Lavender is the “Little Black Dress” of the Oil Wardrobe

absolutely stunning lavender fields via reddit.com

absolutely stunning lavender fields via reddit.com

Lavender is the “Little Black Dress” of the oil wardrobe. The L.B.D. It is. Let me explain.

The other night I was going to a 20’s Prohibition themed 40th birthday party and didn’t really have time to get an outfit together – or really had no idea what to wear. My friend said “oh come on all you have to do is wear a little black dress and stick a flower in your hair”.

Right. Of course. And then the fact that I didn’t own a L.B.D became the issue. Off I went to the new year sales and after hours of trying on dresses I found my L.B.D. It wasn’t what I had imagined so now I realise it may be necessary to own a few. So anyway the L.B.D. is the item in your wardrobe you can take anywhere. You can wear it out to dinner, to the opera/symphony/theatre, to a party, to an intimate evening at home, to lunch and pretty much anywhere. It’s how you accessorise that counts. You can dress it up or dress it down, and mould it into something new every time you wear it. In fact it could just be a little black slip and still work.

the L.B.D via groominglady.com

the L.B.D via groominglady.com

Lavender is the same. It is a MUST have oil for any collection! Even if you aren’t into aromatherapy in a big way, it’s a must have for any household due it’s amazing first aid properties. Burns, cuts and abrasions, panic attacks, stress, headaches and anything else you can think of. It’s the fortifying oil, the oil of bringing energy together.

Lavender has cell regenerating properties too so it’s great in skincare and haircare, helping scars heal and helping sunburn. Here’s a few body oil blend recipes for lavender:

“I’ll Have a Sour Plum Margarita Thanks”

Take lavender to a cocktail bar – in 3 teaspoons of carrier oil add

Lavender      2 drops

Ylang Ylang  3 drops

Orange         3 drops

—————————————————————————————————————————————-

“I have No Idea What She is Singing”

Take lavender to the dress circle at the opera – in 3 teaspoons of carrier oil add

Lavender        3 drops

Frankincense  3 drops

Patchouli        1 drop

Nutmeg          1 drop

—————————————————————————————————————————————-

“Behind Closed Doors”

Take lavender into the bedroom – in 3 teaspoons of carrier oil add

Lavender                 1 drop

Jasmine in jojoba     12 drops

Sandalwood             1 drop

—————————————————————————————————————————————-

dance floor at Sydney Mardi Gras 2007

dance floor at Sydney Mardi Gras 2007

“I like the Extended Dance Mix Better than the Radio Edit”

Take lavender to the dance floor – in 3 teaspoons of carrier oil add

Lavender                 1 drop

Cedarwood Atlas     2 drops

Bergamot                4 drops

Cinnamon                1 drop

—————————————————————————————————————————————-

“I’ll Save Room for Dessert”

Take Lavender to a dinner party – in 3 teaspoons of carrier oil add

Lavender                                 3 drops

Fennel                                     1 drop

Roman Chamomile in jojoba    8 drops

—————————————————————————————————————————————-

“What’s the Wi-Fi Password?”

Take Lavender into a business meeting – in 3 teaspoons of carrier oil add

Lavender             2 drops

Neroli in jojoba    12 drops

—————————————————————————————————————————————-

lavender

lavender

Lavender is a fantastic, versatile herb that should never be overlooked. It is powerful!

I hope you have fun with these recipes and please feel free to tell me about your experience of lavender in the comments section.

Remember to treat yourself first, then everyone will benefit.

Deep, Cool, Grounding Vetiver

Hairy vetiver root

Hairy vetiver root

Vetiver essential oil (Vetiveria zizanoides) is steam distilled from the root or “rhizome” of the plant. As you can see from the pic above the rhizome is hairy and fine, exposing as much surface area as possible to the surrounding soil. This scent of vetiver is similar to damp soil, although this is a simplification. It is an essential oil that is used extensively in perfume as a “fixative”: bringing all the scents together and binding or fixing them into a cohesive blend. It is used in many scents for men due it’s strong, deep, smoky aroma- but having said that it is also used in women’s perfumes too.

In aromatherapy it is therapeutically used for many things, and is also used the bind a formula together. I would use 1 drop of vetiver in a formula to make this possible. The most important thing to remember about vetiver is that the scent is so strong, less is more! One drop is enough in a small oil blend for your body.

less IS more via zazzle.com

less IS more via zazzle.com

I would chose one or two drops of vetiver to treat a client who is unsure, confused, overwhelmed and spends too much time in their head. It is often referred to as a “grounding” oil as it has the ability to draw energy into the ground. Patchouli works in a similar way too. Hysteria, especially in kids, can be stopped immediately with a drop of vetiver oil. You could do this by placing a drop in your hands, rub them together, and smooth all over the energetic body – ensuring your child gets to smell the oil. It’s the scent of the oil, traveling through the nasal epithelium and into the brain, that makes this possible. With aromatherapy, the scent is of the oil has one of the most powerful effects, and using them in a mist is a lovely way to do it.

use a drop of vetiver on a screaming child

use a drop of vetiver on a screaming child

Here are a few recipes using vetiver oil:

Chill Baby

for a mist that will help anyone chill out – in a 50ml mist bottle

orange    15 drops

lavender    8 drops

vetiver       2 drops

I’m Freaking Out (I need to Get Myself Together)

for a body oil blend to nourish your skin and help you calm down – in 3 teaspoons of carrier oil add

rosewood      2 drops

mandarin        4 drops

vetiver             1 drop

Oh No I Think I’m Sunburnt!

for a body oil blend to cool your skin  – in 3 teaspoons of carrier oil add

rose in jojoba   12 drops

vetiver               1 drops

Vetiver is sometimes referred to as “The Oil of Tranquility”, especially in India where it is commonly used, and produced. If you just remember this little phrase you will automatically know what to use vetiver oil for. It can also be used in hair care and skincare as a moisturiser for dry skin, and you can use any essential oil as an antiseptic.

The last time I was in Bali a shop was selling the root, and the scent was absolutely divine. I have read that the root is dampened and hung in windows to cool everyone down. The mild scent of the root is just a hint of what the power of the oil smells like.The essential oil is strong so use sparingly!

Remember to treat yourself first, then everyone will benefit.

Peru Balsam – I LOVE you!

Myroxylon balsamum - Peru or Tolu Balsam (pic sneakily borrowed Fragrantica)

Myroxylon balsamum – Peru or Tolu Balsam (pic sneakily borrowed Fragrantica)

I placed an order with one of my suppliers the other day and was upset to find they will no longer stock peru balsam essential oil. The customer service operator said there has been a lot of negative publicity lately about the oil as a skin irritant, and that it was used more in perfumery. Yeah! That’s why I want it! I want it for the scent. So I’ll be looking for this stunning oil from somewhere else and hope I can find a lovely one.

This beautiful oil, is like a combination of benzoin and vanilla. (Benzoin tincture is the red liquid used for cuts and abrasions and other skin issues that need an anti-bacterial wash. It was often in the first aid kit for wound healing, and has been used for hundreds of years. It was also called Friars Balsam and is also a resin like Peru Balsam, but comes from the Styrax family. It is also used in perfumery and comes from Indonesia and other parts of Asia).

Peru Balsam is sweet and soft and has warming stimulating properties reportedly to be a great treatment for skin conditions. I suppose over-use of the oil can lead to the opposite effect – skin irritations.  I have never seen any negative results from using this oil and actually love to use it as a perfume. It’s fantastic for vapourising to act as a soothing agent to stress, and add some sweetness and healing energy into the room. It is like a balm for the soul and when you take a deep whiff, it’s almost like you can smell a protective honeycomb, multi-dimensional energy field.

peru balsam resin

peru balsam resin

So apparently it’s not used in Aromatherapy as much as it is used in perfumery. It hails from Central and South America and although it isn’t native to Peru, it was shipped to Europe from Lima in Peru in the 1600’s for perfumery, medicine and food flavouring.

In my practice I use Peru Balsam when I feel nurturing and protection is required. It goes well with orange and in fact this blend is a favourite of one of my clients. I use this on myself as a perfume straight from the bottle and also blend it with other oils for a body oil blend.

Here are a couple of recipes;

Sweet Unicorn Dreams

25 drops in a vapuouriser to sweeten the air, de-stress and to help avoid bad dreams

Peru Balsam 12 drops

Orange          9 drops

Marjoram       4 drops

Skin of Silk

8 drops in 3 teaspoons of carrier oil for a body oil

Peru Balsam    4 drops

Lavender          3 drops

Patchouli          1 drop

Knight in Shining Armour

25 drops in a 50ml mist bottle topped up with water for use as a space cleansing and protection mist

Peru Balsam  10 drops

Lime                8 drops

Rosewood       6 drops

Vetiver             1 drop

I don’t think we need to be afraid of the potentially sensitising nature of this oil, but perhaps use caution and don’t use it with kids. The old adage “everything in moderation” works well for us here as it does in everyday life.

Remember to treat yourself first and then everyone will benefit!

Are there any Aromatherapists out there who use Peru Balsam, and also those who don’t? I’d love to hear from you in the comments section, don’t be shy.

Hydrosols vs Floral Waters – What’s the Diff?

Please check out my new book REVELATION! – Reveal Your Destiny with Essential Oils

Amazon USA      Amazon AU      Amazon UK


Hydrosols vs Floral Waters – What’s the Diff?

A lovely selection of rosewater

A lovely selection of rosewater

Recently one of my wholesale suppliers sent an email lamenting about the short shelf life of hydrosols and how difficult it is to maintain great standards for their customers.

I would have to agree. I absolutely love hydrosols but their scent doesn’t last long and it’s always disappointing when you open up a bulk container to find it has “turned”. The scent goes a bit dull and brownish and it simply isn’t right. So what’s the difference between hydrosols and floral waters?

Hydrosols

Hydrosols are the water left over from the steam and water distillation of a plant or flower. They contain many water-soluble constituents from the plant and therefore have a different make-up to the essential oil they come from. Hydrosols also have the beautiful scent of the plant, but at a more softer, rounder level. They contain minerals, cellulose and aromatic compounds. According to Wikipedia they “contain essential oil compounds as well as organic acids..…. and will include many of the water-soluble plant pigments and flavonoids.”

Hydrosols will be harder to find in a retail environment, mostly everything will be a floral water- either the essential oil infused into the water, or the plant boiled or infused in water. If you can buy a true hydrosol its definitely worth a try.

Hydrosols can be used in skin care and as a therapuetic treatment. I remember taking a weekend class with an Indian Ayurvedic doctor and rosewater was used for an eye bath to soothe the infection and used when any kind of heat or inflammation was present. Rose water has been used in Ayurveda as a treatment for centuries and is also used by woman in their skin care regimes.

If it’s a real hydrosol it can be amazing when its fresh. If it’s not a real hydrosol it could be a floral water.

Floral Waters

The most well-known would be rose-water, orange blossom (neroli) water and pine (kewra) water. Check out this article for some fabulous Oregon scented alcohols.

Pine water (essence)

Pine water (essence)

A simple hand made rose water sneakily holistichealthherbalist.com

A simple hand made rose water – pic sneakily holistichealthherbalist.com

Hydrosols could be called floral waters (because they are), but this usually refers to a water that has been scented with essential oils. The best floral waters use a process that breaks essential oils into tiny droplets and forces them into de-ionised water. In this process no extra chemicals are used and the scent is true to the essential oil. The scent will also last longer and floral waters can still be used for everything that a hydrosol is used for.

If you go into a middle eastern or Indian shop and find a bottle of rose-water, for example, it probably wont be a hydrosol. It will be a floral water made in another way. That’s not to say they aren’t fabulous but always check the label to find if there are any chemical preservatives or nasty ingredients.

You can use your stunning floral water in these ways:

  • Misting your face before moisturising to soften and hydrate
  • Misting your body after the sun
  • Use in place of a facial toner for a more gentle clarifying and cooling treatment
  • particularly lovely for misting kids to help cool them down
  • add to a cocktail for a delicious scented drink
  • add a splash to a glass of water
  • use in cooking with sweets and salad dressings

I’m sure you can think of many more so don’t hesitate to use hydrosols and floral waters in your daily regime.

copyright suzanne

Electrifying Essential Oil Body Blends – for the Ladies

Please check out my new book REVELATION! – Reveal Your Destiny with Essential Oils

Barnes & Noble      Booktopia AU      Amazon UK

and many other stores worldwide as a Kindle and Paperback

 


Electrifying Essential Oil Body Blends – for the Ladies

The classic bottle for aromatherapy "Boston Round Amber"

The classic bottle for aromatherapy “Boston Round Amber”

Get Ready!

What you will need:

1. Oils! Hehehehe.

You will need some carrier oils which could be any of the following – almond, grapeseed, sunflower, jojoba, apricot, avocado (this is a bit thick and dark so it’s good to mix with another lighter oil), coconut, camelia, olive and maybe some macadamia (good to mix this with another oil too).

All your essential oils.

2. Bottles (see pic above) or a glass dish to mix enough for one moisturising treatment.

3. A good intention – this will play an important part in how the oil blend will come together in the end. It could mean the difference between an absolutely beautiful formula or an ordinary one.

4. A clear space around you – simplify your area,  and make sure it’s clean.

Let’s go!

I will give you quantities for a 50ml oil blend which is 25 drops of essential oil in 50mls of carrier oil.

For a quick coat of your body you can use 3 teaspoons of carrier oil and 8 drops of essential oil.

one drop of oil at a time

one drop of oil at a time

***** 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.

1. Look Out Here I Come

Black pepper    5 drops

Orange           15 drops

Geranium         5 drops

—————————————————————————————————————————————–

2. Red Hot Mamma

Ylang Ylang      5 drops

Mandarin        15 drops

Cardamom       2 drops

Patchouli          3 drops

—————————————————————————————————————————————–

3. Sugar and Spice

Cinnamon          8 drops

Rose Geranium  8 drops

Rosewood         9 drops

Wonder Woman IS Cool

Wonder Woman IS Cool

4. Wonder Woman is COOL

Cedarwood Atlas  5 drops

Bergamot            12 drops

Fennel                   2 drops

Lime                      6 drops

—————————————————————————————————————————————–

5. Chillax-arama

Marjoram              6 drops

Petitgrain            12 drops

Lavender              7 drops

—————————————————————————————————————————————–

6. Brilliant Idea

Basil                    5 drops

Rosemary           8  drops

Lemon               12 drops

——————————————————————————————————————————————

7. Pink Bubble of Love

Peru balsam       8 drops

Orange             10 drops

Frankincense      6 drops

aaahhhh the beautiful rose

aaahhhh the beautiful rose

8. Rosey Posey

Rose in jojoba     30 drops (this is an oil that usually comes diluted in jojoba because of the cost)

Rosewood           5 drops

—————————————————————————————————————————————–

9. Oh Happy Day!

Spearmint           8 drops

Rose geranium   8 drops

Lemongrass       9 drops

—————————————————————————————————————————————-

10. I’m Willing to Be Flexible on That

Palmarosa          8  drops

Grapefruit          17 drops

I hope this gives you some ideas for blending and moisturising. Have fun, and ask me a question if you aren’t sure. You an also refer to my previous articles for further information “Ratios for Blending Essential Oils – A Reminder of the Basics” and “Aromatherapy – It’s Easy as 1 2 3”

Happy mixing and remember to use your intention when you are blending.
See my article about intention.

copryright SR Banks

A Recipe for Recovery and How to Choose Oils

Recovery Formula

Recovery Formula

I visited a friend today, and when he opened the door I said “emergency aromatherapy”. He is recovering from an operation and this was my first visit. Naturally I took my essential oil case, which accompanies me to all my clients homes and a few places in between. This has most of my essential oils, 2 styles of empty bottles for making bespoke aromatherapy formulas in, a towel, labels, pens, a hair clip, a few different kinds of carrier oils and some tissues. And a liniment. Prepared for anything I reckon! Oh – and a lip balm.

My lovely case of oils

My lovely case of oils

I needed to make a formula that would help with scar tissue from the operation, work as an anti-inflammatory on the skin and surrounding tissues, act as a soothing agent for emotional imbalances that come with the invasion of surgery and anesthesia, as a pain relief balm and something that can aid sleep. So basically my formula needed to be repairing, soothing, cooling and calming. There are a lot of oils in my case and an infinite number of combinations. When I say “infinite” I really mean “infinite”. So how do I choose?

My method for Choosing Oils for a treatment:

* open the case

* look at the oils

* breathe deeply

* pick the oils that seems to amplify themselves – it’s almost like they are glowing

* look at the selection then return any that don’t feel right

* consolidate the selection and work out quantities -drops of each oil to go into the formula

You can also do this when you are deciding on what oils to use, even if you are just picking an oil to use direct from the bottle as a perfume. When I first started treating people I used this method. Sometimes I would have no idea why I chose the oils (or they chose the client), so when the client was getting ready to get on the table, I’d wait outside and madly flick through an aromatherapy book.  I’d get a word or two for each oil and when I entered the room I’d say “Your oil blend today is ………… and this is for ………….. and to help you with …………..”. Sometimes I’d just make it up. This is actually called intuition and don’t ever be too scared to use it. It could be the difference between a nice oil blend and a mind-blowing combination!

German chamomile - Matricaria recutita

German chamomile – Matricaria recutita

So my oil blend today was simple and grand! Lavender, Marjoram and German Chamomile. I called it “Recovery Formula” and my intention was to help my friend relax and heal.

Recovery Formula

In 50 mls of carrier oil add

Lavender 8 drops- all purpose healing oil, anti-inflammatory and cell regenerating

Marjoram 8 drops- relief, pain relief, relief from sadness, sedating

German chamomile in jojoba 15 drops – strong anti-inflammatory especially when used with lavender

I actually made my formula stronger but for your information and guidance it’s better to stick with the official blending quantities.

Use your intuition (borrowed from eventexperts.com.au)

Use your intuition (borrowed from eventexperts.com.au)

Remember to use your intuition and your intention when choosing oils for your oil blend and when deciding on how many drops of each to use. Intuition is like a muscle – the more you use it, trust it, rely on it – the stronger it will become.

Delicious, Mouth-watering Petitgrain Essential Oil

Citrus aurantium ssp amara or var. amara

Citrus aurantium ssp amara (or var. amara)

I recently mentioned petitgrain essential oil in my new year article I’ve Got a New Attitude but I feel it requires a lot more attention because I LOVE it!

The scent of petitgrain is beautiful and these are some words to describe it:

* citrus with a hint of grass

* green yet floral

* herbaceous and tangy with citrus undertones

* light

* slightly “soapy” in scent

* similar to Neroli (orange blossom from the same tree)

Petitgrain stands out from the other citrus oils because it is actually made from the leaves, twigs and green buds of the tree. See the pic below which captures the branches and leaves being prepared for distillation.

the leaves and twigs ready to be distilled

the leaves and twigs ready to be distilled

Lemon, grapefruit, mandarin, orange and lime essential oils are all pressed or distilled from the rind of the fruit, but our lovely petitgrain oil claims its distinction with ease. It is a scent widely used in perfumery and appeals to men and woman alike because of its fresh, clean nature.

Due to its chemical constituents it has a relaxing and soothing effect, similar to the properties of all the citrus oils. It is high in linalool (in lavender) and linalyl acetate. Other oils high in linlayl acetate are clary sage (a very high content) , lavandin, lavender, and bergamot, as well as neroli, lemon, lime, rosewood, and some mints.

Remember it is interesting to note the similar components of essential oils ,but each oil will have a very complex arrangement of molecules and the oil as a whole has a very individual energy, scent, and effect on the mind and body. “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts” applies so well to essential oils – and then when you add your intention you potentially create a whole new level of benefits.

petitgrain (citrus aurantium v amara)

petitgrain (citrus aurantium v amara)

Petitgrain can be used :

* as a perfume straight from the bottle mixed with a little carrier oil

* in an oil blend for the body where this oil will work in synergy with the others oil for its scent and as an addition to an anti-inflammatory blend

* in a body oil blend as an astringent or tonic for oily skin

* in a facial as a soothing and repairing treatment for acne and inflamed skin, particularly in teenagers as the oil will help with anxiety too

* to help release tension in the house use the oil in a diffuser or oil burner

* to reduce stress use a few drops in the shower and inhale the steam

* perfect for children and the elderly as it has an appealing scent with relaxing qualities and it will go to work for you in helping you amplify your care

* as a treatment for general sickness use a few drops on a cool washcloth and press all over the skin, then leave the cloth across the forehead

* use in place of lavender if a different scent is needed, but you still require a calming nurturing oil

I like to use Petitgrain when I need to look at things in a new light, or if I just need to chill out. It has so many uses in my practice, and when I am treating someone who is a bit stressed it is an oil that has far-reaching effects and tends to also work as an agent to simplify life.

Remember to add your intention when you make an oil blend which will add a powerful energetic, yet subtle force. Expects miracles using essential oils!