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