Pink Floyd and his Brick Wall
Inagaddadavida Honey...Don't you know that I lu--uve you?
All that and more flashes through my brain each and every time I sniff one of my Patchouli bars. It is definitely one of those love/hate scents. Customers will take a big sniff and either announce "ewww" and throw it back in the rack or they will swoon as they hold the bar close remembering that two week run-away trip with those 16 year old Molter Twins in their Blue Chevy Montrose Playing van with the shag carpeting that actually covered the floor, walls and ceiling of that vehicle.
|The stripe is made with comfrey powder|
Chamomile flowers on top
Or is that just me?
Yup, I get all that from one sniff. I am very smell focused. For those who have no clue: Patchouli is a species of plant from the genus Pogostemon. (must be a Pokémon relative!) It is a bushy herb of the mint family, with erect stems, reaching two or three feet in height and bearing small, pale pink-white flowers. The scent is heady, musty, earthy and so rich it never seems to fade from my soap bars.
But I tend to be a little heavy handed with my essential oils. Yes, they are expensive, especially when you use the premium EO (about $10 an oz) and not the average Patchouli (about $6.50/oz) but I hate when I pick up a hand crafted soap somewhere that brags of their EO scent but when you pick up the bar...no scent, or a very weak one.
For my two pound recipe I use 2 oz of Patchouli oil. Or if using it to "ground" another sweeter EO, I will use 3/4 oz and then 1.25 oz of the other EO be it Lavender, Grapefruit, Geranium Rose or
Granted small amounts of EO's can be added for their non-scent qualities and one needs only small amounts (depending on the EO) to benefit from their anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, mood elevating etc...qualities but for a "scented" bar...you might need to do more than wave the bottle over your soap.
Of course too much of any EO, ones like pure cinnamon, can be very irritating to the skin so READ UP before you use in your soaps. So back to my Patchouli Soap, 2 oz of the EO will run me about $20. I get 7 bars of soap, each weighing about 5 oz each from my 2 pound recipe. Thusly each bar in EO alone costs me $2.85.
This does not even include the cost of all my other ingredients like coconut, avocado and castor oils, lye, plant materials for coloring etc. But other EO's like Sweet Orange are much less expensive running just $3.50 for 2 oz or about 50 cents a bar. I could charge for each bar based on the cost of the ingredients but instead I just let the law of averages settle it.
Besides, we original hippies are a dying breed, if we want to shower with a soap that makes us smell like we spent 5 days in the rain and mud at Woodstock WITHOUT showering then so be it.
|Soap being packaged in my dining room |
for Christmas gifts.
Shhh, its a secret .