Stop and Smell the Roses

We often hear the phrase, Stop and Smell the Roses, and whilst I am sure there are several takes on this, to me it means; to pause, reflect and look at the brighter side of life. English Rose Gardens remind me of visiting my grandparents’ house when I was a child, I am instantly transported to happy times. Nostalgic yet uplifting too.

Roses are one of the most beautiful flowers in the world, literally the queen of flowers. We all love and appreciate their beauty and they have a myriad of uses in bath and body products, fragrance, room aromas, love potions, teas and cooking ingredients. The benefits to the mind and body have been recognized for thousands of years. The Incas used Rose Otto essential oil as a cure-all.  Rose oils were linked to the Greek goddess of love, Aphrodite and the Roman goddess of love, Venus. Even Cleopatra, regarded as one of the world’s most beautiful women used roses in her facial and bathing rituals.

Seen as a universal symbol of love, roses are widely used by people to express their feelings to their loved ones. In perfumery its currently used in 75% of modern feminine fragrances and 10% of men’s fragrances. (In Muslin countries this was originally a man’s scent)

We sometimes regard perfumes with notes of rose as been a little old-fashioned, however, there’s a new crop of perfumes without a trace of Eau de Grandmère. Rose scents are constantly re-invented, in fact it’s a note never too far from a perfumer’s vision, a bit like the Little Black Dress of the fragrance world.  There is a real resurgence right now in rose perfumes. Some say it’s down to political uncertainty and consumers feel the need to surround themselves with something familiar and comforting. I think this is true in part, but also there is something dreamy glorious about receiving a large bouquet of flowers. The scent of rose can have so many different elements, sweet- smelling, fresh, zesty, heady, sumptuous, romantic even aromatic. The Chelsea Flower Show in a bottle!

Rose is said to soothe the heart, heal past griefs, reduce nervous energy and depression, encourage self-love and help to move forward positivity in difficult times. It has spiritual qualities and can aid healing during times of bereavement. It would be beneficial at this difficult time, to drink rose tea as it soothes the mind, heart and throat.

Ayvurvedic healers have used the rose plant in herbal remedies, tinctures, oils, teas, and skincare for many years. Rose balances the Sadhaka Pitta, which governs emotions and how it impacts the heart. Rose- water showers are used traditionally at Indian weddings. The wedding bed is covered in Red rose petals for several reasons: the scent is calming to the nerves and act as a sedative, (It lowers the cortisol stress hormones) roses are an aphrodisiac and the colour Red relates to romance and passion. So, this sets up a favourable mood for the newly-weds special evening.

In beauty products for the face and body, rose has many valuable properties, its complex array of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants can be very enriching for dry skin, as it soothes irritations, reduces redness and stimulates collagen. All of which help to counteract premature aging. It’s an emollient, which locks moisture into your skin, which then helps to keep your skin feeling hydrated for longer while also improving its texture, giving a soft, healthy glow.

On a final note, I can say that Roses possess a heavenly scent, are wonderful in perfumes, bath and body products, room aromas or simply as flowers in a vase. They can represent spiritually, purity, passion, friendship and love and are present in our thoughts and hearts like no other flower.

The world is a rose, smell it, and pass it to your friends.”

– Persian Proverb

DIY Home Spa

Now more than ever we need to look after ourselves. Many people, often women, feel guilty about spending time relaxing and pampering its seen as self-indulgent and a bit unnecessary. But I really don’t think that’s true! We all work hard and need some TLC, even in Lockdown an hour or so pampering would make a huge difference to your health and happiness.

I work for a wonderful Artisan company who make bath and body products and often need to try out products for home as part of my role, but even before this, I have always seen how important it is to put aside some time to have a leisurely bath, using body creams or a face mask. There are many health benefits to dry brushing and regular massage. Taking some quiet time can be a meditation tool and help to clear the mind easing mental stress. I am a great fan of Dead Sea Salts, a soak in the bath does wonders for back pain and sore muscles. If you don’t have a bath, use these in a large bowl, as a footbath. Our poor feet work hard on our behalf and deserve looking after. If you want to just do one pampering thing to affect your whole body massage your feet.

If you have very dry skin, massage oil into your skin and soak in a bath, the warm water allows to the oil to penetrate your skin much more than putting oil on to your skin after bathing. I often burn essential oils and are a great believer in the benefits of these in bath and body products. Using products that are free of parabens and harmful chemicals are also important, although these can cost a little more usually, they last longer and really benefit the skin.

Having healthy, moisturized, glowing skin not only looks good it feels great too.

Its easy to make a DIY Spa, some candles, fluffy towels, bath and body products, peace and quiet (or relaxing music) even a glass of wine. Organize everything ahead of time and clear away any clutter like children’s toys. So you can just lay back, relax and enjoy.

spa day