This afternoon I blended some vetiver bath salts... You may remember from a short while back this summer, I mentioned how unpopular were the Lavender bath salts, and how I was going to replace them with a vetiver scent... The lavender is probably not the problem, but rather - the accompanying notes (or their names... go figure): licorice and vanilla. Vanilla is popular alright, but licorice tends to divide people: most either love it or hate it. Very few feel lukewarm, on the fence or just pleasantly ok about it. And for the most part, it is an acquired taste... There are some cultural preferences around licorice. I knew for quite sometime that most Asian cultures do not enjoy licorice candy or licorice flavour (though they seem quite fond of star anise! Go figure…). And just recently, I learned from my Swiss intern Olivier, that in Europe there is something that is called “the licorice border” that runs along the Elbe river: everyone north of that line loves licorice, and to the south of it – they cannot tolerate it… The border runs along a river.
Back to vetiver: the bath salts I’ve created are a simplified version of Vetiver Racinettes. It has a hint of coffee, spices, wild mushroom and tarragon (can’t escape the licorice, can I?) but really, just a hint. It’s all about vetiver, and a lot of Australian sandalwood to boot – which gives it this smooth woody scent which I find to work beautifully in body products. I used some special salts in this which I’m very excited about: Ancient Canadian bath salts from Saskatchewan, Dead Sea salts from Israel. So you can understand why I’m feeling really at home with this bath…
While my stuffed grapevine leaves were cooking on the stove*, I immersed myself in a Vetiver Ritual Bath this evening and the scent lingered for a long, relaxing hot bath even though I haven’t used that much salt; and my skin still smells delicately of vetiver and sandalwood as I write this.
* You won't believe it! I found some freshly picked leaves in the farmers' market last Saturday and I'm making them for my brother's birthday feast tomorrow... So excited: it's been 2 years since I had these last, probably 3 since I last made them from fresh leaves!!!