Our own lavender and lemon balm plus local windfall Douglas fir branches and windfall black cottonwood buds slow-infused into organic extra virgin olive oil come together in this body oil, which we use to help us relax before bedtime and (in Daniel’s case) nap time. Available in two sizes of glass bottles: a 1-ounce bottle with a wide metal roller ball top for simple, small-amount application and a 4-ounce glass bottle with an open top so you can apply a larger amount quickly for whole-body massage.
If you're local on Whidbey, I refill these bottles out of my herbal studio for about half price, assuming I have all the infused oils on hand when you stop by. If you're looking for a strongly scented oil, you can add essential oils of your choice to this oil. We prefer to use whole plants, minimize our use of essential oils, and we don't add them to our body oils. Our infused oils smell gently of the plants within them--in this case, lightly of lavender, lemon balm, Douglas fir, cottonwood bud, and olive.
The idea for this oil came from listening closely to the trees, herbs, flowers and plants here, and to the many new sleep-related struggles of our human community members during the pandemic, and from opening to both offering and accepting more help during the pandemic and (in my case) during menopause, too. Frickin hot flashes kept me awake for far too long! 😊 We need our sleep. Listening to and leaning on wise neighbor plants and forests and fields has been so helpful. Especially helpful when we’re holding personal and community and regional and global and climate-related loss, grief, depression, anxiety, fear, anger, and rage. Which, these days, it feels like almost all of us are to some extent.
Made seasonally and in small batches with herbs, flowers, plants, and trees we know personally, on land we know and love, and with the help of people we love and trust. This means our body oils are not always available year-round. We don’t overtax the plants here, never take more than offered, and leave most for pollinators and other neighbors.
Tip: For added awesomeness, pair this massage oil with either our Rest soap, Forest Bathing soap, Whidbey Gentle Goat goat's milk soap, a Relax & Recharge lotion bar, or a Whidbey Sweet Dreams or Whidbey Deep Sleep herbal sleep pillow. Rub in the body oil really well to avoid fabric stains! After using the oil, you can also bathe or just wash your hands or face with these gentle, relaxing soaps that are perfect for bedtime or before naps. Or you can tuck an herbal sleep pillow under your pillow or into your pillowcase and take a deep breathe in, aware that you are loved by every flower petal, plant, and tree branch on earth. Hard times call for new rituals. These are some of ours.
Why olive oil? And tips for using olive oil as massage oil...
- Care for planet, trees, and people. I use organic olive oil because of its long history of loving humans/safe use with people and also this oil's well-established supply chains, which tend to be better for planet, trees, and people than most other oils used for body care today.
- Love. I love this oil, and the trees it comes from, and the people who devote their lives to its creation--people across many nation-state borders, beliefs, and persuasions. The trees hold us together.
- With olive oil, you cannot rush. This oil takes its own sweet time with human skin. It doesn't disappear immediately. Rushing doesn't work. You may have to rub it into your muscles and skin for a longer period of time than you think you have time for. This slowing down to the oil's pace may feel slow or self-indulgent, especially if you were raised not to center your body or punished for listening to and supporting your own body in the past. If you do rush, you'll likely end up with oil on your clothing, bedding, and/or furniture. Here, depending on which muscle we're massaging, we may change into old t-shirts, old socks, or lay on old towels that we don't mind staining a bit with oil. Or rub it into feet outside and walk around in the grass for a while. Sometimes I'll rub muscles in my feet and then put an old pair of socks on and read a book or go to bed. Please take your time, rub the oil in thoroughly. I practice welcoming the idea that this long-loved oil from wise old trees knows that we are worth the extra time, even when we (or other humans) don't. And, if you do rush and end up with oil on valuable clothing, bedding, or furniture, clean them thoroughly as soon as you can so the oil doesn't set and stain. Unless stains don't bother you: if that's the case, go wild! ;-)
Ingredients: Our own lavender and lemon balm (from Ritual Mischief), and Whidbey windfall Douglas Fir branches (from Ritual Mischief & walks in neighboring woods & from generous neighbors after windstorms), and local windfall black cottonwood buds (from Mountain Tree Farm in Arlington, our friend Laura's farm here on Whidbey and other nearby trees), infused into organic extra virgin olive oil.
Storage & life of the product: Store your bottle in a cool, dry, dark place where direct sunlight never touches the bottle. We suggest using this body oil within 12 to 18 months of purchase, because the only preservative is the nature of the plants (especially the cottonwood buds) themselves. Your oil may last longer than that, too, but if at any point it smells stale or starts to look different, stop using it. Also, we've learned that plant-infused oils have minds of their own. They may ooze a little bit (oozing is part of their nature and charm), and you may find that a tiny bit of oil pools under the bottle itself, so we recommend storing the bottle on a hard surface--like stone or metal or glass--that you don't mind getting a teeny bit of oil on.
Packaging: This oil comes in a 1-ounce reusable clear glass bottle with a wide metal roller ball or a 4-ounce reusable, clear glass bottle with a metal screw-top lid. See the Packaging page of this website for more details.
Refills: If you live on, or visit, Whidbey Island, we will refill the 1-ounce bottles for $5 or 4 oz bottles for $13 (for 4 oz) here at Ritual Mischief. Some of the expense of making them is in the special apothecary bottles, the expensive shipping to get the glass bottles here, and in the oil-resistant labels that, as it turns out, are really damn pricey. Hugs (and yay!) to anyone willing to reuse their bottles!
Medical Disclaimer: If you are allergic to aspirin, your body may not love the cottonwood buds in this oil. The information on this page is for general reference for further exploration and study. It is not intended as a replacement for professional medical advice. See the Medical Disclaimer page of this website for more details. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
Let's not let a lack of money stop us: Remembering, strengthening, and honoring relationships among local people and neighboring trees and plants and land is my love. Money isn't. So if you live on Whidbey and can't afford the original first bottle, reach out to me. There are less fancy jars and bottles hanging around here (they tend to follow me home or show up on my doorstep much like plants do), and if you're willing to accept the oil in a less fancy jar or bottle and with a hand-written label (that is likely to run when oil hits it), then you can skip straight to the refill price. And if you can't afford the refill price, in person I can show you how to make a similar infused oil at home for yourself.