At the heart of Clary Collection and the base of each product we create, is the ancient craft of botanical oil infusion. This gentle tradition dates back to the earliest forms of herbal healing and is still widely used throughout the world today.
Oil infusion is the process of transferring the qualities of plants to oil through a low and steady heat. Much like water takes on the flavor, color, and aroma of an herb in tea, heat, and oil gently draw out the properties of plants, binding them with the qualities of the oil. After straining, the benefits and beauty of each plant can be carried to our skin.
Ancient Egyptians infused rose hips and bitter orange blossoms in Olive Oil to heal scars and even skin tone and Cleopatra is said to have bathed with it regularly. Ayurvedic medicine and Traditional Chinese Medicine have practiced the infusion of Marigolds (calendula) in oil to heal skin irritations for centuries. Lavender is mentioned in the Bible as a Holy herb (nerd) and was a common infusion used to treat wounds and ease pain in the ancient Middle East. Ancient Greeks infused Chamomile (Greek for “ground apple”) in olive oil and used it to heal rashes. Many Indigenous communities in North America still infuse Plantain as a treatment for bug bites and skin abrasions. Allowing a slow warmth of oil to draw out healing benefits of herbs and flowers is one of the oldest, gentlest and most effective ways of transferring those benefits to our skin.
We infuse in small batches much like our great, great grandmothers did. While they didn't have to worry so much about the purity of their ingredients, we take great care in using only certified organic or wild-harvested ingredients. We combine our herbs and flowers with pure, cold-pressed oils and warm them evenly, never allowing the infusion to get hotter than a comfortable bath. Once the herbs and flowers have released their therapeutic benefits to the oil, transforming it in color, scent, and texture, we strain twice using organic hemp and are left with soothing oils which form the base of each of our products. Once strained off, the herbs can be used in multiple ways ranging from bath teas and salt scrubs to beneficial compost in our gardens.
After straining, our olive, avocado, and jojoba infusions are bottled into our all-purpose Bath + Body Oil, Renew + Repair Oil and Face Oil respectively. We are learning so much from our community of customers and friends and realize that each oil can be used for a variety of purposes and are interchangeable depending on the conditions of the user. For everyday moisture and for young or sensitive skin, Olive-based Bath + Body works wonderfully. For skin that is under stress or in the process of healing, Avocado-based Renew + Repair brings an added burst of vitamins through the addition of rose hips and bitter orange. For the face and hair, jojoba is hard to beat as it closely mimics skin’s natural sebum and can help immensely with bringing balance to combination skin. The subtle addition of rosehip, orange blossom, frankincense, and sandalwood do a remarkable job of cleansing, moisturizing and reducing inflammation. We use this blend daily as an oil cleanser/serum/moisturizer in one and find it to also work well in hair and beards.
Finally, we add a bit of wildflower beeswax to our Olive infusion and blend to form a protective, all-purpose balm useful for lips, hands, face, scrapes, bug bites and anywhere in need of extra care. A milder infusion becomes our Nursing Balm for new mamas.
Once we’ve finished pouring, we label each product by hand and do our best to send a little love into every tin and bottle as we prepare to ship them out. We are proud to create in small batches and to explore the beautiful tradition of infusion with each other and look forward to sharing it with you too.