Cocoa-Rose Bath Truffles and Romancing The Self
Ah, roses, the long-standing symbol of love. As the month flips to February and Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, our focus shifts to romance. We order roses, buy chocolates, pick out expensive jewelry, make reservations. We become hyper-aware of our relationship status and the love that is (or isn’t) in our lives.
But what if I told you that romance does not have to be directed towards another person, but can instead be given to yourself? Regardless of your relationship status, showing yourself love is important. The sensuality of fragrant roses or delicious chocolate can be acquired simply for your own pleasure. The bliss of a night out on the town does not require a partner or date. And the same way that you seek to understand another person over your first (or five hundredth) dinner together can be applied to getting to know yourself on a deeper level. There’s a perceived shame in this; something about treating yourself to the pleasures you might lavish upon another can be viewed as selfish. I disagree. I believe that to love ones self is the truest love there is, and it fills our reserve to make us better at loving others as well, in any capacity.
These cocoa-rose bath truffles would make a decadent Valentine’s day gift, it’s true. And you may well make them for that. But I challenge you, reader, to do something entirely for yourself this year. Whether or not you are in a relationship, whether or not you have plans, whether or not you think you have time - make some time, sometime soon, to give yourself exactly what you want. Spend a day treating yourself to your own undivided attention and unconditional love.
A ritual for personal romance:
Spend a day - a whole day, if you can manage it - without anything specific to do.
Wake up at a time that feels good to you. Before you get out of bed, allow yourself to savor that half-asleep cozy feeling of having nowhere to be. Take a few deep breaths, filling your lungs with the beauty of a new day and releasing any residual stress as you exhale. Start your day off by intentionally sinking into a feeling of relaxation. Turn off your computer. Turn on some nice lights or light some candles. Take a sensual shower - perhaps with the cocoa-rose shower truffles below. Cook yourself a good breakfast and take your time preparing it and presenting it to yourself. Turn on some music and dance as you tidy up. Then, decide exactly what you feel like doing in that moment.
Start small - go on a short walk, grab a cup of tea or coffee from the shop nearby, snuggle with your dog. Pay attention to how you feel. If you start to feel stressed or rushed, see if you can find the source of that stress and release it. Remember, you don’t need to stick to any kind of schedule whatsoever on this day. If you’d like to spend your entire day wandering around your neighborhood, that is exactly what you should do.
If you’re feeling more adventuresome, reflect upon what would truly make you happy. Is there a new restaurant you’ve been wanting to try? A part of town you haven’t already explored? A favorite park you haven’t been to in a long time? Do exactly what you want to do, when you want to do it. Release the idea of schedules. Eat when you are hungry. Nap when you are tired. Savor the little beauties and indulgences of the day.
At the end of the day, reflect on these questions (perhaps even write them down somewhere):
- How slowly or quickly did you naturally move today? What pace felt comfortable to you?
- How much of your day did you spend resting? How much did you spend moving?
- What parts of your day were the most enjoyable? Why?
Pay attention to your answers. These are important. These are clues to what your body and soul need. Start honoring those needs on a frequent basis. You don’t need to spend an entire day; you can simply plan your free time around what you truly want to do, rather than what others expect you to want to do. When you exercise, do so in a way that feels truly in-line with your own rhythms and pace (I, for one, prefer long wanders through the woods while my sister enjoys high-energy vigorous workouts. Neither one is wrong, just different.) When you feel tension in your body, listen to it. It’s telling you something. If you feel stressed, check in with yourself about your pace and consider whether or not you are honoring it. Know the difference between when to let go and when to rush; there is a time for quick work, but problems arise when we get stuck in a mode that is incongruent with our temperaments for too long. Prioritize your rushingness over things that are truly important. Release the stresses that aren’t. Indulge in the little sensualities that bring pleasure and joy to your life. Show yourself the same love and care that you’d show a cherished friend or romantic partner. You are deserving of your own love.
And now, back to the indulgences at hand:
These shower truffles are my new favorite treat. They are rich and luxurious, smelling of fresh roses and rich chocolate. The various butters and oils are deeply nourishing to the skin and the powdered rose hips are a gentle exfoliant to make your skin feel extra refreshed. These little gems are packed with antioxidants, from the rose hips and the cocoa powder especially. I like to take a couple of them into the shower with me and rub my arms, legs, and torso with them. The heat of the shower releases their rich scent (I’ll warn you now - you may want some chocolate close at hand to nibble on afterwards) and the running water makes for a simple clean up. The pairing is iconic, tantalizing, and sensual. And they’re both ridiculously easy to make and pretty dang cost effective!
“roses have tantalized, seduced, and intoxicated people more than any other flower. They’ve captivated homeowners, swains, flower addicts, and sensualists since the ancients. In Damascus and Persia, people used to bury jars of unopened rosebuds in the garden, and dig them up on special occasions to use in cooking — the flowers would open up dramatically on the plate.” - Diane Ackerman, A Natural History of the Senses
Cocoa-Rose Shower Truffles:
1/3 c. apricot butter
1/2 c. cocoa butter
1/4 c. coconut oil
2 Tbs. rose hip powder
1 tsp. rose hip seed oil
1/3 c. cocoa powder
12 drops rose essential oil or absolute
a little extra cocoa butter
natural colorants of choice - I used turmeric, powdered beets, spirulina, and matcha.
body-safe luster dust, optional.
a polycarbonate chocolate mold of choice
- First melt a little of your cocoa butter in a double boiler over medium heat. Stir in a little of you chosen colorant, then brush or splatter it into your chocolate mold. You just want a very thin layer in your mold for some color. Let it harden in the fridge, then mix some luster dust into the melted cocoa butter and brush that on as well. It gives a shimmery depth to your design. This entire step is optional, though, if you just want plain dark brown truffles.
- Melt the rest of the cocoa butter, apricot butter, and coconut oil in a small bowl over a double boiler or in the microwave with short blasts. Mix well, and add the rose hip powder, rose hip seed oil, and cocoa powder and mix well. Add the rose essential oil and mix in.
- Pour this mixture into your molds and allow them to set up completely, then tap your mold upside-down on the counter to release the truffles. It helps to refrigerate them for a couple of hours first.
- Place the truffles in little candy cups and package them in a box to give as a gift to someone else, or yourself.
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