Posted on 2 Comments

Bushman’s Balm- Extracts and Formulas

Bushman’s  Balm. Made with Sarcocaulon Mossemedes wax, with no added colours, fragrances or preservatives.
Simple is often best and with only 3 ingredients, this Bushman’s Candle-Lip Balm really shines. The Amber scent of the wax blends beautifully with the sweet notes of the unrefined Ontario Beeswax creating a smooth texture and a sensuous natural accord.

 

Sarcocaulon Mossemedense is a flowering shrub of the Geranium family that thrives in the hot, harsh and bone-dry Namib desert of Western Africa. The succulent interior of the plant is preserved and protected by a thick waxy, resinous bark which endures on the parched desert floor for many years after the plant’s demise and can be utilized in a wide range of skin-care products

Sarcocaulon-mossamedense-3-Cape-Cross.-Credit-Matija-Strlic.

The fallen bark is collected by members of the Himba tribe and often processed into a resin extract for the perfume industry. Collecting the bark provides an extra income to members of the tribe.
However, besides the aromatic resinous material, there is a natural wax present in the bark which is discarded as waste after removing the resin portion for perfume use.

https://i.etsystatic.com/8430022/r/il/1cc473/1934701503/il_fullxfull.1934701503_fzfw.jpg
Bushman’s Candle-Sarcocaulon Mossemedense-Namibia. provides both a resin extract for Perfumery and Wax for cosmetics, candles and therapeutic formulas.

Utilizing this fragrant wax is a simple process and if a market can be created for it, this value-added product could generate extra income for the tribe.

This amber-scented wax is perfect for cosmetics, candles, moustache waxes, and therapeutic skin-healing formulas.
Both the wax and the resin extract can be prepared from the same material, doubling its usefulness and value as a sustainably collected harvest.
Bushman’s candle resin extract and wax share a beautiful Amber scent that is rich, sweet, warm, woody and tenacious.

It is easy to extract 2 separate products from the raw bark, the alcohol extract for perfume and incense and a wax which can be used in candles and cosmetic/therapeutic preparations.

www.apothecarysgarden.shop Bushman's Candle-Sarcocaulon Mossemedense
Bushman’s Candle wax separated from the spent material using hot Fractionated Coconut oil. the wax can be collected by either pressing it out of the solids or hot filtering.

 

HOW TO PREPARE A 25% EXTRACT OF BUSHMAN’S CANDLE

  • Coarsely grind 100 grams of Bushman’s Candle bark.
  • In a sealed glass vessel, cover with 300 grams 94% to 96% Ethanol.
  • Let sit in a warmish, (30 degrees Centigrade), place for 6 weeks, stirring or shaking periodically.
  • Filter through a paper coffee filter and bottle in glass.
  • A 50% extract can be made in the same manner but with 100 grams alcohol instead of 300 grams.
  • A resin extract or absolute can be prepared by evaporating the alcohol from the extract at room temperature.

HOW TO EXTRACT THE WAX FROM BUSHMAN’S CANDLE

 

  • Collect the spent material left over after the resin extract of Bushman’s Candle.
  • Dry thoroughly.
  • When the material is bone dry place in a glass vessel and cover with an equal weight of Fractionated Coconut oil or a carrier oil of your choice.
  • Place in a water-bath and bring the bath to a boil.
  • Maintain the temperature of the bath for 2-4 hours.
  • Press the liquid wax, (carefully), from the solid material, or-
  • Filter the material hot, through a metal mesh coffee filter or –
  • paper in a vacuum filter.

If you would like to make your own resinoid and wax extractions of Sarcocaulon mossemedense, you can find the unprocessed bark in the shop here-https://www.etsy.com/listing/671100242/bushmans-candle-a-unique-aromatic-from

You can find Bushman’s Balm in the shop here-https://www.etsy.com/listing/692128510/bushmans-candle-lip-balm-from-the-harsh

 
Dan

Posted on 19 Comments

Labdanum resin for perfume and beard dressings

Over time I get many of the same questions from customers about the products I sell in the shop.  I love helping people and end up spending quite a bit of time answering them individually which isn’t the most efficient use of my time. So, I’m going to get better organized and post some of the answers to the most asked questions here. A link that can be shared and answers that are easily Googled. So here we go.   Dan…How do I process this lump of Labdanum resin into a perfume ingredient or a grooming product?

wpid-babylonian-sun-god-shamash.jpg.jpeg

Well. Labdanum resin has been used for perfume, incense, medicine and beard grooming for literally thousands of years. The recipe for the Temple incense, “Ketoret”, of the ancient Jews is thought to incorporate Labdanum under the name “Balm of Gilead”. The tightly coiffed and curled beards depicted on Gods and noblemen in ancient Mesopotamian stone art are believed to be based on the use of Labdanum resin.

BabylonianBeard Wax
Babylonian Gods

It is thought that in the distant past sheep and goats were driven through the sticky bushes to accumulate fragrant Labdanum resin which could be collected from their coats.

The depictions of these beards are so stylized, it led us to theorise our ancestors stuck pieces of this aromatic animal hair on their faces.  In my opinion, they were much more sophisticated than we assume and easily processed the pure Labdanum resin out of the leaves or the animal’s fur with warmth, hot water or warm oils to create products that were not only sensuously aromatic but allowed them to create intricate and artistic designs with their facial hair.

Labdanum,  like many other resins, acts as a perming agent and when applied to hair will set it and keep it in the desired style long after the resin is gone.

In royal tombs of  ancient Babylon, Sumer, Assyria and Akkad were found combs, bits of ribbon and wire that are believed to have been both decorative elements and tools for shaping the beards.  Sleeping with a beard braided with a bit of Labdanum at night will give one beautiful tight ripples for days after the braid is opened. Even after washing and combing. The danger is, of course, one will accidentally sleep with the beard tucked up behind one’s ear and spend those next days trying to straighten it out.

There are two main types of Labdanum available on the market.

Cistus flower-Labdanum
Cistus flower-Labdanum

Cistus Ladanifer from Spain which comes as a resinoid, a thick liquid resin, and is made by solvent extraction with Benzyl benzoate and Cistus creticus from the island of Crete who’s leaves sweat beads of fragrant oleoresin in the heat of summer that is collected and formed into tarry black slabs that look pretty much like Hashish. (Which is why it is shipped in boxes covered with descriptions of the contents in 4 different languages so there are no misunderstandings with customs or the DEA.)

Fresh Labdanum oleoresin. Wild harvested with traditional tools in the hills of Crete
Fresh Labdanum oleoresin. Wild harvested with traditional tools in the hills of Crete

There are other “Labdanum” products such as Labdanum and Cistus essential oils but these contain no resin and are easy to use as fragrance ingredients I won’t address them here.

The Labdanum resin and resinoid have slightly different fragrance profiles, the resin being a little muskier, bolder, and spicier than the liquid resinoid which is a little  sweeter. Both contain resin and essential oils and both work well for beard grooming and shaping. I have heard Perfumer friends give detailed descriptions of the scent of Labdanum resin, finding in its fragrance the scent of Mediterranean Sea breezes, the aroma of the summer-hot Cretan soil, hints of nearby wildflower essential oils, pollen and stray butterfly wings that are all drawn to the sticky leaves on the hottest of days.

How to process Labdanum

If you have the liquid resinoid of Labdanum, it is simple to dissolve it in alcohol for perfume use and in oil for other applications. Warm oil tends to work best.

If you purchased a lump of Labdanum resin from Crete, it is also simple to process but requires more warmth.

An oil infusion of Labdanum resin

For this I suggest a water bath. A simple Bain Marie could consist of a pot of water and a mason jar clamped to the inside and suspended halfway in the water. Hardware stores offer a variety of suitable spring clamps. It is important to use a water bath and not direct heat or a microwave oven. These offer little control over the temperature. Besides the issue of flammability and flash fires, the smallest amount of burnt material will spoil the whole batch. The water bath is an ancient piece of technology and a reliable thermoregulator that works just as well now as it did a thousand years ago. Again, the ancients were much more sophisticated than we like to think.

 

Weigh your lump of Labdanum, place it in the jar and add an oil of your choice at 3-10 times its weight. A 1-10 ratio will give you a fragrant but less potent oil and a 1-3 a stronger smelling product. You can always start with 1-3 and add oil till you have the strength of fragrance that suits you.

Bring the water to a boil, stir the Labdanum and oil till the Labdanum is completely dissolved. Remove when you are satisfied the Labdanum will break down no further.

Some people let this mix sit 4-6 weeks to extract all the fragrance compounds from the resin, others simply let it sediment well and pour off the liquid. Your choice. You can pass the liquid or the sediment through a pillowcase with a tight weave to rescue any oil left in the spent resin.

This beautifully aromatic oil can be used in oil-based perfumes and skin care products though it can be applied to the hair and skin directly and is one of the most attractive fragrances I know of for facial hair. Literally. It seems to draw people in. Like a people magnet hidden in your beard. If you chose an oil with hair or skin nourishing qualities that is great. If not, your Labdanum oil can be blended with other hair or skin nourishing oils or with a bit of Lanolin or beeswax, (In the water bath), to create a beard balm. Depending on the oil you used this product will keep anywhere from 2 years, (Olive oil) to indefinitely, (Jojoba, Fractionated Coconut Oil).

Water-soluble gum after the hot oil extraction
Metal mesh coffee filter works well for filtering hot resin/oil blends.

 

An alcohol tincture of Labdanum for perfume

To use Labdanum in an alcohol-based perfume use 95%-96% alcohol at the same ratio as above. To make a more concentrated tincture I suggest a twofold tincture rather than trying to tincture the Labdanum with a higher ratio of  Labdanum.

A little warmth speeds up the dissolution of the resin in the oil. A gentle warmth is all that is needed. Again, some perfumers prefer to let this tincture of Labdanum sit for a few weeks before filtering. For an alcohol tincture, I use a paper coffee filter which removes most of the non-aromatic material. You can carefully pour the filtered tincture off the sediment once it has settled. Some perfumers will freeze the tincture before filtering to reduce stickiness in the final perfume product. I haven’t tried it with Labdanum myself

A Labdanum Moustache Wax

If you want to make a moustache wax with Labdanum resin, dissolve the resin in hot wax in the water bath and adjust the product’s hardness and texture by slowly adding small amounts of oil, cocoa butter, lanolin or other oil-soluble materials of your choice till it meets your satisfaction.  Have a plate or other clean room-temperature surface handy to do numerous drop tests to fine-tune the consistency and hardness of your moustache wax. When it is ready, you can pour the liquid wax/resin mix through a metal mesh coffee filter into a measuring cup and either reheat the filtered product in the water bath again for fine-tuning or pour it from the measuring cup into tins or jars for use.

And as always, remember to keep clear notes.

Your future self will thank you.

Dan

 

 

 

Posted on 19 Comments

A Moustache Wax Recipe with Frankincense resin

Fresh co-op harvested Frankincense Frereana- from Somaliland-" Maydi or Yemenite Chewing Gum"

As promised, here is the recipe for my “Abyssinian Twirling Wax”, a Frankincense summer styling wax made with the oleoresin of Frankincense Frereana, co-op harvested in Somaliland. The Frankincense resins in the formula can be replaced with Spruce, Pine or Fir resins if desired. I chose Frankincense Frereana because of its wonderful fragrance and lack of water-soluble gum, perhaps the only Frankincense with this quality. This allows it to dissolve readily in the oils and butters, as the coniferous saps do.

Much as I love my spruce sap moustache wax, (solid moustache wax recipe), I find I am always learning, growing, exploring, and discovering new things. I better be improving with age.

Instead of adding olive oil as a solvent and carrier with the spruce sap in my earlier recipe, I mixed the hot cocoa butter and the coconut oil with the semi-melted Frankincense which gave the resin enough mobility to be filtered through a metal mesh coffee filter. (Easier on the hands than squeezing hot resins through a pillowcase! ). It was then put back in the water bath in the mixing vessel and the rest of the ingredients blended into it till the texture and consistency were just right. This method works just as well with Pine, Spruce and Fir saps.

Resins have the very cool attribute of training or “perming” ones hair. After using a resin based wax for a day or two, one’s moustache notably keeps its shape with less or no waxing. Hairs may still separate, but they will do so according to the shape the resins imparted to them. When you want to try a different style, the resin wax holds it exactly where you want it and sets your facial hair to the new style with the same ease. Simple or extremely elaborate creations are thus possible with no extra effort.

So here is my new and improved recipe for a really lovely resin based, solid moustache wax This recipe is pretty close to the “Abyssinian Twirling Wax”. The product in the shop also has resins of Frankincense Rivae from the Ogaden region in Ethiopia, (hence the Abyssinian part), but it is not a prerequisite for a wonderful product.  To it, I added some Frankincense Rivae resin left over from distilling the essential oils, but you could simply add a little essential oil of Frankincense Rivae to accomplish the same end. These two fragrances compliment each other well.

If you would like to try out a Frankincense resin moustashe wax before you make it, buy some to compare to your own recipe, or if you would like to support and encourage my need to make cool things for cool people, you can find it in my Etsy shop here. https://www.etsy.com/listing/193421122/abyssinian-twirling-wax-a-frankincense

You can experiment with a wide range of ingredients and proportions. A little more Frankincense adds durability and hold in hot humid conditions, a little less, works well in cooler climates.

We all have different needs from a grooming wax, so take the time to play with the proportions and ingredients, and do a”drop test” on a room temperature surface as often as you need, till you are happy with the results. I often do this 10 -20 times till I am satisfied. Remember you can re-melt and redo your wax almost indefinitely. Just return it to the waterbath at any point to experiment , add or adjust ingredients.

-The Frankincense Frereana adds tenacity, nice hold and “perming power”. Plus it has a most lovely fragrance of amber, wood and spice

-The Cocoa butter helps it go on smooth without pulling hairs and smells wonderful with the Frankincense.

-The coconut oil is semi solid at room temperature so I figure it is better for consistency than olive oil, and of course it’s all the rage now for skin, hair and everything else it seems.

-I always use fresh fragrant local Beeswax, not the bleached or deodorizer stuff. Fresh beeswax smells amazing complements the resin’s fragrance, and adds a lovely texture and hold of its own.

You can use any kinds of oleoresins you like or have around, in similar proportions to those below. This recipe yields 1 liter of moustache or beard wax. The percentages should help you make smaller quantities. For a beard wax or dressing, I would reduce the resins and Beeswax, and up the Lanolin and Cocoa butter till you have the consistency and hold you are looking for. I hope to get some in the shop sometime soon.

So,, enough talk-

A recipe for a Frankincense resin Moustache Wax

In  a water bath, (See a solid mustache wax recipe),  heat up the items below.  (Note these are not exact proportions that must be followed to the letter or decimal point, but do work well. I expect everyone to tweak them to their own individual taste and grooming needs.)

  • Frankincense Frereana-125 grams for a summer wax. 100 grams might work well for a winter or cold weather wax. 100 to 125 grams-10%-12.5% . (Or 150-200 grams-15% -20% Spruce, Pine or Fir sap).
  • Cocoa Butter-200 grams. 20%
  • Coconut oil-200 grams-20%
  • Lanolin-150 grams-15%
  • Beeswax 300-350  grams-30%-35%
  • Vitamin E. 400 IU per 250 ml. or more. It helps preserve fats from rancidity and is nourishing to hair and skin. Not obligatory, but an option.
  • Essential oils if you like. You can add essential oils of your choice during the cool down period, before you pour your wax into containers. The fragrance of the Frankincense, Beeswax and Cocoa butter combined is warm, mild, woody and lovely on its own. Some oils that go well with Frankincense Frereana are other Frankincense types, Cedars, Opoponax, Balsam Peru, Cabreva, Muhuhu, Sandalwood, Pettigrain and citrus types.
  •  For more essential oil suggestions and information on how to incorporate natural fragrance in your moustache wax, please see the post How to create a natural fragrance for male grooming products.
Fresh co-op harvested Maydi- Frankincense Frereana
Fresh co-op harvested Maydi- Frankincense Frereana-Natural chewing gum, incense and moustache wax ingredient.

 

So, in the water bath, heat up all your ingredients. Wait till your water boils and everything has melted. Gauging by eye, or with a thermometer wait till they reach a similar temperature.
Add part of the Cocoa butter and part of the coconut oil to the gooey Frankincense resin, stir thoroughly till it is homogeneous and all the Frankincense has dissolved.
Remove and carefully pour it through a metal coffee filter via a funnel or directly into your mixing jar.  Use the back of a spoon or a stir stick to press it through and keep the pores in the filter open.  If you have a large quantity, do this in small batches and return the Frankincense mix to the water bath to keep the contents liquid. If you can’t get a reusable metal coffee filter, (The gold coloured Melita type), then use the corner of a clean and well rinsed pillowcase, and wearing gloves press the mixture through the fabric and funnel to the jar.Any residual goo left on hands and tools cleans up well with olive oil then soap and water.

Put the container with the filtered mix into the water-bath, wait till it is same temperature as the rest of the jars, and you are ready to start adding the remainder of the ingredients to it.
I ususally don’t pour things in all at once, but reserve some for final adjusting. Often I will measure more into the jars than the recipe calls for, just so I have some room for play. Its easy enough to measure what I have left over afterwards and deduce how much I used. Add most of your ingredients then do a cold drop test and see if it suits your needs. More Cocoa butter? More beeswax? Coconut oil?  What do you think??
When you are happy with the result, you are ready to pull it out of the waterbath and either mix in your essential oils or just pour it into containers to set. And that’s it.
Enjoy the gender you were blessed with this life.
And always always remember to take notes! Clear legible and dated notes!

Your future self will thank you…

Dan

Oh and if you are considering using Frankincense frereana in your recipe, you can find it here-https://www.etsy.com/listing/191307066/frankincense-frereana-maydi-somaliland

Abyssinian Twirling Wax. A Frankincense based Moustache wax. In the Etsy store.
Abyssinian Twirling Wax. A Frankincense based Moustache wax. In the Etsy store.
Housemate Jesse James, a regular user of Abyssinian twirling wax.
Housemate Jesse James, a regular user of Abyssinian twirling wax.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted on 3 Comments

Ebb and Flow

After a month and a half of silence since my last post, I believe I am back. It has been an oddly difficult year leading up to my 60th birthday last Sunday. For the most part I felt like I was sloughing through waist-high molasses to get the smallest thing done. Thank god for the consistency of Nature, and the inevitable ebb and flow of all things. If you can’t fight it, wait it out.  As soon as my birth day was behind me, I felt like a heavy fog lifted from me. Still a little cautious, but optimistic, and taking every opportunity I can to build on it.

I returned from Ethiopia in April a bit shell-shocked. Having gained an intimate and first hand understanding of the state of Civet farming, (See the attached WSPA report), I felt disheartened. Effecting improvements in ethics and practices that were deeply ingrained culturally, in a society that was so slow to embrace change, felt daunting and unrealistic. Even their own government had seemed to have given up trying to modernize the cruel practices, what could one foreigner hope to accomplish on his own?

I have slowly regained some composure since my return, spoken with natural perfumers over the past month, and am selling some of the Civet paste I brought back with a message. Can you help?  So it’s not just a product, but a call that I hope will be passed on. The treatment of Civets for perfume in Africa, and Kopi Luwak Coffee in Asia is truly barbaric. Boycotting the producers has had the reverse effect intended, these people a frighteningly poor already. They will find a way to survive and I don’t blame them. Removing the little income they have, and turning our backs on them indignantly, did absolutely nothing for the Civets. All we have done is increase the poverty and hardship of people who already suffer from lack, created black markets and back doors for the perfume companies to avoid negative publicity. There must be a better way. Even if it means going in there and getting our hands dirty.

If you want to learn more about Civet culture and farming, have a look at my post- Ethical Civet, a glimpse from the mountaintop. If you would like to buy authentic Ethiopian Civet paste at a very reasonable price that includes a call for your support to help change the current farming practices, contact me or leave me a comment. I will get it in the store shortly.

Ethiopian Civet paste 2014
Ethiopian Civet paste 2014

Ok. On a more positive note, I have 3 new apothecary products and have started working with bone, stone, wood, horn and antler again. Hurray for me! I laid down my tools 2 years ago when I started this blog, part of my second Saturn return and 60th birthday evolution no doubt. Three gorgeous large chunks of Jet, (about 20 Kg.), have kept vigilant watch over me  ever since, sitting in my study, whispering all the wonderful things I could carve and turn from them. Not letting me forget they were waiting for me and there was no way I could get them out of my life until I made something spectacular from them. I wonder if Jet is ruled by Saturn astrologically? Likely so.

So my lathe is now set up and turning lovely little incense/moustache wax spoons out of recycled Ebony piano keys. They aren’t finished yet, but looking promising.

Incense/Moustache wax spoons waiting for carving and details. Recycled Ebony piano keys
Incense/Moustache wax spoon blanks, waiting for carving and details. Recycled Ebony piano keys

I formulated a great new summer moustache wax. “Abyssinian Twirling Wax”. Made with oleoresins of Frankincense Frereana from Somaliland and Frankincense Rivae from Ethiopia. Not only does it keep its hold through hot and humid weather, smells great, but it trains and “perms” moustache hairs even better than my old “Solid moustache wax recipe”.

Abyssinian Twirling Wax. A Frankincense based Moustache wax.
Abyssinian Twirling Wax. A Frankincense based Moustache wax.

 

I now have the very rare co-op harvested “Maydi” or Frankincense Frereana from Somaliland for sale and will do a post introducing it very soon.

Will be posting “Pet Medic” to the Etsy store this week, a safe, natural skin healing ointment for most domestic animals and pets. Made “Astrodynamically” using a triple extraction of fresh Calendula petals, it was originally intended for baby’s butts, but so many people were thrilled it worked so well on their pets, I figured I would go with the flow.

"Maydi" Frankincense Frereana-Co-op harvested Somaliland 2013.
“Maydi” Frankincense Frereana. Co-op harvested Somaliland 2013.

I now have an all-purpose bdsm crème. If you don’t know what that is then just skip to the next item….

One fulfills the needs of the community. Whatever that community might be.

I think my 60th birthday gift from my Self, is a vision of bringing together all the seemingly disparate parts of my long life, my incarnations, into a cohesive whole. That’s really all I wanted to say for now.

Oh, and I will be at the Apothecary’s Garden most Saturday mornings until further notice, so if you have any gardening, herbal or apothecary questions, and if you would like to help grow the Teaching Gardens with us, you know where to find me.

Warm regards

Dan

 

Posted on 6 Comments

Waxing Warmly over Mustaches

The mustache, the manly mustache. That flourish that only a man can embellish. That embellishment that only a man can flourish. Suave or swashbuckling. Terse or trim. debonair, devilish, dictatorial or delightful. There really are too many types,the list is infinite. Each of us is given a completely different set of variables. Each of us can and likely should create our own unique style. Every face,every feature, every skin type and every genetic background creates different limitations and different possibilities. Each of us with our unique vision and creativity. A place for true self-expression. Color, texture and thickness of hair, Curly or straight, the size of the area between nose and lip, width and height of face, which areas are fur-bearing, which are spotty or naked. These are only some of the unique variables given man.

Even the lightest dab of down floating under an inexperienced nose, if only cut, trimmed and groomed minimally displays creative self-expression. It says to the world unequivocally, I am a mustache, bearing a man unique in who i am, we like who we areand celebrate our masculine nature.

Besides the obvious attentions of shaving cutting snipping brushing or combing a mustache, There is the time-honored tradition of waxing one’s mustache.
Having just finished my latest batch of said Mustache Wax, I do wax warmly on the subject and would be very happy to share insights and experience.

There are a few commercial mustache waxes available on the market. Not many and they don’t suit all types of mustache. One alternative is to make ones own mustache wax tailored to our own needs. Another is to have someone custom make a mustache wax for us. If you know someone who can do this for you are very lucky.
If, like me, you would like to make your own it is not too hard to make at home.

The basic ingredients in making a good mustache wax are a good base wax like beeswax, Sap,(fir Pine or spruce sap) and odoriferous oils,especially essential oils
Beeswax I find works best for me. It is natural, barely processed, smells great and it has good body and texture. Paraffin wax always smells like petroleum but can be worked with.
The wax will give body to your mustache wax.
Saps will help train your mustache to hold to a new form and shape. Almost like a “perm” effect. Saps also add a certain stickiness that helps keep everything together and of course a lovely, lovely fragrance.
While we now have stickiness and body I find that adding a little cocoa butter or Shea butter gives smoothness to the mix. Lubrication. This means it goes on much smoother and you aren’t as apt to yank out hairs every time you apply wax. No sense torturing oneself unnecessarily. Cocoa butter also smells heavenly and adds a balsamic note to the overall fragrance.
The last touch is fragrance. Pure essential oils are the best.
Some classic masculine essential oils are Sandalwood, Vetiver, Spikenard, patchouli, Cyprus, various Cedars and Frankincense.
Some spicy masculine notes are, Cardamom, Ginger, Black Pepper, Mace and Nutmeg
Given the base scents of beeswax, coniferous Saps and Cocoa Butter one has a good base for building a unique personal masculine fragrance. It is an accord that is woody and warm and lends itself to many variations and expressions of masculinity, soft or edgy, sweet, floral or spicy.
I usually have a summer wax and a winter wax. The summer wax is harder, it holds its form better during the warm summer months and the winter wax is softer so it goes on more easily in the winter.
I also have a winter decongestant mustache wax. In addition to the spruce and pine essential oils that come with the saps, (which are natural decongestants), I add essential oils of eucalyptus, peppermint, and Rosemary. The wax warming under my nose releases these therapeutic essential oils directly into my in-drawn breath and acts as an “inhaler” to help keep my breathing passages open when I’m feeling stuffed up.

One could probably add a mix of essential oils in the wax to act as a barrier to airborne bacteria and viruses when in crowded public places. Most essential oils have well researched anti bacterial and anti viral properties, even in very small doses.
Some potent anti-virals and anti-bacterials are essential oils of Oregano, Eucalyptus, Thyme and Tea Tree ( yuck! ).

Another type of mustache wax is the form of a liquid or creme. This type is applied from a tube with the fingers or distributed with a small comb. once applied, the liquid in it evaporates and the waxes set and hold everything in place. It is more of a “one shot” deal and often needs to be reapplied wet to touch it up. Whereas a solid wax can be adjusted for an extended period of time. This type of mustache wax differs in that it incorporates an emulsifying wax, alcohol and distilled water in its basic recipe. Quite often it includes waxes that are harder and more brittle than Beeswax such as Carnauba wax. I can go over a recipe for a liquid mustache wax or cream mustache wax in a future blog if anyone is interested in making one.

To find a recipe and instructions for making your own “solid” Mustache Wax , please see this blog’s recipe page.

Posted on 2 Comments

Waxing Warmly over Mustaches

The mustache, the manly mustache. That flourish that only a man can embellish. That embellishment that only a man can flourish. Suave or swashbuckling. Terse or trim. debonair, devilish, dictatorial or delightful. There really are too many types,the list is infinite. Each of us is given a completely different set of variables. Each of us can and likely should create our own unique style. Every face,every feature, every skin type and every genetic background creates different limitations and different possibilities. Each of us with our unique vision and creativity. A place for true self-expression. Color, texture and thickness of hair, Curly or straight, the size of the area between nose and lip, width and height of face, which areas are fur-bearing, which are spotty or naked. These are only some of the unique variables given man.

Even the lightest dab of down floating under an inexperienced nose, if only cut, trimmed and groomed minimally displays creative self-expression. It says to the world unequivocally, I am a mustache, bearing a man unique in who i am, we like who we areand celebrate our masculine nature.

Besides the obvious attentions of shaving cutting snipping brushing or combing a mustache, There is the time-honored tradition of waxing one’s mustache.
Having just finished my latest batch of said Mustache Wax, I do wax warmly on the subject and would be very happy to share insights and experience.

There are a few commercial mustache waxes available on the market. Not many and they don’t suit all types of mustache. One alternative is to make ones own mustache wax tailored to our own needs. Another is to have someone custom make a mustache wax for us. If you know someone who can do this for you are very lucky.
If, like me, you would like to make your own it is not too hard to make at home.

The basic ingredients in making a good mustache wax are a good base wax like beeswax, Sap,(fir Pine or spruce sap) and odoriferous oils,especially essential oils
Beeswax I find works best for me. It is natural, barely processed, smells great and it has good body and texture. Paraffin wax always smells like petroleum but can be worked with.
The wax will give body to your mustache wax.
Saps will help train your mustache to hold to a new form and shape. Almost like a “perm” effect. Saps also add a certain stickiness that helps keep everything together and of course a lovely, lovely fragrance.
While we now have stickiness and body I find that adding a little cocoa butter or Shea butter gives smoothness to the mix. Lubrication. This means it goes on much smoother and you aren’t as apt to yank out hairs every time you apply wax. No sense torturing oneself unnecessarily. Cocoa butter also smells heavenly and adds a balsamic note to the overall fragrance.
The last touch is fragrance. Pure essential oils are the best.
Some classic masculine essential oils are Sandalwood, Vetiver, Spikenard, patchouli, Cyprus, various Cedars and Frankincense.
Some spicy masculine notes are, Cardamom, Ginger, Black Pepper, Mace and Nutmeg
Given the base scents of beeswax, coniferous Saps and Cocoa Butter one has a good base for building a unique personal masculine fragrance. It is an accord that is woody and warm and lends itself to many variations and expressions of masculinity, soft or edgy, sweet, floral or spicy.
I usually have a summer wax and a winter wax. The summer wax is harder, it holds its form better during the warm summer months and the winter wax is softer so it goes on more easily in the winter.
I also have a winter decongestant mustache wax. In addition to the spruce and pine essential oils that come with the saps, (which are natural decongestants), I add essential oils of eucalyptus, peppermint, and Rosemary. The wax warming under my nose releases these therapeutic essential oils directly into my in-drawn breath and acts as an “inhaler” to help keep my breathing passages open when I’m feeling stuffed up.

One could probably add a mix of essential oils in the wax to act as a barrier to airborne bacteria and viruses when in crowded public places. Most essential oils have well researched anti bacterial and anti viral properties, even in very small doses.
Some potent anti-virals and anti-bacterials are essential oils of Oregano, Eucalyptus, Thyme and Tea Tree ( yuck! ).

Another type of mustache wax is the form of a liquid or creme. This type is applied from a tube with the fingers or distributed with a small comb. once applied, the liquid in it evaporates and the waxes set and hold everything in place. It is more of a “one shot” deal and often needs to be reapplied wet to touch it up. Whereas a solid wax can be adjusted for an extended period of time. This type of mustache wax differs in that it incorporates an emulsifying wax, alcohol and distilled water in its basic recipe. Quite often it includes waxes that are harder and more brittle than Beeswax such as Carnauba wax. I can go over a recipe for a liquid mustache wax or cream mustache wax in a future blog if anyone is interested in making one.

To find a recipe and instructions for making your own “solid” Mustache Wax , please see this blog’s recipe page.