Wednesday, June 3, 2009

essential essentials

I've been making small batches of soap for a couple of years, and they are starting to sell well at the farmer's market and in the shop, so I had nearly depleted my stock of essential oils this month. My new order just came in today and opening that box was like a kid's Christmas. Lemongrass and lavender; ylang ylang, orange and star anise; Siberian fir needle and rosemary — these are a few of the scent blends I do. These are all true botanical essential oils and are a bit pricey (the oils shown here were about $300 including shipping) — but worth it when you experience the finished product. Synthetic "fragrance oils" can not compare.

I also got some good emollient oils — avocado, hemp seed, castor and aloe. One of the additives that I use on a regular basis is beeswax. This adds a silky feel and longevity to the soap. New blends for the summer are grapefruit with lime and cornmeal as a kitchen bar, and lemon with basil and pumice as a gardener's soap.

Essential oils are not used in commercial soaps (like you'd find in a grocery store) but you will find them in artisan soaps everywhere (check the label). Next time you go to a farmer's market, organic food store or bath shop, treat yourself to a hand made soap — you'll be supporting a craftsman and enhancing your everyday life.

1 comment:

wvquill said...

This sounds yummy, Ellen. good soap making.