Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Rosy and Laverne Bath Salts

You should smell this one!! I platz for joy every time I stick my nose in the bottle to smell it. Roses and Lavender may not be [flower]bed mates when it comes to growing them – one prefers a slightly more arid environment while the other (rose, naturally) wants something a little more moist – their fragrances sure as mud go together.

So without much further ah-dodo, here’s what you do:

You will need: 
  • 1x 5l glass bottle (for a BIG lot of bath salts);
  • approximately 4 - 5 big, fresh, fragrant roses of any colour;
  • English lavender foliage (my lavender bush is not producing any flowers yet but you are welcome to add the flowers to this mix);
  • 2 - 3 kg Coarse Sea Salt (this can usually be found at Chinese supermarkets. WARNING: Do not substitute with dishwasher salts!)
  • 1x big ladle/spoon
  • 1x piece of linen to cover the bottle’s opening
  • Rubber band

Start off by thoroughly rinsing your herbs. I seriously advise using roses from your own garden, free from store-bought pesticides and chemicals. Also try and avoid roses that have any form of disease or insects on the petals.
Remove all the petals from the roses and press between two clean dish towels to remove excessive water. Spread the dish towel open and leave the petals uncovered to air dry further while you get busy with the lavender.

Pinch a tip of a sprig of lavender in one hand. Take your other hand and pinch the stem between thumb and forefinger just below the fingers of the other hand. Slide your fingers down the stem, removing the leaves from the stem. Again, dry the leaves the same way as the rose petals.

If you are adding lavender flowers, you may use exactly the same method to remove the small flowers from their stems.
Place your glass bottle inside another bowl or dish. This is just to prevent spillage. Boy, do I hate spillage! And my boyfriend hates the MESS! By placing your bottle inside another bowl you will catch anything that might slip off the outside of the bottle, without letting it go to waste!
Now start to scoop a couple of spoonfuls of salt into the bottle. Aim for a layer of around 2 – 3 cm. Then add a layer of rose petals and some lavender leaves. Cover the layer of petals with another layer of around 2 – 3cm salts.
Repeat the process until you reach the top of the bottle.

Cover the opening of the bottle with a piece of linen and a rubber band.

IMPORTANT NOTE: do not put the lid on the bottle! You need to allow the moisture to evaporate, while the salts draw out the essential oils and fragrance into the salt crystals. Covering the bottle with its lid will cause the mixture to grow mouldy and iffy and smell acrid and horrid… not good!

Leave this mixture in a cool, dark cupboard away from too much traffic for around 2 weeks. Pour it all out into a dish big enough to mix it through thoroughly. Scoop back into the bottle and, if necessary add some more salts. You may leave the mix for another two weeks in the same dark place, or you may start using it right away but adding a handful or two to hot bathwater.

Enjoy, and remember to switch off the phone, the beeper, the husband, the neighbours and every distraction available to mankind!

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