Garden Chick - Notes from the Garden

Monday, June 29, 2009

Amber Resin

There are so many essential oils available, that I will never be able to sample them all. Some I use for their medicinal quality, others simply for their fragrance. I tend to lean toward the sweet smelling floral ones; such as jasmine, neroli,or ylang-ylang. Vanilla is another scent I love. Others such as patchouli are a little too "earthy" for me. I use lavender a lot in my bath salts, linen sprays, monster spray and dream pillows because of it's calming and sedative properties. But I admit, it's fragrance is a little too medicinal for me, and I often pair it with vanilla, tangerine, or sweet orange. In my dream pillows I mix it with other "sleep herbs" such as roses, chamomile, and hops. (Gardenchick)

I was at the local "green" market the other day looking for some dried St. John's Wort. The essential oils are nearby and I can't resist taking a few "sniffs" of the samples. I kept smelling the most wonderful scent and finally located it. It was amber. A small rock size piece of this resin could be smelled through the package. The only description I can use to describe this is "exotic" It is a little expensive. This small rock size piece was $3.99, but I snatched one up, knowing I would figure out what to do with it later.

Amber is not an essential oil however. According to EdenBotanicals (Marge at Naturesgift says they are THE place to purchase your amber and I always listen to Marge!), the term amber "generally refers to either Baltic amber or to fragrant amber resin." The baltic amber is fossalized tree resin and used primarily in jewelry. The fragrant amber, is a semi-solid mass of tree resins mixed with essential oils, bees wax, and fragrant plant powers. Each amber resin maker uses his or her own, unique secret formula for making their resin.. Eden Botanical's is known as Amber Essence.
I decided the easiest way to start out using this scent was as a body powder. You can create your own body powder by taking 1 cup arrowroot or cornstarch and placing it in an airtight container with about a pea size piece of the amber. Close the container and allow it to sit for about a week.
Body powders are great for this summer weather. After a hard day in the garden, they will make your skin feel silky smooth, and help to keep you cool and dry.
You can either place your finished powder in a shaker container to buy online, or why not "repurpose" a pretty salt and pepper container? Maybe you can find a salt and pepper shaker at a local thrift or antique mall for a unique gift for family and friends. I often see the old body powder containers at flea markets and antique shops for a reasonable price, and you could pair this with a "powder puff" from your local dollar store or Walmart.
You don't have to limit yourself to amber. Ground rose petals and a few drops of rose absolute essential oil would also make a fragrant and attractive body powder.

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  • thank you for sharing this information. I enjoyed learning about amber. May just have to treat myself to some. And I love bath powders,
    Patricia Rose-A Potpourri of Fabric, Fragrance and Findings

    By Blogger Patricia, At June 29, 2009 at 8:01 AM  

  • Hi Karen, your info on amber resin was simply great. Never knew you could do so many wonderful things with this little piece of rock. Yes, it is always nice to use something from nature that has a natural aroma than using synthetic stuff, which is very interesting for us in You got a whole lot of information on natural body care that anyone can use.

    Thanks for that great post!
    Joost Hoogstrate

    By Blogger Joost Hoogstrate, At July 8, 2009 at 6:43 AM  

  • neat posts karen! our bees like that tree resin too;-)!

    By Blogger comfrey cottages, At September 3, 2009 at 5:07 AM  

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