Natural oils which encapsulate the fragrance of the flower or herb form the essence of many cosmetics.
Concentrated herbal oils can be purchased from a herbalist or chemist as there is great skill in preparing such items. However, the following instructions will enable you to create light floral oils with scented flower petals. Use a measuring cup to weight the petals.
1 ¼ cups Almond Oil
2 ½ quarts Flower Petals
1 tsp Liquid Storax
1 tsp Tincture of Benzoin
Warm the oil in the top of a double saucepan over simmering water. Add 2 cups of petals, stir, cover and leave over a low heat for 2 hours, checking regularly to ensure that the pan does not boil dry. Strain and reserve the flowers. Add another 2 cups of flowers to the oil and repeat the process until all the flowers have been used.
Pour the oil and all the flowers into a large pan, bring to a boil slowly then simmer gently for 40 minutes. Strain the oil through muslin (cheesecloth), pressing to extract all the oil form the petals. Stir in the liquid storax and tincture of benzoin to fix the fragrance, pour into bottles, seal, label and store in a dry, dark place.
For a relaxing and fragrant bath oil, mix one part homemade floral or herbal oil with three parts almond oil for an oil which will float on the water, or with Turkey red dispersing oil. Pour the oil into bottles, seal, label and store. These bath oils make excellent gifts. Only a teaspoonful is need in the bath.
To counteract the dry nature of soap, add a cupful of herbal vinegar to your bath water.
Kali S. Winters
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