Monthly Archives: October 2011

Making natural gorgeous perfume

I absolutely love perfume… But hate the sneezing fit, watering eyes and running nose that ensue after spraying a bottle of a fine synthetic fragrance onto my skin. I just can’t do strong smells, be it bleach or Channel no. 5!

So, I got really excited when I found out that Karen Gilbert was teaching a natural perfume course just ‘down the road’ from me. I had to take it!

Discovering scents

I have asthma and allergic rhinitis (all year long), my nose and my skin are quite sensitive and get irritated very easily – one of the reasons why I’ve turned to essential oils and aromatherapy, a more ‘natural’ way of keeping my skin healthy and glowing.

Don’t get me wrong, essential oils are very potent and they too may irritate my nose and throat! When I’m making products, I usually wear a mask just to avoid unnecessary exposure.

First impressions

So I dragged my poor foot along (yes, it’s still broken) and had a blasting day! The class was very structured and a lot of fun. Karen has a wealth of knowledge about perfumery and a vast experience in hands-on training, the perfect recipe for an outstanding practical workshop. The best part is that you make your own natural perfume!!!

We started with a bit of background but it wasn’t long until we started smelling strips and identifying the scents we liked to build our perfume from. All ingredients were natural, basically essential oils or absolutes diluted in perfumer’s alcohol base. It makes it a lot easier to work with.

We started with top notes, followed by middle and base. We ‘built’ each of these mixes separately first, and at the end, mixed them together to create the final fragrance.

Fine tuning

My creation included:
– top notes: grapefruit, green mandarin and black pepper;
– middle: litsea, wild rose and linden blossom;
– base: vanilla, patchouli, vetiver.
I’m totally in love with my natural perfume! It’s quite heady, dense, warm and involving, just perfect for winter time. It left its scent on the bag I used when I went to the course, and my notes are all fragranced too.

Final fragrance, the long-awaited prize!

Despite its obvious impregnating power, I didn’t sneeze, not even once. So guess what I will be getting my hands into more often?!



Filed under Bespoke skin care, Natural perfume, natural skin care

Breast cancer awareness month

It’s ‘Pink October’!

The Breast Cancer Campaign ‘was established in 1988 with the aim of researching the cure for breast cancer’, as stated on their website,

There are many ways to participate in the campaign and donate.

Bed of Pink Roses Home Spa Soak

This year, Skin Bistro is donating a prize, the Pink Bed of Roses Home Spa Soak (100g) to Nicoletta’s big charity event.

Please go to her website to find out why she’s taking such an active role in raising money for this campaign, and of course, also find out which fabulous prizes you can win if you donate too!

If you feel like helping even more, let everyone you know about it!!!

Thanks for supporting and sharing the pink love!


Filed under natural skin care

I’m at Things British in Carnaby Street!

Yay, my goodies are now on offer at Carnaby Street! This is where Things British first shop has opened.
I heard about Things British through UK Handmade, and thought it would be a great opportunity to ‘exhibit’ my products. They offer a new retail concept, where British designers rent shelf space to showcase their handmade goods.

What grabbed my interest was the fact that they would only be selling crafts by British makers. I’ve been avoiding retailing for a number of reasons, the main one being that I don’t really want to be selling my products where there’s only mass produced products without character or where retailers have little appreciation of or knowledge about my crafted skincare range.

So, I’m thrilled to have my products retailing at Things British. I think their idea and support are highly appreciated by fellow crafters like me. Having just recently expanded my skincare range, it will be an excellent opportunity for people to feel and smell my products before choosing what to buy.

Skin Bistro’s products are the first (and only so far) organic skincare range available at Things British. To celebrate this partnership, I’m planning a few tester and demonstration days at the shop. For more information on events dates, please check the events page on the website or subscribe to Skin Bistro’s newsletter:

Support British crafters by visiting Things British, located at Unit 1.11 Kingly Court, 49 Carnaby Street, W1B 5PW, Mondays to Saturdays between 10:30am and 7pm or Sundays between 12pm and 6pm.
Hope to see you there!

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Filed under Castile soap, natural skin care