Get Your Patchouli Stink Outta my Store!


Well ever since John Cusack yelled the famous line, ” Get your Patchouli stink outta my Store!” in the movie High Fidelity-  besides making us laugh, perhaps it has caused many people to question their choice of fragrance.  What I have learned about Patchouli over the years, is that some people hate it and some people adore it. Some people say they hate it and then love a bar that I make that has 20 percent Patchouli essential oil in it.

It is what Hippies were supposed to smell like hanging out on street corners in fringed pants and rose coloured glasses.  Many people from the Seventies like it as a sensory memory of the good old days. I find the scent absolutely decadent and sensual. I often use it in my recipes to anchor other scents in a bar soap.  What is a good quality Patchouli? I have been using this particular Patchouli, ( in the picture above) as I find it is very strong, lasts a long time, and the dark colour gives the bar a nice deep creamy tan colour. Apparently, the dark colour is from being aged in cast iron. I have tried other kinds and have been disappointed. Sometimes I like to mix it with a little bit of clove oil to really ramp up the scent. But it really goes with just about any other oil even Rose oil if you are going to create something really luxurious.

Help why do I make my Patchouli soap red and black?

Sometimes I can’t believe when people don’t know what Patchouli is. My first reaction is disbelief. But I suppose before my soaping days I didn’t really give Patchouli Essential oil much thought. You won’t believe all the benefits that Patchouli oil is purported to have.

  1. Keeps away insects. Shawls that were shipped from India were doused with Patchouli in the old days to keep moths from eating them.
  2. Aphrodisiac. it is thought that the scent of Patchouli stimulates serotonin and dopamine
  3. So, therefore, is also good for creating a good mood, especially after point number 2.
  4. Soothes inflammation. Helps with the fading of scars.  Calms psoriasis and eczema and dermatitis.
  5. Can have sedative properties, so use before bedtime.
  6. Anti-aging properties
  7. Eliminates body odor

All that in a bottle of Patchouli essential oil. Wow! Now I know you are all going to run out and buy some. Please answer my poll about what colour you think Patchouli soap should be or what colour you choose when you are making up a batch. Yesterday for some strange reason I made my batch with a splash of Hemp oil and a swirl of Natural Indigo. I was having what colour to make my soap anxiety all through my stirring process. If you have this same problem I urge you to try my poll.



Simple body product recipes

Music to Make Lip Balm by—

Here are a couple of lip balm recipes for you to try. I believe they make about 20 plastic oval lip balm containers which hold the same amount ( 15 oz) as the standard lip balm containers but look a lot niftier.

  1. In a glass measuring cup melt your beeswax and solid butters. You can use a double boiler or put in Microwave if you have one for 20 seconds at a time, check and stir and continue until melted. Be careful not to overheat your beeswax as it is flammable. ( I am told)
  2. When your beeswax and butters are almost completely melted add your liquids and at the very end stir in your vitamin E oil and essential oils if you are using them.
  3. I don’t think you need much essential oils or flavour. I find any flavouring takes away from the moisturizing properties of the balm. But a little bit is okay with me.
  4. I have used a nice natural Butterscotch for many years that is delicious. A trick that I have used successfully- if you don’t have that little lip balm tray, is to put a thick broccoli elastic around your tubes to hold them in place while you pour. But have a steady hand!
  5. Put the caps on after they solidify. This shouldn’t take too long.


This lip balm tray that is worth the small cost!!! I was cheap about this for years and suffered. So please if you can learn anything from me- is purchase a tray with the little scraper that comes with it.


If you want a little bit of colour you can mix in a pinch of Alkanet Root powder, a simple ingredient that you can find at any online soap supply company site. Melt it into the warmed oils a bit and it will give you a nice gentle reddish tint.

Below is another recipe, but please feel free to swap oils for what you have around the house, even olive oil is nice.


Here are some music ideas to play while making your lovely yummy lip balm.

  • The Shoop Shoop Song ( It’s in his kiss)  by Betty Everett but go ahead and listen to the Cher version if you must.
  • Be My Baby by The Ronettes
  • Run Around Sue 
  • I Heard it Through the Grapevine

If you want a different era I suggest I Melt With You by Modern English, while you are melting your beeswax carefully of course.

How about Pink’s Who Knew? After you try your lip balm and you want to dance and lip sinc around the living room with your soft luscious lips… Shoop Shoop is good for this too. And all you ex Desoto Dancers out there reading this and perhaps thinking about making lip balm will know this one by heart.

click for shoop shoop song

I also suggest  Friday I’m in Love by The Cure when you are done and are feeling frisky and happy that you have done such a lovely job! If you really want to get the lip balm party going it is obvious that you must pull out The Black Eyed Peas. Their music has saved the day many a time on a dark and long rainy weekend!



Soap recipe

Coffee Bars

Making coffee soap takes one extra step that I find bothersome, but I believe it is worth the trouble because people go gaga over these bars.

Here is the recipe- remember I weigh everything out in grams.

  1. Coconut oil 76 degree-1060 grams
  2. Palm oil-932 grams
  3. Beeswax-70 grams
  4. Olive oil -1410 grams
  5. Cocoa Butter- 100 grams
  6. 80 grams or so of orange peel at trace- I order this from Aquarius Aromatherapy
  7. 1 cup of dry coffee grounds at trace
  8. clove essential oil-54 grams
  9. peppermint essential oil-80 grams
  10. distilled water made into coffee-1358 grams
  11. lye-486 grams

The first thing to do when you are making coffee bars is to take the distilled water and boil it up to make up some nice dark coffee. I weigh it out to make 1358 grams of hot coffee in my Bodum- and then pour it into my special lye/water container(rubber maid juice pitcher with a lid). This usually takes two or three Bodums full depending on the size of your little coffee press.  Add 20 grams of white sugar and 10 grams of salt to the hot coffee, stir well and set aside until room temperature. Adding sugar to your soap recipe helps to increase lather. Salt is also helpful to increase hardness. I don’t recall why I started doing this for these bars but I always have. After this one step, you can proceed with regular soap making instructions. I usually set the lye water/ coffee container in a pan of cold water while I am adding the lye in case it overheats. I usually do this outside or in a well-ventilated space as the coffee and lye solution is quite smelly. Melt your solid butters and oils and beeswax as usual-set aside until the correct temp. is reached. Begin stirring everything together once you reach the temperature of 100 degrees. At trace, stir in the coffee grounds, orange peel, and essential oils and pour into molds. Insulate 24 hours or so. The next day, set them in the freezer for a few hours to help remove them from your molds. Remember how I told you in a previous post how I hated using pvc pipes to make round bars? This batch is the reason why. It came pouring out the bottom one evening when I was making soap late at night. I screamed, “Help!” to no one in particular. Funny now, not so funny then.

Pictured here is a bag of locally roasted coffee that my sister gave me. I didn’t use it in this batch of coffee soap. I drank it before I made the soap. I used a cheaper brand for making the batch because that’s the way I am.

These bars are excellent for removing grease from hands. It is also excellent at getting rid of garlic fingers- although some people love the scent of garlic on their skin. People tell me all kinds of things at farmers markets… you would be surprised.  I suppose if you are a dentist or some other profession where your hands are in people mouths you might be conscious of strong scents that cling. The orange peel and coffee grounds are the reason that it is so good at cleaning kitchen hands. I like to call this batch Kitchen Goddess, but I also call it Kitchen God depending on who is using it. I use a combination of Clove and Peppermint essential oils because these oils have amazing antiseptic properties- naturally.