Are you one of those people who have always been intrigued by floral waxes … but not quite sure about how to use them? They are a wonderful additive to so many products, and you owe it to yourself to try them!
For starters, what are floral waxes? They are created in processing flowers to capture their fragrances. Many flowers are made into absolutes by using a solvent to extract the delicate fragrances from the flowers. During the manufacture of these absolutes, a natural solid wax from the flowers is left behind – and this is the floral wax. It captures a more gentle aroma than the absolute itself, in a solid form that is perfect to use in crafting. You can incorporate floral waxes into all sorts of products, from lotions to creams, balms and even naturally-scented solid perfumes!
Floral waxes can take a bit of coaxing to melt. It’s best not to try to melt them over direct heat (for instance, in a pan directly on a flame), as this can cause them to burn or scorch.
Instead, you can put them in the top of a double boiler (or a makeshift double boiler, just consisting of a tall bowl sitting in a pan of water over a flame). Gently heat them, stirring periodically, until they are melted down. Some crafters will also put the floral wax in a container sitting in a bowl of water in the microwave, taking care that the water can’t get into the floral wax. They then microwave the wax/water at low power until the wax melts down.
Most people find floral waxes to be too potent, irritating, and/or fragrant to use undiluted, and will add a bit of carrier oil/liquid wax, such as jojoba, to the melted floral wax. If you want to use the floral wax in a solid perfume or balm, you can then pour the wax/carrier oil mixture into containers and let it harden. Some crafters add a touch of Vitamin E/low alpha tocopherols as well to retard oxidation and enhance shelf life. (Preservatives are not necessary as this is a 100% oil-based product and doesn’t contain water which can grow bacteria). You can also add essential oils at this point; one wonderful massage oil recipe adds 6 drops of sandalwood, lemongrass or geranium essential oils to 1 ounce of jasmine-infused jojoba. It’s lovely!
For creams and lotions, you can add the melted floral wax to the oil phase of your recipe, or you can “pre-infuse” the oils you will use in your lotion by leaving a solid chunk of floral wax in unheated oil for a couple of weeks before making the lotion. (The floral wax will not be altered, and is fully usable like normal after it lends its scent to the oil and is removed). A good rule of thumb is to keep the proportion of floral wax below 10% in your creams, salves and lotions.
Floral waxes are also lovely when added to cold process soap, and they make the bars a bit harder, since you are adding wax to your soap. (Take care not to add more than 5%, since you don’t want to make your soap brittle or effect the lather).
Enjoy your floral wax and its long-lasting, relaxing scent!