Sometimes I find all it takes to kick-start a great DIY run is a new ingredient or two. A scent, texture, colour, or flavour can really spark my imagination and send me off into a fabulous little world where I make a gigantic mess and come out with tons of new tubes and tins of goodies (and the occasional whoopsie as well). Here’s a list of ingredients that have been inspiring me as of late—I’d really encourage you to give them a try, they are all fantastic!


Labdanum Essential Oil
This essential oil was a curiosity buy, but I ended up absolutely falling in love with it. It smells utterly fantastic. It’s deep, spicy, mysterious, a little cinnamon-y, and slightly addictive. It’s technically a resin, and as such it is very thick. I like to rub a drop of it between my wrists until it melts and blends in. I keep a bit of it next to my bed, I add a little to my argan oil (USA / Canada) serum. It was used by the Pharaohs of ancient Egypt to bind their false beards made from goat hair. It’s sometimes used as a substitute for ambergris, and if royalty loved it, I think that explains why I think it’s so fantastic.


Marshmallow Root
After discovering the awesome detangling abilities of marshmallow root, I will never be without out. Period. If you are tired of your hair tying itself in knots, get some, you won’t regret it.


Spirit of Africa
This beautiful spice blend of smoked sweet peppers, garlic, basil, and salt is my new favourite thing to add to pretty much everything. I highly recommend it!


If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, my love of clay isn’t news to you. I’ve used it for masks for a couple years, but now I am absolutely in love with its cosmetic applications. From lipstick to face powder, clay is incredibly useful and awesome.


Rose Petals
We’ve got a big, beautiful rose bush out back, and I’ve been having tons of fun devising uses (beyond just rose water) for some of the petals. I can’t wait until I have a big herb garden to play with!


Raw Honey
After a trip to Spillimacheen, British Columbia that saw me return home with five different types of raw honey, I am totally in love with the stuff. For iced tea, infused honey, face masks, and minor injuries, it’s just amazing!


Cocoa Butter
This was one of the first ingredients I fell in love with (one of the first ingredients I ever purchased as well), and I am shamelessly re-kindling my love affair with it. Because it melts at 34°C, it is generally solid at room temperature, but melts readily when massaged into the skin. I love to turn a little nugget of it around in my hands, and am always rewarded with baby soft skin that smells deliciously of cocoa.


Virgin Coconut Oil
Speaking of ingredients that smell freaking fantastic, virgin coconut oil is like summer in a tub. It smells so fantastic that I almost wonder if something is wrong with my every time I don’t lick myself after applying it. It melts at 24°C, so it’s been liquid for all the best parts of the summer (yay for hot weather), and my skin just loves it. It’s especially awesome for knees, elbows, and other rough patches.


Smoked Grapeseed Oil
This is a culinary oil, though I suppose you could add it to a body butter if you wanted to smell like beef jerky all day. I love adding this to veggie burgers, sautéing vegetables in it, and mixing it with olive oil (pomace) (USA / Canada) for a bread dipper. Its smokey flavour and scent are strong and dry, and it has a delightful, light mouthfeel. It’s smokey perfection, basically.