Lavender and Rose Wash-balls.



2 bars Castile soap {or any good quality pure soap} finely grated

10 drops oil of lavender


Heat a quarter of a cup of rosewater and pour over the soap and allow to stand for 10 minutes.

Work together very thoroughly, then incorporate the lavender oil. Set aside to begin drying out.

After two days, form balls of soap between your hands and set aside to dry in the sun.

When the balls have almost fully hardened moisten the hands with rosewater and polish each wash ball by rubbing between the hands.

Now put aside for approximately six weeks to fully harden.

Wash balls make delightful gifts wrapped in a square of tiny sprigged fabric tied with a satin ribbon.

Recipe: Oil of Lavender.

This is not the commercially distilled essential oil, but a rubbing oil which can be used at full strength. {Essential oil of lavender obtained by distillation of fresh lavender flowers should be diluted in light vegetable oil for use as a massage oil when needed.}

 To make oil of lavender, take a clean glass bottle and add to it a good large handful of fresh lavender flowers and cover with one liter of olive oil. Cover and leave to macerate in the warmth of the sun for three to five days. Strain through a cloth, add fresh flowers to the bottle and return the lavender-infused oil. Repeat until the oil is highly perfumed and charged with the active principles of lavender.

Scottish Handwater & English Sweet Handwater.

Scottish Handwater
1 handful of lavender flowers
1 handful of thyme leaves
1 handful of rosemary leaves
1 bottle of still white wine
Place all the ingredients in the wine, cover, and allow to infuse in a warm place for two to three weeks. Strain and bottle attractively.
An old English recipe for sweet handwater is based on the simple Scottish recipe but it is more complex i its ingredients and the final product was distilled.
Here is an adaptation and translation.
English Sweet Handwater
6 handfuls fragrant Damask roses
2 handfuls rosemary
2 handfuls lavender
2 handfuls sweet marjoram
2 handfuls sweet basil
2 handfuls sweet balm
1 tablespoon cloves
2 tablespoons cinnamon bark chips
1 handful of bay leaves
Thinly sliced rind of two lemons
Thinly sliced rind of two oranges
Handful of flowering rosemary tops
White wine
Cover with white wine and leave in a warm place for 8 to 10 days. Distil off and bottle.Handwaters are a wonderful idea. They are added to the final rinse of delicate garments, used as a final hair rinse, or added to a basin of water when washing hands or face.
A traditional Scottish recipe used equal quantities of lavender, thyme and rosemary infused in wine.