Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Spring Equinox - Patchouli Rose

Long ago, in the ancient days of Compuserve, there were many forums.  On one forum, I saw a conversation that interested me.  A woman was being married on the spring equinox and wondered if there was a specific oil that would be appropriate for that day.  Someone answered her and said that a patchouli and rose blend would be the one she should wear.  

I never really checked it out, but it seemed like a really lovely idea, so I mixed up the combination.  We had been having trouble with the rose fragrance that we had been using fading too quickly in soap - and patchouli is known as a fixative oil, one with properties that make it, and anything it is mixed with "stick."

We made the soap and the fragrance of the rose was most prevalent with a tiny bit of "something" mysterious added.  

It is a beautiful shocking pink and have been selling it every since.  Always popular, but especially now on the Spring Equinox - our Patchouli/Rose.

Monday, March 18, 2013

More Purloined Recipes


: to appropriate wrongfully and often by a breach of trust
 pur·loin·er noun 

So, apparently that's what happened.  Our recipes were purloined.  And they were taken under the guise of friendship...  see previous post.

Well, here are two more that I will mostly claim.  I can tell you stories about both of them. That's the difference between someone who just simply lists recipes and someone who has actually worked with them.

(This is a very generic type of salve or ointment.  We made something like this in a class many years ago when we had our herb shop.  One of the attendees called us after the class and raved about the salve.  She told us it had cleared up what she thought was ringworm when nothing else she had tried helped at all.
I actually have a hard time believing that I ever added lanolin to anything because our mom had an allergy to lanolin and I always gave it a wide berth because of her warnings.  I suppose the addition of the fractionated coconut oil could have been a little twist I put in there just to make it different, but it looks more like a way of promoting some more exotic ingredients.
If I were making this now, I would use an 8:1 ratio, liquid oil:beeswax for a nice loose ointment (both measured by weight,) which is more comfortable to apply on damaged skin. The base, or vegetable oil would be really nice if it had been infused with calendula or comfrey - or both!  I would not put lanolin in the salve at all and the coconut oil is completely optional.  I would probably use about the same total amount of essential oils, but more like half and half - so 15 drops lavender and 15 drops tea tree.
So mostly, this recipe would be completely different!)  
Healing Ointment - From Lancaster County Soapworks 
This is a good basic recipe. Lavender & Tea Tree are a great healing combination.
1 T Vegetable oil"
.3 oz. Beeswax beads
2 T Coconut Oil, Fractionated
.3 oz. Lanolin, anhydrous
20 drops Lavender EO
5 drops Tea Tree EO
Melt all ingredients together. Allow to cool partially, then add essential oils. Stir well and pour into sterilized container. *Can use Avocado, Apricot Kernel, or your favorite carrier oil. Can add 1 oz. Of Emu oil as a part of the base oils.

(Bay Rum is a pretty common item. You can probably find various recipes for it all over the place and they are all pretty similar.
We did this recipe in a class one year, just before Christmas. As we did sometimes in our classes, we did it for the first time in the class, but this is a pretty straight forward item to make.  The hard part is to gather all the ingredients.
At any rate, during the class we made a couple of bottles of Bay Rum for our own use and put them aside.  I was not terribly impressed when we made this, but a couple of months later, out of curiosity I opened it and was quite taken with the mellow, spicy, citrusy aroma that had developed.
I have no idea where the orange extract came from in this recipe, I would use orange peel and possibly some lemon peel too.)
Bay Rum - From Lancaster County Soapworks
3 oz. Witch Hazel
3 oz. Rum
3 to 4 Bay Leaves
1/4 tsp. Allspice
1 stick Cinnamon
1/4 tsp. Orange Extract
Steep for 1-2 months, strain and bottle. Put a cinnamon stick, a few allspice berries and a bay leaf in the 
bottle before sealing.

So, I suspect the original recipes were not only purloined, but also changed in some ways.  They are certainly not the recipes in my book nor would I use them in these forms if I were doing this now.

I wonder why she even bothered giving anyone credit for any of the recipes.  Was this to give her publication some kind of credibility since she had none as a formulator, manufacturer or even a crafter in this type of product?  And why change them if she was already planning to credit them?

Be sure to visit Tina & Becky who are also sharing their purloined recipes on their own blogs.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

If You Are Going to Steal My Recipes, At Least Get Them Right!

About 8 years ago, I briefly met a woman who was promoting a soap and candle gathering.  My sister knew her a bit better and we decided to attend her event and help her promote it.  The woman was, at that time, trying to put a CD together and begged us for some recipes to add, so we helped her out.  There were to be live links involved and proper attribution.  Well, the CD was a bust.  It wasn't produced properly and I thought that was that.

Fast forward to yesterday.  A name we hadn't heard in years was brought to our attention.  Well, actually, not her name, but a pseudonym that I remember seeing somewhere before and knew it was hers.  It seemed she had published an ebook (apparently at least 2 years ago!) which, supposedly contains recipes that I, my sister Tina and another friend, Becky contributed.   Some of the recipes that have my name on them are more or less mine, but I have never even seen some of the others.  I have a file of my recipe collection and I can easily check these things.

For instance, she lists an eczema salve and a scar salve, both of which she attributes to me.  I'm pretty sure I would not have given her a recipe for either of those.  For one thing,  I don't have those recipes in my file. I do have recipes named for eczema and for scarring,  but they belong to someone else who shared them and I would never sell them, but could keep them for my own use.

I resent that she used my recipes in another type of publication without even asking my permission, but even worse, I am concerned that I am being given credit for someone else's stolen recipes.

In researching it, I find (marketing master that she thinks she is) she has posted reviews everywhere on the internet - same reviews under different names - she even has pictures of some of the fictitious reviewers, make of that what you will.

I was planning to share all of my stolen recipes here, but the more I look at them, the more I am sure that many are NOT mine or have been changed - ingredients added that I do not work with.  For what purpose, I do not know.

There are a couple that are ALL mine and those I will share:

(This is something I made for a swap. I wanted to see if it was possible to combine fizzy bath bombs and bath melts... The theme was the Roaring Twenties and I colored them light green and scented them with "Gin Martini" and packed them in a Chinese takeout box covered in old photos with a miniature martini glass tied to the top! )

Fizzie, Sudsy Bath Melts
1/2 cup baking soda
1 T cornstarch
1-1/2 T. Mango Butter
1-1/2 T. Shea Butter
2 T citric acid
2 T. SLS - Sodium laureth sulfate (In the ebook, this was changed to Sodium Lauryl Sulfoacetate which is incorrect.)
20 drops fragrance or essential oil of your choice
Mix soda and cornstarch together. Melt oil. Add melted oil to the soda/cornstarch. After mixing, add fragrance and coloring, then add citric acid and SLS. Pack into molds, place in freezer for 30 minutes or
until solid. Unmold and set out to dry for several days.

(I came up with this one because I like to take showers, but love the idea of bath oil...  This definitely not something you would want to sell.  When water and oil is mixed, it can and will grow any number of nasties...  A preservative could be added, but I don't add it here, I just use this quickly and make up fresh frequently.)  Also, this may make the shower slippery, so be careful if you apply it while you are still in the shower.
Spray Bath Oil
1-1/2 oz. Oil
2-1/2 oz. Distilled Water
1 ml Polysorbate 20 (to keep spray mixed)
Preservative should be added according to manufacturer's instructions. Place in a spray bottle, shake 
well and spray liberally after shower, before gently drying off. 

There are probably a few more I can salvage in another post...   And Tina & Becky are also sharing their stolen recipes on their own blogs.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Apples on a Lilac Tree

Spring is (about to be) sprung and for me, nothing says spring like the scent of lilacs!

We searched and searched for the perfect lilac fragrance to use in our soaps and when we found this one, we opened the bottle and it was as if we were walking past a row of lilacs, bursting with color and that lovely, lovely scent.

I have talked about how lilacs were our grandmother's favorite flower and purple was her color.  We really should have named this soap after her.

She was a teacher, but when she was young, she had originally trained to become a concert pianist.  Love intervened and she became a school teacher instead, but she still played.  When I was little, one of the things families did was to gather around the piano and sing songs....  Yes, it was a far cry from the things families do together today, but it was our idea of fun.

Yesterday, I had decided to blog about our lilac soap and as I was running an errand, a song we used to sing popped into my mind.  I could only remember the first verse and the very end.  I wracked my brain trying to remember the rest, but it just wouldn't come back to me.  When I got home, I searched the internet and was relieved to find the following:

The Lilac Tree 
A little boy and a little girl,
In an ecstacy of bliss,
Said the little boy to the little girl,
"Pray give me just one kiss."
The girl drew back in great surprise
"You're a stranger sir," said she,
"And I will give you just one kiss
When the apples grow on a lilac tree!'

The boy felt very sad at heart,
She was the only one;
The girl felt quite remorseful
At the terrible wrong she had done.
So bright and early on the very next morn,
He was quite surprised to see
His little sweetheart standing in the garden
Tying apples on a lilac tree.

George H. Gartlan
Apparently this was a popular song in the 40's...  I may have the sheet music tucked away somewhere in our basement - I remember it had an adorable illustration on the front.  I'll have to go searching.

Isn't it interesting how a scent can bring back something - sometimes a very special memory.