Tag Archives: essential oil


My First Attempt at Soapmaking

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Enji Natures GardenHi, I’m Katie from Nature’s Garden. (That’s me and Enji!) We’ve got a great team here, and my role largely involves writing fragrance blogs and rendering videos. I’ve been working here for a little over two months, and I’ve watched Bailey make a LOT of soap (you can, too, if you click that link)! Until I started working here, I had very little knowledge of soapmaking (and I still have a LOT to learn), but you bet your bippy I like crafts of all kinds, and I’ve been itching to get my hands on some soap. This past weekend, a friend asked me to house-sit and I had a rare opportunity: an entire kitchen at my disposal. (I live with my folks, two teenage siblings, and a large puppy [keep reading for pic], so the kitchen can be a little crowded.) On Friday, I frantically purchased soapmaking supplies from our store, and soon after started my first foray into melt-and-pour.

Katie’s Impulsive Orange Soap

Truthfully, I don’t trust myself with anything too potentially hazardous. While I’ve read all about lye safety and its proper handling, I still don’t trust my clumsy self. Melt and pour seemed to be the way to go. We use mango butter in our cold process soap-testing recipe because of its moisturizing properties, so I decided to buy some Mango Butter Melt and Pour Soap.

Natures Garden Reed Diffuser KitOn a separate note, I am absolutely obsessed with Blood Orange Essential Oil. Pictured to the right is the reed diffuser that sits in my office, filled with blood orange essential oil (and reed diffuser baseReed diffuser kits come plain- I just painted mine to match the workplace). It smells insanely amazing and its considered aromatherapy benefits are as a stimulant and an anti-depressant (an aphrodisiac, too, but that’s not important at work). IMPORTANT NOTE ON USING CITRUS ESSENTIAL OILS IN BATH AND BODY PRODUCTS: Citrus fruits contain compounds designed to help them absorb sunlight to ripen. Citrus essential oils are likely to increase the photosensitivity- or sensitivity to sunlight- of your skin. I’m already as white as ghost, so I need to be especially careful not to use this soap on body parts that will see a lot of sun. I already get sunburnt pretty easily, and overuse of citrus essential oil on sun-exposed skin can lead to a type of super-sunburn. No thank you.

My idea quickly became centered around making an energizing soap with mango butter melt and pour and blood orange essential oil- but what else? I looked up natural soap colorantsOrange Peel Powder, rich with vitamins and a citrus aroma, seemed like an obvious addition, and for extra orange color, I included skin-nourishing Carrot Powder and cleansing Red Moroccan Clay Powder. Let me remind you again that I pretty much have no idea what I’m doing. –Since I was a kid, I’ve loved making my own recipes. Even if they were terrible. I once put cinnamon squares cereal in a bowl with ripped up bread and orange soda pop. I have no idea why. I can’t imagine anyone ate it. (I’m not sure how those fragrances would smell together, either.)– But no one’s going to eat this soap, so I figured I couldn’t go too terribly wrong, right?

To recap, here’s my recipe (and a picture of me and my dog for fun):

Mango Butter Melt and Pour Soap – 1lb
Blood Orange Essential Oil – ~32 drops
Orange Peel Powder – 2 tbsp
Carrot Powder – 1 tbsp
Red Moroccan Clay Powder – 1 tbsp

Other Supplies:

Cutting board
Small sauce pan
Glass 2-cup Measuring Container with spout
Tbsp measuring spoon
Small bowl
Stainless steel spoon
Disposable pipettes
Bite-sized daisies mold

Making it:

First, gotta cut up those lil melt and pour squares. I cut my soap along the lines laid out and then I cut those pieces into halves or even quarters for faster melting. You can use a microwave, but I wanted more time to add my herbs and oil so I used the double boiler method to melt my mango butter base (or something very similar- I just googled “double boiler method” and that’s not exactly what I did. Oops.) In the little bowl I mixed 1 tbsp of each of my powders with the whisk, being sure to break up carrot powder clumps. Once my soap base was good and melt-y, I stirred in my powders and began mixing with a whisk. Shortly thereafter I used a pipette to add my blood orange essential oil. I didn’t measure this one out exactly, but a friend suggested I use no more than a few drops of essential oil per ounce of base, so initially I went with about 1 drop/oz. It didn’t smell orange-y enough to me,Impulsive-Orange-Two so I added an extra tbsp of orange peel powder and upped my essential oil to 2 drops/oz base. Once I got my batter thoroughly mixed, I poured it into that *cute little flower mold,* very messily, I might add, and very carefully laid the filled molds on paper towels on a flat shelf in the fridge. I waited a while for them to set up, at least a half hour, and then popped them out and put them in a zip-seal bag. THEY SMELL GREAT. I cannot get over how much I love this soap. I have never smelled anything like it before- it’s orange-y and herbal-y and the soap turned out to be a tan-orange color- and I LOVE IT.

But melt and pour comes in two pound slabs.. so what did I do with the other pound?


This one was more simple and scientific. One pound = 16 oz.  and (16 x 0.05 = 0.8). I measured out 0.8 oz Bacon Fragrance Oil and.. I’m not sure sure how much Red Moroccan Clay Powder I used.. maybe 3 or 4 tbsp? But I used the same melt and pour method described above and ended up with a pound of bacon soap! Woohoo! Be sure to keep this soap away from your puppy- he might mistake them for treats- they are bite-sized and they smell like bacon. Though honestly, my goofy dog will try to eat anything.

I can’t wait to create another soap recipe with herbs and essential oils!


Stinky Feet Powder Recipe

This entry was posted in essential oil, essential oils, fragrance oil, Fragrance Oils, stinky feet powder and tagged , , , , , , , , , on by .

stinky feet powderStinky Feet Powder Recipe

Athletes and people who have strenuous jobs may develop “stinky feet” from time to time.  So, we at Natures Garden set out to create a foot powder especially for people who suffer from “stinky feet”.   Our Stinky Feet Foot Powder is naturally formulated to neutralize these strong odors; leaving your feet dry and refreshed.


121 grams Kaolin White Clay Powder

202 grams Baking Soda

10 grams Lavender Flowers Powder

10 grams Calendula Flowers Powder

15 drops Tea Tree Essential Oil

10 drops Lime Distilled Essential Oil

8 oz powder bottles (2)



1. Weigh out and mix 121 grams of Kaolin White Clay Powder, 202 grams of Baking Soda, 10 grams of Lavender Flowers Powder, and 10 grams Calendula Flowers Powder.

2. Incorporate in 15 drops Tea Tree Essential Oil and 10 drops Lime Distilled Essential Oil; making sure you mix the oils in with your hands to break up any unnecessary lumps.

3. Dispense the mixture into the two 8 oz powder bottle and press the lids on top until you hear them pop shut.


We hope that you enjoy our “stinky feet” foot powder recipe! This recipe will leave your feet smelling great, while making them dry and refreshed.


Herbs as Gifts

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herbsHerbs and their meanings

Herbs have many uses.  They can be used for cooking, medicinal purposes, or for aromatic serenity.

For this blog post, we will be focusing on the symbolic meaning of herbs when they are used in the gift giving manner.  Herbs have had symbolic meanings behind them for centuries.  These meanings have been assigned to them through various religious and cultural reasoning.

In order to package these herbs as gifts in a usable manner, Natures Garden suggests making a bath tea for your herbal gift giving.  A bath tea is a tea bag that is stuffed full with various herbs.  These tea bags are then used by placing them into a tub filled with hot water and allowed to steep.  The steeping of the herbs allows the passing of wonderful aromas as well as the medicinal capabilities of the herbs.

When selecting the herbs for gift giving, it is important to know the meaning behind each one.  The herbs listed below offer a generally accepted symbolic meaning.  However, please note: This post is just for fun, there may be varying differences in the meanings due to differences in religion and culture.

If considering making symbolic bath teas for loved ones, it is a good idea to also include small card explaining this symbolism.  This will add a delightful sentimental aspect to your well thought out gift.

Below is a list of some of the more commonly used herbs for bath teas and their symbolic meaning.  This list is by no means a complete herb list.

what can you use lemon peel c/s for Herbs for Cleansing:
Acacia, Lavender, Lemon, Lemon Verbana, Peppermint, Turmeric

Herbs for Courage:
Fennel, Mullein, St. John’s Wort, Thyme

what can you use passion flower for Herbs for Friendship:
Lemon, Passion flower

Herbs for Happiness:
Calendula, Catnip, Dandelion, Lavender, Parsley, St. John’s Wort

what can you use nettle for Herbs for Healing:
Aloe, Barley, Basil, Eucalyptus, Juniper, Mullein, Nettle, Olive, Peppermint, Spearmint

Herbs for Love:
Barley, Basil, Beet Powder, Catnip, Clove, Hibiscus, Jasmine, Juniper, Lemon, Mullein, Orange, Papaya, Peppermint, Red Clover, Rose, Rosemary, Spearmint, St. John’s Wort, Yarrow

what can you use lavender for Herbs for Peace:
Lavender, Olive, Passion Flower

Herbs for Safety:
Aloe, Barley, Basil, Blueberry, Clove, Eucalyptus, Frankincense, Juniper, Mullein, Nettle, Olive, Papaya, Red Clover, St. John’s Wort

what can you use chamomile for Herbs for Sleep:
Chamomile, Passion flower, Peppermint

Herbs for Wealth:
Alfalfa, Chamomile, Clove, Comfrey, Jasmine, Orange, Patchouli, Pomegranate, Red Clover

what can you use sage for Herbs for Wisdom:
Chamomile, Mint, Sage

Now, when making tea bags for gift giving; you may add extra scent to your herbs.  This can be done with the addition of fragrance oils or essential oils.  Just keep in mind of the final blend of aromas (the herbs with the scent oil because many herbs are aromatic in nature).

Place the herbs that you would like to use in a mixing bowl.  Then, using a pipette, add a few drops of the scenting oil (whether it is essential oil or fragrance oil).  Please note:  For best absorption, you will need to have herbs that can soak up the oil.  Then, stir using a mixing spoon.  Finally, spoon the herbs into a tea bag, and tie shut.  Optional:  Then add your card explaining the symbolic meaning of the herbs and a cute ribbon.


Hippie Hair Conditioner

This entry was posted in all natural, bath and body, bath products, cosmetic recipe, creative, essential oil, fun projects, herbal oil infusion, herbs, Natures Garden and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on by .

happy hippie hair conditionerThe hippies may have stumbled upon something with their love of patchouli.  This natural herb does wonders for your body.  Not only is it amazing for your skin, promoting a lustrous glow, but it also has many antiseptic properties.  Besides the skin benefits, patchouli can also help in the hair department.  Patchouli can actually be used in the fighting of dandruff.

In order to best harness the anti-dandruff powers of patchouli, we decided that a patchouli oil infusion was in order.  This would then allow all of the medicinal anti fungal benefits of patchouli to be transferred through infusion into an oil.  Now, this oil, as opposed to the herb, was something that we could easily work with for a hair conditioner recipe.  Sometimes, as awesome as an herb is, the form that it is widely available in does not always suite it in the means of bath and body products.  For these types of situations; where an herb is needed, but not physcially desired in its form, the solution is an herbal oil infusion.

There are various ways to make an herbal infusion.  To see these different ways, please click here.

Please Note:  For this Hippie Hair Conditioner Recipe, you will need to make your patchouli oil infusion 4 weeks prior to making the hair conditioner.  Allowing the patchouli to steep for 4 weeks will permit the strongest oil infusion possible.  With oil infusions, the longer the herb is allowed to steep, the stronger the oil infusion will become.

To view all of the steps to make your very own homemade patchouli oil infusion, please click here.

Now, once you have your patchouli infused oil, you are now ready to make your very own Hippie Hair Conditioner.

Here are the ingredients you will need:
20 grams of your Patchouli Infused Oil
25 grams of BTMS 25 Emulsifier
5 grams of OPTIPHEN – Preservative
5 grams of VITAMIN E OIL (Tocopherol T-50) Natural

For this recipe, temperature will be very important.  This is especially true for the step that includes adding the optiphen.  To best monitor this, we suggest using a THERMOMETER.

For an amazing natural scent, we will be using both Patchouli Essential Oil, and Lavandin Grosso Pure Essential Oil.  You will need 5 grams of Patchouli Essential Oil and 10 grams of Lavandin Grosso Pure Essential Oil for this recipe.

For packaging once the hippie hair conditioner is made, we suggest:  8 oz. Clear Boston Round Bottles with Black Lotion Pumps 24/410 for easy use of your product.  This recipe will make a total of (2) 8oz. bottles of hippie hair conditioner.

Other equipment that you will need for this recipe:
425 grams of Distilled Water
Scale- to weigh out your ingredients
Stove- for heating purposes
(2) Small Pots
Large Pot- for double boiler method
Large Mixing Bowl
Stick Blender- highly recommended for best emulsion.

And now, the steps:

As when making any formulation for bath and body products, it is very important to have a clean and sanitized work area.  You also want to have all of your equipment out and ready for when you need it.

The first step in making this recipe is the water phase.  Get your distilled water and weigh it out.  Once you have the correct amount, transfer the water into one of your small pots.  Place the pot onto one of your stove top burners and begin to heat.  You want your water to reach 180 degrees Fahrenheit.  Use your thermometer to monitor this.  Once you reach this temperature, you will want to continue to heat your water for an additional 20 minutes.  This ensures that your distilled water is bacteria free.  When the 20 minutes has expired, turn off the burner, and carefully remove the pot from the heat source.  Set aside.

The next step is what is considered the oil phase.  For this phase, we will be using the double boiler method to heat our ingredients.  Now, get your large pot and place at least 3-4 inches of tap water into it.  Set this pot onto one of your stove top burners.  Turn the heat temperature on a lower setting.  While the tap water is heating up, it is time to weigh out your ingredients.  In the other small pot, weigh out the BTMS, vegetable glycerin, vitamin E oil, and finally the patchouli oil infusion.  Once all of these ingredients are in the small pot, carefully place the small pot into the larger one.  Once all of the ingredients are in a liquid state, once again get your thermometer.  You want the temperature of the ingredients to reach 140 degrees Fahrenheit.  Once you have reached this degree, check the distilled water temperature.  You want your distilled water temperature to be around 140 degrees as well.  The two temperatures must be close to one another for the next step to occur.

The next step in this recipe is the Mixing Phase.  Once the degrees of both the ingredients and the water are close to one another, it is safe to mix.  Please note:  You will want to move quickly for this phase.  In your large mixing bowl, place both the ingredients and the water together.  Get your stick blender and start to mix it.  You will want to periodically use your spatula to clean the sides of the bowl.  Continue to stick blend until you notice your mixture is starting to turn white.  This means that the conditioner is starting to emulsify.  It is now time to check the temperature again.

For the final step or cool down phase you are looking for the magical degree of 120F.  This is the safest temperature to add the optiphen.  Once you hit this degree, weigh out and add your optiphen preservative.  Next, add your essential oils.  Mix well with your stick blender, and do not forget to scrap the sides of your bowl with the spatula.  Once the conditioner has been thoroughly blended, allow it to cool at room temperature.

Once the hhippy hair conditionerair conditioner has cooled, it is safe to bottle and lid.

Your Hippie Hair Conditioner is now ready to use.  Enjoy!

Natures Garden is not responsible for the performance of any of the recipes provided on our website. Testing is your responsibility. If you plan to resell any recipes we provide, it is your responsibility to adhere to all FDA regulations. If there are ingredients listed in a recipe that Natures Garden does not sell, we cannot offer any advice on where to purchase those ingredients.


Fragrance Oil Terminology

This entry was posted in absolutes, diffusion, distillation, dry down, essential oils, Fragrance Oils, fragrance terminology, fragrance terms, Natures Garden and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , on by .

chalkboard pic1The fragrance industry has a language of its own that is used to describe, quantify and qualify the processes, ingredients and sensations with regard to aroma.  These commonly used terms help perfumers, evaluators and clients exchange ideas.

– A concentrated fragrance material derived from natural plant product, processed by means of enfleurage, alcohol extraction or steam distillation.

ACCORD– “Fantasy Accords” are based on natural aromas that cannot be extracted in true olfactive form.  The cumulative result of balancing ingredients to achieve an “original” effect is the “creation” aspect of perfumery .

ANOSMIA– Insensitive to odors. Specific anosmia is insensivity to a particular substance, such as musk.

AROMATIC- A fragrance with a strong aroma of herbs, spices or camphor.

BALANCE– Balance is the result of the perfect adjustment of odor strength of combined ingredients.

BITTER– An odor which causes a bitter taste on the taste buds when smelled.

BLEND– A mixture of natural and / or synthetic aromatic ingredients.

BLOOM– Good top note diffusion with middle notes becoming full and rich.

BODY– The heart and main part of the fragrance. The characteristic note when the most volatile top note components have lost their dominance and all of the middle components of the fragrance come into play.

BOUQUET– A harmonious blend of several single floral notes in a fragrance compound.

BOTTOM NOTE– Also called the base note or dry down of the fragrance. This note contains the fixatives of  the fragrance and imparts long lasting qualities.

CHEMICAL– Synthetic smelling, lacking the richness of naturals.

CLOYING– A term used to describe excessive sweetness in a fragrance.

COMPOUND– A mixture of aromatic ingredients that form a fragrance composition.

DIFFUSION– Also described as “throw” or “lift”, this term expresses the fragrance’s ability to radiate from  the bottle or from a finished product.

DISTILLATION– The process of purifying a volatile material by applying heat to turn it into vapor, then recovering the material to pure liquid by condensation which yields essential oil.

DRYDOWN / DRYOUT– Another term for bottom note.

EARTHY– The aroma of freshly turned soil.

ENFLEURAGE– The traditional method of separating the absolute aromatic material from the flowers by placing petals between layers of fat to which they impart their odor. The layering is repeated with fresh petals until the fat is rich in the flowers’ essential oils. The odor is then extracted from the fat with alcohol, after which the alcohol is distilled off, leaving the aromatic absolute.

ESSENTIAL OIL– An oil obtained from a variety of natural sources such as flowers, leaves, seeds, roots, bark or buds.

FIXATIVE– A material incorporated into a fragrance compound to retard volatilization of the fragrance or stabilize the fidelity of the fragrance character.

FLAT– A fragrance that is lacking distinction.

FRAGRANCE– A composition of various synthetic and natural aromatic materials that create a definite odor effect.