These handmade beads are strung on elastic cord and worn under clothing, against the skin. Traditionally, they're worn around women's waists but some modern variations place them around the necks as well. Their fragrance intensifies with body heat. No two women's beads are the same because the floral fragrance combines subtly with one's own. The waist beads are rarely removed and are considered very intimate and erotic. They are believed to please a current lover or if you're single, to entice a new one.
Here are three variations, based upon various traditions from West Africa and the Arabian Peninsula. Technique used to form the actual beads varies slightly based upon the ingredients, however, once completed, feel free to combine the beads in any way to form your chains of love.
The quantity of rose petals depends upon the size chain you need. Pink roses are customary or you can use yellow flowers to please Oshun, Orisha of Love. Choose what pleases you.
1. Process the rose petals in a food processor or mortar and pestle until they form a paste.
2. Roll into pea-size balls.
3. Allow them to dry, ideally on screens that allow air to circulate.
4. When they are just slightly damp, pierce each bead with a large needle so that you will be able to string them.
5. Having allowed the beads to dry completely, string them on elastic cord to form a chain.
3 tablespoons gum arabic
1 tablespoon sweet almond oil
5 drops essential oil of myrrh
1. Mix the ingredients together in a small bowl to form a paste.
2. Roll them into pea-size beads.
3. Pierce each bead with a thick needle and allow them to dry overnight. They may then be strung onto elastic cord.
Enhance the power and fragrance of any of these beads by rolling them in powdered orrisroot (a natural preservative possessing a divine, aphrodisiac fragrance) just before stringing. Should you get bored with your beads, don't dispose of them but burn them one by one as “Come Hither” incense. In the meantime, if you're not wearing them, store the beads in sealed containers with “Love Potpourri.”
1 teaspoon saffron threads
1 teaspoon myrrh or labdanum (rock rose) resin
Pearls and/or gold spacer beads (optional)
1. Pound saffron into the resin using a mortar and pestle.
2. When it is combined and malleable, roll into pea-size beads.
3. Pierce each bead with a thick needle and allow to dry.
4. String these beads onto elastic cord in combination with pearls and gold spacer beads, if you like.