Monday, August 22, 2011

Fantabulously Scented Artisan Soap

So, yeah, taught a soap class last Saturday and made, if I do say so myself, the most exquisitely scented soap ever. It's a knock out. Here's what we did:

We used extra virgin olive oil and organic unrefined coconut oil, whipped it up with the lye and when it hit trace, we poured in antique cubeb oil, aged patchouli oil, antique copaiba balsam, a rarified Turkish sage oil, ylang-ylang oil, petitgrain sur fleur neroli oil and a hefty dose of pink grapefruit oil. Then we split the batch, poured some into the mold, then added organic white sage leaves to the other, and more scent -- more cubeb, more copaiba, more ylang and grapefruit, more patchouli -- man, it was devastatingly intoxicating! Then that was poured over the top of the stuff in the mold. Then we sat it aside and sat talking for an hour or so about life. It was like that soap opened up something -- a door or window into a place where strangers were friends and we conversed about life topics as if we'd known each other for years.

I wanted to stay even longer, as the class was given in the evening and twilight was on the horizon. Sitting in the garden amongst the mugwort, sage, tea tree, peaches, sweetgrass, lavenders, buzzing bees and sleepy birds -- it was meditative, mellow, an escape from all that is happening in the world. A retreat.

I'm telling you, if you live in the Central Valley, you must give Seasons Gifts & Gardens a visit. The address is 1121 N. Nelson, just a few miles east outside of Fresno off of Belmont Avenue. Google map it. Coming from Fresno and heading east on Belmont, drive until you see the big arrow sticking out of the shoulder of the road on the left (yes, there is a big arrow sticking out of the ground!) and about 50 yards up the street on the left you will see Nelson and the Seasons sign. They have a wonderful herb and book and supplies shop onsite, but the gardens are exquisite. A nice place to hang out for the day.

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