SCENTS OF PLEA­SURE

Long-last­ing per­fume balms make ideal gifts. Jane Grif­fiths demon­strates how to make and per­son­alise them

South African Garden and Home - - Contents -

Make your own per­fume balms

Syn­thetic fra­grances can cause al­ler­gic re­ac­tions, plus they some­times con­tain harm­ful in­gre­di­ents. By mak­ing your own solid per­fume balms, you can en­sure they’re to­tally nat­u­ral. Sim­ply rub the balm on your neck and wrists for a nat­u­ral scent that lasts for hours.

What you’ ll need

In­fused oil: Use home-grown herbs in­fused in a car­rier oil for a truly home­made prod­uct. Strongly scented herbs such as rose pelargo­nium, clary sage, laven­der, lemon ver­bena and even cit­rus peels work well.

Es­sen­tial oils: A per­son­alised blend of your choice. (See page 108 for ideas.)

Car­rier oil: Jo­joba, grape­seed, baobab or sweet al­mond are good choices.

Beeswax: Solid at room tem­per­a­ture, it melts into warm skin.

Con­tain­ers: You can use any lip balm con­tainer – even the stick ones. Or browse an­tique stores for un­usual tins, old fob watch cases and lock­ets.

Step-by-step

1 In­fuse the herbs (this is op­tional as you can use plain car­rier oil). Chop 1 cup of herbs finely, place in a slow cooker and cover with car­rier oil.

2 Sim­mer for 3–4 hours, then strain. (You can keep left­over in­fused oil in a sealed jar for up to a year in the fridge.) 3 Blend the es­sen­tial oils. Use about 40–45 drops of es­sen­tial oil per 4t of base. Bear in mind it won’t be as strong once mixed.

4 Place equal amounts of in­fused oil

(or plain car­rier oil) and grated beeswax in the top of a dou­ble boiler

(or a glass bowl set over a sim­mer­ing pot of wa­ter). A 10g lip balm con­tainer will need about 2t beeswax and 2t car­rier oil. 5 As soon as it has melted, re­move from the heat and stir in the es­sen­tial oil mix­ture. Quickly pour it into con­tain­ers. If it hard­ens be­fore you’ve fin­ished pour­ing, place it back over the sim­mer­ing wa­ter un­til it melts – don’t leave it as the es­sen­tial oils will evap­o­rate.

THIS PAGE, FROM LEFT TO RIGHT:Use laven­der and herbs to scent in­fused oil. Rose pelargo­nium.

THIS PAGE, CLOCK­WISE FROM LEFT:Clary sage. Mak­ing in­fused oil with rose­mary, bor­age and laven­der.Pour the mix­ture into con­tain­ers as soon as it’s melted.

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