Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Lost Treasures and a Meandering Mind on the Value of Simplicity

Not mine (again), someone else's lost treasures ~ Earthly Realities' author posted a day or so ago that she'd dug up some oldies but goodies she purchased from The Scented Djinn a year ago November, a lovely body butter called Spiced Chocolate Jasmine, and she posted that using it now was like using it when she first purchased it! Nice, eh? Body butters are notorious for short life spans and don't usually fare well over a year of seasons. Some body butters don't even make it through a year in the refrigerator. I think the secret is keeping things simple. Using the best organic base ingredients possible, and not fussing things up with too many oil and butter blends. Keeping the scents subtle and complex, even in a single note formulation.

Last May I taught a soap making class to a very lively group of folks at Intermountain Nursery, and I asked them to split up into three groups, each group developing and formulating a note for the perfume base of the soap. One group was in charge of the head notes, another group the heart notes, and another the base notes. When we first used this blend, it seemed only slightly out of balance, not bad at all, and quite strong given the amount of scent per pound of soap. Now, nearly a year later, those little bars they made have more than fully cured and they smell luscious! The scent is complex and rich, like a heavy floral spring garden with everything abloom, the scent of freshly turned, sun-warmed black soil creeping up the stalks of sweet peas and snap dragons and baby strawberry blossoms. Yes, I'm using some of my student's soap. The ingredients in the soap base were simple -- organic virgin olive oil, organic coconut oil, and organic cocoa butter, whipped up at very low temps and cured for months. And now, seven months later, after a long hot summer, there's no sign of the soap going "off", that nasty rancid effect hand made soap can acquire over time if improperly formulated or overheated. So, yes, simple saves the day, or in this case, the year.


  1. The butters are still holding strong and I am enjoying them, the formulation was very simple what like 3 ingredients.

  2. Yes, that's about right. Very simple. I just think it works better that way. Thanks for the write up!

  3. Anonymous12:42 PM

    I used the remainder of your 2009 holiday butters up this past summer and the scents were still fresh and th butters themselves: divine. Please make more in bigger sizes!



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