Good day my feminine artists!
Since I was a little girl the sweet scents of NATURE have always delighted me. I've always appreciated nature!
Having always been a nature-loving girl, I felt particularly blessed that my grandparents had a large garden - almost a full acre in size. :-)
What wonderful memories I have of time spent in my grandparent's garden! Just one of those memories involves spending many a sweet scented hour creating scented potpourri jars and fragrance bags.
What lovelier offering could a woman make, dove, than something homemade, and filled with an aromatic fragrance from her own garden?
It makes an ideal feminine hobby and pastime, as well!
The flowers and herbs that we harvest from our gardens can be used for so many things;
To season a dish.
To perfume our drawers.
To revive our spirits.
To create a fine centerpiece for the table....
These are some of the more gentle 'feminine arts.' :-)
Speaking of reviving the spirits, even a cup of herbal tea can produce enough bracing aroma to alleviate the most drooping of spirits. From the earliest of times, people have delighted in the aromas of plants, woods and spices - not only for their fragrances, but because they revive the spirits so very well!
How To Make Scented Homemade Beauty, Bath and Health Products - Therapeutic Bath Products
During the times of old England, open bowls of dried lavender flowers were used to disinfect sick rooms.
In Tudor times, nurses would put the bruised fresh leaves of lavender, bergamot and mint on the brows of their patients - to assist them on the road to recovery.
In old France, rosemary (referred to then as 'inscensier,') was used in hospitals for fumigation....
Why not try harvesting, drying and mixing a sufficient amount of flowers and herbs from your own garden (or from a friend's garden,) for the SAME purpose, dove? You can also store your 'healing herbs' in attractive, labeled jars.
Left; various herbs ready to be ground in a pestle and mortar
Fragrant baths have always been popular with women, not only for their relaxing or invigorating scents, but for their therapeutic properties. Thyme baths were a favorite in centuries past, and were not only taken to increase blood circulation, but to relax tired aching muscles.
A very simple method of making a bath soothing, therapeutic and aromatic is to;
Tie a handful of your favorite dried herbs in a 4-5 inch square of cheesecloth.
Drop into the bathwater.
For a truly LUXURIOUS bath, fit for an Indonesian princess, you can add other pre-prepared ingredients to your bath - such as;
Aloe vera juice.
Essential oils (such as ylang ylang and jasmine.)
How To Make Scented Homemade Beauty, Bath and Health Products - Fragrant Waters and Washes
A fragrant homemade rubbing alcohol was made in early days by infusing herbs in wine for several days, then straining off the liquid for use. An ideal way these days would be to;
Fill a large jar or bottle with approximately 1 pint of rubbing alcohol, in which herbs have been placed, and chosen for their therapeutic properties.
Let the jar/bottle stand for about two weeks (give it the occasional good shake.)
Strain off the liquid, and pour into lotion bottles (which have been labeled with the name of the herb used.)
The most refreshing plants to use for homemade herbal rubbing alcohol are rosemary, lemon balm, mint and lavender flowers and leaves.
All of these give a beautiful shade of green to the liquid. :-)
For scenting your bath water another way, you can make your own unique homemade bath products by using the following instructions;
Boil in water a sufficient quantity of highly-fragranced flower petals - such as jasmine, magnolia, frangipani or orange flowers.
Strain off the liquid.
Pour into a pretty bottle/bottles.
Add 10-20 drops of suitable essential oil.
Shake and cap.
A fragrant homemade complexion wash recipe
Mix and bottle;
4 ounces of rose water.
4 ounces of orange-flower water.
1/16 ounce of borax.
A couple of drops of lemon or benzoin essential oil.
**This wash will give dry or oily skin a fresh and healthy appearance. :-)
An Ayurvedic beauty secret;
For acne prone skin, try washing your face with pre-prepared bottles of neem-infused tea. Exfoliate after with sandalwood powder (some Ayurvedic beauty secrets.)
Another Ayurvedic beauty secret;
Rinse your hair after shampooing with a pre-prepared bottle of amla infusion (used in Ayurvedic medicine to treat the scalp and hair.)
To make homemade amla infusion;
Mix amla powder with hot water.
Allow to steep.
Cool and bottle.
How To Make Scented Homemade Beauty, Bath and Health Products - Herbal Hair Rinses and Dyes
Herbal hair rinses have always been used for the color, fragrance and therapeutic properties they impart to the hair. Rosemary rinses are good for strengthening the hair. In earlier times, rosemary tips would be simmered for an hour in rain or artificially softened water. the, the liquid was strained off and bottled for use.
Natural homemade herbal rinses for lightening and coloring the hair;
The leaves of rosemary, thyme, sourthernwood and bay are ideal for darkening the hair (over time.)
**An even better result can be had by simmering the herbs in a strong black tea.
FREQUENTLY washing the hair with a tea made from sage will darken it.
Sage is especially suitable for tinting grey hair, red hair, and all shades of brown hair.
Marigold and red hibiscus flowers give a pleasing tint to mid brown and red hair.
Ginger, juniper berries and sage are also suitable for red hair.
Chamomile rinses are good for preserving the the golden tints of blond or light brown hair. The liquid is obtained in the same way as for rosemary, however, only the flower heads of the chamomile are used.
In addition, light shades of coloring for the hair can be produced by the application of rhubarb or turmeric.
St. John's Wort can be used to gradually lighten the hair.
An interesting old formula for creating a natural homemade hair dye was combining;
4 ounces of green black-walnut hulls.
8 ounces of claret.
The most EFFICIENT herbal/vegetable dye for the hair is a combination of henna and indigo plant powder;
The two powders should be mixed separately with water, to form a thick paste.
The henna paste should first be applied to the hair. In about an hour turns the hair to a red color.
The indigo paste should next be applied.
After several hours, the hair should be washed with water when it's found to be stained a deep brown or black color (this will depend on how much indigo you use.)
To darken the eye-brows naturally, the simplest natural homemade preparations for this purpose are;
The juice of elder-berries (used by Arab women from the earliest of times.)
Burnt cloves, mastic or frankincense resin, mixed with almond-oil. Apparently, dove, this coloration doesn't come off with perspiration.
Another way of making natural homemade eyebrow dye is by using the ingredients;
To make the dye, first powder the ink and the gum.
Then, combine small quantities of the powder with rose water - until a uniform black liquid results.
Place the liquid in a bottle.
Pour over it the remainder of the rose water.
How To Make Scented Homemade Beauty, Bath and Health Products - Therapeutic Sleep Pillows
From the earliest of times, one of the SIMPLEST means of ensuring a sound sleep is the use of fragrant herbs.
As a help for insomnia, the Malaysians used to fill their pillows and mattresses with an East Indian mint.
During the reign of George III, hop pillows were popular.
Cleopatra, on the other hand, being a lover of the rose, had her pillows (and mattress,) filled with rose petals.
In our modern times, sleeping on a pillow filled with aromatic herbs is still considered as an especially good means of producing relaxation and sleep (and for rejoicing the soul!) Little homemade pillows, filled with herbs, can revive the spirits of any recipient - sick or well. :-)
How To Make Scented Homemade Beauty, Bath and Health Products - Homemade Gifts
Most people have definite scent preferences which will determine the choice of plants and spices that are used for scented homemade gifts.
If somebody likes the scent of lemon, try using lemon verbena, lemon thyme, lemongrass, lemon balm, costmary and southernwood.
If somebody likes spicy scents, try using cinnamon, nutmeg, the clove-like basil, the 'nut-meggish' rosemary, and the indefinable and spicy marjoram.
Both lavender and southernwood, each strongly aromatic in their own distinctive ways, make delightfully refreshing pillows and bags. But each should be used alone or else with a very light hand if in combination.
Scented herbal pillows are especially invigorating if filled with the mints, including bergamot, because of the traces of camphor and menthol.
Pillows filled with lavender are extremely soothing.
Pillows filled with fir, balsam pine, wheat and sweet grass are such acceptable gifts to make, after summers spent in the mountains.
Very PLEASING gifts may be made by laying a dozen or so herb bags - of various combinations and of preferred fragrances - carefully labeled in an attractive box. The most pleasant and refreshing fragrances will be - lavender, thyme, rosemary, bergamot, any of the mints, sage and chamomile.
Left; pretty lavender bag.
Cinnamon sticks and vanilla beans are ideal to add to an organza bag filled with various dried fruit wedges, and tied with a ribbon.
The scented potpourri jar is another delightful feminine art, as well as pleasing homemade gift.
How to make scented potpourri;
Gather a sufficient quantity of rose petals (they're best gathered early in the morning.)
Spread the petals out on a table to dry a bit (in a cool, airy room.)
In a large ceramic jar, place some of the petals in a half-inch layer.
Sprinkle the layer with salt.
Keep repeating this process each morning - until the jar is filled.
Once full, stand the jar for 10 days, stirring the petals each day.
When the 10 days are up, coarsely grind an ounce each of cloves and allspice.
Add some broken and shredded cinnamon sticks to the mixture.
Transfer the rose petals to another jar, and scatter the spices, mixed together, in layers - alternately with the petals.
Cover the jar with an air-tight lid, and allow it to stand (in a dark place,) for 3 weeks.
Prepare a quarter of an ounce each of ground cloves and allspice, half an ounce of grated nutmeg, half an ounce of shredded cinnamon, one ounce of powdered orris-root, and a quarter of a pound of dried lavender-flowers.
Mix all together in a bowl.
Proceed to fill the rose jar with alternate layers of the rose mix and the spice/lavender mix.
Drop a few drops each of essential oils - such as rose, geranium, neroli - on the layers as you progress.
Once done, pour over the entire potpourri mix an ounce of fine cologne.
The amount of potpourri is sufficient to fill 2 quart jars - or 1 very large one.
From time to time, various sweet things can be added to it - such as a few colorful scented wood chips, a tuberose or two, or a spray of heliotrope....
If this wonderful potpourri jar is left open for half an hour every day, it will fill your rooms with a delicate, indefinable fragrance.
It will keep for YEARS.
This homemade scented potpourri recipe emanates the most delightful fragrance - unlike any other perfume. The aromas are so mingled, that all are modified, and the fragrance suggests all manner of subtle, bewitching things. :-)
Anyhow, cupcake, I do hope you enjoyed my post; 'How To Make Scented Homemade Beauty, Bath and Health Products - Part One!'
In 'scentual' beauty, yours,
PS; Here's a course that may interest you;
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