Sunday, September 28, 2008

Clary Sage Essential Oil

In the middle ages, clary sage was known as "Oculus Christi". Translating as "Eye of Christ", it was a highly revered medicine. A southern European native, the stout biennial herb is flowered blue and white and grows to a height of three feet.

Distilled from the flower tops and leaves, the oil is very relaxing. Its smell is distinctly herby and sweet.

Antiseptic, antibacterial, and astringent, clary sage is helpful with acne and breakouts. It balances sebum, the skin's natural oil, helping to clear oily complexion. Clary sage is also cooling on pained muscles, and calming on stressed emotions.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

It's Almost...

I'm often asked which of my soap bars is my own personal favorite. The answer to that one is easy. It's Almost Sunset. I love the way it lathers, the way it smells, and the way it leaves my skin feeling silky soft. When I first made this soap, my aim was to create a bar rich in moisturizing oils, that rinsed clean yet also left me feeling like I'd just lotioned. I also wanted a scent that wouldn't be forgotten, and would keep me coming back for more.

The added organic jojoba oil gives this bar the kiss that skin needs. It was one of the plant oils that I just had to buy when I first started my ingredients shelf. It has remained a staple, and never fails to add a luxurious feel to the many recipes I use it in. It's a gentle oil, rich in natural vitamin E. Jojoba oil is highly moisturizing and penetrates the skin with ease. It's the reason my Almost Sunset bar feels so incredibly wonderful. The lather is rich and creamy, gliding over the skin to deliver the natural glycerin that my hand made soap proudly boasts.

The Almost Sunset scent is a complex one. I use nine different essential oils, and spent weeks marrying them so they would play off each other perfectly. Right from the start I knew in my mind exactly what smell I wanted, and refused to settle for anything less. It had to hit strong, but with a velvet glove. I wanted something that would cause an instant reaction to the senses... followed by a lingering hue and ending with a soft whisper of "What was that?"

I got what I wanted with my Almost Sunset scent blend. But what I hadn't bargained for was the feeling the scent stirred inside me. It took me right back to one sunset filled evening on the beach in Cape May, New Jersey. It's the one night I will always remember. A night I never wanted to end. An evening that started with the anticipation of sunset. Almost Sunset. The bar named itself.

Whenever this soap bar sits on my table, it draws people in. They pick it up, smell it... and for some inexplicable reason they too are taken back to a time they remember. And for many, it's a time they never wanted to end. Sometimes, the memories flow openly and talk at my table is lively with personal stories.

I don't know what my favorite thing is about my favorite bar. Maybe it's the way the jojoba oil kisses the skin. Maybe it's the soft whisper that drowns out the initial shout of scent. And maybe, just maybe there's a little bit more to this bewitching bar than meets the skin.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Back From Vacation

I'm happy to say that I'm back, and the Manor is open once again. All orders that were placed during the last two weeks will be shipping this week. Thank you to everyone for your patience. Please log in and check your account for updated status on your order box as it happens.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Festival Weekend

We've just had a great Mattoon Street Festival weekend. Saturday was pretty much washed out by Hurricane Hanna and kept a lot of people away. Today was a beautiful day, 75 degrees and dry, and the Festival buzzed.

I'd like to thank everyone who stopped by the table to say hello. I have two more days of packing order boxes and then I can start my two week vacation.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

September Special

There's a sale going on at The Manor. 15% off your order, all week long. Just enter the coupon code AUTUMN15 at checkout to receive 15% off your order.

And during this week, with each bar of our latest wild child, "Choccy Orange Kerfuffle" comes a free sample of our chocolate face mask. Get yours now. What's not to love! Offer ends midnight Friday, September 5th.

Remember, shipping is still just five dollars, to anywhere in the U.S. Happy shopping!

This Month's Freebie

Every month I get to enjoy giving away a free bar of soap with every order. Never a mystery and always full size, the order box freebie for the month of September is a bar of Orange Tree Blast. Check out the freebie page to see what else can be free inside your order box this month.