Palmarosa – Soft Skin and Happiness

palmarosa pic via

palmarosa pic via

I’ve used this lovely oil with clients a few times in the past couple of weeks. It blends well with so many oils and adds a green, fresh and slightly rosey scent to a formula. This is a relative newcomer to aromatherapy and doesn’t really have a rich colourful history like the spice oils, but is a wonderful addition to a collection. This gorgeous grass originally hails from India and is sometimes known as East Indian geranium. It’s also grown in Madagascar and the Comoro Islands. Although I can’t really find out a lot about this lovely oil I assume, like lemongrass, it has been used in India as a part of their Ayurvedic lifestyle and natural way of treating disorders in the body.

Palamarosa (Cymbopogon martini) is a grass like lemongrass and citronella, and belongs to the same family – Graminae (or Poaceae). This is the family of ‘true grasses”. There’s also a gingergrass plant that creates an essential too, and that is quite close to palmarosa as it is a variation of the plant – Cymbopogon martini var. sofia. One of my suppliers offers gingergrass oil and although I don’t use it therapeutically is has a beautiful soft scent. Maybe I’ll do a story on that oil soon.

Back to palmarosa – which is an oil often used in cosmetics and soaps to enhance the scent and add an inexpensive rose scent to the product.

Rosa centifolia - another rose used to make essential oil

Rosa centifolia

I’ve always used palmarosa as a skin conditioning oil and one of it’s main components is geraniol so that may give you a hint too, as geranium is a great oil for the skin. However it’s interesting to note that geranium only contains about a third of the amount of geraniol than palmarosa! And while we are on the geraniol track, lemongrass has a high content of geranial – a different molecule with slightly different carbon bonds (with a similar function).

In aromatherapy today palmarosa is used for

* hydrating the skin and hair

* as a stimulant for skin cell growth therefore working well on scar tissue and the uneven appearance of skin

* as a tonic to the digestive system

* as an insect repellent – just like lemongrass and citronella

* I use it as an oil for happiness and for flexibility in the emotions and thoughts

Try these combo’s –

Scent your space

Scent your space

1. Scent Your Space

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


Get your house in the mood for a lovely dinner

Palmarosa      10 drops

Mandarin         8 drops

Juniper            7 drops


“I’m Going to be Flexible on this Issue”

Palmarosa      8 drops

Rosemary       5 drops

Geranium       5 drops

Siberian Fir     7 drops


nourish your skin with oil blends

peru balper nourish your skin with oil blends

2. 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.

***** 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”

“Sweet and Soft”

Soften up your skin and add a little sweetness –

Palmarosa      3 drops

Peru Balsam   3 drops

Lavender       2 drops


“Gettin’ Vibed Up”

An oil blend to refresh and send you into the day with gusto –

Palmarosa     2 drops

Cinnamon     2 drops

Lemon          2 drops


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

copyright suzannerbanks 2013

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