Marigold pattern (c) Rianne Mason

Tagetes and tangerine body balm

This is a sweet-smelling and awakening pocket sized body balm that can be used to nourish hands, feet or anywhere that needs a treat. You can also hold it under hot running water for a while to give your bath an extra boost.

Ingredients (makes 3 x 40g bars)

  • Ensure all ingredients are cosmetic grade, preferably organic.
  • 30 ml almond oil
  • 30ml/g cocoa butter
  • 30 ml/g shea butter
  • 30 ml/g beeswax
  • 20 drops of tagetes essential oil (to your preference)
  • 20 drops of tangerine essential oil (to your preference)


  1. Melt the almond oil, shea butter, cocoa butter and beeswax in a heatproof jug over gently boiling water (double boiler). Choose a jug you can easily pour out of into small molds (or use a large table spoon for this later).
  2. When everything is melted together, add the essential oils.
  3. As soon as the essential oils are stirred through, quickly but carefully pour the mixture into the molds. It will start to set immediately.
  4. Place them in the freezer for an hour.
  5. Make a note of the date you made them, they last 6 – 12 months depending on the shelf life of your ingredients.

Top tips from when I made it

  • Ensure your workspace and equipment are spotlessly clean.
  • Add a little more beeswax and less shea for a firmer bar.

Enjoy the magic of nature…


Read about the history, symbolism, wellbeing and garden benefits of Tagetes patula (French marigold).


Beeswax is a natural wax produced by honeybees. It’s what the bees use to form cells for honey storage and larval protection.


Shea butter is taken from the nuts of the plant Vitellaria paradoxa, also called the shea tree. It’s a deciduous tree indigenous to Africa. Once the creamy white flower is pollinated, largely by honey bees, an oil-rich seed is formed.

The shea is an important tree in sub-Saharan Africa. Its butter is nutritious and a vital ingredient for confectionary, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals across the world.


The cocoa bean is the seed of the plant Theobrama cacao, also called the cocoa tree. It’s an evergreen tree native to the tropical regions of Mexico. Once the pinkish white flowers are pollinated by Forcipomyia biting midges, the large pods containing cacao are produced.

The Latin name Theobrama cacao translates as ‘food of the gods’ – named so because Mayan and Aztec nobles used drank the beans ground up with chillies. Today we like our cocoa with sugar and made into chocolate. Most of it is grown in West Africa.