March 1, 2013

Plan Bee

Using embeds from my failed experiment with beeswax and honey; I have produced the most amazing patchouli soap ever. Well, it's the most amazing patchouli soap I've ever used.

The lather is fluffy and intensely fragrant thanks to a generous dose of patchouli essential oil (versus the fragrance oil I usually use) blended with orange and may chang essential oils.

But I think the real amazingness comes from the embeds being rolled in powdered patchouli, star anise, jasmine, sandalwood, frankincense and Boswellian resin. It takes the fragrance to a completely different level.


The embeds

I plunked the embeds into a basic soap batch containing olive oil that I'd infused with calendula petals.

Calendula (calendula officinalis, also known as pot marigold) has anti-inflammatory and antifungal properties. It's used to treat chapped skin, burns and acne and yeast infections. It also repels eelworms and asparagus beetles if you happen to have a problem with them.

I grew a bunch of it in my garden last season, but unfortunately, I grew a type of calendula with very tiny flowers, so I ended up with only a small amount of oil and the soap didn't have the sunny yellow color I'd hoped for.

Such a pitiful amount

I am going to grow more calendula this year—the kind with huge flowers. I'm also going to try my hand at growing some patchouli.

And speaking of patchouli, I think it deserves a little attention. It has the reputation of being used to cover up the smell of unwashed hippies, but it's more than that.

Patchouli (Pogostemon cablin) has been used for centuries in Asian medicine to treat dandruff, dermatitis, eczema, chapped skin and acne. It's also thought to be a cell rejuvenator and may help to heal wounds and reduce the appearance of scars.

It's also a great insect repellant. In the 1700 and 1800's, silk traders would pack their cloth with dried patchouli leaves to prevent moths from laying their eggs. Its scent became an indicator of 'real' Asian fabric, therefore associated with luxury.

Aromatherapy-wise, patchouli is relaxing yet stimulating. It's believed to be helpful treating impotence and sexual anxiety. And it's an antidepressant.

So there, stick that in your bong and smoke it.

If you like this blog, check out my new one: The Haley Maxwell Soap Making Mysteries