Autumn is coming at a pace not as fast as many people would like it to. The shape of the clouds has changed and though it is still hot and humid, I can smell autumn in the air. Tokyo is getting ready for the cool bliss of the next season. Yet, we have a few typhoons to come and go before the air becomes drier and stops feeling heavy on the skin.
Today I will introduce two soaps which I colored with shikon, a Japanese (or should I say Asian) herb which has been used in both Japan and China for centuries and has recently attracted the attention of modern science for its rejouvenating effect on the skin. In fact, it belongs to the family Boraginaceae, the family which alkanet belongs to, too.
I have used this soap for a couple of months and what I can say for sure is that its lather was very fine without being slimy and felt silky on my skin.
It took me a couople of years to find this herb. You can buy it only at specialized shops in Japan and I believe in other Asian countries, too. (I bought mine while I was on a trip to Taiwan.)
I infused hot oil with the herb and used the first infusion to achieve this beautiful pale purple.
The second infusion, however, gave the gentle pink color below.
I love the color and will use second infusions of shikon (purple root) again.