Yep, Love Potions Are Real — Here Are 5 You Can Make At Home

Photo: Courtesy of Storey Publishing
You'd be forgiven if the phrase "love potion" makes you turn your head away in skepticism or conjures up images of a Harry Potter plotline gone wrong. After all, the traditional sense of a love potion as a flowery concoction to ensnare the object of your affection might seem like an idea best left in the medieval era.

But as licensed holistic esthetician, certified aromatherapist, and gardener Stephanie Tourles says, that's not what love potions are all about.

"A fulfilling, loving, joyful, intimate relationship between two people — whether or not it involves sexual relations — is one of the most potent and powerful healing forces in the universe," she tells Refinery29.

However, as day-to-day stress piles up, we don't always make enough time to take care of those relationships — or ourselves — as much as we should. That's where Making Love Potions comes in.

Tourles' new book, available in bookstores now, focuses on DIY recipes that will help you nourish a relationship, whether it's your connection with a significant other, your platonic friendship, or your relationship with yourself. The concoctions inside are a delight for the senses, too: from comforting tea recipes to bath milks that take relaxation to a whole other level.

And as Tourles tells us, her recipes specialize in pampering and nourishing the body — so if you're just looking for a few ways to treat yourself after a pretty garbage year, this book is for you, too.

Ahead, we've picked out five recipes that you can make at home, whether you're looking to share a night in with someone special, or you just want some much-needed solo TLC.
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Excerpted from Making Love Potions, © by Stephanie L. Tourles, illustrations by © Madelina Andronic, used with permission from Storey Publishing.
“Love Is In The Air” Lavender-Vetiver Massage Oil
Provocative vetiver brings the warmth, and lovely lavender brings the sweet, producing an earthy, smoky, exotic aroma with light grassy-floral undertones and a unisex appeal. It mellows on the skin, blossoming into an oh-so-sultry scent. Couples with a high-stress lifestyle will find this aphrodisiac blend much to their liking, as it delivers calming, grounding, and centering properties while stirring flames of passion.

Ingredients
36 drops lavender essential oil
28 drops vetiver essential oil
1 cup jojoba oil (or sunflower or almond oil)
1,000 IU vitamin E oil

To make:
Combine the lavender and vetiver essential oils in an eight-ounce glass or plastic storage bottle. Add the jojoba oil and vitamin E. Screw the top on the bottle and shake vigorously to blend the ingredients. Label the bottle and place in a dark location at room temperature (between 60° and 80°F) for 24 hours so the oils can synergize. Store at room temperature, away from heat and light; use within two years (or within one year if you used sunflower or almond oil as the base).

To use:
Shake well before each use. Apply whenever you wish, whether for massage or as a deeply penetrating body oil. For use as a bath oil, add 1 tablespoon to running water, step in, and luxuriate in earthly bliss.
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Excerpted from Making Love Potions, © by Stephanie L. Tourles, illustrations by © Madelina Andronic, used with permission from Storey Publishing.
Sip ’N’ Kiss Tea
This tea is sheer sensory delight. With a unique flavor that evokes a cross between homemade lemonade and natural ginger ale, with a strong minty zip, it teases and tantalizes, warms and cools, stimulates and tingles. It’s perfect as an after-dinner refreshment — and it doubles as a comforting gargle for sore throats, too.

Ingredients
2 cups water
1 tbsp dried peppermint (or three peppermint tea bags)
1 tbsp freshly grated ginger
2 tbsp honey, preferably raw (or your favorite natural sweetener)
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice

Makes 2 servings

To make:
Bring the water to a boil in a small saucepan; then, remove from the heat. Add the peppermint tea bags and the ginger and let steep, covered, for 30 minutes. Strain; then, stir in the honey and
lemon juice.

To serve:
Enjoy this zingy tea anytime your mouth needs a bit of refreshing, delicious stimulation. It’s wonderful whether served over ice or piping hot.
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Excerpted from Making Love Potions, © by Stephanie L. Tourles, illustrations by © Madelina Andronic, used with permission from Storey Publishing.
Lavender & Roses Body Powder
A sweet, refined floral aroma emanates from this delicate powder. Most people adore the calming, old-fashioned fragrance of lavender. And who doesn’t love the heady scent of roses? The combination is exquisite.

Ingredients
1 cup cornstarch or arrowroot powder, preferably organic
1/2 cup lavender-flower powder
1/2 cup rose petal powder
50 drops geranium essential oil
50 drops lavender essential oil

Makes about 2 cups

To make:
Combine the cornstarch, lavender powder, and rose powder in a large bowl or food processor. Gently whisk together or pulse in the food processor for 15 seconds, until well blended. Add the essential oils, drop by drop. If you’re mixing by hand, whisk the mixture slowly or place the entire batch in a large container with a tight-fitting lid and shake vigorously. If you’re using a food processor, pulse the mixture for another 15 seconds to thoroughly incorporate the oils. Does the powder feel nice and silky? If not, pass it through a flour sifter or sieve to remove any gritty or lumpy bits.

Store the powder in an airtight storage container in a cool, dark place for two weeks to allow the scent to permeate the mixture. Package the powder in smaller decorative containers, if desired, being sure to label and date each one. No refrigeration is required, but for maximum fragrance enjoyment, use within one year.

To use:
Apply as you would any body powder, by sprinkling or using a powder puff.
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Excerpted from Making Love Potions, © by Stephanie L. Tourles, illustrations by © Madelina Andronic, used with permission from Storey Publishing.
Three Cs Feel-Good Oil
Chamomile, calendula, and comfrey — the three ultra-calming, cooling, and comforting “Cs” of the herb world — contain vulnerary (tissue-healing), anti-inflammatory, mildly astringent, and emollient properties. With an amazing slip and slide on the skin, this infused oil soothes and lubricates delicate, dry intimate tissues, both internally and externally. The blend also serves as a highly penetrating and nourishing body, bath, and massage oil.

Ingredients

1/2 cup dried or 1 cup fresh calendula flowers
1/2 cup dried or 1 cup fresh chamomile flowers
1/2 cup dried or 1 cup fresh comfrey leaves
3 cups almond, jojoba, sunflower, sesame, or extra-virgin olive oil (the latter two being the heaviest in texture and strongest in scent)
2,000 IU vitamin E oil

Makes about 2 1/2 cups

To make:
If you’re using fresh calendula or comfrey, cut or tear the flowers or leaves into smaller pieces to expose more surface area to the oil (the chamomile flowers need no processing, as they are quite small). Combine the calendula, chamomile, and comfrey with your chosen base oil in a two-quart saucepan or double boiler and stir thoroughly to blend. Bring the mixture to just shy of a simmer, between 125° and 135°F. Do not let the oil actually simmer; it will degrade the quality of your infused oil.

Allow the herbs to macerate (steep) in the oil over low heat, uncovered, for five hours. Stir the mixture and check its temperature (with a candy thermometer) every 30 minutes or so, adjusting the heat accordingly. If you’re using a double boiler, add more water to the bottom as necessary, so it doesn’t dry out.

After five hours, remove the pan from the heat and let it cool for 15 minutes. While the oil is still warm, carefully strain it through a fine-mesh strainer lined with a fine filter such as muslin or, preferably, a paper coffee filter; then, strain again if necessary to remove all debris. Squeeze or press the herbs to extract as much of the precious oil as possible.

Add the vitamin E oil and stir to blend. The resulting infused oil will be a lovely hue of greenish-gold-orange, varying a bit depending on which base oil you chose. Pour the oil into elegant glass storage bottles (though plastic squeeze bottles may be more convenient for use); then cap, label, and store in a dark, cool cabinet for up to one year.

To use:
Use liberally and joyfully, any- and everywhere, to inspire natural lubrication, or apply as needed to lubricate, soothe, and comfort dry intimate tissues. Doubles as a skin-conditioning bath, body, or massage oil.

Caution:
This oil is not latex-friendly.
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Excerpted from Making Love Potions, © by Stephanie L. Tourles, illustrations by © Madelina Andronic, used with permission from Storey Publishing.
Soft-As-Silk Aromatherapeutic Milk Bath
For skin that’s deeply moisturized and touchably soft, this simple yet indulgent milk bath is sure to please. Customize it by choosing an essential oil that benefits your emotional and physical needs.

Ingredients
3/4 cup powdered milk (whole or nonfat), preferably organic
1 tbsp jojoba, sunflower, almond, or your favorite oil
8 drops essential oil(s) of your choice:

Calming & soothing
Lavender, patchouli, vetiver, Roman chamomile, Australian sandalwood, vanilla (CO2)

Stimulating
Ginger, cardamom, allspice, cedarwood

Gently uplifting & balancing
Geranium, petitgrain, rose, palmarosa, frankincense

To make:
Pour the powdered milk and oil together directly under the running bathwater. When the tub is full, add the essential oil, then step into the tub. Swish the water with your hands to mix.

To use:
Relax. Submerge your entire body in this moisturizing bath for about 20 minutes. Pat dry, and follow with an application of your favorite moisturizer, if desired.