Fragrant days

When I started making aromatherapy perfumes at the start of this year I didn’t even imagine this would be such an enchanting adventure. 

The world of scents has unfolded little by little to me, captivating my days, firing up my creativity, enticing my heart. It has been such an inspiring journey, and I realise how lucky I am to surround myself with fabulous scents daily, it is a real delight. And a luxury!  

I was first in love with Ylang ylang, then mr. Sandalwood made a huge impression on me, only to later fall prey to witch jasmine, but I love them all for their uniqueness, magic and power. Essential oils are such a delectable gift from mother nature.

However I rather want to talk here about the lesser known oil of Fragonia, which is a delightful addition to the world of perfumery. It’s an Australian native, from the tea tree family, and while you may think this is not such a fortunate relation from a scent perspective, fragonia is though in a very special category of its own. If I was to describe the scent of fragonia, I would say it has rich floral notes, reminiscent of rose geranium, coupled with fresh camphoraceous and slightly spicy notes. This is how my current fragonia essential oil smells like – I got this one from Paperbark Oils, and it’s the best distillation I have come across so far. Chemistry wise, it has an unusually balanced profile between monoterpenes, oxides and monoterpenols, making us think of its uses for emotional wellbeing. 

Fragonia is as efficient antimicrobial as tea tree, while gentler on the skin. It also has anti-inflammatory and immune regulating properties. 
Fragonia is widely used in aromatherapy for the mind and soul. Dr. Daniel Penoel explains that fragonia has the capacity to create inner peace and establish harmony from within. Fragonia promotes calm, balance and serenity, leading to good quality sleep. Robbi Zeck says fragonia helps remove scars from our emotional framework, releasing old blockages. She suggests massaging fragonia onto the base of the skull to allow emotions to be processed differently. 

Fragonia also plays a role in regulating hormonal imbalances caused by the pituitary gland, according to Karen Wallwork, Australian aromatherapist. It assists with menstruation symptoms such as pain, anxiety, depression and breast tenderness. 

What’s not to love about fragonia? As for me, I love the richness of its scent, it feels so welcoming and generous, like someone with arms wide open saying “come here for a hug, it’s room for everyone”. And I am also impressed with what fragonia can do to a blend, bringing substance, harmony and a long lasting effect. 

You will find fragonia imparting its magic into some of our blends, such as Off with the Blues, I am One, Light and Positive Moods.

Love and fragrant hugs,
Stefania

Harnessing summer’s energy for winter days

As we are approaching the winter equinox and the days grow shorter, we start to feel less active and perky, maybe even apathetic at times. It is the natural body’s reaction to the limited exposure to light during the winter months.

This can be however diminished by using mother nature’s remedies – the vibrant flowering plants that are in full bloom during the longest summer days as they bring the much-needed energy of the sunlight to our cells. Think of St John’s wort, yarrow, calendula, chamomile. To alleviate the winter’s harshness on the body and soul, try making a skin-loving massage oil or a perfume blend using herbal infused oils of St. John’s wort and calendula enriched with essential oils of chamomile, yarrow or frankincense.

Massage the whole body or apply on the wrists. Pure bliss. 💖

Minty days

These days I get a little nostalgic. Just because I love summer’s brightness, along with its long, warm days. But when I see the first mint tops becoming white and fluffy like cat’s tail, I know the summer is well past its peak. The cooling, yet sweet strong aroma is a powerful consolation though. It soothes my senses and my spirit alike. It’s such a profoundly intoxicating and invigorating scent. Pure delight.

Second time when I get this same vibrant kick is when I strip the dried leaves off the stems. My drying room becomes the most exciting herbal apothecary on earth.
To get and preserve all this goodness I pick the mint gradually as it goes into bloom, as that is when the plant reaches its maximum potency. I let dry in the shade until it becomes crumbly and then get it into jars with pure EVOO to slow sun-infuse for about 10-12 weeks.
That is when it is ready to go into the baby balm to provide much needed comfort, as well as into facial oils (such as the ones for combination and oily/acne prone skin) to balance the natural production of sebum.

Love for Lavender


We are well into spring now and lavender is one of our garden’s beauties to unfold its splendour. The colour, the scent, the bees busily buzzing around, it is hard not to love lavender. There aren’t many herbs around which can claim being as well known and widely used throughout centuries and cultures. With its both relaxing and stimulating energy, lavender seduces one at the first sight, enchanting both the body and the spirit.

Used in and on the body, in cooking and around the house (ah, those aromatic linens!) or just for the pure pleasure of the eyes, lavender has countless benefits and qualities. It is soothing, calming, antidepressant, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, anti-microbial, healing and rejuvenating. More on its properties here.

Lavender is my go-to for wound nursing, headaches, respiratory issues as well as a sleeping aid, to perfume my daughter’s bathwater, for a lovely evening tea or when I feel under pressure or a bit down. And if you haven’t tried a fresh lavender champagne, it should be on your must-do list this summer. 😉

 

Lavender is amazing in itself, but it also blends beautifully with bergamot, sage, peppermint, chamomile, geranium, rosemary, eucalyptus, palmarosa, juniper. No wonder it’s so widely used in mists and nourishing balms for skin. And, of course, you can find most of these combinations in our facial oils.

Stay fresh and enjoy your spring! 🐝 😇

PS. Pictured above it’s a flamboyant Victorian bred lavender called The Princess, which is the first lavender (or shall I say pink?) bush to bloom on our property. 😍

 

To market, to market 😊 – updated

To market, to market!Spring is nearly here and we are making it to markets again this season. We really have been missing our lovely customers and market goers. We are going to be at  Lancefield & District Farmers’ Market this Saturday. Weather is going to be beautiful with a top of 20oC and maybe a few showers, but who cares? It’s Spring!
Looking forward to seeing you there! 💝

Love,

Stefania & co

No claims or promises

I will never promise my products will make you beautiful – you already are!! Nor my products won’t make you bright – we wouldn’t have met unless you had already been so bright. My products won’t make you look younger either. There is absolutely nothing wrong with wrinkles, they make you look authentic and tell all the feelings and experiences you have been through. They are there to remind of beautiful moments, fears, delights, stress and exhaustion. Because you fully give yourself to every emotion, with no reserve.

I am not making any promises here. It is not my business to afford ground for expectations.  I am only claiming one thing, that we all deserve to enjoy the nature’s goodness to care for our bodies and souls. Just saying… 😇

With love and joy,

Stefania

The beauty of simplifying

The question I get most when I get to meet with people at the markets is about my skin-care routine. I am an uncomplicated person and my skin-care routine is even more so. And I am not at all missing the days when I used to cleanse, scrub, tone and moisturise my skin with patience every night only to find it patchy and pore-clogged the next day.

One thing I’ve changed is the time when I put something on my face, always in the morning as the best moisturiser we have already built-in (aka the sebum) is produced at night. This way, in the morning I only top-up the natural reserves. Just because nothing beats nature. (I’ll talk about the illogic of rich night creams soon, promise!)

The other thing I’ve changed is the number of things I put on my skin. From many to just a couple. The first I ditched were the cleansers and scrubs. I used honey instead. Until I didn’t feel the need for it either. I just have a few splashes of water at night and in the morning. Then a spritz of sandalwood hydrosol which is totally optional, but I love the scent and it actually helps the oils to absorb deeper into the skin. And, at last, a few drops of facial oil massaged nicely for a couple of minutes onto my face and neck. Eyes included, of course. I don’t need to have a separate eye cream or serum, my facial oil is more than gentle to take care of the delicate skin around my eyes too.

Another important shift is the frequency of “pampering” the skin. While I moisturise my face and neck every morning and my whole body once or twice a week (we live in a dry area, so my skin gets thirsty, particularly in summer), it’s only once a month or even less often that I use a treatment that does all the nourishing, exfoliating and deep cleansing at once. However this is rather a treat than a real need for happy and healthy skin.

I know I’ve said it before, but I really believe “less is more”.

Much love,

Stefania

Summer throughout

It is the midst of the summer here in country Victoria and it may seem like we have more of an idle time since we don’t do any markets. It is however the busiest time of the year on the backend of Thornhill Lane. We pick. We dry. We bottle up. Then we strain and start again.

Summer is when timing is really essential as we have to pick the herbs at their maximum potency, generally leaves right before the plant gets into blossom, while flowers are to be picked when they are fully open. Usually late morning, after the dew dries up. Then straight on the drying racks on single layers, in the dark. For a few days or until the plant material is crisp-dry. Followed by 6-8 weeks of sun-infusing. Or sun-blessing.

This is a time when we are delighted with the most amazing scents and colours. Which are later imparted graciously to our herbal oils.

If our products are so loved and revered, the secret is no doubt intrinsically hidden in these luscious herbal oils. They are the true heart of our handcrafting.

Ps. Above pictured is St. John’s wort freshly wildcrafted from a clean local source. The herbal oil obtained from these gorgeous flowers is insanely dark red with a sweet berry aroma. More like a syrup than an infused oil. Cheers! ????

Healing Powerhouse – Comfrey

Comfrey is a plant we widely use in our garden and household, from nourishing fertiliser for plants to dressing bandages for wounds and inflammation. It really works wonders!

We started with a few root cuttings a few years ago and we now have plants all around our garden fence in an effort to keep the gum roots away (still to be proven). Both the root and the leaves are useful, we collect the leaves in summer and roots late in autumn. Leaves are best harvested right when the plant gets to the flowering stage.

As for its skin-loving properties, comfrey is vulnerary, which means it helps with closing and healing the wounds. It is also called ‘knitbone’ due to its ability to stitch the bone tissue, so it’s also helpful in fractures and sprains.

Comfrey is also great for inflammation – applied as an ointment or fresh leaves poultice, it reduces the swelling and stiffness as well as the appearance of bruises.

Plenty of reasons for me to dry comfrey and make it into a herbal infused oil which I use in our wonderfully scented healing balm.

I totally love comfrey! I believe it is one of the best healing plants around and it shouldn’t miss from anyone’s garden. At least for its beautiful bluebells-like flowers. Have a closer look at their exquisite growing pattern.

Comfrey is easy to grow, I should however add that it is very hard to get rid of. When established, even the tiniest bit of root will shoot back. But once you find out about all its wonderful uses, this is not a drawback any more.

Comfrey flower

Patricia says

I love getting feedback from customers ????

Here is what I got today:

Hi Stefania
I bought your products form Barkly Square in Brunswick. I love them (Face oil, sandalwood spray and BBB cream which I use it for a hand/ body cream). All the dryness on my skin is now gone and have had no pimples even with the change of face products. My 6yo daughter uses the lip cream which she loves.
I am going to buy more for my sister, who only uses natural products.
Thank you for making such beautiful products.
Kind Regards
Patricia

Thank you so much, Patricia! You really made my day xxx