Sunday, November 17, 2013

Pink Lotus Kyphi

I am embarking on yet another kyphi making project, this one with pink lotus wax/concrete at its core, and a few of the usual suspects ~ frankincense, myrrh, and orris. I've also been thinking that I might begin to show some of the process via video, which means there is a chance, however slim, that I might be in them. That scares me to bits. I'm not a public type person at all, nor am I photogenic in any sense of the word. Besides, I just colored my hair and it's turned a shocking purple, though everyone here says it's black cherry red, or burgundy, or some other purplish hue which isn't as shocking -- it's purple. Like an eggplant and a blackberry hooked up and had thin silky babies who applied themselves to my scalp. You can't imagine how odd it looks without eyebrows. Another bane of my existence is that I have eyebrows which barely register -- thank heavens I didn't attempt what a lot of people do and color my brows the same as my head! I don't believe the world feels that purple eyebrows are de riguer ~ yet.

Clockwise from bottom left: frankincense, orris root, myrrh.

The pink lotus kyphi is something that I've been thinking about for a week or so now, mostly the logistics. Does wax/concrete burn? Will it burn clean? Does it have a pleasant scent when burned? I've conducted a few experiments with burning small bits on charcoal and it doesn't smell bad -- it melts and smokes profusely, even after the pearl of wax/concrete has disappeared, and the smoke smells of water. The scent is not that of strictly lotus but aspects of water plants in general -- murky, muddy water and non-specific greenery. If the idea is to create an incense which casts a ton of smoke, throw in a bit of this wax/concrete -- it smokes long after evidence of its existence disappears. Of course, to boost the floral parts of the incense I will be adding some floral oils. I think jasmine sambac smells beautiful with this lotus, so perhaps a nice dose of j.s. to the kyphi will boost it up. Plus I'm thinking of using dried cherries as the fruit medium. Dried cherries and a sweet muscat wine to soak the herbs, then a nice wildflower or clover honey to bind it all together.

Freshly ground under the full moon frankincense tears.

The honied tobacco soap is drying nicely. I already have it up on the Etsy shop even though it's new. The problem with handmade cold processed naturally scented soap is that during the time it is prescribed to 'cure', it loses quite a lot of its scent profile to the ether. I've been thinking lately of making a few batches of hot process soap and adding the scent late, when it's beginning to cool, to preserve some of the scent.

Freshly ground under the full moon myrrh resin.

Hot process can be used almost immediately after it's made, whereas ungelled cold process soap has a stabilization period of two to four weeks. The honied tobacco, because of the honey content, gelled up quickly, thereby creating a sort of hot process soap. The soap log was solid as a rock the next day so I had to quickly cut it before it became impossible to cut. Now the bars are sitting in the air getting dry and stinking up the house -- in a good way.


Freshly opened vintage can of 'orris root powdered' circa 1930's.

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