome hubby gave me a Harley. It’s been 9 years since I got that ride and have been loving every minute I get the chance to get on it and go.
Not that long ago, my car had to be in the shop a little longer than planned and I had to go pick up my daughter from her college classes on my Harley. We had a great time on the ride, however, my lips got a little chapped. My daughter offered her favorite lip balm to me – Rosebud Salve. After checking the ingredients, I declined. I just don’t think petroleum-based stuff should be near our lips (or on our skin, in our hair, etc. etc…. :) )
I got busy and created a balm that comes pretty close to her favorite. Enter Rose Balm. It’s slightly tinted with alkanet root, but the alkanet root is not added right to the batch. Rather, it’s been infused into the oils. Alkanet is one of my favorite herbal colorants – in preparations such as this, it’s a blush pink to all out dark red, in soaps it turns lavender to purple. Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil infused with roses, a few drops of Rose Essential oil – the scent is light and pleasant, not too heavy – it mingles with the honeycomb and cocoa butter beautifully.
This balm is an awesome lip balm, but it’s also great to use on extremely dry spots, to groom eye brows, as a night time cuticle treatment – pretty much open to your imagination!
Made with organic avocado and olive oils infused with roses, organic sunflower seed oil, organic coconut oil, organic beeswax, organic honeycomb, raw organic honey, raw organic cocoa butter, raw shea butter, lanolin, alkanet root – an herbal colorant, vitamin e, geranium essential oil and a little rose essential oil, this is a true treat of a balm!
All the goings on around here just kept getting in my way last year and this formulation sat. Well, that isn’t a complete truth – I reworked it a few times as new ideas came up here and there. Then something would happen and the formula would be the only thing that got worked on! Maybe that was for the better, because this is a really nice soap. I think so anyway.
This little bar of soap is a good body soap, but it’s also a shampoo bar! Enriched with jojoba, rice bran oil, shea butter, meadowfoam seed oil, and stinging nettles, this is a shampoo good for any head of hair! Taken one step further with the addition of a little menthol to gently stimulate the scalp and skin – it will be your wake-up call!
Sodium Tallowate, Raw Organic Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Ricinus Communis Seed Oil, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Limnanthes alba (Meadowfoam) Seed Oil, Mangifera Indica (Mango) Seed Butter, Oryza sativa (Rice Germ) Oil, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Wintergreen Essential Oil, Menthol Crystals, Wildcrafted Silk, Organic Stinging Nettles, Mica.
Each Bar weighs about 4.3 – 4.5 oz
Enriched with Aloe Vera and Coconut Milk, this one is a treat! The scent is a Sunflowers type fragrance. It’s a very nice, not-so-toxic fragrance. Raw organic Cacao butter, Sunflower seed oil, jojoba oil, shea butter, castor oil and mango butter all contribute their beauty-preserving ingredients to this 8% super-fatted soap. Olive oil infused with calendula and calendula flowers – Calendula is said to promote cell repair and growth, is anti-inflammatory and very soothing.
The brilliant yellow comes from Organic Red Palm Oil (sustainably obtained) which I happened to get on sale – and we did eat some. However, my family didn’t really seem to be crazy about it and it sat. I decided to incorporate it into a soap formulation before it went bad. The color of this oil is due to the carotenes (vitamin A), tocotrienols / tocopherols (Vitamin E) and lycopene. The skin will reap the benefits of these nutrients.
Kombucha? In Soap? Yep! As mentioned in a couple of my previous posts (click the ‘Probiotics’ tag below and they will pop up), I am a Kombucha and Jun brewer and consumer. While a lot of people think it’s a terrible waste to put booch in soap – I don’t know that it is. I’ve seen ferments live through some pretty extreme conditions – freezing, cooking, etc. The way this soap was made, the kombucha was never subjected to extreme heat, nor did it come in direct contact with the lye. It was added to the soap after the oils and lye were well blended.
Raw Organic Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter, Organic Sustainable Elaeis Guineensis (Red Palm) Fruit Oil, Organic Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil infused with Organic Calendula officinalis (Calendula), Ricinus Communis Seed Oil, Mangifera Indica (Mango) Seed Butter, Organic Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Raw Organic Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Organic Aloe Vera, Organic Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Milk, Organic Calendula officinalis (Calendula) flowers, Kaolin Clay, fragrance. A little cosmetic glitter on top and it’s a beauty!
Each bar weighs at least 4.5 oz
As most of you know, my mother passed away in August 2014. We had a Celebration of Life for her on her birthday in November 2014. Right around that time, I was diagnosed with reactivated (my Dr. used the word “raging”) Epstein Barr Virus. It sounds innocuous enough, but it can be very harmful if allowed to run amok – causing a few different cancers as well as damaging/destroying other systems in the body. I opted for a more intensive treatment in the hopes that I would feel a LOT better in a couple of months rather than dragging around half dead for 6-12 months. The first month I kind of hobbled along, thinking ‘this is going to be OK’. Right around Thanksgiving, things kicked in REALLY well and I CRASHED – was mostly asleep for over a month!
I’m up. :)
A lot of you are probably thinking “yeah, you weren’t feeling like crap – you memed the heck out of your facebook page”. All I can say to that is cell phone apps have become very sophisticated… I made, posted and scheduled memes during my waking moments. That’s why some of them look or sound like they’re echoes from the twilight zone…
At any rate, LOTS of interesting things came to mind while I was
roosting resting on the couch for nearly 2 months! Thank goodness for smart phones. Think my over protective hubby kept hiding my pen and paper so I wouldn’t work – the Dr. did ORDER me to rest and he was going to see to it that I followed Dr.’s orders! When he wasn’t looking, my notes were put into my cell phone. :) They’ve been neatly (OK, scribbly) transcribed to paper for editing and further consideration before testing formulations.
Pretty much everything is out of stock – one of the first things on the TO DO list is to get stuff made. If there’s anything that any of you need sooner rather than later, feel free to shoot me an email or message on facebook!
Have a great day!
Made with olive oil that has been infused with calendula flowers, sweet almond oil, vitamin-rich avocado oil, Spring Water, Beeswax, Raw Organic Cacao Butter, Organic Coconut oil, Organic Aloe Vera, Helichrysum extract, Lavender Essential Oil, Helichrysum essential oil, Vitamin E, rosemary extract.