Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Heirloom Cold Cream - The Woman Beautiful

I have really enjoyed reading and researching these Heirloom Toiletry recipes. How amazing it is to make and use toiletries whose recipes are older than your grandmother! What a special way to connect to the generations that came before us. This recipe is from the book The Woman Beautiful by Helen Follett Stevans. Come join me as we travel back in time to make this fabulous cold cream. Here we go!

Cold Cream
The Woman Beautiful
Helen Follett Stevans
½ ounce White Wax
½ ounce Spermaceti
4 ounce Sweet Almond Oil
2 ounces Orange Flower Water

Melt all together gently and pour into cups to cool. When cold pour off the water, remelt and pour into jars to keep.

I needed to make some changes to the recipe before I even started. First of all, I do not have any Spermaceti. Spermaceti is a oil that is collected from the sperm whale. The sperm whale was nearly hunted to extinction because there was such demand for this oil. Due to my research, I have concluded that Palm Oil is the most comparable oil that is available today.

Second, I have yet to get some paraffin (White Wax) into the kitchen for recipe use. I really need to get with the program. Instead, I will be using Stearic Acid, of which I do have access to in the kitchen.

Third, I don't have any Orange Flower Hydrosol. Any of the hydrosols can be used in this recipe. The hydrosols impart a light scent to the cream. Fragrance or Essential Oils can be used for a light scent. If you decide to use essential oils, you will not need any water or hydrosols. I used Rose Otto to lightly perfume this cold cream.

When I made this recipe with Rose Hydrosol, I forgot that during this time they did not have access to microwaves and so the ingredients were heated much more gently. I microwaved the solution for less than 45 seconds and it blew up in the microwave! Not only did I do this one but twice! I also happened to have both explosions occur in the same day. I spent some major time cleaning out the microwave. Much to my chagrin, as I cleaned I was teased by my passing coworkers. It was not an experience I want to repeat a third time. :-)

In the end, I used Rose Otto to scent this mixture. No explosions, no mess, no waste and hardly any Rose Otto was used. You will be amazed at how far that gram will go. I had an empty container from pre-pack that only had a slight film of Rose Otto on the inside. I filled the container with warm Sweet Almond Oil. Of the scented oil, I only used 5 mL per batch of cold cream. The Rose Otto goes a very long way. If you have a gram of Rose Otto, you can use a tooth pick to pull a very small amount out for your cold cream. Enjoy!

Cold Cream (Reformulated)
Helen Follett Stevans
½ ounce Stearic Acid
½ ounce Palm Oil
4 ounce Sweet Almond Oil
Q.S. Rose Otto

Melt all together gently and pour into cups to cool and keep.

Weigh and gently melt all of the ingredients together until liquid. Stir gently with a spoon and pour into containers. Enjoy.

Note: The reason that this recipe uses Orange Flower Hydrosol is to impart a light scent. At the time, this scent could only be water extracted. They could not obtain an essential oil or absolute from the orange blossom. This method allows scent to be transferred to the oils. Orange Flower Water was a popular and highly sought after scent. This recipe reflects the time in which it was formulated.

Also, while I didn't add very much Rose Otto, this product should be used with a light hand. It is very long lasting odor and I was quite pleased that a little goes a long way. A light and delicate odor surrounded me all day. While it does not smell strongly in the jar, when rubbed on the skin, a gentle odor is released. This is truly the heirloom product I imagined it to be.

1 comment:

  1. this formula is for a simple balm.
    the general understanding of a true cold cream is a water in oil a thick oily cream, that because of it's composition, feels cold when you apply it.

    galen's cold cream formula is centuries old, and includes olive oil, borax, beeswax, rosewater.
    the beeswax and borax combine to form a soap-like substance that works to emulsify the olive oil and rosewater into a thick cream.
    it's a little trickier to work with these old-fashioned emulsifiers, but they make a delightful cold cream.
    if i was to make some of this today, i'd be inclined to add a preservative.....cold cream will grow bacteria quite quickly, even if refrigerated.