We have a few Douglas Fir trees on our property, and many times I would walk under the one next to the hops arbor and touch its needles and inhale their sweetness. I decided I’d like to see how well that fragrance infused in to oil, so I filled a jar with the needles (and some of the smaller twigs), and let it go. It infused for six weeks–I opened it up and poked out air bubbles every day for the first two weeks, then I just checked it occasionally. By the end of that time I had the most exquisite smelling oil! Almost citrusy, light and summery smelling, not at all heavy like I thought it might smell. Then I put it in the fridge and forgot about it for a little while.
A few weeks ago, I pulled it out of the fridge and inhaled it’s wonderful sweetness. Time to do something with it! After a bit of dithering I decided to make some oil and salt scrub with it.
Basically this involved pouring two cups of the oil in the bowl, and adding sea salt and epsom salts until it had a texture sort of like a slushy. I ended up with much more than I expected–I used twice as much salt as oil before I got a thick enough texture to make me happy. In this case, however, what a happy accident! It just meant I had enough to share. I gave some to my friend M. (with whom I so often go nettle collecting), and my reiki master.
The important part was next–the test run. I just used my salts in the shower because it wasn’t a good time for a leisurely bath. After my shower and a dry off, my skin wasn’t oily, just soft, and smelled ever so faintly of the fir oil. My friends reported back complete delight with the scrub as well, so I call that a success. So, how to make them yourself?
Start off making an infused oil with something aromatic. I’ve done rosemary infused oil and made this stuff with them, and the results were equally exquisite. I think any kind of pine, fir, cedar, rosemary, would be wonderful, and I bet if you used roses or calendula it would be amazing for your skin. Dandelion too, most like, although the fragrance wouldn’t be as strong.
After your oil infuses for two to six weeks, strain out the spent herb (be sure to squeeze out as much of the oily goodness as you can). Then pour the fragrant oil in to a large glass or glazed ceramic bowl, and add salts–sea salt, epsom salts, whatever healing salt you like–a bit at a time until you reach a texture you like. Then put it in a container with a cap. That’s it–easy!
You can either use it in the shower or the bath. In the shower, get wet (obviously), then either turn off the water or step out of the stream of water. Scoop some of the scrub out of the jar and scrub all over GENTLY, with circular motions. Avoid sensitive areas and any scratches or cuts (ouch). Rinse your body–and be careful, your tub will now be very slippery.
In the bath, get yourself wet, then stand up (step out completely if you want to scrub your feet). Scrub all over as directed before, then climb BACK in to the tub, letting all the delicious oil and salts float in to your bath water. Now soak in your amazing mineral oil herb bath until you’re ready to get out. Mmmmmmmm . . . I recommend wearing your hair UP for this bath, so it doesn’t end up all oily.
This is one of the easiest things in the world to make, and it leaves your skin all soft and glowy and smooth.
Have fun, and if you do this yourself and come up with a really exquisite fragrance, let me know.