Long time no see or hear from.
It's cold, damn cold.
Over the past few months we've experienced cold weather every single day and my body is suffering for it.
Aching ankles, knees, hips. Gah! I've taken up swimming again to try to keep supple and it seems to be working to a point so I plan to keep it up.
A little boiler trouble at home had us without heating or hot water for about 10 days in minus 9 centigrade freezing cold conditions (so not fun). I remember actually breaking down into tears on day 8. Wuss. We got our boiler replaced and luckily a very good friend of ours had sourced us a nice combi boiler for free (must return some kind of favor shortly) and another good friend installed it, so we were quids in to a point! This Friday our chimney will be swept for the first time in...oooh, about 30 years!
We will be able to have our first open fire in our little house on Friday night. So exciting!
I wanted to at least have one fire before the spring arrives to warm up the walls of the house.
We've had snow every year for about the past 5 years, which was unheard of until...well 5 years ago.
We went without snow in the UK for a long, long time, and were entering spring feeling a little short-changed by the winter season. Winters were just dull and hateful with wet drizzle but now we are experiencing what we used to as kids. Snows that fall and give you enough coverage for snowmen and snowboards (if you're brave enough and have enough stamina to walk back up the hill...no fancy chair lifts here!).
We're just over another little bit of snowfall and to be frank, I really hope that's the end of it. My Allium bulbs have been up for a good few months now along with other fanciful spring bulbs. I don't want them to get frosted anymore. I enjoy to see the snow falling and enjoy walking in it but this incessant cold can do one. It makes it difficult to create scents inspired by warmer weather.
I'm just starting to create a blend in my mind's eye for Ostara (spring equinox) and hope to put dropper to bottle shortly to test out what I have.
After the overwhelming success of my Winter Solstice perfume oil I have become a little obsessed with perfumery. It's an art in itself. Blending oils for soap isn't so difficult but to create a multi-layered scent with lots of different notes and waves of emotion is a little bit more tricky. I start off with the main source of inspiration and build upon it, taking aspects of my surroundings into account every step of the way.
For spring I would like to re-create the scent of a fresh water stream with warm soil, bluebell sap and greenery and have worked this based upon one of my favourite places to walk...Spoonley Woods. A place full of mystery and intrigue where it feels like eyes are watching you all the time. I picked bluebells in the woods there once and on my way back out to the pathway I was struck by a very hard slap on my shoulder....I kid you not!
Make of that what you will, but I assure you it happened! Frightened much?
Onto Spring then....
I've been in production mode for a good number of weeks, firstly making the soaps for the spring release. It's an exciting time for me, I love spring, I love new days, new feelings and emotions and scents, which conjure thoughts of warmer days and nights.
I have a list of 6 different spring scents which are as follows:
Black Honey - British Hedgerow Honey, Warm spices, Dry leaves, Lemons and Mandarins.
Gossamer Ghost - Simmering Neroli oil surrounded by Grapefruit zest and Coriander seed.
Green Room - Smashed Rosemary & Spearmint leaf mingles with fresh lime juice and vintage surfboard wood (inspired by what surfers refer to as 'the green room' when surfing the barrel of a wave).
Clotted Peach Cream - Fresh peach pulp cloaked in Cornish Clotted Cream, surrounded by a scattering of winter Honeysuckle blooms.
The Shire - Orchards in blossom, Birds nesting in the Hazel thicket, Summer Barley and the barest hint of Heirloom Strawberries.
Ethereal Seas - Basil leaf, Lime zest, Ho Wood and Mandarin essential oils to mimic British Seaside Flora.
These scents will be available as Cold Process soap, my new Sugar Buff exfoliant, Body Whip, Olfactory Bathing Grains and Aromatic Oil...with maybe some bath creamers thrown in for good measure.
We have brand new labels coming too, which are being printed as I write. Can't wait to see those.
I will be listing a few more extras, which I've been making the past couple of days and hope to release the whole shebang on 21st February.
I leave you with a picture I posted on Instagram & Facebook a few days ago of the bar of Green Room soap I've been using at home. This year I added about 200g of Dead Sea Salt to my regular soap mix and this is what it does! It's lumpy, bumpy texture looks just like barnacles stuck on sea rocks. So weird yet so cool. I'd never seen this before in all my soap making years (of which there are 7 I believe), which makes me realise I'm still just a pup when it comes to soap making. I have so much more to explore.
Hope everybody is well and happy. x