Natural oil exacts a price.

Since my visit to Morocco at the end of last year, I have transformed my beauty care regimen. My bathroom cabinet now holds only natural oils. I have become a big proponent of argan oil, so much so that I wrote a blog on it. If you are interested, you can read it:

You can ignore the bad memory part. Bolstered by my success with argan oil, I delved into research and included rosehip oil as well. I use argan oil on my face after shower and rosehip oil before going to bed. It does not clog the pores and keeps the skin moist and soft. My pandemic hair has a mind of its own and is often wild and untamed. Massaging argan oil not only tames the hair, makes it soft but also relieves tension from my shoulders.

Anyway, all that I have written so far is good. You are wondering what price did natural oils exact then and when exactly is she going to stop rambling?

I was reading Sue Monk Kidd’s latest fiction The Book of Longings where a character in ancient Egypt applies clove oil behind her ears as part of her beauty regime. A light bulb went on in my head. I too want to be surrounded by the smell of cloves all day long. Why not add clove oil to my collection of natural oils? I snatched up my phone and started researching clove oil and of course Amazon delivered. The instructions said to mix a few drops of clove oil with some carrier oil like coconut oil or almond oil. I figured I had argan oil as the carrier. I was set. So the following day, I got out of my shower, poured some argan oil in my hands, mixed a few drops of clove oil in it and applied it on my face.

Now, I am not one for swearing. I don’t utter expletives since my mother ingrained in me since childhood that swearing and using bad language was a no-no. But at that moment as concentrated clove oil burned my face, I may have uttered an expletive…..or two…or maybe, more.

My face was BURNING from the clove oil. I desperately reached for soap and washed my face with cold water to get rid of the oil. But the burning sensation subsided only after splashing ice cold water for a long time. I was afraid to look at myself in the mirror fearing burnt face. No, the skin on my face was normal color, extra soft perhaps and glowing. The fact is, I grew up using cloves. It was used in our food to make rice or other dishes aromatic. We chewed it as mouth freshener. I use it now crushed within my homemade garam masala. It was used to diminish toothache when I was growing up. I know the strong taste of clove. I know clove is spicy and has quite a strong kick to it. I should have known concentrated clove oil will be strong. I did not. I paid the price for my…..for the lack of better word, stupidity.

The next morning, I ran to a natural store, bought a big bottle of sweet almond oil. I then filled a small spray bottle with almond oil, mixed a few dropper full of clove oil to create a mix of natural oils that will not only moisturize my body but surround me with the smell of cloves. I have been using the mixture successfully since. However, I have not been brave enough to try the mixture on my face yet. I think I will stay true to my two other naturals – argan and rosehip. They never exacted such a harsh price ever! They are kind and gentle. But clove oil surrounds me with an aroma I love!


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