Ylang Ylang essential oil comes from the star-shaped flowers of the tropical Cananga odorata tree that is native to the lush, tropical rainforests of islands in the South Pacific and Asia. This slightly spicy scented floral oil is one I have used in my bath products since the beginning. The oil is water or steam distilled from the flowers of the tropical Cananga Tree. It is most known for it soothing and calming effects. It is also the base for many popular perfumes including Channel No 5. You can find this exotic scent as a note in our Brouwer House soap as well as our Bath Truffle Boxes.
I have been using comfrey (a leafy shrub) in my bath and body products from the very beginning thanks to the education my mother gave me as a little girl. I first knew comfrey as a favorite treat for our Angora rabbits and to treat bee stings we earned running around barefoot all summer long.
Comfrey contains the compound allantoin, which provides healing and anti-inflammatory properties. It stimulates new skin cell growth and reduces inflammation.
For my Honeysuckle + Comfrey Soap I create a macerated oil using dried comfrey (still comes from my parent's land) and olive oil. I allow the oil and herb mixture to sit in the south facing window of my studio for about 4 weeks. When completed the olive oil has drawn in the nutrients from the plant and adds to the skin loving properties of this fan favorite soap.
I learned how to make these simple recycled fire starters from my mother. For decades now I have brought these on every camping trip and used them to start every single camp fire. They are made of only three everyday things and this combination allows the starter to burn for a long period of time, helping keep the kindling burning and the fire hot. If you have ever been frustrated trying to start a camp or wood stove fire with just newspaper or store bought starters you absolutely must try making these.
In my option the best part of these starters is that you will use materials that are otherwise typically discarded!
I started out with the idea of a "Votes for Women" soap over the Winter while visiting my friends Shawn and Katie in Rochester, NY. In describing my new Schenectady Collection line of history inspired artisan soaps Katie suggested doing one inspired by her area of New York. After a few minutes of brainstorming she suggested a women's suffrage themed bar and I knew I just had to make it happen.