Is herbal soap without flavor acceptable?

I love to make soaps loaded by herbs. I love to experiment with various combinations, listening to my inner voice and remembering University knowledge. I’ve learned how to infuse herbal energy and active compounds into the soaps effectively and I am happy to apply them on my body. Each time in the shower my lovely soaps remind me the whole adventure from harvesting herbs to final bubbles.

I believe the desire to share passions with close people is natural. So I did and proudly offered my herbal soaps to friends. All of them did the same thing. They skipped a visual survey and immediately began to smell intensively. As if the smell could reveal everything about the quality. One by one they told me the same thing with the same disappointment: “It smells only like soap!”

Looking at my disappointment, they listened to my lecture on the effects of herbs and natural oils I had used, but it was obvious that there is nothing to compensate a lack of proper smell.

Next, I wanted to make the others happier, so I made a lot of various herbal soaps with various added flavors. I did my best and used essential oils labeled “natural”, considering it was a compromise. The others gave me compliments for innovation, but I felt somehow that I was moving away from myself.

Because I am not a big manufacturer, I only make a few soaps for a while, the whole process took a couple of years. I have to admit it now. I lied to myself in trying to be successful in the eyes of my friends. The truth is, that I need to have my soaps full of herbs but with no added flavors, doesn’t matter how much they are “natural”.

Today, I have a bunch of violets on the table ready to become a part of soap soon. They are so beautiful with hidden power for skin treatment and I finally know that I am not allowed to kill their uniqueness by added flavor. And just time will show if such decision is acceptable to more people than just for me.

What do you think?

With love, Ivana

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Wild Rose: Beauty among thorns

Looking at the wild rose bush I see the life cycle of nature – four seasons, birth and death, innocence and experience.

Starting in winter, surrounded by crunchy white snow, you see small red fruits full of vitamins and nutrients how they invite hungry birds for lunch. Also for humans are rosehips useful in winter, they help against cold and flu. And of course, they are the promise of a new beginning, surviving drops of blood in the icy age.

With spring days on the bush start to sprout green leaves and shortly after them sprout blooms in various shades of pink. From almost virginal white to deep purple they symbolize different stages in a woman’s life. Regardless of the age, the woman is always surrounded by thorns.

Have you notice, that on the bush always remain some fruits from the last year? They are shriveled like an old woman’s face and they probably transfer the old woman’s experience “how to survive among thorns” to the next generation.

In summer, the bush loses pink skirts of petals and it comes time of motherhood, time of fruits. Rain and heat help to growth, sunlight changes color from green to orange-red.

And finally now in autumn, the miracle is finished, the fruits are ready for harvest. I like to have enough for winter tea; its orange color reminds me warm summer days additionally to the healing effects.

I put part of the harvest into vodka to prepare excellent drink for our traditional Scorpions birthday party. I do it either in sweet and sour or in spicy pepper taste. Both are really delicious, highly recommended.

I have a small part of the harvest also for cosmetic purposes. I love to make and use soft facial soap with wild rose fruits’ extract. Due to huge amount of vitamins and antioxidants the soap is very kind to mature skin. It seems to me as if the soap compensates the thorns, experienced by skin in the run of life.

There are many tips how to use rosehips, what is your favorite?

I wish you successful harvest! But be sure to leave some fruits on the bush for hungry birds in winter.