Making up Christmas potions

When I was a little girl, my mother bought Robin and I a perfume making factory for Christmas.  WE LOVED IT!!

Little eye droppers and funnels and tiny bottles with labels.

And essential oils and sweet almond oil to mix them in- it was seriously a little girl heaven. We mixed and smelled and spilled and splashed and used it up within a week. sigh. sob. groan.

Heaven over in less than a week.

And we had made such an unholy mess in that week that my mother vowed “Never again!!!”.

But we had had a taste of what it could be like- and so- we were ALWAYS finding ways to make potions.  We cut up flowers and pounded roots and mixed and shook and pulverized everything we could find that smelled good – and met with abysmal failure.  Most of our stuff was rank.  Some of it got moldy.  We quit.

Until we were adults and then we started up again, albeit slowly, very slowly.

I started making my own potpourri.  She experimented with spices.

And we started making up our potions again.

Only this time- SUCESSS!

Today, I made some potions .

I made  ginger and vanilla milk bath powders.

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I love this fragrant and milky bubble bath- I make it mostly for myself and give away enough so that I don’t feel too self indulgent.

And I made a chai tea mix-

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The nicest thing about making your own is that you control the flavors!

I mix darjeeling tea with lemon peel, cardamom, cinnamon and milk.

-Those are my favorite- no cloves- and it is delicious with a little honey added at the end for sweetening.

And finally- Mock Boursin Cheese mix-

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Again- my favorite herbs in a dry mix that you add by the teaspoon to 1/2 butter and 1/2 cream cheese to make a wonderful spread.

I want to make up some hot chocolate mixes and some nut mixes as well.

And I love making fruitcake- it seems more like a marvelous mix of magical fruit and nuts than a recipe.  The whole process is so fulfilling to my senses that it is also like a gift I make for myself and share with others as an afterthought.

And I think I’ll make some lip balm and rose and sea salt scrub with shea butter!

Let the magic begin!

12 thoughts on “Making up Christmas potions

  1. Jill- it smells quite like the holidays in my house right now. AND I made up some chai tea just to make sure- so VERY YUMMY! ( I had a scone to go with it- as a happy bonus!)
    Elizabeth- I’m sure a lot of our adult occupation stems back to that perfumery! 🙂

  2. My grandmother had one of those perfume making toys when we were kids. Everything was dried up and gone long ago. But I remember enjoying playing with all the bottles, and the vague perfumey scent that still lingered in the bottles.

  3. Perhaps it was your mother’s – I’m certainly old enough to be your mom. They don’t seem to offer them anymore- maybe too many girls of my generation tried to taste the stuff and they decided not to deal with lawsuts?

  4. Can you share the recipe for the chai tea? My Paraguayan son loves the stuff and has asked me to bring him some. Maybe I could just give him the recipe or bring the ingredients.

  5. I remember you and Robin playing with that perfume set. You both had a lot of fun.I also remember all of the other things you two made. Happy it all turned out in the end. The two of you had a very happy childhood.

  6. sure, Lilly. The recipe is pretty basic. And if he likes cloves , you can add them as well.
    Chai tea
    1 1/4 cup dry milk
    1/4 cup black tea
    12 cardamom pods
    4 – 2″ pieces of cinnamon
    2 tsp dried lemon peel
    mix together- keep in sealed container.
    3 heaping teaspoons of mix to 3 cups of boiling water- allow several minutes to steep . Stir, then pour through tea sieve to filter out tea leaves. Add honey to sweeten to taste.
    I made myself a small pot to make sure the flavor was right and mmm- it was so very good. 🙂

  7. HEIDI, There are stores or labs where you can practice the alchemy of the perfumer to create your own scents. Seek out one of them, locally or regionally, to bring back your youthful joys

  8. GASP! A comment from my brother!!! OH, Bruce- you have made my year! Seriously- You love me- you really love me!
    Thanks for the advice- you are right- I could and should seek out that experience!

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