My Fragrant Saigon – Vietnam Blog 1

Hello natural beauties for the next month I’ll be blogging from my phone while I travel Vietnam. Please forgive any typos or mistakes as it’s slightly more difficult doing this from a little device than it is from laptop. I’ll be searching for some fragrant moments for you and here is what I’ve found on my first few days …


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Buy my 100% natural and organic botanical perfumes, and paperback book here: suzannerbanks.com.au

Digital downloads of my book Revelation! Reveal your Destiny with Essentials Oils:

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The most aromatic moment so far has to be the Vietnamese coffee.  The robusta bean is mostly used which is more bitter than the arabica. Coffee culture is a serious thing here and being a diabetic vegan I have to drink it black without sugar – on ice! Iced coffee and iced tea are what most of the locals drink and I’m down with that because it’s soooooo hot! I’m surprised how much I love it!


Ca phe den da (iced black coffee) 


So many beautiful teas – literally dried flowers at the Ben Thanh Market






A little star jasmine flower on the streets of Saigon


A Vietnamese orange – the rind smells like a mix of mandarin and orange and the  fruit has a mild mandarin flavour.



Incense at the Buddhist Jade Pagoda was absolutely divine



Fragrant Lilies at the jade pagoda 



And finally a trip to Villa Royale Antiques and Tea Room for a fragrant jug of Iced Sillver Moon (peach) tea


I’ve loved my first few days in Vietnam in the beautiful city of Saigon.

Stay tuned for the next episode where I’ll be posting pics from the Mekong Delta and the beachy Nha Trang.

 

copyright-2017

banks botanicals “REVELATION” ~ My New Botanical Perfume Collection

Hello lovely readers. My book has been out for a couple of years now,and its doing really well, which I’m both surprised and happy about of course. While I was writing the book I decided that this would mark my move into botanical perfume. I knew as the book was coming together, the perfumes were on the pages, but I had to extract and create them.

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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 an ebook and paperback

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Me in my dressing room at TVSN

Me in my dressing room at TVSN

 

I was scared.

So I put the list of the oils in the book, under my bed, to allow messages to come to me while I was asleep. I think they may have stayed there for a year until I made new lists, which I stuck on my kitchen cupboards

So I had lists, and that was about it.

I was scared.

I felt I didn’t know what I was doing and compared myself to others in the field, who are very successful. I felt limited, and not courageous at all.

Then I found some bottles and made a decision about what form the perfumes would take – oil based perfumes.

 

I've got these gorgeous chamomile flowers in a teapot nest to my bed - sweet dreams!

I’ve got these gorgeous chamomile flowers in a teapot nest to my bed – sweet dreams!

 

Then I tried out some recipes on paper. I was still scared but I was moving forward. I always create on paper first. My challenge was that my classic Aromatherapy book has less than 50 oils in it, and I had to make 10 scents.

Then I made 10 samples and left them for a few months, as blends take some time to mature. Some were good. Some were not so good.

I was still scared I’d be found out as a fraud who knew nothing! But I kept going.

The next set of samples was better but I had a realisation – a “Revelation” in fact – that I was making aromatherapy oil blends NOT perfumes. So I started afresh. I started with a new mindset, to approach the blending differently than I would usually.

 

Dried juniper berries at a spice shop in Sydney

Dried juniper berries at a spice shop in Sydney

 

In the meantime fellow Perfumer and Aromatherapist Julie Nelson, of Aromatique Essentials, floated the idea of a botanical perfume event. I had been talking to Julie more and more and looked up to her as a mentor, so a little over a year ago we had a meeting about an event, and now we are almost at the first Australasian Artisan Botanical Perfume Expo ~ October 23rd ~ Sydney.

There’s nothing like a deadline to get you going, so I started making more samples. I’d wait a few months, test, make notes, and make new sample again. The more I worked the less fearful I became. Mind you I still freaked out about little things, but had to talk myself into the momentum, and accepting my individuality as a perfumer.

 

my little cuties

 

So at the perfume expo I’ll have 10 different perfumes that reflect the 10 active chapters in my book. I have used the “revelation formulas” to create each scent uniquely and really hope to see you there. My perfumes will be for sale in 9ml and 1ml samples.

xoxo

copyright 2016

Josie the dog and German Chamomile

Josie the beautiful dog

This is Josie. She is my friend’s dog and though she has visited me before she recently had her first sleep over by herself. As you can see she has very short hair and pink skin. She gets quite itchy and tends to bite and scratch a bit. Josie just couldn’t settle down when we got home and was bitey-bitey, scratchy-scratchy for quite a while. I thought it was nerves then realized she needed some help.

I had just used German Chamomile (among others) for a client and it jumped into my mind. This chamomile is blue in colour due to the ingredient called chamazulene. It’s a kind of bluey-green.

German chamomile looks a bit like this

As it is one of the more expensive oils it tends to be sold in a 3% jojoba blend like Rose, Jasmine, Roman Chamomile, Neroli. This means it is already diluted and ready to use.

I got the bottle, put 3 drops in my hand, and gently patted her skin and touched her paws. I didn’t even smooth it on – just lightly touched her – especially around her belly where her skin is exposed. She got on her mat, I completely covered her with a light blanket and IMMEDIATELY she chilled out, and didn’t move for a couple of hours.

Two things happened here with the oil. The presence of the oil on her skin helped cool and calm the irritation, and the scent went to work on her emotions, via her brain. We all know dogs and most animals have a very keen sense of smell, because they use it for information about their environment. It’s the action of the oil through her nose that was the most powerful. A few diluted drops was all she needed to give her a calming therapeutic treatment. It is really important not to use essential oils on pets if you are unsure, or if you don’t have the proper understanding of how they work and how sensitive animals are to odours.

Take note:

  • Be careful not to use pure oils on the skin of animals – a drop or two diluted might be fine, but always act with caution and intuition. Just because lavender works well on your skin doesn’t mean it will work for your cat, dog or guinea pig.
  • Animals will respond well to the scent of an oil, so the best way to treat will be to vapourise oils in the room they are in. You can also make a mist and mist around them, and on their beds. If you treat yourself, your pet will benefit too.
  • The smaller the animal the more sensitive they will be to any oil or chemical. One drop rubbed well into your own hands may be enough to soothe an animal when you pick them up.

Always check with a VET first if you are unsure, or don’t use any essential oils directly on them at all.

Treat yourself first and everyone will benefit – your partner, your kids and your pets.