Ne’er cast a clout till May be out 19th April 2017 – Posted in: Organic, Skincare

I’ve spent time today making up a new batch of Love Summer Organic Facial Serum. It’s a fairly therapeutic task because I absolutely love doing anything which involves essential oils and their beautiful aromas lingering in the house for hours afterwards. The little bottles are now lined up on the stockroom shelves looking super-cute and ready to go.

My dad had a variety of sayings (most of which make more sense now than they did when I was a teenager) and often they were weather related. As a merchant seaman I guess he had a vested interest in what the winds and the skies would bring. One of his favourite sayings at this time of year was ‘ne’er cast a clout till May be out’ which was pretty annoying when the sun was shining and he insisted I take my coat to school. A clout, by all accounts, is old-English for an article of clothing and the sentiment of the saying is ‘don’t discard your winter wardrobe yet as there’s likely to be a cold spell before the end of May’.

In skincare terms and in gardening too really, the same thing applies. When lovely warm days are interspersed by others which bring chilly winds and ground frost, summer apparel is a little bit premature. The plants still need some fleece and our skin still needs the richer, heavier oils in the Winter and Spring/Autumn blends. The time for Summer Serum will be here soon enough – high oleic acid sunflower oil is blended with rosehip and marshmallow oils to gently but effectively nourish summer skin, and pure essential lavender (lavandula angustifolia) oil provides gentle sun protection and a beautiful fresh aroma. There is a wonderful book by Marguerite Maury entitled The Secret of Life and Youth which espouses the benefits of essential oils and lavender in particular for skin health. I must read it again as it’s been a while. I’m sure if Marguerite were around today she would also have some canny old sayings to share but her time has passed and instead she has left in print a reminder of the benefits of natural plant essences and how they can enhance our lives.

When I first trained as an aromatherapist in the late 1980s I remember being fairly unenthusiastic about the aroma of lavender. Clearly at the time I didn’t have enough experience to discern the incredible healing potential and pure fragrance quality of a handcrafted organic oil versus others which were mass produced. It didn’t take me long however to learn the ropes and source the purest oils available. Now, many years later, I only use the best essential oils for the Rather Lovely range, blend them with organic vegetable oils chosen for their specific skin benefits and bottle them in amber glass to preserve their natural freshness and vitality. There is another saying (from an unknown author and definitely not my dad!) – As Rosemary is to the Spirit, so Lavender is to the Soul – which I like to remember when blending the Summer Serum. We like to think that our Rather Lovely products are more than skincare, they’re soul-care too.