Jasmine Tonic Floral Water
For this skin tonic it's best to use fresh blossoms gathered from the garden or from an indoor, container-grown plant. Although dried flowers (available from herbal suppliers) can be used, the full beauty of the fragrance is lost in the drying process. This floral tonic is excellent for cooling and moisturising the skin during hot, dry weather. It also helps combat the dehydrating effects of central heating and sir conditioning.
15g fresh jasmine flowers (or 1 tsp dried jasmine flowers)
300ml spring water
Coffee filter paper
If the plant is out of doors, pick the flowers on a dry, sunny morning, as soon as the dew has evaporated. Put them in a heatproof jug. Heat the spring water to boiling point (use an enamel, stainless steel or heatproof glass saucepan). Pour the water over the flowers and allow to steep for 20 minutes. Pour through a coffee filter paper into a clean, heatproof jug. When cool, pour through a funnel into an atomiser bottle. Spritz your skin two or three times a day (even over make-up). The tonic will keep for up to 3 days if stored in the fridge.
Jasmine Hair Perfume
In the East, women roll jasmine blossoms in their newly washed and oiled hair. Left on all night or day, the hair takes on a luxurious perfume. In cooler, less humid climates, oil is far too greasy to be used as a hair dressing but if you love the idea of jasmine-scented hair, try this exotic, water-based version.
The scent lasts and lasts, as hair contains its own natural oil which acts as a fixative for the perfume.
1 tsp cider vinegar
6 drops pure jasmine absolute
50ml distilled vinegar
Put the cider vinegar in an atomiser bottle, add the jasmine absolute and shake well. Top up with distilled water and shake again. Mist your hair directly, or apply it by spraying your hairbrush.
Midsummer Blossom Hand Lotion
A light-textured hand treatment
10ml carrier oil
3 drops jasmine essential oil
3 drops neroli essential oil
2 drops rose otto essential oil
3 drops geranium essential oil
30ml base body-lotion
Add the essential oils and carrier oil to the lotion. Shake until well mixed. Shake again before each application.
Jasmine and Banana Mask
Banana is recommended by natural beauty enthusiasts as an anti-wrinkle treatment. Certainly it moisturises and softens the skin, and when combined with the tonic properties of jasmine it brightens a dull complexion.
3-4 slices of banana
5ml carrier oil
3 drops jasmine essential oil
Mash the banana and stir in the jasmine oil. Depending on the ripeness of the banana, you may need a little more oil to make a spreadable consistency. Cleanse your skin and apply the mixture all over your face and neck. Leave on for 15-20 minutes, then rinse off with lukewarm water, followed by cold.
Helen of Troy Facial Oil
This nourishing formula is superb for ry or mature skin. It contains borage oil which is rich in the essential fatty acid GLA. With the addition of frankincense and jasmine it revitalises the complexion.
20ml apricot kernel oil
Contents of 4 borage oil capsules
2 drops Pure jasmine absolute
2 drops pure frankincense essential oil
Pour the apricot kernel oil through a funnel into a dark glass bottle. Pierce the borage oil capsules with a pin and squeeze the contents into the apricot kernel oil. Add the essential oils and shake well.
Use as a periodic treatment only, so your skin does not become too accustomed to the oils, and therefore less responsive. There is no doubt that skin responds best with 'surprise' treatments. Try applying the oil to your face and neck once or twice a day for four weeks or apply once or twice a day for three consecutive days a week, continuing for two months.
Whichever method you choose, take one or two months' break before resuming with the treatment.
Siren's Ecstacy Foot Rub
Many people adore having their feet caressed. So here's a richly perfumed massage oil to share with the one you love.
10ml carrier oil
1 drop ylang ylang essential oil
1 drop neroli essential oil
1 drop sandalwood essential oil
1 drop jasmine absolute oil
Add the essential oils to the carrier oil and shake well.
Grow Your Own
Jasmine is widely available, but the only scented variety which will bloom outdoors in Britain is Jasminum officinale, a vigorous climber for a south facing wall. Abundant clusters of flowers appear from midsummer to early autumn. Container-grown jasmine needs good light - a heated conservatory or porch is ideal.
You will need:
- Jasmine leaves and flowers
- Blotting paper and thin card
- White writing paper, cards and envelopes
- Pencil and ruler
- Green marker pen with angled nib
- Latex-based adhesive
- Place small sprays of jasmine leaves and individual flowers between two pieces of blotting paper inserted between the pages of a heavy book. Put a piece of thin card on either side of the blotting paper to prevent any plant imprint coming through. Close the book and leave in a warm, dry place for 7-10 days until the plant has lost all moisture.
- Measure a border 1.5cm from the edges of the paper and 1cm on the cards and envelope seals. Mark it lightly with pencil. Go over the pencil line with a green marker pen, holding it against a ruler.
- Position a spray in the corner of each sheet or card and stick down with a tiny dab of adhesive. Leave to dry for several hours.