Aromatherapy: Patchouli for Beauty and Home

Patchouli, Honey and Almond Bath Milk

This heavenly, exotically-scented soak leaves the skin feeling like satin, and calms nerves. If jasmine is too expensive, use ylang ylang instead.

2 tbsp ground almonds
1 tbsp clear honey
200ml organic milk
10ml carrier oil
1 drop patchouli oil
3 drops jasmine oil
2 drops geranium oil

aromatherapy bathing

Blend the ingredients in a food processor until smooth. Run a bath, then pour in the bath milk. Lie back and relax.

Patchouli and Blackstrap Molasses Conditioner

The by-product of sugar refining, blackstrap molasses contains all the minerals, vitamins and trace elements lost in the refining process. Many skin troubles and hair problems respond to supplementing your diet with 1 tbsp of molasses a day - stirred in a cup of hot water with the juice of half a lemon.

Even though it sounds unlikely, molasses can also condition the hair, leaving it remarkable glossy. When mixed with patchouli oil, it also treats dandruff. As a bonus, the earthy-musky scent of patchouli combines well with the liquorice-like aroma of the molasses. A single drop of pure patchouli essential oil intensifies the fragrance.

1 1/2 tbsp blackstrap molasses
1 tbsp hot water
10ml carrier oil
2 drops patchouli oil

Vigorously beat together the molasses and water, then stir in the patchouli and carrier oil. Apply to dry hair, massaging well into the scalp, then cover with a shower cap. Leave the conditioner on for at least 30 minutes before shampooing. You will probably need two applications of shampoo to remove all the conditioner.

Balsamic Soap

A wonderful, balsamic-scented, moisturising bath soap. Grating the soap is the hardest stage, so take a breather now and again. The result is worth the effort.

aromatherapy soaps

60ml sweet almond oil
125g pears original soap
65ml water
1 tsp clear honey
8 drops patchouli oil
10 drops sandalwood oil
8 drops frankincense oil
12 drops lemon oil

Lightly grease two metal moulds or ramekin dishes with 5ml of the sweet almond oil. Grate the soap, then place it in a saucepan with the remaining sweet almond oil. Slowly melt the mixture over a low heat. Add the water and honey, and stir thoroughly. Remove from the heat and cool very slightly before adding the essential oils. (If they are added while the mixture is still very hot, much of the aroma will evaporate before the soap hardens.)

Press the mixture into the moulds or dishes and leave in a cool place for 12 hours to harden. Remove and wrap in tissue paper until ready to use.

Woody Bath Blends

Fill the bath, before adding one of these soothing blends.

5ml carrier oil
1 drop patchouli oil
1 drop vetivert oil
2 drops clary sage oil
3 drops cedarwood oil

5 ml carrier oil
1 drop patchouli oil
2 drops pettitgrain oil
3 drops sandalwood oil

Spirit in the Sky Body Lotion

With a sensuous perfume reminiscent of the heady 1960s, use this body lotion to feel relaxed and mysterious.

50ml unperfumed bosy lotion
3 drops patchouli oil
3 drops rose otto or geranium oil
4 drops ylang ylang oil
3 drops sandalwood oil
8 drops bergamot oil

Mix all the ingredients together.

aromatherapy moisturiser

Incense Stick Block

You may need to visit a craft shop to buy some of the items you need to make these incense holders.

You will need:

  • Self hardening clay
    Fine-grade sandpaper
    Black acrylic paint
    Gold leaf size
    Gold leaf
  1. Mould golf-ball sized pieces of self-hardening clay into triangular shapes by pressing it into the palms of your hands. When you are happy with the shapes, make holes, about 1-2cm deep, by pressing a toothpick into the clay. Leave for 1-2 days to completely harden. (At this stage you may wish to smooth the surface by sanding lightly with fine-grade sandpaper.) Pain all over with acrylic paint. Leave to dry. Now brush all the surface except the base with gold leaf size (an opaque liquid that remains tasky when dry). Leave for 15 minutes, then apply imitation gold leaf by pressing small pieces of the leaf on to the sticky surface and rubbing gently with your fingertips.
  2. Finally, brush lightly with a soft dry paintbrush.

Patchouli Pot Pourri

This mixture contains lots of woody ingredients to soak up and then slowly release the patchouli scent. They are available from well-stocked herbalists or health stores.

You will need:

15g oak bark
15g quassia chips
15g orange blossom
15g southernwood
15g wormwood
15g dried orange peel
5g orris root powder
5g lavender flowers
pure patchouli essential oil

aromatherapy confetti
  1. Slice the orange and dry the pieces on a wire tray in an airing cupboard
  2. Mix the dry ingredients in a plastic bag. Add the essential oil, drop by drop, to the strength you like. Arrange in a bowl and decorate with the orange slices.