I never thought I’d say this but I love the scent of patchouli.
In the past it never seemed to interest me but now that I know SO much more about the plant and the benefits of its essence, I have a new-found love. It all started with a bar of pure patchouli soap that I had left over from a custom order. I started using it at the kitchen sink so it got a lot of mileage. The interesting thing I observed was how soft my hands felt after using it. All the soaps we make are gentle but this was different.
The patchouli plant, native to Asia, is a bushy plant with soft furry leaves; its name “stems” from a Tamil word, paccilai, meaning “green leaf”. Along with its popularity with perfume makers and its use as an external treatment for anxiety and other stress-related conditions, research indicates that its skin benefits are many. The essential oil is said to promote the regeneration of skin cells, which makes it useful in fading scars, tightening and toning skin and in the treatment of healing wounds. Patchouli is also known for its anti-inflammatory properties, it can calm skin problems such as sunburn, acne, eczema and other forms of dermatitis. It also regulates sebum production (skin oil) and helps treat acne and dandruff. It soothes and smoothes cracked skin and is said to be beneficial for helping brittle and weak nails.
These incredible benefits inspired me to make our own regenerative soap – Patchouli Citrus. It is part patchouli, part pettigrain with a splash of sweet orange. The soap has all the benefits of patchouli along with the sweetness of citrus. It’s a lovely bar with a creamy lather and your skin will thank you.
This weekend a dear friend asked me what the difference was between a fragrance oil and an essential oil, my answer was that a fragrance oil was manmade and an essential oil was made directly from the plant. This lead to more questions and a trip to wikipedia so I thought I’d do some further homework.
The definition of essence is the intrinsic nature or indispensable quality of something, that determines its character. How lovely that sounds. For a more physical definition; an extract or concentrate obtained from a particular plant or other matter and used for flavoring or scent.
An essential oil is a concentrated essence of a plant usually achieved through steam distillation or cold press process. Essential oils are exclusively made with botanical matter where as fragrance oils are synthetic and are chemical recreations of scents.
My intention is to use as few ingredients as possible when making soap and to have those ingredients be as natural as possible in the process so that the end result is both easy on the environment and gentle to the skin.
Its aroma is strongly piercing, refreshing, minty and very herbaceous.
Peppermint essential oil helps people become clear-headed and refreshes the spirit. It is helpful for people who are unable to concentrate or who have mental fatigue.
On the body, it has a dual action: cooling when hot and warming when cold. Our peppermint soap is invigorating and is often tingly to sensitive skin areas. Keep it away from the eyes, even the eyelids, it will sting.
Some of the information below I found very helpful. It comes from the folks at camdengrey.com, where we purchase some of
our pure essential oils.
“Peppermint essential oil has a slightly anesthetic effect on stomach muscles. Good for travel sickness, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, colic, nausea and to keep drivers alert while on the road. Its cooling and pain relieving action seems to ease headaches, migraines and toothaches. Used in liniments for the relief of muscle pain, lumbago, bruises, joint pain and insect bites. It can be used to relieve any kind of skin irritation or itching but should be used in a dilution of 1% or less or the irritation could be made worse.”