Tuesday, May 3, 2011

On Shea Butter and Solid Perfumes: A Follow Up to My Petites by Tatyana Solid Perfume posts.

After reading my review of Petites by Tatyana by Aqua de Luna, the owners got in touch with me again to address the consistency issues I was experiencing with the small perfumes. As I suspected, it has to do with the delivery mechanism, which is Shea Butter.

So What Exactly IS Shea Butter?
I decided to do my own Google search on Shea Butter and wound up on Wikipedia's entry for Shea Butter. It's a fat, which we knew, and it comes from the nut of the Shea tree. What I didn't know was that sometimes it's used as a substitute in cooking for cocoa, even though it tastes different. That doesn't mean you can go eating your shea butter cosmetics, but I guess shea butter itself actually is edible.

What Stefan Told Me About Shea Butter in the Petites
According to Stefan of Aqua de Luna, shea butter can have different consistencies depending on where it comes from and the age at which it is harvested. Apparently, if you want harder shea butter, you have to harvest it at 3 months or younger and you'll have better luck if your nuts come from West Africa. You can harvest it from Central Africa and you'll pretty much be guaranteed to have a butter that is soft.

Stefan took the time also to remind me of the following things:
  • Aqua de Luna recommends storing the Petites in a cool dry place. 
  • Placing particualrly soft ones in the fridge might not be a bad idea.
  • In the end it's a natural product - I took this to mean yes, of course there will be consistency issues.
On the subject of using Bees Wax
Yes, bees wax can be harder than shea butter as a delivery system and is often used in solid perfumes. Technically, although natural, Bees' Wax is an animal byproduct and therefore not vegan. Aqua de Luna seems to take great pride in the fact that their Petites by Tatyana are vegan.

Interesting? I thought so.