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.