I recently took a trip to the Seychelles Islands for a natural perfumery class with Isabelle Gelle at the Perfumery Art School.
The Republic of Seychelles is an archipelago nation of 115 islands in the Indian Ocean, all east of mainland Africa, and northeast of the island of Madagascar. Seychelles has the smallest population of any state in Africa.
During the class we visited several islands. On the island of La Digue, we were fortunate enough to see where the coconut oil production happens. The Seychelles Islands have an abundance of coconut trees, and are the perfect place to produce coconut oil!
In the Seychelles, they still use a traditional coconut oil production method. The coconuts are dried in a hot oven for 4–5 days, and then pressed. The pressing is done with an ox-powered mill.
Yes, I did just say an ox-powered mill! We walked over to the pressing area and there was the precious ox, taking a rest from the pressing!
Dry processing requires the meat to be extracted from the coconut shell and dried using fire, sunlight, or kilns to create copra (dried meat of the coconut used to extract the oil). They use a kiln in the Seychelles. The copra is then pressed in the ox-powered mill, producing a beautiful coconut oil!
We bought a small bottle of the coconut oil and I am using it on my skin after sun exposure (see my recipe below). I also put a little coconut oil on my toothbrush when I brush my teeth!
Tropical Skin Delight
1 oz (30 ml) coconut oil
5 drops Lavender
2 drops Distilled Lime
1 drop Patchouli or Vetiver (or both)
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