Review by Sharon –
I’ve talked about the importance of this book in my own life many times. It’s actually the first all-natural beauty book that I ever read. I sought this book out in the early 90’s for a class I wanted to give my clients (I’m an esthetician). I looked high and low for a book that would give me some simple recipes that I could teach. I knew about the usual at-home treatments, like Avocado as a softening mask, or Cucumbers on the eyes to reduce inflammation. But I was looking for more interesting recipes that weren’t easily found elsewhere. After looking high and low, this book, ‘Kitchen Cosmetics’ by Jeanne Rose was the only book that I could find at the time. And what an absolute JEWEL I found!
My house could have caught on fire while I was reading this and I wouldn’t have known. I couldn’t put it down! I felt like my best friend was speaking to me through each page. This was a woman that ‘got’ me, she ‘knew’ me when everyone else around me didn’t. She understood for my thirst for all-natural beauty care! I respectfully say that when I read this I thought that this was a homemaker in her kitchen that had done some playing in the garden and kitchen and had whipped up these delightful concoctions out of sheer fun and frolic. Little did I know that this was a very well-educated scholar and experienced herbalist/aromatherapist that had already written 8 herbals by this time. This book is written for anyone to understand and appreciate. From the novice to the expert, there is something for everyone to appreciate in this book.
To start with, there are over 100 of Ms. Rose’s favorite recipes! But more importantly she goes into the ‘whys’ of what she does. Again, she doesn’t speak down to us, she speaks to us as an equal… a friend. Her knowledge comes through warm and clear. The basic tips and how-tos in this book has made it one that I still refer to often. She teaches us how to harvest and dry our own herbs, as well as simple directions on how to make creams, lotions, ointments, salves, unguents, teas, infusion, tisanes, and decoctions. She discusses each important herbal ingredient with care, discussing it’s uses, properties, lore and even her own personal experiences with it. You can feel her love and respect for each ingredient. It’s a love I share, so I read each thought with delight.
I believe that this book should be the staple in your all-natural beauty library. If you don’t already have this, it’s high time you did. I wouldn’t let another day go by without ordering it. There are many books out there that are ‘trying’ to be ‘this’ book. But in my opinion, this is the original. It’s written by one of the great herbalists of our time, that takes special pleasure in teaching about natural beauty care. This makes her a rare breed indeed. There are many herbalists out there, but few that have taken such a keen interest in directing that knowledge towards beauty care. Ms. Rose has now written over 30 books on herbs, aromatherapy and natural beauty. She also travels the country teaching seminars. There are also 3 separate at-home courses that she personally teaches. As I frequently say, “If you want to learn about all-natural beauty care from the best… learn from Jeanne Rose”.
From ‘Kitchen Cosmetics’
about Ms. Rose’s Garden:
“A walk through my garden takes five brief minutes or several long days. But it is mainly a garden of easy care. There are no fancy knot patterns here, but plain herbs, simply laid out and simply cared for. It is first and foremost a garden to be enjoyed and richly savoured. The herbs are all simple to grow and easily used in my kitchen cosmetics.
So walk among the plants, pick some that please you, simmer them in water, and enjoy yourself and the wonderful, beautifying unguents that you will make.”
– Jeanne Rose
A testimonial from the Jeanne Rose site ~
Kitchen Cosmetics – Using herbs, fruit, & flowers for natural bodycare
“A splendid little book with beautiful illustrations. It’s extremely well-designed and printed. It’s exactly the way to interest someone like you and me in the ‘old receipts’!”
Publisher: North Atlantic Books, Berkely, CA – Copyright 1978