Sometimes product ideas can sit with you for months – years even – before you get around to making them.  You need a little push.  At least, I do.

Recently I spent a day in Paris with Kimberly Wilson doing a natural perfumery workshop.  Giving a workshop while travelling is always a challenge – what ingredients to bring and what can you buy when you arrive?  I took the Eurostar from London with a suitcase filled with essential oils, beeswax, bottles + jars, labels, pens, and a huge amount of herbal tea for the day.  But I wasn’t expecting to make this.

A quick instagram snap from our perfumery workshop (If you're on Instagram too, follow me, I'm @VintageAmanda)
A quick instagram snap from our perfumery workshop (If you’re on Instagram too, follow me, I’m @VintageAmanda)

It feels so luxurious having a big assortment of essential oils to play with.  It’s really play time.  Like being in a candy store, or in front of a market stall selling huge heaps of exotic spices … oh the possibilities!  (At least to me, clearly I’m in the right job!)

After a morning of perfumery and a cafe lunch, we got a bit more crafty and Kimberly mentioned how much she loves peppermint.  Why I brought peppermint essential oil with me, I don’t know.  It’s not normally a scent I’d include in perfumery workshops.  But there it was, and she loved it, and it immediately brought me back to one of my favorite portable stress-relief products from my office job days: Origins Peace of Mind cream.

We created a quick version of an intensely pepperminty balm to massage into temples or even just inhale straight from the container.  Cooling and refreshing and invigorating – not a perfume at all but stress-relieving and headache-busting aromatherapy that fits in your handbag.

Fastforward to this weekend.  I really wanted some of that balm for myself.  So I played around with the recipe until it was just parfait (for me, at least.)

Clear Thinking Balm

NOTE: Do not use during pregnancy, or with babies or small children.


You need:

1 tsp beeswax

5 tsp sweet almond oil (or sunflower oil or light olive oil)

18 drops peppermint essential oil

7 drops basil essential oil

5 drops eucalyptus essential oil

30 ml dark glass jar (approximately 1 oz. or a small jar/container/tin that will fit 6 tsp of liquid – you can measure it out with water to check the size)

toothpick or skewer (something thin you can stir with)

label that fits your jar


How to make it:


  • Put the 5 tsp of oil and 1 tsp of beeswax in a double boiler (bain marie) and heat until all the beeswax is liquified.


  • Put the drops of essential oil into the empty jar / container.
  • Carefully pour the liquid oil/beeswax into the jar/container.  Stir with toothpick to distribute essential oils throughout the balm.


  • Let sit uncovered until completely cool and solid.
  • Put lid on jar, and label with the name + date.  Balm should last for 1 year.
    Remember, this is a natural product without preservatives.  If it looks or smells funny, grows mold, changes color, smells rancid or just doesn’t feel right anymore — just throw it out and make fresh!  

To use: Rub a pea-sized amount of balm between your finger tips then massage into temples as needed.  Do not apply near your eyes – ouch!  Breathe.  Relax.

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