Forest Bathing and Japanese Yakusugi Essential Oil by Sal Battaglia

Hello natural beauties! Following on from the last post about Sal Battaglia’s AROMATREE book, I’d like to share 2 other lovely experiences from that day in Sydney: Shinrin-yoku (Japanese forest bathing) and the very powerful yakusugi oil.

Buy my 100% natural and organic botanical perfumes, and paperback book here:

suzannerbanks.com.au

                     Digital downloads and paper backs of my book                              Revelation! Reveal your Destiny with Essentials Oils here:

Barnes & Noble      Booktopia AU      Amazon UK

Shinrin-yoku, or forest bathing, was created in Japan in the 1980’s as a way to invite people into the beautiful forests to simply experience the serenity, power and positive energy they provide. This was spearheaded by the director of the Japanese Forestry Agency to help people destress. He had himself been inspired by 17th century haiku poets, and the notion was to simply commune with nature. Not walking or running, not listening to a podcast, just being in the beauty of nature.

In this little guidebook we are invited to dip our hands and fingers in a stream, feel the trunk of an ancient tree, smell the fragrances of the forest and use all our senses to drink in the delights of nature.

The benefits include, reduced muscle tension and stress in general, improved cognitive function and help with anxiety and other emotional disorders. I walk in the Australian bush all the time and I know it makes me happy as I get a kick from the beautiful eucalyptus oil and smells of the bush. The phytoncides (including essential oils) from trees and shrubs give us the immense connection to the divine while having our entire physical and emotional senses enlivened.

Of course I bought the little collection of Japanese oils and have bathed with them many times. Not only that, I also received a free gift …

And now to the very interesting and extremely limited edition of Yakusugi essential oil which would have already sold out by now. When I realised this oil was in short supply I did buy it and then opened it straight away. I said to the lady sitting next to me that I thought it had a moist fungal-like scent to it. Since then I also get a slight hint of Palo Santo.

Sal describes the scent: “a delicate, woody note with a sweet-resiny woody undertone”, and recommends the oil could be used as an enhancement to spirituality, and a stress reliever. The oil is high in sesquiterpenes but has had little research into its qualities. So if you get a chance to experience the oil, just enjoy!

This oil is also called Japanese cedar, and hails from the island of Yakushima. The oil is steam distilled from ancient fallen trees (deadwood) from Cryptomeria japonica, by a local producer. If you’re interested in this oil I’d sign up to the Perfect Potion email list in the exciting event that Sal is able to buy more of this precious oil.

I feel very fortunate to have this subtle yet powerful oil in my collection.

Yay! Thank you x

Sal Battaglia’s AROMATREE Book Launch and Masterclass, Sydney

Hello natural beauties! Its been a while since we’ve seen each other but I am helping my elderly parents navigate their 90’s! I managed to escape the other day to a wonderful masterclass and an introduction to his new book, Aromatree, by the wonderful Sal Battaglia of Perfect Potion.

Buy my 100% natural and organic botanical perfumes, and paperback book here:

suzannerbanks.com.au

                     Digital downloads and paper backs of my book                              Revelation! Reveal your Destiny with Essentials Oils here:

Barnes & Noble      Booktopia AU      Amazon UK

It’s not often I actually attend a specific aromatherapy workshop, and couldn’t even tell you the last time I did. I managed to see this event one night and thought “yep”, I’ll do that”. As I arrived at the Swissotel in Sydney I was surprised to see over 100 bubbly excited people jostling for good spots in the lecture room, was given information by lovely Perfect Potion staff, and took a seat. I have never heard Sal speak or present, and as the day wore on I realised I was in the minority.

The gorgeous AROMATREE book with illustration (and original painting) by Japanese artist

My neighbours to my left and right, gave each other knowing looks as Sal burst onto centre stage.

He’s wonderful isn’t he?

“I love his infectious enthusiasm.”

“He’s so knowledgeable.”

“I do all his masterclasses.”

And so it continues all day,, as I too get caught in the wave of his gentility, enthusiasm and brilliance. Where have I been the past 25 years? I suppose just working, and writing.

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Sal Battaglia talking about forest bathing

Aromatree, the book has been in the making for 30 years as Sal has gathered information and created hypotheses about essential oils and how they fall into categories:

roots and rhizomes

wood

resin

fruit

seeds

leaves

flowers

Sal looks at the oils in each category and invites us to experience the oil first, before we try and make judgements about what we think it should do. However the oils within the categories have some common properties.

Sal’s amazing text book – the original which I’ve had for 20 years and the 3rd Edition which is the latest

In each section we are taken on a journey: what oils belong to the section, what are the plant families and aromas, the botany, chemistry and symbolism, the properties of the oils in each category and how they work with our body and mind. There’s so much more but you get the drift. At the end of the book there are some more technical terms explained with loads of great references too.

It really is a gorgeous book, easy to read with lots of colourful illustrations. The cover artwork was created as a beautiful original painting by Japanese artist Tomoko Ichikawa. I highly recommend AROMATREE by Salvatore Battaglia, the true Svengali of aromatherapy.

Me and Sal with the colourful Aromatree book, personally signed by Sal with an inspirational message

To buy the book click this link.

Stay tuned next time for and introduction to Shinrin-yoku and the Perfect Potion limited edition Yakusugi oil (now sold out).

Enliven Your Mind, Make Pesto

I’ve got a brilliant idea. Make dinner and have an aromatherapy treatment all at the same time. My choice for today is pesto, vegan of course. This classic Italian dish with a vegan twist is made with fresh sweet basil. Sweet basil (Ocimum basilicum) is the kind most used for pesto and other European dishes,  and the most common basil essential oil.

Buy my 100% natural and organic botanical perfumes, and paperback book here:

suzannerbanks.com.au

                     Digital downloads and paper backs of my book                              Revelation! Reveal your Destiny with Essentials Oils here:

Barnes & Noble      Booktopia AU      Amazon UK

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beautiful pungent sweet basil

Basil takes its name from the latin ’Basileum’ meaning royal. There are many types of basil, which belong to the herb family that includes lavender, mint, thyme, patchouli, marjoram and many others.

Holy Basil, also known as tulsi is from India (Ocimum tenuiflorum), and also makes a great essential oil and is used in Ayurvedic medicine. This holy plant and is dedicated to Vishnu and Krishna.

Thai basil used across South East Asian has the botanical name (Ocimum basilicum var. thyrsiflora) but I’ve never used it as an essential oil. It’s used in Vietnamese cooking too and tops a lovely pho.

Thai Basil from bonappetit.com

So what can basil, and essential oil of basil do for you? Sharp and spicy, basil helps clear the head and open avenues of expression. It is a very powerful clearing oil, particularly effective when used in a vapouriser as an inhalation, or when you are cooking. It is used for mental and physical fatigue and its anti-spasmodic properties make it ideal for treating menstrual problems and digestive disorders. It is also used for

* Sinus congestion, asthma and bronchitis are all soothed by basil.

* Fever can be treated effectively with basil.

* In the middle ages it was prescribed for melancholy and depression.

Vegan pesto from taste.com.au

I love the fact that this modest little herb with a big presence has been around for ages. Literally ages. The old herbs of healers and witches alike are still here because they work. Food is medicine, and always has been.Fantastic. Get cooking. Click here for a really easy and authentic pesto recipe.


Remember, treat yourself first, than everyone else benefits!

Your Essential Oil for the Lunar New Year of the PIG!

Yes it’s a new year! Was 2018 a dog of a year for you?  It seemed to me that it was for a lot of people, and maybe that’s because it was Year of the Dog. The pig year will bring lots of fun things so please read on the find out which oil is  your power oil for 2019. Essential oils and botanical extracts are wonderful  conduits for invoking new energy, are helpers in everyday life and they smell  wonderful!

 

Buy my 100% natural and organic botanical perfumes, and paperback book here:

suzannerbanks.com.au

                     Digital downloads and paper backs of my book                              Revelation! Reveal your Destiny with Essentials Oils here:

Barnes & Noble      Booktopia AU      Amazon UK

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2019 is the year of the yin (female) earth pig.

Yay. I think? 

This year is connected to the soil and the water and can be a year of relaxation  and carefreeness, but also climate instability.

Money and finances world wide could become less important or weak, as modesty and spirituality become more of a focus. 

As the last animal in the Chinese zodiac the pig likes to over-indulge but also realises the importance of a healthy body too.

Year of the Pig 2019

Keywords: review relationships, keep active, be generous, forgive, enjoy 

Oil: petitgrain


Your Chinese Zodiac in the Year of the Pig

Rat

Keywords: open up, new horizons, end of a era

Oil: bergamot


Ox

Keywords: resilience, sew seeds for the future, social

Oil: Virginian cedarwood


Tiger

Keywords: flexibility, relaxed home life, surprises

Oil: cinnamon


Rabbit

Keywords: up-skill, peacefulness, lighten up

Oil: geranium


Dragon

Keywords: rewards, release, hope

Oil: basil


Snake

Keywords: challenges, rest, acceptance

Oil: Australian sandalwood


Horse

Keywords: rejuvenate, prioritise, be creative

Oil: amber


Goat

Keywords: travel, parties, strength

Oil: neroli


Monkey

Keywords: learning, consolidation, luck

Oil: myrrh


Rooster

Keywords: strategy, destiny, synchronicity

Oil: lime


Dog

Keywords: opportunities, happiness, planning

Oil: black spruce


So what is your oil this year and are you happy with my little key words?

I wish you a wonderful year and look forward to connecting with you about natural scent and essential oils in 2019!

恭喜发财 Gōngxǐ fācái  Happiness and prosperity

Festivus 2018 and the Essential Oils Recipes for a Marvellous Day

Festivus is here again and I couldn’t be more excited. I’ve created some recipes to stand alongside the key parts to this wonderful day. What is Festivus you may ask? It’s the holiday that crushes Hanukkah and Christmas, allows a coming together of like minds, and gives a day of fun for those who are not religious. Celebrated by George Costanza’s father, Frank, (from the comedy show Seinfeld), let’s embrace this fabulous celebration! 

Buy my 100% natural and organic botanical perfumes, and paperback book here:

suzannerbanks.com.au

                     Digital downloads and paper backs of my book                              Revelation! Reveal your Destiny with Essentials Oils here:

Barnes & Noble      Booktopia AU      Amazon UK

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Festivus for the rest of us! pic via www.tshirtbordello.com
Festivus for the rest of us! pic via http://www.tshirtbordello.com

To be more precise it’s the family of the writer of this episode who created Festivus:

Festivus was conceived by editor and author Daniel O’Keefe and was celebrated by his family as early as 1966. In the original O’Keefe tradition, the holiday would take place in response to family tension, “any time from December to May”.] The phrase, “a Festivus for the rest of us”, also derived from an O’Keefe family event, the death of Daniel O’Keefe’s mother.
Wikipedia


The Festivus Pole

The Festivus Pole replaces the Christmas tree and stands unadorned:

“Frank Costanza cites its “very high strength-to-weight ratio” as appealing. During Festivus, the pole is displayed unadorned. According to Frank, “I find tinsel distracting.”

Wikipedia

I love the simplicity of the Festivus pole and I’m hoping it can inspire you to simplify this Christmas Here are a couple of blends for yourself, to help to feel less stressed and more streamlined.


Method: Nourishing Body Oil Blend

For a coat of your body use 3 teaspoons of carrier oil in a little dish and, add 7 – 8 drops of essential oil. It’s always best to patch test first, before you apply all over.

***** Always put the drops of essential oil into the bottle or dish first, then add the carrier oil. It gives the scents time to create a synergistic fusion.

For a 50ml bottle of oil add 25 drops and see my articles “Ratios for Blending Essential Oils – A Reminder of the Basics” and “Aromatherapy – It’s Easy as 1 2 3”

The classic Duralex glass dish is handy to make oil blends and quick perfumes in

“Silver”

Lemongrass                  3 drops

Cedarwood Virginian     2 drops

Peru Balsam                  2 drops


La Verité

Bergamot                     5 drops

Geranium                     2 drops

Vetiver                          1 drop


The Airing of Greivances
The Airing of Grievances pic via  festivusweb.com

Ah yes the Airing of Grievances, straight after the Festivus dinner, seems a good way to finish off the year and start the new year afresh. Here are a couple of blends for your space to support this difficult yet necessary part of Festivus.


Method: Scent Your Space

In a traditional oil burner with a candle or a diffuser add 25 drops of oil

“Release Frustration and Anger”

Mandarin         12 drops

Ylang Ylang       6 drops

Marjoram           4 drops

Frankincense     3 drops


“Forgive”

Orange          10 drops

Palmarosa       8 drops

Lavender         4 drops

Patchouli         3 drops


Feats of Strength!
Feats of Strength! pic via festivusweb.com

The Feats of Strength championship finalises the Festivus celebrations. As depicted above, when the head of the household is pinned to the ground, the day concludes. here are a couple of blends to help you find inner strength this holiday time.


Method: Pure Pulse Point Perfume

In a little dish mix these oils and anoint your pulse points or chakras – 3 drops of essential oils and dilute with a few drops of carrier oil – always patch test first!

“Courage and Endurance”

Lavender                1 drop

Black Spruce         1 drop

Lime                      1 drop


“Inner Calm”

Melissa                   1 drop

Vanilla CO2             1 drop

Indian Rosewood    1 drop


clove oranges – tedious to make and then they went mouldly within a week due to the humidity in Sydney

Whatever you’re doing this Christmas season, whether you celebrate or not, I hope you are able to reflect on the good things life can bring – even if they are very small.

How will you be celebrating and which oils are calling to you?

ps this is a reblog from last year

Essential Oil Blends for Christmas

Hello dear natural beauties, I hope you’re winding down to the end of the year. It’s always great in Australia as summer kicks in too! We wait all year, for all the good things in one season. That’s life in the southern hemisphere. Here’s a few oil blends for the diffuser this “holiday’ time …

Buy my 100% natural and organic botanical perfumes, and paperback book here:

suzannerbanks.com.au

                     Digital downloads and paper backs of my book                              Revelation! Reveal your Destiny with Essentials Oils here:

Barnes & Noble      Booktopia AU      Amazon UK

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For the Winter Christmas Diffuser

clove oranges – tedious to make and then they went mouldly within a week due to the humidity in Sydney

White Christmas

  • Lemon                         10 drops
  • Patchouli                      6 drops
  • Juniper                         5 drops
  • Cedarwood Virginian   4 drops

Here Comes Santa’s Sleigh

  • Orange               13 drops
  • Cinnamon             6 drops
  • Rosemary             6 drops

Sugar and Spice

  • Petitgrain      10 drops
  • Ginger            5 drops
  • Clove             5 drops
  • Nutmeg         5  drops

juniper berries

A Quick Winter Perfume: a few drops in a little dish with a splash of jojoba

  • Roman Chamomile 3%  3 drops *info on 3% blends
  • Juniper                            1 drop
  • Peru Balsam                   1 drop

For the Summer Christmas Diffuser

beach by me

Buzz Off

  • Citronella           10 drops
  • Clove                   5 drops
  • Cinnamon            5 drops
  • Rose Geranium    5 drops

Bush Christmas

  • Orange                             12 drops
  • Cypress                             5 drops
  • Australian sandalwood       8 drops

Get Out of the Sun

  • Mandarin          14 drops
  • Lavender          8 drops
  • Marjoram          6 drops

Lime oil has more depth than the other citrus oils

A Quick Summer Perfume: a few drops in a little dish with a splash of jojoba

Summer Love

  • Lemongrass    1 drop
  • Rosewood       1 drop
  • Lime                 1 drop

Thanks for stopping by, I hope you enjoy the last days of the year.

Emily Dickinson’s Herbarium

Hello dearest natural beauties wherever you are! I recently found a beautiful article on the American poet Emily Dickinson. The article talks about her love of flowers and her craft of growing, collecting, pressing and recording them in books. Her ‘herbarium” is a 60 page collection of around 400 flowers from the Amherst region in Massachusetts. The original article from Maria Popova for  brainpickings.org can be found here.

Buy my 100% natural and organic botanical perfumes, and paperback book here:

suzannerbanks.com.au

                     Digital downloads and paper backs of my book                              Revelation! Reveal your Destiny with Essentials Oils here:

Barnes & Noble      Booktopia AU      Amazon UK

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Page from Emily Dickinson’s herbarium (Houghton Library, Harvard University)

“Dickinson started studying botany at the age of nine and assisting her mother at the garden at twelve, but it wasn’t until she began attending Mount Holyoke in her late teens — around the time the only authenticated daguerrotype of her was taken — that she began approaching her botanical zeal with scientific rigor.”

brainpickings.org “Emily Dickinson’s Herbarium” by Maria popova

Emily Dickinson, daguerreotype, ca. 1847. (Amherst College Archives & Special Collections, gift of Millicent Todd Bingham, 1956)

Page from Emily Dickinson’s herbarium (Houghton Library, Harvard University)
First page of Emily Dickinson’s herbarium (Houghton Library, Harvard University)

The article also quotes another author, Judith Farr, in her book The Gardens of Emily Dickinson . Farr makes an important note about the first page of Dickinson’s herbarium:

On the very first page, the first flower pressed by the girl Emily, was the Jasminum or jasmine, the tropical flower that would come to mean passion to her as a woman. This “belle of Amherst,” … was profoundly attracted to the foreign and especially to the semitropical or tropical climes that she read about in Harper’s and the Atlantic Monthly-Santo Domingo, Brazil, Potosi, Zanzibar, Italy… Domesticating the jasmine in the cold climate of New England, writing sensuous lyrics about forbidden love in spare meters, Dickinson followed a paradoxical pattern that related poet to gardener in one adventurous pursuit. Just as her fondness for buttercups, clover, anemones, and gentians spoke of an attraction to the simple and commonplace, her taste for strange exotic blooms is that of one drawn to the unknown, the uncommon, the aesthetically venturesome.

Judith Farr “The Gardens of Emily Dickinson”
Page from Emily Dickinson’s herbarium (Houghton Library, Harvard University)

The page below collects 8 different types of violets – how divine!

Violet varieties from Emily Dickinson’s herbarium (Houghton Library, Harvard University)
Page from Emily Dickinson’s herbarium (Houghton Library, Harvard University)

The 60 page herbarium book can be viewed here. 

I really hope you enjoy it!