With Valentine’s Day around the corner I thought it was about time I posted a suitably romantic recipe for these quick and easy, yet delightfully decadent massage bars. Whatever your feelings about this particular festival, a massage bar makes a lovely gift for anyone and can be used to pamper yourself too as it makes a delicious body moisturiser after the shower or bath
50g Cocoa Butter
15g Shea Butter
15g Coconut Oil
10g Mango butter (or just use 25g Coconut and omit the mango)
10 ml Base oil
2ml Vitamin E Oil
20 drops essential oils of choice
Add the solid oils to the base oil of your choice (any relatively thin oil like apricot, hazelnut, jojoba or sunflower would do nicely) and melt over a low heat in a bain marie. Remove from the heat and stir in the vitamin E and essential oils of choice. Pour into massage bar moulds (I actually just used large chocolate moulds) and set in the fridge or freezer. That’s it.
If you live in a warm climate you’ll want to increase the amount of solid oil you use or possibly add a little beeswax or candelilla wax to make it more heat stable as these are designed to melt easily on contact with the skin. Alternatively you can keep them in the fridge. Also beware of using nut oils like almond for people with allergies.
Some ideas for essential oils you could use include the following:
Romantic and floral blend – Rose 5 drops, Ylang Ylang 8 drops, Sweet Orange 7 drops.
Relaxing and uplifting blend – Lavender 7 drops, Neroli 8 drops and Green Mandarin 5 drops.
Earthy and sexy blend- Sandalwood 10 drops, Jasmine 5 drops, Black Pepper 5 drops.
Beautifully balancing blend – Geranium 10 drops, Bergamot 5 drops, Lavender 5 drops.
I used the earthy and sexy blend and it turned out deliciously though you have to take into account your personal taste in oils and the effect you wish to achieve. I recommend consulting a good aromatherapy text to get a clearer idea of which oils will suit your purpose.
And incase you’re still not in the mood for love, here is a selection of my favourite love poems to win your heart.
The Innocence of any Flesh Sleeping – Brian Patten
Sleeping beside you I dreamt
I woke beside you;
Waking beside you
I thought I was dreaming.
Have you ever slept beside an ocean?
It is like this.
The whole motion of landscapes, of oceans
Is within her.
The innocence of any flesh sleeping,
No protection is needed.
In such times
The heart opens,
Contains all there is,
There being no more than her.
In what country she is
I cannot tell.
But knowing – because there is love
And it blots out all demons –
She is safe,
I can turn,
Sleep well beside her.
Waking beside her I am dreaming.
Dreaming of such wakings
I am to all love’s senses woken.
Untitled – Rumi
Love swells and surges the ocean
and on your robe of storm cloud
sews rain designs.
Love is lightning,
and also the ahhh
we respond with.
Untitled – Simon Armitage
Let me put it this way:
if you came to lay
your sleeping head
against my arm or sleeve,
and if my arm went dead,
or if I had to take my leave
at midnight, I should rather
cleave it from the joint or seam
than make a scene
or bring you round.
how does that sound?
Love – Pablo Neruda
So many days, oh so many days
seeing you so tangible and so close
how do I pay, with what do I pay?
The bloodthirsty spring
has awakened in the woods.
The foxes start from their earths,
the serpents drink the dew,
and I go with you in the leaves
between the pines and the silence,
asking myself how and when
I will have to pay for my luck.
Of everything I have seen,
it’s you I want to go on seeing:
of everything I’ve touched,
it’s your flesh I want to go on touching.
I love your orange laughter.
I am moved by the sight of you sleeping.
What am I to do, love, loved one?
I don’t know how others love
or how people loved in the past.
I live, watching you, loving you.
Being in love is my nature.
You please me more each afternoon.
Where is she? I keep on asking
if your eyes disappear.
How long she’s taking! I think, and I’m hurt.
I feel poor, foolish and sad,
and you arrive and you are lightning
glancing off the peach trees.
That’s why I love you and yet not why.
There are so many reasons, and yet so few,
for love has to be so,
involving and general,
particular and terrifying,
joyful and grieving,
flowering like the stars,
and measureless as a kiss.
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