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Archive for November, 2013

Homemade Inexpensive Holiday Gifts & Christmas Crafts

It’s almost December already, and time is flying by again this year. It seems no matter how many years pass I can never be completely ready for the holidays. I say to myself every Thanksgiving that this year will be the year that I’m going to have everything I wanted to accomplish finished by Christmas….yeah right.

In the meantime, I’ve done a bit of searching and found some great things to share for creative and inexpensive Christmas gifts.

Also be sure to read my Yahoo article; 10 best bargain Christmas gift ideas.


These decorative candles are great for your holiday mantel or table centerpiece. Wrapped with the sheet music of your favorite carol and pictures of your family, they’re a great family keepsake or seasonal decoration.

Christmas Candles

1. Photocopy music or photos onto regular printer paper. 2. Trim the paper so it’s no taller than the candle. 3. Affix the paper to the candle with straight pins. 4. With an embossing gun, heat the candle until the wax saturates and melts completely through the paper. Remove the pins. 5. Embellish the candle with ribbons, charms or other notions.

Noel Candle
1. Wrap various ribbons around a candle. 2. Attach alphabet charms with adhesive dots.

Peace Candle
1. Glue pressed leaves on candle. Coat with decoupage medium. 2. Adorn with ribbon and a mini tag.

Believe Candle
1. Cut canvas to fit around candle. 2. Stamp “believe” on the canvas with StazOn ink. 3. Set a snap on the canvas. 4. Pin embellished canvas to candle. 5. Heat with an embossing gun until the wax saturates and melts completely through the canvas.

HOMEMADE COCOA KIT GIFTS

CLASSIC COCOA

Layer 1 cup granulated sugar, 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, 1 cup powdered milk, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 cup miniature chocolate chips, and 1/2 cup miniature marshmallows. Makes 1 quart mix or 12 servings hot cocoa.

Per serving: 142 cal., 20% (29 cal.) from fat; 3.7 g protein; 3.2 g fat (1.9 g sat.); 30 g carbo (2.6 g fiber); 1 mg chol.

MEXICAN COCOA

Layer 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, 1 cup powdered milk, 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon, and 3/4 cup chopped Mexican chocolate (such as Ibarra). Add a few cinnamon sticks to top of jar. Makes 1 quart mix or 12 servings hot cocoa.

Per serving: 158 cal., 14% (22 cal.) from fat; 3.4 g protein; 2.4 g fat (0.8 g sat.); 33 g carbo (2.1 g fiber); 1 mg chol.

PEPPERMINT STICK COCOA

Layer 1 cup powdered milk, 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, 1 cup granulated sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 cup miniature chocolate chips, and 1/2 cup crushed peppermint candy. Makes 1 quart mix or 12 servings hot cocoa.

Per serving: 172 cal., 17% (29 cal.) from fat; 3.7 g protein; 3.2 g fat (1.9 g sat.); 37 g carbo (2.6 g fiber); 1 mg chol.

MOCHA COCOA

Layer 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, 1 cup granulated sugar, 1/2 cup espresso powder, 1 cup powdered milk, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 cup chopped bittersweet chocolate or miniature chocolate chips. Makes 1 quart mix or 12 servings hot cocoa.

Per serving: 141 cal., 23% (32 cal.) from fat; 4.1 g protein; 3.5 g fat (1.9 g sat.); 28 g carbo (2.3 g fiber); 1 mg chol.

Photos by David Prince

Sources: Vintage straight-sided Ball canning jar. Rounded 1-liter French canning jar from the Container Store (www.containerstore.com or 888/266-8246). Vintage metal-clip jar. Glass 1-quart cracker jar with aluminum screw-top lid from the Container Store.

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A perennial winter favorite, hot cocoa with all the trimmings (mini marshmallows, chocolate chips, and a cherry-red gumdrop) sports an even sweeter look packaged as a cone. This makes a great gift for babysitters, teachers, and neighbors. Be sure to add a tag letting your recipients know the cone contains enough for four servings.

RECIPE INGREDIENTS:
3/4 cup cocoa mix
2 (6- by 12-inch) cone-shaped cellophane bags (available at party stores)
2 clear rubber bands (we used ponytail holders)
Scissors
1/4 cup mini chocolate chips
3/4 cup mini marshmallows
1 large red gumdrop
1. Pour the cocoa mix into one of the bags. Close the bag with a clear rubber band, then trim the end of the bag 1 inch above the band.

2. Place the cocoa-filled bag into the second bag and flatten its top so the end doesn’t stick up.

3. Layer the chocolate chips and the marshmallows, then top with the gumdrop. Secure the bag with the other rubber band.

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Christmas HOT COCOA KIT

You can make one of all of the above cocoa mixes (mocha cocoa, pepp. candy cocoa, mexican cocoa, etc) and put them in a basket with cute Christmas cups, Christmas Hershey’s Kisses and marshmallows…mmmmmmmm 🙂

Another Homemade Cocoa Kit

This easy-to-make kit, with cocoa mix as the centerpiece, is a fun holiday gift. Package it in a pretty gift box lined with tissue. Include Hershey’s Kisses — they further sweeten and deepen the chocolate flavor — and marshmallows for dropping into the cocoa, if you wish.

Spice-Kissed Hot Cocoa Mix For 8 cups

* 1/3 cup best-quality unsweetened cocoa powder
* 1/4 cup superfine sugar
* 1 whole star anise
* 2 cinnamon sticks, each about 3 inches long

Mix together all of the ingredients. Place in a tin or jar that seals securely. Add a recipe card with the following directions: Hot Cocoa 8 cups whole milk Spice-Kissed Hot Cocoa Mix 8 Hershey’s Kisses (optional) Marshmallows (optional)

In a heavy saucepan over low heat, bring 1 cup of the milk to a simmer. Stir in the cocoa mix. Mix until well blended. Add the remaining 7 cups of milk and bring back to a simmer.

Remove the star anise and the cinnamon sticks and discard. Serve hot, along with the Hershey’s Kisses and marshmallows, if desired.
From Christmas Family Gatherings © by Donata Maggipinto. Used with permission of Chronicle Books LLC, San Francisco. Visit chroniclebooks.com.

Brownie Mix in a Jar

Who doesn’t love brownies? Nobody, that’s who. That’s why a brownie mix in a jar makes a great gift: it looks cool, it’s easy and inexpensive to make, and it turns into brownies! I like to keep a couple of these on hand for “emergency” situations, like when someone gives you an unexpected gift and you want to look like you already planned something in return.

Basically, you layer all the dry ingredients in a jar, then add a tag explaining what wet ingredients (like eggs and oil) to add and how to finish the recipe. There are countless variations; this one comes from Allrecipes.com and includes pecans, which have no business in a brownie but can be replaced with chocolate chips or even coconut. In addition to the ingredients themselves, you’ll need quart jars and tags for the baking instructions. Buy everything in bulk and you’ll have enough lovingly homemade gifts for everyone on your list.

One final note: this doesn’t have to be a regular old brownie mix. Search Allrecipes.com for “in a jar” and you’ll find loads of brownie varieties as well as cookie recipes. Yet another variation: Family Fun’s Hot Chocolate Cones, which rely on cone-shaped bags instead of jars. Whatever mouth-watering mix you choose, don’t forget your favorite editors during this special season.

Holiday Peppermint Bark

Spray a large cookie tray with non-stick spray and then line it with a piece of way paper. Take several large candy canes or a bag of peppermint candies and crush them into small pieces. (How much peppermint flavor you like should determine how many you chop up.)

On the stove, melt two bags of white chocolate chips at a low temperature. When melted, add most of the crushed peppermint and stir it in. Pour the mixture onto the cookie tray and spread over the tray until flat and even. Sprinkle the remaining peppermint pieces on top, pressing them in with a spatula.

Let it cool. Peel off wax paper and break into pieces. Enjoy!

Here’s a site that offers ‘how to’s’ on making your own creative Christmas projects and crafts;

http://www.allfreecrafts.com/christmas/index.shtml

and here’s a cute project that’s great if you want to recycle those favorite Christmas cards;

How to Make Greeting Card Placemats

Recycle your Christmas cards, or other greeting cards, to make pretty placemats for your table. This is one way to keep and display some of your prettiest, or most memorable, greeting cards. Next year, you can bring them out for holiday entertaining; perhaps your guests will even recognize their own cards in your selection!

Supplies:

Christmas cards or greeting cards
clear contact paper or self-adhesive plastic film
drinking glass or cardboard circle template
pencil
scissors
optional: wrapping paper or card stock as a backing; glue stick

Craft Project Instructions:

Assemble your collection of greeting cards and a circle template. You can make a circle template from cardboard, or use a drinking glass to trace around.

Begin tracing four to six inch circles around key areas of your greeting cards, centering the most pleasing designs.

Cut out the circles.

For the backing, cut a piece of clear contact paper, wrapping paper or card stock in a rectangle that is approximately 20 inches wide by 26 inches long (or trace around an old placemat).

If using contact paper, peel away the backing and lay it on the table, sticky side up. If the paper curls up at the sides, find something to weigh it down at the corners while you proceed with the next steps.

Arrange the greeting card circles in a trial run on the table. You can use a layout like the one shown, with three circles in the top row, then four circles in the center row, and a bottom row of three more circles, with the circles overlapping so there are no spaces between them.

You could also try a pyramid (like the triangle shape of a Christmas tree), or maybe experiment with a wreath design.

Once you have a design that you like, begin placing the greeting card circles on the backing sheet. If you’re using wrapping paper or card stock, swipe a glue stick across the back of each circle, just to hold it still until the top contact paper is in place.

Cut a piece of contact paper the same size as your backing.

Peel away the backing paper of the contact sheet and carefully place it over your card design, aligning the edges as well as you can, and smoothing out any bubbles.

Trim the placemat all around, leaving about 1/2 inch to one inch of space around the card circles. You can keep the corners square, or place your circle template close to each corner, tracing around the upper section of it to round off the corners.

Variations:

Cut the cards into different shapes – triangles, or free-form shapes, instead of circles.

To make a reversible placemat, glue two identical shapes together, with right sides out, so a design can be seen on either side of the placemat.

Write the year of construction on the placemat somewhere, to create a dated archive of your favorite card collections.

The Winter Emergency Car-Kit

You can either make one or buy one made by AAA for pretty cheap.

Think of a friend or loved one stranded in the ditch while the snow continues to pile up. Not a pretty picture, is it? A homemade emergency kit not only helps ensure their safety, it also says you care.

Start with a large coffee can. Decorate it as you see fit, starting with blank or holiday paper wrapped around the outside. Now, fill it with the following:

* Rock salt, filling roughly half the can. If the car gets stuck in the snow, the salt will help give the tires some traction and, hopefully, get it unstuck.
* A few roadside flares.
* A couple granola bars (stranded people get hungry).
* A pair of stretchy knit gloves (which are very small until you pull them over your hands). Maybe a knit cap, too.
* A small flashlight and a pack of fresh batteries.
* A mini first-aid kit with bandages and aspirin.
* A small bottle of water. Yes, it may get frozen, but it’s still worth having.
* A pocket-size book of Sudoku puzzles to pass the time waiting for the tow truck.
* A small, laminated sheet of emergency numbers, like AAA, towing services, etc.
* If you’re really ambitious, add a compatible Energizer Energi To Go powerpack for the recipient’s cell phone. Because the battery will invariably die the moment the car gets stuck.

Everything but the rock salt should go inside an oversized Ziplock bag to keep it from getting mixed in with the salt. All told, the kit shouldn’t cost more than $10-15, unless you add the Energi To Go (which costs around $20).

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MORE!!

More Holiday Recipes :

Recipes from My Family to Yours
Collins Family Traditional Christmas Cookie Recipes
What to Serve at a Party? Easy Sweet Treats; Dessert Cheeseball Recipes; Key Lime, Turtle Cheesecake Ball Recipes and More
Swedish Meatballs; Holiday Recipes and Perfect Party Fare
Easy Mushroom Puffs; Holiday Recipes and Perfect Party Fare
Scallop Ceviche; Holiday Recipes and Perfect Party Fare
Asian Chicken Won Ton Cups; Holiday Recipes and Perfect Party Fare

THANKSGIVING

3 Thanksgiving Day Drink Recipes for Both Kids & Adults
Thanksgiving Dinner Recipes; 2 Savory Side Dishes; Bartlet Pear, Granny Smith Apple & Hazelnut Dressing, and Squash & Spinach O’Gratin
Country Thanksgiving Dessert Recipes ; Granny-Smith-Caramel-Apple & Pecan Bread Pudding & Cranberry and Walnut Cake with Maple-Bourbon Sauce
Thanksgiving Brunch Recipes: Layered Turkey Dinner Brunch Casserole, Spiced Orange Pound Cake French Toast with Maple Orange Sauce

 

DIY rejuvenating face mask recipe

essential oilFor all the DIY -ers, and those just curious about a recipe for rejuvenating face mask that helps to smooth wrinkles, fine lines, chapped, oily or unbalanced skin; Frankincense is the one essential oil to have in your arsenal. Plus, if you like essential oil recipes, or all natural recipes, try these beauties.
People have used frankincense for centuries, for all types of physical, mental, and spiritual purposes, one of those things frankincense is known for is that it balances mature skin, and is a well known wrinkle reducer.

Dr. Sabina DeVita ( an international speaker, author, a holistic energy practitioner, registered nutritionist, environmentalist, energy psychologist) writes “…Frankincense …known for centuries for its beautifying properties. The restorative, regenerating and rejuvenating actions are especially useful for dry, mature/sensitive skin…smooths lines and wrinkles…soothes and softens raw, chapped skin.. Balances oily skin,,, accelerates the healing of blemishes, inflammations, sores, scars, skin ulcers and wounds…”. Frankincense has the ability to tighten and uplift skin which helps prevents wrinkles.
Rejuvenating Facial Mask Dry / Mature Skin

  • 4 teaspoons honey or agave
  • 1 drop Frankincense essential oil
  • 1 drop Sandalwood essential oil
  • 1 drop Rose essential oil
  • 1 drop Lavender
  • 1 drop neroli
  • 1 drop patchouli
  • 10 dps. rosehip seed oil

Mix well in the palm of your hand, or a non-plastic bowl, and apply to clean skin. Relax for 15 minutes. Rinse thoroughly with warm, then cold water. Makes enough for 2-3 applications.
Dry Skin Toner / Balancer Mask

  • 4 tsp. honey or agave
  • 1 drop Frankincense
  • 1 drop Rosewood
  • 1 drop Vetiver

Mix together with 4 oz distilled water and 4 oz. witch hazel, apply with cotton swab or natural cloth.

For another awesome recipe for a natural winter skin anti-aging facial creme click here ; https://yellowstaressentials.wordpress.com/2013/01/18/natural-diy-winter-skin-anti-aging-facial-cream/

Cautions & Warnings before Using any Essential Oils

rose-essential-oil01Welcome! Here’s to beginning our magical essential oil journey! Essential oils are truly little miracles in a bottle, but before diving right in….

I received an email from a wonderful lady (70 years young) and it got me thinking about people who may be interested in learning about how to use essential oils (e.o.s) safely when first starting.

There are so many things I’ve learned over the 20+ yrs. I’ve been doing this and today is a great day to share some common cautions and warnings about using nature’s little wonders.

Be aware that they are super concentrated, and made of plants/bark/resins/berries/seeds, etc. and can cause allergies for some, and should always be diluted before use on the body.

First, children and the elderly should always use less than the recommended amounts, and certain oils should never be used on children/elderly/or pregnant women.

Here are some helpful and informative tips that you should always use before opening that bottle of essential oil.
  • Always dilute essential oils before use!
  • Do a patch test to check for allergies
  • They are highly concentrated substances,
  • Use with caution, especially around children, elderly, or pregnant women.
  • Read these Usage Warnings & Cautions before using any essential oils.

Even though essential oils, such as Lavender, or Tea Tree may be very safe and beneficial in skin healing or treatments, you should always perform an allergy test before using directly on skin. ________________________________________________________________________________________ Usage Warnings and Cautions

  • Essential Oils usually require dilution if not already diluted
  • Do not use Oils near the eyes
  • If hands have been in contact with Oils, do not touch your face, mucous membranes, nose, or genitals
  • Keep Essential Oils out of reach of children
  • If using on children reduce concentration (dilute at least by half more)
  • On children under 2 years of age refer to Using E.O.’s With Pregnant Mothers, Children & Infants ( below)
  • Be cautious using essential oils during pregnancy
  • Avoid sun exposure when using citrus oils
  • Sensitivity to oils may vary considerably. It is best to start treatment with a lower dose or dilution and work up. Sensitivity may vary according to the herbs used. Some herbs have a mild effect while others may have a stronger effect and should be used carefully.

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 Dilution Ratios for Topical Applications

The Prescription for Nutritional Healing recommends the following dilution ratios:

  • Baths: 8 drops essential oil for one tub of water
  • Body Lotion: 25 drops essential oil for 8 ounces
  • Carpet Freshener: 25 drops essential oil to 16 oz of water
  • Cleaning: 25 drops essential oil to 2 gallons of water
  • Facial Oil: 6 drops of essential oil to 1 ounce of jojoba oil
  • Hair Conditioner: 1 drop of essential oil to 6 oz of unscented conditioner
  • Massage Oil: 25 drops of essential oil to 2 ounces of almond oil.
  • Perfume: 12 drops essential oil to one half oz of water
  • Room Deodorizer: 25 drops of essential oil to 16 oz of water
  • Shampoo: 12 drops of essential oil to 16 oz of unscented shampoo

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Usage Notes for Expectant Mothers & Children

ESSENTIAL OIL USES SUITABILITY
BERGAMOT Uplifting, refreshing Cystitis, skin irritations, anxiety Postnatal use, babies and children (if oil diffused in air)
CALENDULA Antiseptic, healing. Stretch marks, nappy rash, skin irritations Advanced pregnancy, babies and children
CHAMOMILE ROMAN Calming, soothing, anti-inflammatory, very gentle Nausea, postnatal breast care, nappy rash, dry skin, insomnia, morning sickness. Pregnancy, babies and children
CLARY SAGE Antispasmodic, astringent, euphoric, uplifting Menstrual pain, pre-menstrual, tension dry skin stress anxiety depression Late stages of childbirth. Postnatal use
CYPRESS Astringent, warming Perineum healing, hemorrhoids, anxiety, tension For pregnancy if secure after five months, post natal use.
EUCALYPTUS Anti bacterial, antiviral, decongestant, energizing Colds, fever, asthma, sinusitis, wounds, bronchitis Babies and children (if oil diffused in air)
FENNEL SWEET Diuretic, hormone balances Strengthens womb, stimulates lactation, cellulite, edema Last weeks of pregnancy. Postnatal use
FRANKINCENSE Relaxing calming healing comforting Labor, stress fear Advanced pregnancy
GERANIUM Antiseptic, uplifting, antidepressant, hormone balances, stabilizing Dermatitis, eczema, postnatal depression Advanced pregnancy, childbirth, postnatal use.
HYPERICUM Anti –inflammatory, soothing Stretch marks, skin irritation, nervous tension Advanced pregnancy
JASMINE Uplifting, stimulating Postnatal depression, uterine tonic, coughs, dry skin, dermatitis Late stages of child birth postnatal use.
JUNIPER Diuretic, detoxifying Perineum healing, stretch marks, constipation, cellulite, tension Postnatal use
LAVENDER Antibacterial, antidepressant, soothing, calming, balancing, versatile Headaches pain eczema, insomnia, and nappy rash, postnatal breast care. Pregnancy, childbirth, postnatal use, babies and children
LEMON Antiseptic uplifting, cleansing, refreshing Morning sickness nausea, heartburn, colds, lymphatic tonic Pregnancy postnatal use babies and children
MARJORAM Sedating, warming Insomnia, perineum healing Postnatal use
MYRRH Anti fungal, antiseptic, anti –inflammatory, cooling Nappy rash thrush, skin care Postnatal use older babies and children
NEROLI Soothing balancing, healing calming Dry skin, scars circulation, stretch marks, stress, anxiety Pregnancy ,,postnatal use
ORANGE Uplifting, calming Skin care stress, insomnia heartburn, lymphatic tonic, anxiety Pregnancy babies and children (if oil diffused in air)
PEPPERMINT Anti bacterial, analgesic, decongestant, antispasmodic Morning sickness, nausea, headaches, indigestion Late stages of pregnancy
PETITGRAIN Antidepressant, uplifting, refreshing Skin care, insomnia, stress, inexpensive substitute for neroli Pregnancy postnatal use.
ROSE Antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, antidepressant, soothing, uplifting, hormone balances Dry skin strengthens womb tension, nausea Last weeks of pregnancy, childbirth postnatal use
ROSEWOOD Antiseptic, tonic, sedative, calming Nervous tension anxiety, stress tiredness, dry skin. Later stages of child birth
SANDALWOOD Healing sedative relaxing warming Skin rash, nausea, heartburn diarrhea colds nappy rash Pregnancy, childbirth. Postnatal use, babies and children
TANGERINE ORMANDARIN Soothing calming uplifting Stretch marks insomnia, nervous tension, scars Pregnancy childbirth
YLANG YLANG Antidepressant, relaxing, sedative, calming Skin care, insomnia, hypertension, palpitations, and tension. Advanced pregnancy

these are just a few……..

for more information for expectant or new mothers: read Essential Oils & Pregnancy

Great Thanksgiving and Holiday Pumpkin Recipes


We all love the holidays, if not for the family and friends gathering together for fun and memory making, then definitely for the food!
I found some really great recipes I wanted to share while looking for step by step how to make homemade pumpkin pie recipes.
(I really needed to use that big pumpkin I never carved).

I just couldn’t…..didn’t have the heart to take a knife to it this year, this particular pumpkin was too pretty…..but now, I have to use it…..can’t let it go bad!

So….a pie seemed the nicest thing I could do 🙂 There’s also some other pumpkin recipes you might enjoy 🙂

From Simply Recipes; A beautiful chiffon topping and a spicy crust – a light pumpkin pie with beaten egg whites folded into the pumpkin custard, spiked with rum, set in a gingersnap cookie crust, and covered with whipped cream. The recipe comes from Heidi who pulled it from the Boston Globe a few years ago. And as they say in New England, it’s wicked good.

Chiffon Pumpkin Pie

Ingredients
Crust:
2 cups crushed gingersnaps (several pulses in a food processor)
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
6 Tbsp butter, melted
Filling:
1 envelope gelatin
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup milk
3 eggs, separated (or 3 egg yolks and enough egg white substitute for 3 egg whites)
2 Tbsp rum (note original recipe called for 1/2 cup of rum, but I think it’s a bit much) or you could make your own pumpkin rum; Home Made Pumpkin Rum – YouTube
1/4 cup granulated sugar
Purée made from 1/2 of one medium sugar pumpkin* (1 3/4 cups)
1 cup heavy cream, softly whipped (for topping)
Extra crushed gingersnaps (for garnish)
Method
Crust:
Set the oven at 325°F. Have on hand a 9-inch deep-dish pie pan. Butter it lightly.
In a bowl, combine the crushed gingersnaps, sugar, ginger, and butter. Press the mixture into the pie plate with the back of a spoon, making the top edge even all around. Bake the crust for 8-15 minutes, until it is lightly browned (baking time depends on the oven and on the type of pie dish you are using – a ceramic dish will take longer because it takes longer to heat up).
Filling:
In a heavy-based saucepan, combine the gelatin, brown sugar, salt, nutmeg, ginger, cinnamon, milk, and egg yolks. Stir thoroughly. Set the pan over medium heat and cook gently, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens slightly. Do not let it boil!
Remove the mixture from the heat and let it cool. Add the pumpkin purée and the rum. Refrigerate the mixture, stirring occasionally, until it thickens enough to form mounds.
In an electric mixer, beat the egg whites and granulated sugar until the form stiff peaks. Stir a few spoonfuls of the egg whites into the pumpkin mixture, then fold in the remaining whites. (If you are concerned about eating raw egg whites, use egg white substitute, dried egg whites, that you can find in the grocery store.)
Pour the filling into the cooled crust. Refrigerate for several hours.
Just before serving, spoon the whipped cream onto the filling and garnish with crushed ginger snaps. Cut the pie into wedges.
Makes one deep 9-inch pie.
*To make pumpkin purée, cut a sugar pumpkin in half, scoop out the seeds, lie face down on a tin-foil lined baking pan. Bake at 350°F until soft, about 45 min to an hour. Cool, scoop out the flesh. Freeze whatever you don’t use for future use.

Directions for Making Pumpkin Pie from Scratch
Ingredients and Equipment
a pie pumpkin (see step 1)
A sharp, large serrated knife
an ice cream scoop
a large microwaveable bowl or large pot

Step 1 – Get your pie pumpkin
“Pie pumpkins” are smaller, sweeter, less grainy textured pumpkins than the usual jack-o-lantern types. grocery stores usually carry them in late September through December in the U.S. They’re only about 8 inches in diameter.
Just like selecting any squash, look for one that is firm, no bruises or soft spots, and a good orange color.
Yield: Pie pumpkins are small, usually only 6 inches in diameter. You can usually obtain about 2 or 3 cups or puree per pumpkin.

Step 2 – Prepare the pumpkin for cooking
Wash the exterior of the pumpkin in cool or warm water, no soap.
Cut the pumpkin in half. A serrated knife and a sawing motion works best – a smooth knife is more likely to slip and hurt you!

Step 3 – Scoop out the seeds…
And scrape the insides. You want to get out that stringy, dangly stuff that coats the inside surface. I find a heavy ice cream scoop works great for this.

Note: SAVE THE SEEDS:
The seeds can be used either to plant pumpkins next year, or roasted to eat this year! Place them in a bowl of water and rub them between your hands. then pick out the orange buts (throw that away) and drain off the water. Spread them out on a clean towel or paper towel to dry and they’re ready to save for next year’s planting or roast.

Step 4 – Cooking the pumpkin
There are several ways to cook the pumpkin; just choose use your preferred method. Most people have microwaves, and the use the least energy, so I’ll describe that here. But others make good arguments in favor of using a pressure cooker, steaming on the stovetop or baking in the oven. I’ll describe microwaving here, and at the end of this document, I’ve included alternative instructions to replace step 4, if you’d rather use a different method.

Put it in a microwaveable bowl
Remove the stem, and put the pumpkin into a microwaveable. You may need to cut the pumpkin further to make it fit. The fewer the number of pieces, the easier it will to scoop out the cooked pumpkin afterwards.
Put a couple of inches of water in the bowl, cover it, and put in the microwave.

Step 5 – Cook the pumpkin until soft
Cook for 15 minutes on high, check to see if it is soft, then repeat in smaller increments of time until it is soft enough to scoop the innards out. Normally it takes 20 or 30 minutes in total.

Note: You can also cook it on the stovetop; it takes about the same length of time in a steamer. I use a double pot steamer, but you could use an ordinary large pot with a steamer basket inside it!:

Step 6 – Scoop out the cooked pumpkin
Whether you cook the pumpkin on the stove, microwave, or even the oven, once it is cooked until it is soft, it is easy to scoop out the guts with a broad, smooth spoon, (such as a tablespoon). Use the spoon to gently lift and scoop the cooked pumpkin out of the skin. It should separate easily an in fairly large chucks, if the pumpkin is cooked enough.

Many times the skin or rind will simply lift off with your fingers . I’ll bet you didn’t realize making your own pumpkin glop… err, “puree” was this easy!

Note: there are many varieties of pumpkin and some make better pies that other (due to sugar content, flavor, texture and water content. Drier, sweeter, fine-grained pies; the small (8″ across) ones called “pie pumpkins” are best. If your pumpkin is more watery than the puree in the photo at right (there should not be any free water), you may want to let it sit for 30 minutes and then pour off any free water. That will help prevent your pie from being too watery!

Tip from a visitor: “I make my own pumpkin pies from scratch all the time. To eliminate watery pumpkin I strain my pureed pumpkin through a cloth overnight. If I use frozen pumpkin I do the same again as it thaws out. It works great and my pies cook beautifully.”

Step 7 – Puree the pumpkin
To get a nice, smooth consistency, I use a Pillsbury hand blender. A regular blender works, too (unless you made a few frozen daiquiris and drank them first..). Or even just a hand mixer with time and patience.
With the hand blender, it just takes 2 or 3 minutes!

Step 8 – Done with the pumpkin!
The pumpkin is now cooked and ready for the pie recipe.
Get the frozen daiquiris out from step 7 and take a break! 🙂
It’s ready to pop in the fridge or freezer (just pack it containers, like Ziploc bags or plastic containers, exclude as much air as you can, and freeze it!)
It is not suitable for home canning – See bottom of this page for the safety reasons why.
Start making tasty treats!

Alternative Cooking methods for step 4
If you don’t have a microwave, or prefer another method, try these:
Stovetop steaming – Place your steaming basket or grid in the bottom of a large pot. Put enough water so it won’t boil dry in 20 minutes, and yet is not so high that the pumpkin is touching the water level. You may need to add more water during the cooking. Add the pumpkin prepared in step 3, and get the steamer going. The cooking time is only between 8 and 12 minutes, depending on the range (gas or electric), and the pumpkin literally falls off the skin.

Pressure cooker – Place your grid in the bottom of the pressure cooker. If your pressure cooker came with directions, follow those for pumpkin and/or winter squash, like butternut squash. If, like most people, you’ve long since lost the directions, try this: Add enough water to just touch the bottom of the grid or shelf that you will place the pumpkin on. Add the pumpkin prepared in step 3, put the lid with the gasket, the weight and anything else your cooker requires in place, and turn the heat on high. Once it starts hissing, turn it to medium or medium high. The cooking time should only be about 10 minutes, and the pumpkin should literally fall out of its skin.

Oven – You can also bake the prepared pumpkin in the oven, just like a butternut squash. This method takes the longest. Just put the prepared pumpkin in an ovenproof container (with a lid), add about 3 cups of water to help prevent it from drying out and pop it in an 350 F (200 C) oven. It normally takes about 45 minutes to an hour; just test it periodically by sticking it with a fork to see if it is soft!

How to Make Homemade Pumpkin Bread!
Pumpkin bread is a traditional sweet desert bread, popular in the cooler fall and early winter months, with a flavor reminiscent of a pumpkin pie! It’s very easy to make and you’ll be suprised how good it tastes!

Ingredients and Equipment
2 cups of fresh cooked pumpkin
(see this page to make your own from a fresh pumpkin)
OR one 16 ounce can of canned pumpkin
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (not self-rising flour)
2 tsp. baking soda
3 cups sugar or 3 cups of Splenda OR a 50:50 mix of the two.
4 eggs, beaten
1 cup vegetable oil
1 and 1/2 tsp. salt 2 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1 cup chopped pecans (optional)
1/2 cup raisons (also optional)
Water:
1/2 cup water if you are using fresh cooked pumpkin
OR
2/3 cup water if you are using commercial canned pumpkin
Makes 2 loaves.

Pumpkin Bread Recipe
1. Preheat oven to 350 F.

2. In a large mixing bowl, stir together the flour, soda, salt, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg and sugar (or Splenda).

3. Add the eggs, water, oil and pumpkin.

4. Stir until blended.

5. If desired, add the raisons and/or nuts. Mix well, either by hand or with a mixer.

6. Pour into two lightly greased and floured 9×5″ loaf pans.

7. Bake approximately 1 hour at 350 F (175 C). The test for doneness is the knife test: when a clean knife can be stuck in and removed cleanly.

8. Remove from the oven and cool slightly (10 minutes).

9. Then take out of pans to let cool on a rack.

Like banana bread, pumpkin bread tastes better if you wrap it in plastic wrap (Saran wrap, cling film), refrigerate it and wait until the following day to eat it. It keeps well in the refrigerator and can be frozen.

Easy Pumpkin Ice Cream Recipe
INGREDIENTS
• 1 3/4 cups pumpkin purée (1 15-ounce can pumpkin purée)
• 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
• 3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
• 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
• 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
• 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
• Pinch of salt
• 2 Tbsp brandy (optional)
METHOD
1 Put the pumpkin puree, sugar, spices, and salt in a blender. Purée until smooth. Slowly add the cream, a tablespoon or two at a time, pulsing after each addition. Chill for 15 minutes (or longer, this part you can make ahead).
2 If you are using brandy, mix it in to the cream mixture right before churning. Churn in your ice cream machine 20 to 25 minutes. Keep in freezer until served.
Makes about 1 quart.

Directions for Making Pumpkin Soup from Scratch
3-4 cups mashed cooked pumpkin
1 Tablespoon minced garlic
1 large mild (sweet) onion, chopped
6 fresh carrots (finely chopped or grated)
3 tablespoons melted butter or margarine
one half teaspoon salt and dash of pepper
1 pint half-and-half (I use fat-free) If you want to go “au naturale” try your favorite milk instead (half and half gives it more body, though)
2 teaspoon thyme
4 tablespoons chopped parsley
2 stalks of celery (not 2 bunches!)
Recipe and Directions

Step 1 – Cooked pumpkin
Yes, you can used canned pumpkin.. .but how do you know what it even is? It looks nasty (no insult meant to Libby’s). But look at the fresh, bright color of fresh cooked pumpkin (there is NOTHING added to it, that’s its natural color). It’s easy to make your own from a fresh pumpkin

Step 2 – Gather the other ingredients
1 pint of half-and-half (I use the fat free type to keep this healthy)

• 1 large onion
• 4 tablespoons parsley
(fresh is better, but not necessary)
• 6 fresh carrots (grated or finely chopped)
• 1 Tablespoons minced garlic
• 2 teaspoons thyme
• 2 stalks of celery (not 2 bunches!)

Step 3 – chop the onion and celery
I use an electric copper or food processor until the pieces are about 1/8 in size.

Step 4 – Sauté the onion and celery
Sauté the onion, celery and the grated carrots in butter until tender.

Step 5 – Add the rest of the ingredients
Add remaining ingredients except half-and-half. Cover and simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Note: If you want to freeze the soup for use later, stop now and freeze it. When you are ready to use it, defrost it, heat it up and resume with step 6!

Step 6 – Add the half and half and serve!
Add half-and-half, and heat (on the stove on medium, while stirring, or a minute in the microwave). Serve warm. Makes 6-8 small servings.

Homemade Pecan Pie

Ingredients
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 Tbsp molasses
2 Tbsp melted butter
2 Tbsp flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/4 cups pecans, coarsely chopped
1 9-inch pie shell, chilled for an hour if freshly made, defrosted for 10 minutes if frozen. (See pie crust recipes.)
Method
1 Preheat oven to 375°F. Spread pecans along the bottom of the pie shell. Mix the remaining ingredients and pour over pecans. The pecans will rise to the surface of the pie.
2 Bake at 375°F for 45-50 minutes until the filling has set. About 20 minutes into the cooking you may want to use a pie crust protector, or tent the edges of the pie crust with aluminum foil to prevent the pie crust edges from burning.
3 Remove from oven and let cool completely.
Serves 8.

Maple-Glazed Sweet Potatoes with Pecan Topping

Ingredients
4 lbs of sweet potatoes, peeled, cut into 1/4 inch rounds
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
8 Tbsp (1 stick) chilled butter, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1/3 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans
Method
1 Preheat oven to 400°F. Butter a 13x9x2 inch glass baking dish. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add yams. Cook until water returns to a simmer, about 4 minutes. Drain; rinse in cold water.
2 Arrange yams in baking dish, overlapping pieces. Sprinkle with salt. Pour maple syrup over yams. Dot with 3 Tbsp of butter. Cover with aluminum foil and bake until yams are almost tender, about 25 minutes.
3 Mix flour and brown sugar in a medium bowl. Add remaining 5 Tbsp of butter. Rub in with fingers until mixture resembles a coarse meal. Mix in pecans.
4 Sprinkle pecan mixture over yams. Bake yams until tender, about 20 minutes.
Serves 12.

Onion Potato Gratin

Ingredients
1 1/2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled, cut into 1/4 inch thick slices
3/4 pound onions, thinly sliced
1 cup (packed) grated Gruyere cheese (about 4 oz)
8 Tbsp (packed) freshly grated Parmesan cheese (about 2 oz)
2/3 cup whipping cream
Method
Preheat oven to 400°F (unless preparing in advance).
1 Combine Yukon Gold potatoes and sliced onions in heavy large saucepan. Add enough water to cover. Bring water to boil. Reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are almost tender, about 3 minutes. Drain potato onion mixture well.
2 Arrange half of potato-onion mixture in 11×7 inch glass baking dish. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Sprinkle mixture with 1/3 cup Gruyere cheese and then 2 Tbsp of Parmesan cheese.
3 Arrange remaining potato-onion mixture atop cheeses. Pour cream over. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Sprinkle the remaining 2/3 cup of Gruyere and 6 Tbsp of Parmesan cheese. (Can be prepared 8 hours in advance. Cover and refrigerate.)
4 Bake gratin uncovered in 400°F oven until cream thickens, about 25 minutes. Remove from oven. Preheat broiler. Broil gratin until top is golden, about 2 minutes.
Serves 4.

Indian Pudding

Ingredients
• 6 cups of milk
• 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
• 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
• 1/4 cup flour
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 cup molasses
• 3 eggs, beaten
• 1/3 cup of granulated sugar
• 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
• 1 teaspoon of nutmeg
• 1 cup golden raisins (optional)
• Whipped cream or vanilla ice cream
Method
1 Scald the milk and butter in a large double boiler. Or heat the milk and butter for 5 or 6 minutes on high heat in the microwave, until it is boiling, then transfer it to a pot on the stove. Keep hot on medium heat.
2 Preheat oven to 250°F.
3 In a separate bowl, mix cornmeal, flour, and salt; stir in molasses. Thin the mixture with about 1/2 cup of scalded milk, a few tablespoons at a time, then gradually add the mixture back to the large pot of scalded milk. Cook, stirring until thickened.
4 Temper the eggs by slowly adding a half cup of the hot milk cornmeal mixture to the beaten eggs, whisking constantly. Add the egg mixture back in with the hot milk cornmeal mixture, stir to combine. Stir in the sugar and spices, until smooth. At this point, if the mixture is clumpy, you can run it through a blender to smooth it out. Stir in the raisins (optional). Pour into a 2 1/2 quart shallow casserole dish. Bake for 2 hours at 250°F.
5 Allow the pudding to cool about an hour to be at its best. It should be reheated to warm temperature if it has been chilled. Serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.
Serves 8-10.

Creamy Sweet Potato Soup

Ingredients

• 2 Tbsp (1/4 stick) butter
• 1 cup chopped onion
• 2 small celery stalks, chopped
• 1 medium leek, sliced (white and pale green parts only)
• 1 large garlic clove, chopped
• 1 1/2 pounds red-skinned sweet potatoes (yams), peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces (about 5 cups)
• 4 cups chicken stock or canned low-salt chicken broth (use vegetable broth for vegetarian option)
• 1 cinnamon stick
• 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
• 1 1/2 cups half and half
• 2 Tbsp maple syrup
• The leafy tops of the celery stalks, chopped

Method
1 Melt the butter in a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Add the chopped onion and sauté for about 5 minutes. Add chopped celery stalks and leek, sauté about 5 minutes. Add garlic and sauté 2 minutes.
2 Add sweet potatoes, chicken stock, cinnamon stick, and nutmeg; bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered until potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes.
3 Remove cinnamon stick and discard. Working in batches, puree soup in blender until smooth. Return to pot.
4 Add half and half and maple syrup and stir over medium-low heat to heat through. Season soup to taste with salt and pepper. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cool soup slightly. Cover and refrigerate soup and celery leaves separately. Bring soup to simmer before continuing.) Ladle into bowls. Sprinkle with celery leaves.
Serves 6 to 8.

Why Can’t I Make Home-Canned Pumpkin Puree or Pumpkin Pie Filling?
I get asked this question a lot! You may can it in a cooked, cubed form; just not as a puree or ready-pumpkin pie filling. (see this page for instructions about how to can it in cubed form). Of course, you can freeze it, too, in cubed or puree or ready filling form (see this page for those instructions). And while I do have a recipe for canning pumpkin butter, I still keep the jars in the back of the fridge until I use them. Here’s the reason!
According to The National Center for Home Food Preservation (a land-grant university consortium sponsored by the USDA, and considered to be the leading authorities on food safety science and food preservation research) (and I am quoting them here):
“Home canning is not recommended for pumpkin butter or any mashed or pureed pumpkin or winter squash, but we do have directions for canning cubed pumpkin. Pumpkin puree can be frozen or made into a spicy pumpkin leather…
There are not sufficient data available to allow establishing safe processing times for any of these types of products. It is true that previous USDA recommendations had directions for canning mashed winter squash, but USDA withdrew those recommendations…
Some of the factors that are critical to the safety of canned pumpkin products are the viscosity (thickness), the acidity and the water activity. Studies conducted at the University of Minnesota in the 1970’s indicated that there was too much variation in viscosity among different batches of prepared pumpkin purees to permit calculation of a single processing recommendation that would cover the potential variation among products (Zottola et. al, 1978). Pumpkin and winter squash are also low-acid foods (pH > 4.6) capable of supporting the growth of Clostridium botulinum bacteria which can cause the very serious illness, botulism, under the right storage conditions. If the bacteria are present and survive processing, and the product has a high enough water activity, they can thrive and produce toxin in the product.
More recent research with pumpkin butter has been done at the University of Missouri. Pumpkin butter is mashed or pureed pumpkin that has had large quantities of sugar added to it, but not always enough to inhibit pathogens. Sometimes an ingredient such as vinegar or lemon juice is added to the formulation to increase the acidity (decrease the pH). However, pumpkin butters produced by home canners and small commercial processors in Missouri have had pH values as high as 5.4. In fact, the pH values seemed to be extremely variable between batches made by the same formulation (Holt, 1995).
It is not possible at this point to evaluate a recipe for pumpkin or mashed squash for canning potential by looking at it. At this point, research seems to indicate variability of the products is great, and in several ways that raise safety concerns. It is best to freeze pumpkin butters or mashed squash.”
Obviously, pumpkin pie filling is essentially “pureed pumpkin” and similar to pumpkin butter. This means that neither the cooked pumpkin puree not the pumpkin pie filling (puree plus sugar and spices) would be candidates for safe home canning.
The University of Illinois Extension also says: “Canning pumpkin butter not a good idea, but try pieces or freezing. “

References:
Canning Pumpkin Butter and Mashed or Pureed Squashes: http://www.uga.edu/nchfp/publications/uga/pumpkin_butter.html
Extension Service, USDA. 1994. Complete Guide to Home Canning. AIB No. 539. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Washington, DC.
Holt, D. September 22, 1995. Re: Pumpkin butter. Email message to fnspec_mg@ecn.purdue.edu.
Zottola, E. A., Wolf, I.D., Norsiden, K.L. and D.R. Thompson. 1978. Home canning of food: Evaluation of current recommended methods. Jn. of Food Science 43:1731.

Aside

musical language of perfumery

Creating perfumes is definitely an art. Just as a master musician composes a symphony, so too does a perfumer create a harmonious blend combinations with ‘musical notes’ that are pleasing to the senses.

Although I truly adore natural perfumes, (I won’t use synthetics – they are an attack on my senses and is the main reason I started my whole essential oil journey), certain popular fragrances can appeal to me at times, but I still won’t buy them and choose to create my own with naturals.

Throughout history there has been much written about how compositions are created using musical characteristics to describe them.  Each essential oil has a ‘note’, whether a top note that dissipates quickly (like lemon or lime), or a heart note (middle note- like rose or jasmine), or a base note that holds a blend together (like sandalwood or patchouli). Did you ever wonder how that came about?

The art of perfumery goes back centuries, and many chemists/scientists and geniuses have used musical inspirations to describe their uses and combinations. I found this great blog post from ‘perfumeconcubine’ and had to share it to give a little more insight:

Aromatic Symphony

The musical language lends numerous expressions and phrases to the art of perfumery. Some of its terminology helps us to understand how perfumes are composed from conception to conclusion.
Charles Piesse, a French perfumer from the 19th century, was one of the first to equate music to perfume.  He devised a system to identify perfume ingredients by classifying fragrances according to musical notes. Piesse relates odors to the octaves of the musical scale and theorized that scents influence olfactory nerves in the same manner that sounds influence the auditory nerves. Although his method of classification ultimately failed, musical expressions continue to be a mainstay in the art of perfumery.

Just as a musician harmonizes notes to create chords, a perfumer must be proficient in harmonizing scents into fragrant combinations. Thus, the creation of perfume should be pleasing to both the mind and senses. The experience should emulate the composition of an intricate piece of music. For example, a three-part fugue with the olfactory notes being the key signature, the usage of notes identifying the individual elements of the arrangement – as well as describing the perfume and how it smells as it evaporates from the skin. Therefore, it is imperative that the perfumer has vast knowledge of raw materials, and a clear understanding of how they evolve and change.

Dry Down – what does it mean when describing a scent? It’s the “lifetime” of a fragrance; the phases a fragrance goes through when worn.

(LOVE THIS!!!  <3)

____________The process is initiated with the master seated at the fragrance organ, his surroundings being an array of aromatics. There, the inhalation of exotic scents, along with the distinguishing of olfactory notes, takes place.  Imagine this phase as the prelude, an extravaganza of brilliant notes coming together in unison.  Bear in mind that notes show more than the aspect of the perfume’s range, they also can represent a particular quality or tone that reflects the mood of the composition.

The first movement begins with what is referred to as top notes. Typically citrus odors, bright and bursting with freshness and, on occasion, is considered sharp. Although quite expressive, they seem to maintain lightness, as well as lending to the initial impression of the composition. They are also the most volatile of the notes, being the first to evaporate. The dissipation of the top notes quickly transitions us into the second movement or middle notes.

Middle notes are predominately floral aromas, and as they unfold they exhibit the true heart of the composition, adding fullness, roundness, and complexity. Middle notes, can be either heady and exotic or delicate and subdued. They emerge as the perfume warms on the skin, escorting us gracefully into the third movement or the base notes.

Base notes — originating from woods, resins, and spices — are rich, warm and exotic. They are viscous, having a consistency between solid and liquid. And they also have a dual function and are held in high esteem for their fixative qualities. That anchors the composition, completing the structural unity necessary to achieve harmony while, at the same time, adding longevity. The base notes emerge slowly, almost as if the movement is marked adagio, bringing the symphony to its entirety. Base notes are the last to surface but have the longest duration, or in musical terms sustainability. Base notes leave their clinging impression behind by embracing us for hours, thus completing the fragrance evolution.

Not every symphony will be vivacious or sparkle with brilliance. Depending on the composer, the concert may be inferior, lacking life, or absent of character, with tonality being non-existent. On the other hand, a symphony composed by a true virtuoso will be exquisite, giving an accurate exposition on his thematic idea. Every note being smooth and harmonic as they progressively transition from one phase to another, accompanying us gracefully through the fragrance evolution.

An aromatic symphony is a classical perfume, bearing semblance to a beautiful musical composition, one of consonance, as simple notes mingle and produce harmonious blends.

Great book about Charles Piesse’s workThe art of perfumery and the methods of obtaining the odours of plants; the growth and general flower farm system of raising fragrant herbs; with … dentifrices, cosmetics, perfumed soap, etc

Other great reading for natural perfumery; Anya’s Garden Perfumes

MORE; natural perfumery books

WIKIPEDIA perfume: HOW to Describe a perfume:

The most practical way to start describing a perfume is according to the elements of the fragrance notes of the scent or the “family” it belongs to, all of which affect the overall impression of a perfume from first application to the last lingering hint of scent.[13][14]

Fragrance notes

Main article: Note (perfumery)

Perfume is described in a musical metaphor as having three sets of notes, making the harmonious scent accord. The notes unfold over time, with the immediate impression of the top note leading to the deeper middle notes, and the base notes gradually appearing as the final stage. These notes are created carefully with knowledge of the evaporation process of the perfume.

  • Top notes: The scents that are perceived immediately on application of a perfume. Top notes consist of small, light molecules that evaporate quickly. They form a person’s initial impression of a perfume and thus are very important in the selling of a perfume. Also called the head notes.
  • Middle notes: The scent of a perfume that emerges just prior to the dissipation of the top note. The middle note compounds form the “heart” or main body of a perfume and act to mask the often unpleasant initial impression of base notes, which become more pleasant with time. They are also called the heart notes.
  • Base notes: The scent of a perfume that appears close to the departure of the middle notes. The base and middle notes together are the main theme of a perfume. Base notes bring depth and solidity to a perfume. Compounds of this class of scents are typically rich and “deep” and are usually not perceived until 30 minutes after application.

The scents in the top and middle notes are influenced by the base notes, as well the scents of the base notes will be altered by the type of fragrance materials used as middle notes. Manufacturers of perfumes usually publish perfume notes and typically they present it as fragrance pyramid, with the components listed in imaginative and abstract terms.

Fragrance wheel

Fragrance Wheel perfume classification chart, ver. 1983

Main article: Fragrance wheel

The Fragrance wheel is a relatively new classification method that is widely used in retail and in the fragrance industry. The method was created in 1983 by Michael Edwards, a consultant in the perfume industry, who designed his own scheme of fragrance classification. The new scheme was created in order to simplify fragrance classification and naming scheme, as well as to show the relationships between each of the individual classes.[15]

The five standard families consist of Floral, Oriental, Woody, Fougère, and Fresh, with the former four families being more “classic” while the latter consisting of newer bright and clean smelling citrus and oceanic fragrances that have arrived due to improvements in fragrance technology. Each of the families are in turn divided into sub-groups and arranged around a wheel.

Mountain Rose Herbs. A herbs, health and harmony c

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