Sunday, September 13, 2009

Spa Girl loves Floral Waters

Ideal for long trips, especially planes, at work or in overheated rooms to rehydrate and freshen the skin floral waters (distillate waters) are an ideal pick-me-up. You can spray them directly onto the skin with an atomizer, or wipe your face with a floral water drenched cotton pad. They are also good for removing make-up and ideal for toning the skin after cleansing.

The Egyptians, Greeks and Romans all used floral waters for healing and aesthetic properties.

Floral waters such as Rose or Neroli can be added to the final rinse in your washing cycle as well as used as a fragrant linen spray for ironing. Before I found a recipe I would buy rather expensive lavender ironing water which leaves a heavenly scent. Around the house, floral waters are ideal to freshen the air instead of using aerosols, and much better for the environment as well.

Here is a simple at home do-it-yourself blend. You will need a dark glass bottle, 4 ounces of distilled water and 30-40 drops of your favourite essential oil. A few of my favourite essential oils to use for floral waters include lavender, rose, geranium, rosemary, neroli, jasmine or chamomile.

Fill the bottle with one half of the distilled water then add your essential oil, cover and agitate well, then add the remaining water and agitate again. Let the mixture sit in a dark cool place for one month and then strain (I use a coffee filter) and it’s ready to use.

There are many really good books which describe the use and description of essential oils as well as a number of websites you can explore. Here is a brief description of those I have mentioned.

Chamomile, German The oil of German chamomile is also known as blue chamomile. The color of the oil is deep blue, turning green then brown with age and exposure to light. It has a sweet, tobacco-like aroma and is fruity and apple-like. Chamomile is a mild soothing oil and is popular in massage blends and other herbal preparations. Its benefits include: calming, relaxing, soothing.

Chamomile, Roman Roman chamomile contains only trace amounts of the intense blue component azulene, which gives German chamomile its color. It blends well with bergamot, jasmine, neroli and clary sage, lending a warm, fresh note when added in small quantities. The aroma is not long-lasting like that of the German chamomile but it is mild, soothing oil. Its benefits include: relaxing, calming.

Geranium (Bourbon) It has a powerful, leafy-rose aroma with fruity, mint undertones. Bourbon oil, from the island of Reunion, is considered the finest grade, and has the best staying power. It is used in skin care products for both its fragrance and its toning, cleansing properties. its benefits include: soothing, mood-lifting, balancing.

Jasmine Absolute Jasmine has a full, rich, honey-like sweetness. Great expense goes into producing pure jasmine oil. The flowers must be hand-picked before dawn when the essence is at its peak, and large quantities are needed to produce small amounts of oil. its benefits include: calming, relaxing, sensual, romantic.

Lavender Lavender oil is the most comonly used of all essential oils. It is used in baths, room sprays, toilet waters, perfumes, colognes, massage oils, sachets, salves, skin lotions and oils. It has a sweet, balsamic, floral aroma which combines well with many oils including citrus, clove, patchouli, rosemary, clary sage and pine. Its benefits include: balancing, soothing, normalizing, calming, relaxing, and healing.

Neroli Oil of neroli is distilled from the flowers of the bitter orange tree. It has a very strong, refreshing, spicy, floral aroma. Neroli is also used in premium natural cosmetic preparations such as massage oils, skin creams and bath oils. It benefits include: calming, soothing, sensual.

Rose Otto Rose oil is one of the oldest and best known of all the essential oils. The fragrance of rose is associated with love. It is warm, intense, immensely rich and rosy. A drop or two in a massage, facial or bath oil is luxurious and soothing. The oil is used in skin creams, powders and lotions. Its benefits include: romantic, supportive, gently uplifting.

Rosemary Rosemary is known as the herb of remembrance. The plant produces an almost colorless essential oil with a strong, fresh, camphor aroma. Rinses for dark hair often contain rosemary, as do room deodorants, household sprays, disinfectants and soaps. Its benefits include: clarifying, invigorating.

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