Formulating for a Romantic Evening is a lot like formulating for just about anything else. If you take the time to do all the steps, you’ll have a formula that’s more likely to work as if by magic. If you don’t take the time to practice the steps, you’re less likely to create the results you want…although sometimes you’ll get lucky. Me, I like to shift those odds to favor my desired outcome. Formulation is part science and part art. Whether you favor the science-side or the art-side doesn’t matter so much, so long as you take time to Observe, Consider Creatively, and Let Go.
Observation: See What’s Really There
The first step is to get in-touch with where I’m at in my life. I’m not aiming for a deep-dive into what motivates me or how I may or may not be doing on my major Life Goals here. What I’m looking for is a reasonable read on how my body-mind-spirit are doing today.
- Am I feeling generally confident with the direction I’m taking, or are there areas where I’m feeling weak or vulnerable?
- Where have my emotions been? Irritability? Anxiety? Depression? Even-keel?
- Do I feel like the to-do list is a mile long and I’m hobbling along in four-inch heels as fast as I can? Or, is everything moving along at a reasonable pace?
- Does my body feel healthy and vibrant? Are there areas of tension, pain, disturbance?
Asking those kinds of questions helps me assess what I most need to be in the right place for success in Intimacy. It also helps you tune into your own needs and take deeper care of yourself. Giving yourself a bit of care is key to being truly present and intimate with another.
The second step is to get in-touch with where my partner’s at in their life. The aim is the same as it was when I was checking in with myself; I want to see my partner with clear eyes so I can offer the right tools to help them enjoy the experience as much as possible. It’s also about taking time to really know your partner.
These two steps are all about observation. Just like when you’re formulating for someone with an illness, like a cold or flu, you need to set aside your ideas and just observe, no judgement and no problem-solving. It doesn’t need to be a long process, either. Five minutes of quiet in a place where you won’t be disturbed can be plenty. When you have a good idea of the state you’re in and you have a good idea of where your partner’s at, you can move on to choosing your tools creatively.
Creative Consideration: Choosing the Right Tools
This is the fun part. Now that you’ve got an idea of where each of you are, you can select a few plants to help you create the perfect space for romance that’s tailored to your own needs.
Kick off the Night Right
My personal favorites to kick the evening off right include herbs that help relax the nervous system and boost energy and mood a little. Tulsi is at the top of my list alongside Lavender and Rosemary. All three help to ease stress and soothe nerves, which makes the transition into an evening (or anytime) of Love-making gentle and clear. I like to go light with Lavender and Rosemary because their flavors are strong and can easily overpower the blend.
I like to add some Rose to my Love potions primarily for the heart-opening and healing effect it has. Rose petals are my personal favorite for their lovely scent and color. Many people have strong associations with Rose. Rosehips offer a good substitute for Rose petals should the scent of Rose be less alluring than desired.
Chamomile is a terrific herb to add to your blend if you or your partner tends to feel emotion, including stress and anxiety, strongly or through the digestive system. It’s also a terrific partner for folks who are highly sensitive, helping them to feel powerful and grounded and to soothe overstimulation.
My two favorite options for consuming your herbs are in tea or in an herbed wine.
If you’re making a tea, you can aim for a cold-brew tea by infusing the herbs earlier in the day and serving the resulted tea diluted with a bit of hot water for a warm cup or over ice for a cool cup. If you’re making an herbed wine, decant your wine and add the dried or fresh herbs to it at least a few hours in advance. You can let the wine stand for as much as eight hours, although longer may cause your wine to oxidate and thus lose some of its vibrance.
In any case, use about 1 Tablespoon (15 ml) of dried herb blend per 8 ounces (237 ml) of finished brew. So, if you’re infusing a bottle of red wine, you’ll add roughly 3 Tbsp of dried herb blend. The idea is not to produce a strongly medicinal brew as much as to create an enjoyable flavor with a hint of medicinal properties, just enough to shift your mood and help you synchronize with your partner.
Pre-Romance Herbal Blend
- 1 part Tulsi
- 1 part Rose buds, petals or hips
- 1 part Chamomile (optional)
- 1/2 part Rosemary
- 1/4 part Lavender
As an herbalist, this part can be one of the hardest pieces of formulation. Once you’ve assessed the situation and created a blend or two, it’s time to let go and wait for the results. When you’re formulating for Romance, whether it’s for your own indulgence or that of another, letting go is just as important as it is when you’re formulating for any other situation.
How do I Let Go?
First, ensure you have your blends ready. Lay out the tools you’ll need for making tea or decant, infuse, and strain your wine or infused herbal tea. Set your Herbal Assistants in strategic locations where they’ll be ready to assist appropriately. Do whatever you need to do to prepare for your evening.
Then, take a few moments before connecting with your partner to shut off all distractions and let your mind relax. Write down anything pressing you want to be sure you won’t forget, and then set it aside. I like to email myself the list and then turn the email program on my phone off so it won’t alert me that I’ve got an email. However you do it, your goal is to clear the demands, details, and clutter from your mind so that you can focus entirely on your own body and on your partner. This is the letting go.
When you Let Go, you allow yourself and your partner to move in rhythm with one another, responding to each moment with care and attentiveness that deepens the experience for the both of you. This, ultimately, is the goal of the perfect Romantic Evening, is it not?