Little luxuries

The horizontal rain pelted the windows last night to the point where I thought it would break them.  There was a puddle on the kitchen counter because somehow the roof over the kitchen leaks in eastern winds.  This truly is not my time of the year.  By January my body has finally succumbed to the oppression of the dark, refusing to wake up and generally behaves like a teenager.  I have learned to give it space and wait it out patiently.  I don't expect to be as energetic as at other times and find that this time is more bearable if I try to pamper myself.

One of the things that I like to do at this time of the year, apart from sleeping late, is to use all the herbs and plants that I collected over the previous summer.  I have a lot dried herbs and I make my own herbal mixtures and put them in capsules.  I make up my own mixes in attempts to inject some herbal goodness into my body.  Some of my dried flowers get used on top of soaps, at least before Christmas and my infused oils get used in creams and lotion.  But since I haven't had the energy to do much more than my weekly yoghurt and sourdough bread I started to use the oil as they are.  And I really like them like that.

I am especially thrilled with the Rumex oil that I infused late last fall.  It is the most perfect dark golden yellow and smells lovely.  I use it at night on my face and neck.  The yellow colour is very strong and even if I spread it out there is a bit of a yellow tinge to my skin.  I am convinced that it is an excellent anti oxidant and it really does make my skin feel very nice.  Remarkably my pillow doesn't get stained and my husband hasn't made a comment yet.  I have never had dry skin, so I was a bit surprised how much I like to use the oils on my face.

For the daytime I tend to use the Yarrow oil.  Yarrow is one the traditional medicinal herbs and is wonderful for the skin.  Even if the oil is slightly green, it doesn't color my face at all.  Both of those are infused in Olive oil.  I find that it just glides on my face really smoothly and absorbs quite quickly.  I use mineral make up and find that occasionally it can sometimes look a bit dry when first applied.  Now I usually mix it with oil to make a kind of make up and apply it that way.  It gives a nice dewy finish.

The last of my oils is the Rose oil.  I actually have a Rose oil infused in both Olive oil and Peach kernel oil.  Infused three or four times, the oils really get a good rose scent.  The one I'm using now is the Peach Kernel oil and I like that as a body oil after bath.  It really makes spring seem just around the corner then I emerge from the bath all dewy soft and smelling like a bed of roses in the dead of winter.


  1. Lovely post as usual, Ambra. I lost your email addy when my computer crashed a few weeks ago...want to send you some dried Usnea, if you can't find it around there. Mail me if you're interested, I have plenty. Also...have you ever made your infusions with grapeseed oil? It's quite lovely on the skin

  2. Oh, I'd love some Usnea - email on it's way :D I haven't used Grapeseed oil for infusions, but will try that next. Thanks for the tip.

  3. Hi Ambra! Girl, you're singin' my song -never thought to mix the mineral makeup w/my olive oil -always did it in 2 steps! You're a genius! I need to find some yarrow -I'll have to research and see if it grows here, what it looks like, etc.
    Thanks for the great info, m'dear. :)

  4. Becky :D Yarrow is Achillea millefolium grows in the Northern hemisphere pretty much anywhere in poor soil:
    It's been used for ages in many cultures and is one of the most popular Icelandic herbs especially for ointments and creams.

  5. Great informative post. How long did You infuse the rose oil? I'd like to make one for myself.

  6. Petra, I fill a jar with petals and pour oil over it and poke it to get rid of as many bubbles as I can. I let this stand until the petals look sad. Then strain them and I squeeze all the oil out of them. I then stuff another round of fresh petals into the jar and let those sit until spent (usually a few days) and strain and squeeze and then do it at least another time. So at least 3x, even better 4x. You then have to let the oil sit and some gunk will sink to the bottom. I use a turkey baster to get the clear oil off into another vessel and leave the gunk on the bottom. That is water from the petals and will not smell nice and needs to be separated.

  7. Hi Ambra
    I just wanted to let you know that Naturally Made Soaps is now no more :-( (sorry to do this in a comment but I have lost your email)

    BUT, we are now Puro Soaps and its all extremely exciting.
    As you are one of our best links I was wondering if it might be possible for you to restore your link to our blog on your blog site? we are now, its actually the same blog but I have changed the domain of course!
    I would also really like to add you as a link to our website, would that be OK? and would you be able to do the same?
    Can you let me know if you are happy for us to add to you the website? You are already added as a link on our new blog.
    Thanks so much for your help and support
    All the best
    Ishbel (aka Soapchick)



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