“And the Lord spoke unto Moses saying: ‘Take also for yourself the finest of spices: of flowing myrrh five hundred shekels, and of fragrant cinnamon half as much, two hundred and fifty, and of fragrant cane two hundred and fifty, and of cassia five hundred, according to the shekel of the sanctuary, and of olive oil a hin. You shall make of it the Anointing Oil, a fragrant mix, the work of a perfumer.'”
—The Holy Bible, Exodus 30:23-24
I have adored the beauty of nature, all things earthy and fragrant, from childhood. So it comes as no surprise that several years of my adult life have been spent, conjuring homemade potions using traditional ingredients including skin beautifying plant oils, seed butters, sea and rock salts, sugar, honey and exotic spices as well as fragrances from leaves, bark and flowers. All in pursuit of creating a range of natural skincare that will make commercial, synthetic and chemically laden cosmetics less desirable.
At the heart of my (bordering on) obsessive Apothecary is a belief that wellness and a holistic approach to skincare; is indeed God’s plan and gift to humankind. In the first instance and in the same way that God provided food and water for nourishment of our bodies, He also provided compatible rejuvenating and healing natural ingredients for nourishment of our skin. Secondly, despite the innocent looking, sweet smelling and attractive packaging, nearly all skincare on the high street contain synthetic chemicals, which may have health concerns including allergies.
Paracelsus – The founder of pharmacology once said ‘All that man needs for health and healing has been provided by God in nature, the Challenge of science is to find it’.
One only has to observe the world’s obsession with coconut oil, yielded from the coconut fruit and renowned for plumping and smoothing skin; the golden treasures of argan oil that shines hair like nothing ever created in a laboratory test tube and the richness of shea butter harvested from shea nuts of karite trees which grow only in west and central African savannah belt to appreciate the diverse and lavish provision of a loving Creator who resided the first humans in an unadulterated Garden of Eden exemplifying innocence and pure beauty. And who can deny the olfactory pleasures of essential oils yielded fromm almost every plant imaginable. The fizzing accord of pink pepper, the sensual allure of Bulgarian rose, the headiness of patchouli and vertiver, the freshness of lavender and mint, the zesty-ness of citruses, neroli and bergamot. The list goes on and on…..
Perhaps the most lavish and sensory bible passage (out of several that relate to natural skin care and perfume ingredients) comes from the Song of Solomon 4:12 – 16 which depicts a vivid yet symbolic description of sexual love, between bride and groom; highlighting the rose of Sharon, henna, saffron, pomegranates and lily of the valley alongside other essences. I will leave you to look up these sensual verses to savour for yourself….
My prayer is that my lovingly handmade products would be welcomed by customers who share my vision of natural skincare provided through God’s abundant grace and that my heavenly scented products would not only bless my customers with gorgeous skin, but also become an indulgent part of their self-care ritual, to provide a momentary retreat from the hectic pace of life we find yourselves cast into.
Emma Akuffo is a recovering empty-nester, lover of all things Godly & spiritual, and founder of a number of natural skincare and fragrance start-ups – website links below.