This lovely Manitoba Forest Balm houses many of my favourite summer scents in a tin. From warm sunshine to honey to the forest underbrush, this lovely balm smells just like a Manitoba forest in summer, and I can’t get enough of it.
The inspiration for this balm was bayberry wax, a plant based wax that somehow smells just like a sun-dappled forest floor on a warm day. The wax itself is mottled green and almost dusty, and the smell is downright intoxicating, especially on a cold winter day.
It wouldn’t smell like summer without some sunshine-y beeswax in the mix, so make sure you choose a good, fragrant one. The one I’m using for this balm is from a wonderful little apiary near Riding Mountain National Park in Manitoba. I visit them every summer to stock up on beeswax and wonderfully floral honey that’s often still warm from the hive when I pay for my jar.
For essential oils I’ve selected fir balsam, spruce, pine, rose, and labdanum, with just a hint of smoke from cade. Fir balsam, spruce, and pine will always remind me of the woods, with their characteristic camphoraceous scents. Wild roses can be easily found in the forests of my childhood, and while their scent is not exactly that of the roses used to make rose essential oil, it is still a fitting floral note.
Labdanum always smells of sunshine on warm, dry grass to me, and I nearly always include it in blends that are designed to remind me of summertime. And last but not least, the tiniest hint of smokey cade essential oil represents the campfire on the horizon.
Manitoba Forest Balm
15 drops fir essential oil
9 drops white spruce essential oil
5 drops spruce hemlock essential oil (this essential oil is not at all related to poisonous hemlock)
4 drops pine essential oil
1 drop rose absolute
2 blobs labdanum essential oil
1 toothpick swirl cade essential oil
Once melted, remove from the heat and stir in the essential oils. Decant into a 30mL/1 ounce tin and let set up before using.
For a toothpick swirl of the cade, just dip the tip of a toothpick into your bottle of cade essential oil, and then swirl it in with everything else. Be aware that an almost imperceptible amount will still have a really noticeable effect on the final product, so don’t over-do it!