When on holiday in England, visiting the family, my sister gave me a recipe for something that is proving quite popular here in Austria. It’s a moisturising bar made from Shea and Cocoa butters. My lady wife was so impressed with it that we decided to also make products aimed not only at gentlemen, but also ladies. From this moment, The Admirable Lady range was born! This range will be used for all things made specifically for the fairer sex, who often require different formulations or scent combinations.
In this case, the original recipe called for Black Pepper and Mandarin essential oils. Both are great for skin – Black Pepper increases circulation (helps to reduce Cellulite!) and the Mandarin helps to reduce dullness, spots and wrinkles on the skin. For a skin product for ladies, this is a good thing indeed. In combination, the two scents really work as the black pepper gives a real deepness that helps to enhance the high citrus from the Mandarin.
Unfortunately, when I first looked to make it myself, I didn’t have access to black pepper essential oil. It is now stocked by my favourite supplier, so I can make it to the original family recipe! Prior to that, I was using combinations of lavender and sandalwood or lavender and Mandarin, the latter of which was much more suited for an Admirable Lady than the former although all of the essential oils have beneficial properties for the skin. Personally, I still find that the properties and scent of the black pepper and Mandarin oils are just so good in this product.
Process-wise, it’s very simple – melt cocoa butte and Shea butter at a ratio of 70/30 in a double-boiler until fluid and then add in the essential oils at 20 drops per 100 grams ( I know, weight is more accurate, but at this amount it’s not easy to weigh!). Mould up and allow to cool. It is interesting to note, however, that the Mandarin can cause some heating issues and the mixture can rise up in the mould. I found that leaving it to cool at close to freezing is a good way to ensure that it behaves – but I’d suggest fridge rather than freezer, as if it cools too fast it can also form unevenly.
In use, I have been told it is very good indeed! I’ve not personally used it, I have to say. Some people use it on wet skin, others on dry skin – which one works best is a matter of experimentation as everyone has different skin.
Based on how popular this was with the ladies of the family last Christmas, this is something that I will be regularly making for a very long time to come!