Amanda Saurin

July 15-22, Chateau Dumas, Course and board from €1,935

Hosted by Amanda Saurin from AS Apothecary

The work of an Apothecary is a slow, meditative process, a precise art that has been passed from hand-to-hand drawing on the alchemy of intuition and the wisdom of generations of healers and makers. Traditional apothecary Amanda Saurin has worked with herbs and homeopathy for years developing effective, gentle, bespoke preparations and on this workshop you’ll learn to make scented soaps, soothing balms and natural perfumes.

The difference between factory produced soap and beautiful quality artisanal soap is like night and day and bespoke soap making is the first project. Using the simplest cold process method you’ll make beautiful quality olive oil soap and scent it with pure essential oils and flowers. After cutting, you can wrap your homemade soaps in French linen tied with vintage ribbon.

Balms are effective preparations for use on the skin either as a treatment or as a natural perfume. Combining oils and beeswax or olive wax creates a luxurious, nourishing humectant for the skin and you’ll learn how to combine herbs and essential oils to create balms that have both therapeutic value and smell divine at the same time. We’ll provide little glass handbag sized pots in which to store your balms.

The opportunity to make your own natural perfume is very rare, but on this week Amanda will show you how to combine essential oils and resins to make your own bespoke perfume. Natural perfumery is an adventure in scent and we’ll look at different scents to take you through the seasons. Working with a wide selection of oils you'll experiment with top, middle and base notes eventually arrving at a scent you have created for yourself. 

Amanda is addicted to distilling, the gentle way of extracting essential oils and aromatic waters from plants. She will set up a small Alembic still for you to witness the process as aromatic water emerges while the essential oil floats to the top. For those hoping to do some simple distilling, she’ll talk to you about home-based options for flower water production.

The week will also include a day of dyeing with woad, a locally grown plant known for its dyeing properties as well as its medicinal and therapeutic properties. The course is topped off with a visit to the atmospheric medieval market of St Antonin-Noble-Val and a local fleamarket. 

Chateau Dumas, Chateau d'Auty, Nr Toulouse, 82220 Auty

Email enquiries@chateaudumas.net for places.