Christmas is just 10 days away and the cold weather which was so late to come this year has finally caught up with us. The wind blows every day but, instead of snowflakes, we enjoy the aerial dance of the bright yellow ginkgo leaves – they are everywhere!
I feel especially lucky tonight, because I came from work and randomly chose a TV channel and guess what! I got to listen to Pink Floyd! Pink Floyd, though once popular in my home country, have never been the first choice of my generation as I guess we students considered them a little old, but tonight, I became to appreciate their music from a very different point of view – it made me feel nostalgic and at the same time created an atmosphere of peace and a feeling of accomplishment. I cannot specify what I have accomplished today but the busy day in the office is probably the primary reason for this.
A cup of hot green soup (followed by a cup of hot milk) is something which contributes a lot to the relaxing atmosphere. I will be up soon to prepare the essential oil blends for my next several soaps. But for the moment, I am savoring the moment and the vegetables in my soup.
One of my evergreen soaps is made with bamboo charcoal and oil extract of yomogi (latin name Artemisia indica var. maximowiczii), a Japanese herb whose leaves are used for wa-gashi (Japanese sweets), in traditional medicine (it is said to have antibacterial properties) and … recently in soapmaking.
I have used this recipe several times and I love the smell of the essential oil blend as it reminds me of a summer night after a light rain up in the mountains, when you can distinguish the smells of green leaves, grass, tree bark, wet soil, herbs and some flowers. But I am talking about my home country, as I have not spent any nights in the mountains of Japan. I used the essential oils of rose geranium, jasmine, true lavender, and cedar wood. An unlikely combination it seems at first but after being left to “mature” for a couple of weeks, it becomes a very pleasant and round aroma.
Unfortunately, the yomogi-infused oil did not hold the green color and turned pale yellow in the soap.
I also love to use bamboo charcoal, which is finer than the medical grade charcoal and disperses very easily in the raw soap. You need a very small amount of it to color your whole batch.
Not very Christmas-like but still one of my favorite soap it is.
I wish you a warm day!