Category Archives: Havenessence

Argan Oil Hair Treatment

Argan oil is great for dry, damaged, or over-processed hair. Some tips:-

# Ensure the oil you use really is pure argan. Check the label. Has it been taken down with other, cheaper, oils, e.g. sweet almond? Is it, in fact, a blend pretending to be pure argan?

# Use a pure cosmetic grade argan, not cooking argan. The nuts used to produce the latter will have been roasted before pressing, giving it a strong, nutty odour. Roasting kills some of the natural goodness. Cosmetic grade argan is unroasted and cold-pressed. It should have a light, pleasant, nutty scent, which disappears after about 30 seconds.

# If the oil has no colour (it should be a beautiful golden brown, like Lyle’s Golden Syrup) it’s been bleached. Avoid. The process kills some of the goodness.

# If the oil has no scent (it should have a light nutty odour) it’s been deodorised. Avoid. The process kills some of the goodness.

# Apply a generous amount of argan to the hair. Massage it into the scalp. Wrap head in a warm towel and leave for 30 minutes or overnight. Shampoo, condition and style in the normal way.

# If you’ve got short hair, apply argan at any time. It makes your hair look like you’re wearing gel.

# Keep a lookout for cooking grade argan. It’s delicious but tends to be wildly expensive — roughly ten times the price of a good virgin olive oil. For those with deep pockets, use instead of olive oil in salads, or add a few drops to an olive oil mix. Blend with lemon, salt, pepper and garlic. Try it once and you’ll find a standard olive oil dressing bland and conventional.

See our sister sites havenessence and Argan Oil London for more information. Buy a good, pure, organic, fairly traded, cosmetic grade argan oil from us here.

argan oil hair treatment

Dionysus on Piccadilly

Walk from Piccadilly Circus towards Fortnum’s and The Ritz and there, on your left, poking through the railings of St James’s Church, is a vine. It arches over one of the best stalls on Piccadilly Market — De Angeli Design (Bespoke Leathercraft/Made to Measure Belts) — bathing it in a soft green light.

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Queen Victoria’s Knickers

Queen_Victoria

Chatting just now with a customer I learned a startling fact. Queen Victoria’s knickers…

queen-victoria-knickers

… were scented with patchouli! Well I’m blowed.

It seems that 18th and 19th century silk traders from China packed their cloth with dried patchouli leaves as moth repellent. This led wealthy Europeans to associate patchouli with opulent Eastern goods. Which, in turn, caused Queen Victoria, Empress of India, ruler of half the globe, to pack her knicker drawer with the famous Hippie Gold.

Chill out ma’am!

hippie-volkswagen

Frangipani, Hawkmoths, God & Sex

Frangipani - plumeria rubra
Frangipani - plumeria rubra

One of the most exotic oils we sell is frangipani. We describe it as ‘rich, heady, exotic, deeply floral’ but that does not do it justice. Together with jasmine, gardenia, lotus, the roses, and a few other flower scents, frangipani is an aristocrat of the sweet, in-your-face, ‘feminine,’ essential oils/absolutes.

Some people baulk at the scent. It’s so sweet. Rose, for example, can be understated. But not frangipani. In its raw form, as an absolute, it grabs you by the throat and may make the eyes water. The variety we sell — plumeria rubra — is coloured blood red.

frangipani-cutting

The frangipani tree enjoys a symbiotic relationship with the Frangipani Hawkmoth (pseudosphinx tetrio). The caterpillars are tremendous: six inches long, a poisonous yellow and black, a spike on abdominal segment eight, feeding on the frangipani leaves before pupating and emerging as a moth with a five inch wing-span.

Frangipani Hawkmoth - pseudosphinx tetrio
Frangipani Hawkmoth - pseudosphinx tetrio

The moth returns to the frangipani flowers, attracted by the perfume, in search of nectar, and a dirty trick is pulled on it: there is no nectar, only pollen, which the moth distributes unwittingly to other trees, causing fertilisation to occur.

Frangipani Hawkmoth - pseudosphinx tetrio -1

There’s much more to be said about frangipani. It has a role in both religion and sex. It is the national tree of Laos (called dok jampa) and every Buddhist temple has one or more in their courtyard.

frangipani - Laos

In Polynesian culture, the frangipani is worn by women to indicate their relationship status – over the right ear if seeking a relationship, over the left if taken.

Frangipani Polynesia

Osmanthus Absolute – Coming Soon

osmanthus - osmanthus fragrans
Osmanthus - osmanthus fragrans

A rare, expensive, and (in Chinese culture) historically important scent: Osmanthus (osmanthus fragrans).

The scent is described variously as a blend of jasmine, gardenia and ripe apricots and like new shoe leather with cherry-like overtones. This will be available once we source a good, reputable, supplier who doesn’t charge an arm and a leg!

Also known as Sweet Olive, Tea Olive and Fragrant Olive. It can be seen in the Temperate House at Kew.

osmanthus - osmanthus fragrans -1

Biological Warfare at St James’s Church

Piccadilly Market Plane Tree

The beautiful gardens at St James’s Church, next to Piccadilly Market, contain seven magnificent London plane trees which have just decided to shed their flowers.

Plane Tree Flower

See those spines? As the flowers spin through the air — the trees are air pollinators — the spines break off and turn into highly efficient bioaerosols. These attach themselves to the skin, mouth, throat, eyes, and may penetrate into the lungs. Result: coughing, sneezing, watering eyes, itching. Asthmatics need to be careful.

High temperatures and a strong hot wind don’t help (humans) but, of course, help the trees. Heat = perspiration = more plane tree bioaerosols sticking to the skin = more itching.

planetree-bioaerosol-nasal-hair
Plane tree bioaerosol attached to nasal hair

What can be done? Tree surgeons wear gas masks when dealing with a flowering plane tree. It’s that bad. Or refuse to go near them until winter. Those forced into close proximity should chew gum to wash the spines from the throat, and bathe regularly to remove the spines from the skin. Lavender essential oil — a natural antihistamine — may help a bit but pollen isn’t really the problem.

piccadilly-market-planetree-2
Itchy

Essential Oils — beauty on many levels

Essential oils:

  • smell fabulous — used for millennia in scents and balms
  • good for you — we sell lots of Tea Tree for spots and Athlete’s Foot!
  • go deep into human history — Mary Magdalen poured Spikenard on the feet of Christ and wiped it away with her hair

Not only that but the plants they come from are often exquisitely beautiful:

caraway - carum carvi
Caraway - carum carvi
Cardamom - elettaria cardamomum
Cardamom - elettaria cardamomum
Carrot seed - daucus carota
Carrot Seed - daucus carota
Chamomile moroccan - ormenis multicaulis
Chamomile moroccan - ormenis multicaulis
Dill - anethum graveolens
Dill - anethum graveolens
Frangipani - plumeria rubra
Frangipani - plumeria rubra
Grapefruit - citrus paradisi
Grapefruit - citrus paradisi
Jasmine - jasminum grandiflorum L
Jasmine - jasminum grandiflorum L
Oakmoss - evernia prunastri
Oakmoss - evernia prunastri

Galbanum Essential Oil

Galbanum - ferula galbaniflua

We are proud to supply Galbanum essential oil, steam distilled in England from resin of the ferula galbaniflua plant imported from Iran.

Galbanum, a green, fruity-floral odour reminiscent of green apples, sometimes referred to as the sacred “mother oil” goes deep into human history.

And the LORD said unto Moses, Take unto thee sweet spices, stacte, and onycha, and galbanum; [these] sweet spices with pure frankincense: of each shall there be a like [weight]:

And thou shalt make it a perfume, a confection after the art of the apothecary, tempered together, pure [and] holy… Exodus 30:35-6

Often used as a “green” note in perfumery, it is the ingredient which gives the distinctive odour to “Must” by Cartier, “Vent Vert” by Balmain, “Chanel No. 19” and “Vol De Nuit” by Guerlain.

Initial notes are bitter, acrid, peculiar, followed by a complex green, spicy, woody, apple-like balsamic odour: reminiscent of crushed foliage at the height of summer.

Supplied in 5 ml bottles only. Best to telephone before visiting as stocks are low. A tester is available.

Union Jacks go up at Piccadilly Market

havenessence Piccadilly Market

Flags are going up all over London in preparation for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations (60 years on the throne). Events will centre round an extended weekend on 2, 3, 4 and 5 June 2012.

Piccadilly Market is about 750 yards from Buckingham Palace and havenessence will be open on Saturday 2 June.

Piccadilly-Market-Map

It is unknown, precisely, which perfume the Queen prefers. Like all successful monarchs she has maintained an air of mystery… for 60 years.

But mention has been made of Joy, Fleurissimo and Penhaligons. Rose is the common factor in these scents and havenessence stocks high quality rose absolutes, steam distilled rose essential oils, rose soaps and rose perfume sprays.

Visit us as part of the celebrations and leave smelling like a queen!

Queen Elizabeth II

Rose Maroc - centifolia foliacea
Rose Maroc - centifolia foliacea