The furniture polish recipe below is an old one I’ve found in dozens of books. My favourite is called the Merry Wives of Windsor Balm. I’m not sure what the addition of lemon balm does to this, as the smell of turps somewhat overpowers the lemon scent, but it is such a good polish I didn’t mess with the recipe. I’ve also used this on my unpolished floorboards. It will solidify over time, but you simply need to heat it by sitting it in the sun or next to a heater for a while and then giving it a good shake to restore it to its glorious unctuous self.

Lemon Furniture Polish

250ml turps

80g beeswax

20g Sunlight Soap, grated

250ml tea, made from infusing a handful of lemon balm leaves in boiling water

20 drops essential oil

Place beeswax and turps in a double boiler. Heat gently and do not take your eye off the mixture, as turps is highly flammable. When they are combined put to one side and melt the grated soap in the lemon balm tea. When both mixtures are cool mix together until creamy then add the essential oil. Pour into a wide-mouthed jar.