Clarity and Focus with Essential Oils

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Clarity and Focus with Essential Oils

wake up your mind with a whiff of oil

wake up your mind with a whiff of oil

There are lots of fantastic essential oils to use to help stimulate your mind, clear your mind, help retain facts and generally work towards greater focus.

Who would need these oils?

A student studying for an exam or writing an essay, an executive working on a quote or proposal, a team leader implementing training or even a mother needed a bit of clarity before putting the kids in the car and driving to the shops.

How do oils help?

Some essential oils are classified as being “cephalic” meaning relating to the head. Most oils however, when you breathe them in through your nose, will always have a direct effect on the brain and other flow on effects throughout the body, for example, stimulating hormones to be produced, or working on the nervous system.

How to use oils for focus and clarity

The best way to employ essential oils to stimulate your mind is to smell them. You can do that by

  • opening the bottle of an oil and taking a huge whiff
  • putting a few drops of your oil onto a makeup pad or handkerchief and, once again, take a huge whiff
  • make a mist with water and mist around you – then breathe in through your nose
  • place oils in a classic oil burner with a candle or an electric vapouriser and keep it going while you require the help
  • boil the kettle, put a few drops of oil into a cup, pour on boiling water and breathe in through your nose – this is a mini steam usually used for sinus congestion but it doesn’t have to be limited to this

Do you see now, the most important thing is to SMELL the oil?

a simple hairdressing mist bottle will do the trick for your amazing essential oil mist

a simple hairdressing mist bottle will do the trick for your amazing essential oil mist

What oils are the best?

1. Rosemary

This is the oil of remembering. Rosemary for remembering, that’s all you need to remember about this oil – hehehehe-  (also see my article on rosemary and remembering)

2. Basil

Basil is a very strong oil and will really wake you up if you sniff it straight from the bottle. This is a classic cephalic oil to awaken your mind. Next time you make a pesto (see my article) notice how refreshed you feel after smelling all the beautiful leaves.

Take a deep whiff of a lemon (pic via

Take a deep whiff of a lemon (pic via

3. Lemon

Lemon is an oil that can be used for so many things. If you don’t have any you could just use some lemon peel, squeeze it onto your fingers and place the oils around the base of your nose. Delicious, sweet and refreshing. For all things lemon read this.

4. Peppermint

Peppermint is great for a headache – (see my story on hangovers), as it’s very cooling. You could always have a strong mint instead and see how that works. Ensure it’s a natural as possible with real peppermint oil in it. Breathe in through your nose while the mint is in your mouth!

5. Tea Tree

This wonderful oil is not only for cuts and cleaning! Its therapeutic properties lend it to clearing and releasing toxicity. So if you are weighed down with heavy thoughts or there are too many things going on in your mind, try tea tree for cleansing negativity and allowing space for the important things-  (also see my article on tea tree oils)

So when you need clarity and focus – take a big whiff of a stimulating essential oil.


copyright suzannerbanks 2013

Hydrosols vs Floral Waters – What’s the Diff?

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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 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

A simple hand made rose water – pic sneakily

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

Smiley Face Essential Oils

sneakily borrowed from

Smiley faces and emoticons have come a long way. There are lots of versions but in essence, they are simple, cute and can make you feel good.

When Deepak Chopra was in Australia last year he talked about the power of emoticons. In his inimitable style, he is collaborating with Gallup, the company that conducts market research – The Gallup Polls. They have been collecting data on the positive ramifications and ripples stemming from emoticons and the smiley face. Basically you can spread happiness, joy and positivity by simply sending someone an emoticon via text message. You don’t even need to say anything, or write anything else. They speak for themselves. It’s like sending good vibes.

Essential oils are similar in the way they can inspire happiness, joy and a feeling of simplicity in your life. Wouldn’t it be great if we could send scent through our computers and phones? It will happen one day and I’m envious in advance! Until then here’s a few recipe for smiles:

*** It’s important to hold your intention when making your blend, so your energy can align with your thoughts, and transfer to your oils. Infuse your intention in the positive form eg “it’s another day, I’m so happy to be alive” rather than “I hate that guy at work he better stay away from me today”.


In a 100ml mist bottle with water add

Geranium  10 drops

Orange      20 drops

Spearmint  15 drops

Shake and mist. Breathe and release any tension. Fantastic to mist around kids.


For a Smiley Face shower, cover the drain and add a few drops of Mandarin to the cascading water. Inhale. Smile.


To anoint yourself with a beautiful balm of happiness, try a drop or two Melissa (the oil) on your wrists. Gently inhale during the day for a sense of calm and softness.


Take a huge whiff of lime oil straight from the bottle, when you need to adjust your attitude.

sneakily borrowed from

A body oil blend recipe could look something like this;

3 teaspoons of almond oil

Grapefruit    5 drops

Bergamot    1 drop


If you are cleaning the house, add some lemongrass to water to mop floors or clean surfaces in any room of the house. Cleaning with essential oils is another great way to have an aromatherapy treatment while you are going about your day.

Remember, treat yourself first, and everyone will benefit.