Aromatherapy: Rosemary for Beauty and Home

Herb Vinegar Deodorant

Fresh perspiration isn't itself offensive. It's only when the resident skin bacteria start to break it down, producing lactic acid, that it becomes unpleasant. Some aluminium-based, commercial deodorants can irritate the sensitive underarm area and may even promote widespread allergic reactions in susceptible people. This herb vinegar concoction is a safe alternative - it destroys bacteria that cause perspiration odour yet doesn't sting sensitive skin.

  • 1/4 jar of fresh, chopped rosemary leaves
  • 1/4 jar fresh, chopped lavender flowers
  • Cider vinegar, hot
  • Distilled water
  • Muslin or coffee filter paper

Put the herbs into a jar containing a metal spoon and then fill with a 50/50 mixture of vinegar and distilled water (the spoon prevents the hot liquid from cracking the glass). Stir well for a few minutes, cover and allow to steep overnight. Next day, strain the mixture through a piece of muslin or coffee filter into a glass bottle to store. Use cotton wool to dab on the deodorant as needed. This mixture will keep for several months in a bottle with a tight-fitting lid.

Rosemary and Lavender Honey Mask

This recipe makes a wonderful moisturising treatment for both combination and oily skins. As well as removing any build-up of dead skin cells which results in a dull-looking complexion, honey attracts moisture into the upper layers of the skin.

face mask

The herbs help to deep-cleanse the skin and balance the secretion of sebum. For best results, apply a little of the honey mask to your freshly washed face and neck before getting into your bath and leave it on for 15-20 minutes. Afterwards rinse off with cool water - and admire the dewy glow.

  • 25g chopped fresh rosemary
  • 25g fresh lavender flowers
  • 225g clear honey
  • Muslin or fine-mesh sieve

Spoon the honey into a heatproof dish. Place over a pan of gently simmering water, then stir in the herbs. Cover the dish with a plate or saucepan lid and allow to infuse for 30 minutes. When ready, turn off the heat and allow to steep for about 2 hours. Strain the honey through muslin or a fine-mesh sieve, then pour into a spotlessly clean jar. The mask will keep for 6-8 moths if stored in a cool dry, dark place.

Rosemary Foot Bath

This is especially good for tired feet.

  • 2 drops pure rosemary essential oil
  • 2 drops pure chamomile essential oil
  • 15ml cider vinegar

Stir into a bowl of comfortably hot water. Sit back and soak for 15 minutes.

Wake-up Shower Gel

  • 15ml base shower gel
  • 2 drops pure rosemary essential oil
  • 2 drops pure bergamot essential oil
  • 2 drops pure grapefruit essential oil

sponge and massage over your skin.

Napoleon's Cologne

Take a leaf out of Napoleon's garden and enjoy this sunny blend, based on the original eau de cologne formula created in the early 1800's by his perfumer, Chardin. Splash or spray it on after a hot bath or shower, brush it through your hair, or sprinkle over cotton garments. Or use it as a handkerchief perfume to clear your mind and uplift your spirits.

  • 100ml distilled water
  • 10 drops pure rosemary essential oil
  • 20 drops pure bergamot essential oil
  • 20 drops pure orange essential oil
  • 20 drops pure lemon essential oil
  • 10 drops pure petitgrain essential oil
  • 5 drops pure rose otto essential oil
  • coffee filter paper

Put the oils into a 100ml dark bottle, top up with distilled water and shake well. At this stage the cologne smells rather raw - so allow it to mature for two weeks before use. Keep in a cool, dark place and shake well each day to help it mature. When it's ready, pour through a damp filer paper into an atomiser or storage bottle. As the cologne has a high proportion of essential oils, test a little on the inside of your arm 24 hours before use.

Rosemary and Bay Table Decoration

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Create an aromatic table decoration with fresh rosemary and bay leaves. If you make this decoration a bit ahead of your guests arriving, spritz it regularly with water to keep it fresh.

You will need:

  • 30cm florists' green oasis frame
  • 3 tall beeswax candles
  • 30-40 short stems of bay leaves
  • 30-40 short stems of rosemary
  • 7 heads of garlic
  • 7 fine gauge florists' wires
  • 10 drops pure rosemary essential oil
  1. Soak the oasis frame in cold water until the air bubbles stop rising to the surface. Position candles, pressing them firmly into the base.
  2. Insert bay leaves to create your basic shape, then add the rosemary. Cover all sides of the oasis. Wire the garlic heads by pushing each wire through a bulb just below the top until it reaches the other side. Pull the two pieces of wire down and twist them together to form a rigid stem, and push them into the foam.
  3. Sprinkle the drops of rosemary oil all over the decoration, just before your guests arrive.

Burner Blends

As well as making the room smell fresh these blends can help focus the mind and soothe exam nerves.

Blend 1

  • 3 drops pure rosemary essential oil
  • 2 drops pure coriander essential oil
  • 4 drops pure lemon essential oil

Blend 2

  • 3 drops pure rosemary essential oil
  • 3 drops pure basil essential oil
  • 3 drops pure orange essential oil

Fill the small bowl of a burner with water. Add the oils. Light a night light to heat the oils. Alternatively, put the drops on a handkerchief and inhale at intervals.