Top 10 Best-Selling Fragrance Oils of 2019

WHAT IS FRAGRANCE OIL USED FOR?

Fragrance Oils are the scented oils that are created to be added to products such as scented candles, household cleaners, room sprays, air fresheners, and vaporizers in order to give them pleasant, distinctive aromas or to enable them to diffuse pleasant aromas. Fragrance Oils that are body-safe can also be added to cosmetics, soaps, shampoos, perfumes, and other products that make contact with the skin and hair.

Virtually all fragrances, natural or manmade, in an environment can be imitated in a laboratory, and there are limitless variations of oil groupings that can synthetically produce each of these countless scents. Fragrance Oils may be composed of one to two Essential Oils while others may have many more, and although combining the same combination of oils will repeatedly produce the same scent, simply adjusting the percentage of each oil could alter the final scent considerably, creating one that is completely original compared to previous iterations.

HOW ARE FRAGRANCE OILS MADE?

In a careful process, fragrance designers develop each Fragrance Oil by selecting the Essential Oils or other aromatic chemical compounds that blend well together and then by determining the ideal amount of each oil for the particular theme that is intended to be captured for the resultant blend. To illustrate, for a scent inspired by the feeling of spending a sunny summer day at the beach, the ideal aromatic compounds would likely have light, refreshing, and uplifting qualities.

Some of the ingredients – both artificial and naturally-derived – that commonly go into the production of Fragrance Oils include Absolutes, Alcohols, Aldehydes, Carrier Oils, Essential Oils, Esters, and Resins. Though some Fragrance Oils might not necessarily be entirely natural or volatile, they can still have the ability to uphold the same quality as Essential Oils and can sometimes exude stronger longer-lasting aromas. Fragrance Oils can be either 100% synthetic or they can be comprised of up to 80% Essential Oils.

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A FRAGRANCE OIL AND AN ESSENTIAL OIL?

Although the term Fragrance Oil is sometimes understood to be a substitute for the term Essential Oil, there are several differences between these two distinctly different types of oils even if they can both be applied similarly:

ESSENTIAL OILS FRAGRANCE OILS
Natural and pure Sometimes manufactured with natural aromatic components and other times manufactured with chemical components (not entirely pure)
Derived from various plant parts, including roots, leaves, herbs, grass, flowers, and resins Could be composed of either several natural oils or of artificial/synthetic aromatic compounds
Retains the authentic essence/aroma and beneficial properties of the plant Replicates Essential Oil scents; numerous scents are combined to produce a new, unique scent
Examples of Essential Oils: Lavender, Lemon, Peppermint, Eucalyptus Examples of Fragrance Oils: Pumpkin Patch, Christmas Eve, Bubble Gum, Sun and Sand, Dragon’s Blood
Traditionally used in aromatherapy for therapeutic properties Not commonly used in aromatherapy, due to the absence of therapeutic properties
Reputed to have various health benefits Not known to have any health benefits
Can be used in scented candles, household cleaners, room sprays, air fresheners, vaporizers, cosmetics, detergents, perfumes, soaps, etc. Can be used in scented candles, household cleaners, room sprays, air fresheners, vaporizers, cosmetics, detergents, perfumes, soaps, etc.
Pricing depends on the source botanical as well as the extraction method Compared to Essential Oils, pricing is typically less expensive
Quality, scent, appearance, and potency of the oil depends on the quality of growing conditions of the crop from which it is derived; inconsistencies are possible from batch to batch Quality, scent, appearance, and potency of oil remain consistent

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF FRAGRANCE OILS?

Similar to their Essential Oil counterparts, Fragrance Oils contribute pleasant scents to products and often conjure positive memories or trigger positive associations with their scents. Furthermore, they capture unique as well as everyday scents that cannot be found in nature. Through a blend of various aromatic compounds, they are able to synthesize scents that are human-made, such as the aromas of foods, both the naturally aromatic foods as well as the odorless ones. Unlike Essential Oils, only Fragrance Oils can offer the scents of an ocean breeze, baby powder, tomatoes, mountain rain, or clean laundry.

TOP 10 BEST-SELLING FRAGRANCE OILS IN 2019

1. Coconut Paradise Fragrance Oil: The crisp, refreshing aroma of this oil is reminiscent of the tropics, summer, and youth. Creamy top notes of Coconut blend intricately with the scents of Peaches, Vanilla, and base notes of rich butter.

2. Amber Romance Type Fragrance Oil: This warm, sensual, haunting aroma exudes nuances of Vanilla, Sandalwood, Patchouli, and Blackberry, which blend with Musk at the base for a rounded, romantic scent.

3. French Lavender Fragrance Oil: This scent is reminiscent of a lovely, fragrant bouquet of Lavender flowers picked fresh from the French countryside. Its floral and herbaceous qualities combined with its balsamic, woody undertone are reputed to produce a peaceful, soothing, and grounding effect.

4. Tahitian Vanilla Fragrance Oil: The warm quality of this multifaceted and exotic fragrance gives it a mysterious, sultry, and seductive element. Its luxurious, creamy nuances are trailed by a hint of heavenly tropical flowers.

5. Lavender Fragrance Oil: This sweet-smelling scent is reminiscent of a walk in a Lavender field. Base notes of soft, mild French Lavender give this oil a soothing quality. This scent is often considered to be classic and timeless.

6. Ruby Grapefruit Fragrance Oil: The juicy quality of this scent is mouth-wateringly refreshing. With top notes of Pink Grapefruit, Lemon, and Lime that melds into notes of Gardenia, Lilac, powder, and Vanilla, this scent is light as well as playful.

7. Coconut Cream Fragrance Oil: Delicious, sweet, and creamy, this fragrance exudes buttery top notes with nuances of sweet burnt sugar, Cinnamon, and Peach at its heart. Base notes of Coconut, Vanilla, and powder give it an exotic quality.

8. French Vanilla Fragrance Oil: This sweet, creamy fragrance has buttery top notes with nuances of Coconut and heart notes of sweet, burnt Coconut. Base notes of Vanilla and powder help to round it out.

9. Japanese Cherry Blossom Fragrance Oil: The light, sweet, and refreshing scent of this oil is reminiscent of spring air. Fused with top notes of Asian Pears, Rose, Mimosa petals, and Fuji Apples, it is further enhanced with seductive notes of Jasmine and Peony, which accentuate the floral notes. A combination of Vanilla, Musk, and creamy Sandalwood base notes help to round out this fragrance.

10. Vanilla Fragrance Oil: The classic, rich, creamy Vanilla scent of this oil is associated with calmness, warmth, softness, and purity. Vanilla scents are often reminiscent of desserts and positive memories linked to holidays.

WHAT CAN I DO WITH FRAGRANCE OILS?

  • Create a scented candle
  • Create a unique perfume/cologne
  • Create a natural room spray/air freshener by diluting the Fragrance Oil in a spray bottle of water
  • Give a new scent to or refresh the scent of old potpourri, car air fresheners, artificial plants, real live odorless flowers, and fabrics with stale odors
  • Soak a cotton ball and leave it to lightly diffuse in areas that can benefit from freshening, such as behind garbage bins, under car seats, and inside gym bags, purses, or shoes
  • Dab a small amount on letters, gift wrapping, or wooden jewelry to add a romantic touch
  • Dab a small amount on wooden or fabric furniture
  • Diffuse during spiritual practices, such as meditation or prayer
  • Pour some down a foul-smelling drain and allow it to sit overnight
  • Create scented soaps (use only skin-safe FOs)
  • Create scented massage oils (use only skin-safe FOs)
  • Add to a regular, unscented lotion (use only skin-safe FOs)
  • Create a unique personal roll-on scent (use only skin-safe FOs)
  • Create a comforting scented bath (use only skin-safe FOs)
  • Add it to the wash during the rinse cycle (use only skin-safe FOs)

For more information about using Fragrance Oils to make scented candles, check out the How to Make Candles article.

CAN I PUT FRAGRANCE OIL IN A DIFFUSER?

Because Fragrance Oils are highly flammable and thus pose a safety hazard when heated without dilution, it is highly recommended that the intended use be matched to an IFRA product type/category. For this, page 23 of the IFRA Information Booklet can be a helpful resource. Once the category for the intended use has been determined, it is advisable to check the particular Fragrance Oil’s maximum dilution rate as well as the product’s flash point.

CAN FRAGRANCE OILS BE USED ON SKIN?

It is imperative to ensure that Fragrance Oils are skin-safe before they are incorporated into recipes for cosmetic products. For more information about adding Fragrance Oils to moisturizers, check out the post titled How to Make a Natural Moisturizer.

FRAGRANCE OILS SIDE EFFECTS

Fragrance Oils are for external use only. It is imperative to consult a medical practitioner before using these oils for therapeutic purposes. Pregnant and nursing women are especially advised not to use Fragrance Oils without the medical advice of a physician, as they may have effects on certain hormone secretions and it is unclear whether these effects are transferable to babies at these stages of development. These oils should always be stored in an area that is inaccessible to children, especially those under the age of 7.

Those with the following health conditions are especially recommended to be advised by a physician: cancer, heart-related ailments, skin disorders or allergies, hormone-related ailments, or epilepsy. Individuals that are taking prescription drugs, undergoing major surgery, or who are at a greater risk of experiencing strokes, heart attacks, or atherosclerosis are also advised to seek medical consultation prior to use.

Prior to using any Fragrance Oil, a skin test is recommended. This can be done by diluting 1 drop of the Fragrance Oil in 4 drops of a Carrier Oil and applying a dime-size amount of this blend to a small area of skin that is not sensitive. Fragrance Oils must never be used near the eyes, inner nose, and ears, or on any other particularly sensitive areas of skin. Potential side effects of Fragrance Oils, especially with long-term exposure and improper handling, include difficulty breathing, coughing, nausea, cramps, vomiting, headache, rashes, itching, chafing, a burning sensation on the skin or in the stomach, cancer, lung and/or heart disease, and brain damage. In the event of an allergic reaction, discontinue use of the products and see a doctor, pharmacist, or allergist immediately for a health assessment and appropriate remedial action. To prevent side effects, consult with a medical professional prior to use.

Make Fragrant Essential Oils: Warrior’s Spirit for Courage

This Warrior’s Spirit blend promotes courage and protection as well as physical and emotional support.

• 12 drops lavender oil
• 6 drops carrot seed oil
• 3 drops black pepper oil
• 3 drops angelica oil
• 3 drops myrrh oil
• 2 drops sage oil

Natural Perfumery

Craft evocative personal scents using natural ingredients, which lend delicate nuances to fragrances and evolve over time.

Thanks to the art and science of aromatherapy, we now appreciate the profound links between aroma and health; scents are processed in the amygdala, the same area of the brain that processes emotions. Because of the integration of scent and emotional processing, making natural perfume can contribute to our well-being. Perfume creation, which involves active olfaction and a total focus on the sense of smell, has been compared to concentrative meditation — it can help eliminate stress and bring about a sense of calm and peace. Not to mention, making perfume gives you the opportunity to develop your sense of smell!

Creating your own fragrances isn’t difficult. Maybe you already know that you prefer a certain type of perfume — an aroma that you identify with and that makes you feel good. Maybe you’d like to make a perfume to comfort, to uplift your spirits, to promote self-confidence, or for meditation. Or maybe you’d like to wear perfumes that reflect the season or evoke a specific mood. The possibilities are endless, and trying new combinations is part of the fun.

Natural Perfume Components

Natural perfumes made with essential oils and absolutes won’t be the same as commercial, alcohol-based perfumes. Essential oils are extracted from aromatic plants by steam distillation, or by physical expression, as in the case of citrus oils. Absolutes are made by solvent extraction; they’re aromatically similar to the plant but are very concentrated and best appreciated when highly diluted. Rose, jasmine, and orange blossom are the most popular absolutes. They’re expensive so you could use an infusion in jojoba oil as a budget-friendly alternative.

In mainstream perfumery, synthetic aroma chemicals dominate. This means that when a modern synthetic fragrance is applied, the effect is often linear — the perfume doesn’t substantially change its character from application until it has faded from our perception. The scent of perfumes made with extracts from aromatic plants, however, will evolve on our skin after application; we’ll first sense the top notes, then the middle notes at the heart of the scent, and finally the lingering base notes. Commercial perfumes are constructed for their initial impact and presence, their persistence, and for sillage — the trail of fragrance left in the air when the wearer walks by. Oil or wax-based natural perfumes are more subtle, and will usually fade more quickly. However, what’s lost in bombastic impact is more than made up for by the gentleness and beauty of naturally derived ingredients, and by the mood benefits of the aroma.

Fragrant Harmonies

Natural perfume isn’t composed randomly. To create a successful perfume, you’ll need to understand the olfactory relationships between essential oils, their volatility (which determines which scents are top, middle, and base notes), their diffusiveness, and their odor intensity.

The scent of every essential oil is made up of many chemical components, each of which has its own olfactory characteristics, and the components’ relative proportions have a major impact on the overall aroma of the oil. For this reason, some essential oils, such as rose or jasmine, are complex enough to make good single-ingredient fragrances, which are instantly recognizable. If you combine three essential oils, you create a new odor sensation, although you’ll still be able to discern the presence of the individual oils. But by combining five or more oils, you’ll create a completely new scent, which we’ll struggle to discern the individual ingredients of because hundreds of chemicals will be constituents contributing to the aroma.

In perfume, the initial impact is given by the “top note,” or the aromatics that evaporate most quickly; the heart of the scent is composed of “middle note” aromatics, defining the theme of the perfume; and less volatile “base note” aromatics anchor or fix the scent, giving it persistence. The oil or wax base of a natural perfume will also decelerate evaporation to an extent, which is why a natural perfume takes a little longer to make its presence known. By contrast, alcohol-based conventional perfumes are highly volatile.

In addition to the broad top, middle, or base category a particular aromatic might belong to, aromatic connections will be running throughout the perfume, because many essential oils share aromatic constituents. These form what we might think of as aromatic bridges, which will bring cohesiveness and harmony to your blend; aromatic contrasts will add drama and excitement.

Choose a Theme

When crafting a personal scent, you might want to create a soliflore, where one floral fragrance dominates; or a more sophisticated bouquet, which might be floral, herbal, or based on fragrant woods, soothing balsams, citrus, or vanilla. Each of these ideas can be fused so you might choose a floral-balsamic composition or an herbal-woody-spicy scent.

You can also create a more abstract scent that reflects seasons, places, or feelings. Evoke a walk in the forest with conifer oils or a tropical garden with sumptuous ylang-ylang. You could even use vanilla and citrus to make a fragrance inspired by the aroma of cakes baking!

Follow Your Nose

Top notes: Citrus is commonly used as a top note, because of its high volatility. Bergamot (Citrus bergamia) has a fresh citrus top note and sweet citrus body, with lemony, floral, peppery, and lavender-like nuances — elements that can bridge with many other scents. Use the furanocoumarin-free (FCF) version to eliminate the risk of phototoxicity, which is a burning reaction from topically applied essential oils that are triggered by exposure to sunlight. Other citrus top notes include yellow grapefruit (C. paradisi) for sharpness, lime (C. aurantifolia) for lightness, mandarin (C. reticulata) for freshness, and yuzu peel (C. junos) if you like a stronger aromatic citrus presence. Many citrus essential oils and aromatics are phototoxic, though the risk is minimized by using steam-distilled essential oils; research the aromatic you plan to use before adding it to a scent.

Herbal top notes give freshness to a blend; try using bergamot mint (Mentha citrata), lavender (Lavandula angustifolia), and petitgrain (C. aurantium).

Floral top notes include the green scent of neroli (steam-distilled C. aurantium var. amara) and damask rose (Rosa x damascena), which gives a gentle freshness, lift, and harmony.

Spicy top notes include black pepper (Piper nigrum) for light warmth and lift, and caraway seed (Carum carvi) for sweet warmth and intrigue. Versatile coriander seed (Coriandrum sativum), with sweet, spicy, woody, floral, and citrus notes, can act as a bridge.

Middle notes: Floral heart notes can be as defining or as subtle as you wish. Heady Jasminum grandiflorum absolute should be used sparingly for its intense, diffusive, warm floral fragrance. Like rose and orange blossom absolutes, it makes for a classic floral heart. Arabian jasmine (Jasminum sambac) is intensely sensual, and it makes a good soliflore. Rose absolute (Rosa x centifolia) will make a smooth, rich, sweet soliflore, or can be the dominant floral in a composition. In small amounts, its delicacy can transform fragrances. Orange blossom absolute (solvent-distilled from Citrus aurantium var. amara) is a rich and heavy floral that should be used sparingly. It can make an interesting soliflore with neroli as a top note. A little ylang-ylang extra (Cananga odorata var. genuina) goes a long way; it’s diffusive, sweet, rich, and tropical. In small amounts, it lifts and harmonizes blends.

For an herbal heart, try sweet, fresh lavender absolute; rose geranium (Pelargonium spp.); or sweet, diffusive Roman chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile) for its apple notes.

Citrus oils evaporate quickly, making them difficult to use in the heart of a scent. However, litsea (Litsea cubeba) is fresh, sweet, sharp, and lemony, and has reasonable tenacity.

Spicy oils make good partners for flowers and woods and can sit within the heart of a perfume. Clove Bud (Eugenia caryophyllata) is perfect for spicing up rose fragrances. Use it minimally; the scent is powerful, and the oil can irritate the skin. Cinnamon leaf (Cinnamomum zeylanicum) should also be used sparingly.

Woods and resins for heart notes include Italian cypress (Cupressus sempervirens), which imparts woody and smoky notes; Eastern red cedar (Juniperus virginiana), which gives a mild “pencil shavings” aroma; and frankincense (Boswellia carterii), which offers a fresh, resinous effect. Both frankincense and Eastern red cedar reach the top notes while staying in the heart. Frankincense suffers from overharvesting for the essential oil trade, so be sure to seek out sustainably sourced oil if you wish to use it. Conifers usually make their presence felt in top notes, but are tenacious enough to stay in the heart.

Base notes: These oils all act as fixatives as well as fragrance elements. If you’re looking for a balsamic, ambery, rich effect, try the resin of rock rose (Cistus ladanifer) or myrrh (Commiphora myrrha).

Patchouli (Pogostemon cablin) is distinctive and complex and will add character to blends with its persistent, earthy, herbaceous notes. Vetiver (Vetivera zizanoides) is a rich, sweet, woody, earthy aroma, with remarkably persistent musky notes.

Sandalwood (Santalum album) is the base of many traditional attars; blend it with rose or jasmine to create a simple, beautiful scent. The scent is sweetly woody and persistent, with balsamic and musky notes. Sandalwood is often overharvested in the wild; seek sustainable sources for this oil.

Vanilla (Vanilla planifolia) is sweet, rich, and warm, with woody and even tobacco notes. The solvent-extracted absolute is quite expensive, so the budget-friendly way to use it is to buy vanilla-infused jojoba oil, to which you can add your other ingredients.

The given recipes are only a few examples of perfumes you can create. Adapt them to suit what you have available — or what you prefer — and don’t be afraid to substitute fragrances or vary the proportions of aromatics. Enjoy; it’s your perfume!

Natural Oil-Based Roll-On Perfume Recipe

This oil-based roll-on perfume recipe is easy to adjust to your personal fragrance preferences, and fragrance-infused carrier oils expand the possibilities.

Yield: 0.35 ounces (10 milliliters) liquid perfume.

 

Pack your preferred personal scent into a roller ball bottle to have on hand throughout the day. Note that the provided measurements will give a concentration of around 5 percent essential oils. You shouldn’t use more than 2 drops of absolute per 0.35 ounces (10 milliliters) of carrier oil.

Ingredients:

  • 10 drops essential oils and absolutes (see “Oil-Based Perfume Variations,” below)
  • 0.35 ounces (10 milliliters) jojoba oil
  • A colored-glass roller-ball bottle

Instructions:

  1. Add your heart notes directly into the bottle, and smell as you go, in case you need to adjust.
  2. Next, add the base notes, and, again, remember to smell after every drop. You can always add more, but you can’t subtract.
  3. Finally, add your top notes.
  4. When you’re happy with the aroma, fill the bottle to the shoulder with jojoba oil, fit on the roller ball and lid, and invert the bottle gently several times to thoroughly distribute the oils in the jojoba.
  5. Give your composition a name, label the bottle, and note the formula.

Oil-Based Perfume Variations

Essential oils are extremely concentrated and must be sufficiently diluted in a carrier oil to be used safely on your skin. Don’t adjust the proportion of aromatics to carrier oil in these recipes. All the following quantities are calculated for 0.35 ounces (10 milliliters) of liquid perfume.


Tropical Flowers

Top: 2 drops lime

Heart: 3 drops ylang-ylang

Base: 5 drops sandalwood

Variation: Use vanilla-infused jojoba as the carrier for a creamy effect.


Herbal Bouquet

Top: 3 drops bergamot mint, 2 drops rose, and 2 drops lavender

Heart: 1 drop rose geranium, 1 drop Roman chamomile, and (optional) 1 drop lavender absolute

Base: 1 drop patchouli or vetiver


Meditation

Top: 2 drops Bergamot and 2 drops neroli

Heart: 2 drops frankincense

Base: 2 drops Myrrh and 2 drops sandalwood

Rosewood Oil: “Bois-de-Rose” Benefits

Prized as a decorative tree and used to make furniture, chopsticks, and show pieces, rosewood is a versatile and durable tree that grows abundantly in Brazil. But rosewood is more than just a raw material used in manufacturing. The popular fragrant oil of the same name is extracted from its wood. Keep on reading to learn more about rosewood oil.

What Is Rosewood Oil?

rosewood oilRosewood oil is extracted from Aniba rosaeodora, an evergreen tree that’s indigenous to Peru and Brazil. Rosewood, also called “bois-de-rose,” is a member of the Laurel (Lauraceae) plant family along with camphor, cinnamon, bay, and cassia. This aromatic tree can grow up to 40 meters high and is distinguishable by its reddish bark and yellow flowers. Many rosewood rain forests have been cut down to accommodate the high demand for this sturdy lumber, although legislation now requires planting a new rosewood in place of every tree that’s been cut down.

Rosewood oil has a characteristic aroma that’s warm, spicy, woody, fruity, floral, and enlivening. This characteristic aroma makes it an established ingredient in high-class perfumery and soap-making, especially during the early 1900’s, which caused deforestation of the tree.

Due to rosewood oil’s high price, however, manufacturers turned to cheaper alternatives, such as Chinese Ho oils from Cinnamomum camphora, as well as synthetic linalool. This allowed rosewood forests to thrive once again.

Uses of Rosewood Oil

Rosewood oil’s alluring fragrance has been widely lauded in the perfume industry, but its therapeutic properties are less well known. Aromatherapists use it to help treat depression, as it is said to impart feelings of happiness and strength. Rosewood oil also calms the mind and prompts hormone secretion. It also works as an aphrodisiac as it stimulates your body and libido allowing you to relax and let go of stress and mental clutter.

Another popular use of rosewood oil is for skin care. It has tissue-regenerating properties that help prevent wrinkles and premature aging, and also works well for preventing a variety of skin conditions. You can use it to reduce the onset of pimples, acne, and blackheads while controlling the amount of sebum secreted by your oil glands. Rosewood oil also has wound-healing actions, making it an ideal first-aid remedy for cuts and insect bites.

To get rosewood oil’s therapeutic effects, you can:

  • Diffuse it using a vaporizer.
  • Dilute it in a carrier oil, and then place a drop or two on your skin or the affected areas that need healing. Note: DO NOT use it on facial skin without diluting it in a mild carrier oil first. You can also use it as a massage oil.
  • Add it to your bathwater. Use it while showering: after soaking for at least 3 minutes in steamy shower, turn the water off, put five to seven drops of the oil in the palm of your hand, and distribute it all over your wet body. The oil will penetrate very quickly and you can rinse it off if you prefer.
  • Mix it your favorite lotion or cream. Add a drop or two to your favorite moisturizer to reap its anti-aging benefits.

Rosewood oil also works as an effective insect repellent that repels mosquitoes, bugs, and ants. It can also work as a room freshener. Simply add 15 drops per 2 ounces of distilled water, and then spray as desired.

The Composition of Rosewood Oil

Rosewood oil’s high linalool content (86 percent) makes it highly useful for industrial applications. Linalool is modified into many derivatives that are essential to the food flavoring and fragrance industries.

Meanwhile, other components of rosewood oil like a-pinene, a-terpineol, camphene, neral, myrcene, geranial, 1,8-cineole, benzaldehyde, linalool oxides, and limonene  are responsible for its health-promoting effects. This oil works as a stimulant, antidepressant, analgesic, antibacterial, and antiseptic.

Benefits of Rosewood Oil

rosewood oil benefitsI believe that rosewood oil is a wonderful herbal oil to have at home, as its sweet and pleasant aroma can greatly delight your senses. However, there’s a lot more to this oil than its enticing aroma. Here are some of the benefits of rosewood oil:

  • Relieves pain. Rosewood oil is a mild analgesic (not as strong as other herbal oils) that can help alleviate headaches, toothaches, and muscle and joint pain.
  • Heals wounds. This oil’s antiseptic properties help prevent wounds and cuts from getting infected, as well as stimulate faster healing.
  • Helps treat colds, coughs, and sinusitis. It has the ability to regulate smooth muscle contractions, helping control bronchial disorders such as asthma.
  • Works as an aphrodisiac and stress reliever. It can help treat impotence or frigidity, arousing sexual desire and improving sexual performance. Rosewood oil’s fragrance also has a calming and relaxing effect on your mind and body.

How to Make Rosewood Oil

Rosewood oil is extracted from the wood chippings or shavings of the rosewood trunk. This oil is produced via steam distillation, which works by vaporizing the oil and the active ingredients in it so they can be extracted and condensed. This extraction method helps assure that you are getting a pure and high-quality rosewood oil.

I advise you to be very stringent when buying rosewood oil, as some brands may be adulterated or have been infused with other carrier oils, which will lower the potency. Choosing a  rosewood oil that’s produced by a reputable manufacturer is crucial

How Does Rosewood Oil Work?

Rosewood oil’s high alpha-pinene content is responsible for its impressive antibacterial properties, while the chemical components geraniol, nerol, 8-cineole, linalool, and limonene are useful for tissue regeneration. Studies have also shown that the topical use of rosewood oil can help destroy pre-cancerous and cancerous cells without adversely affecting healthy skin cells.

To take full advantage of its therapeutic benefits, Rosewood oil can be applied topically, inhaled, or vaporized. It is rarely taken orally. As with other herbal oils, I do not recommend ingesting or applying this oil without the supervision of a qualified health practitioner.

Is Rosewood Oil Safe?

side effects of rosewood oilRosewood Oil is may be highly beneficial, as long as it’s used in moderation and properly diluted. It blends well with citrus oils like orange, neroli, bergamot, lime, lemon, and grapefruit, as well as floral oils like lavender, jasmine, and rose.

Rosewood oil is non-toxic, non-irritant, and non-sensitizing. However, I still advise doing a skin patch test before using this herbal oil.

Side Effects of Rosewood Oil

Rosewood oil has no known side effects. But despite its safe profile, children, pregnant women or nursing moms should not use this oil without the advice of their physician. Rosewood oil, especially at full strength, is not recommended for very young children as well.

People with sensitive skin should also be careful when using rosewood oil. If you see any signs of irritation after using this oil, stop using it immediately and contact your health care provider.

Ylang Ylang Essential Oil

IN ESSENCE…

    • There are 5 classifications of Ylang Ylang Essential Oil: Ylang Ylang Extra, Ylang Ylang I, II III, and Ylang Ylang Complete. The numbers refer to the number of times Ylang Ylang Essential Oil is distilled through fractionation.
    • Used in aromatherapy applications, Ylang Ylang Essential Oil soothes stress, anxiety, sadness, tension, and sleeplessness. Its aphrodisiac quality is reputed to boost the libido to enhance sensuality between a couple.
    • Used cosmetically or topically in general, Ylang Ylang Essential Oil is known to balance and regulate oil production in the skin and hair, while also soothing inflammation and irritation. It enhances circulation, encourages the growth of new skin and hair, contributes and maintains hydration, conditions, and prevents infections.
  • Used medicinally, Ylang Ylang Essential Oil effectively facilitates the healing of wounds, enhances the health of the nervous system, reduces the stress exerted on the nerves, balances blood pressure levels, and stabilizes the heart rate.

HISTORY OF YLANG YLANG OIL USAGE

Ylang Ylang Essential Oil, pronounced “Ee-lang Ee-lang,” receives its common name from the repetition of the Tagalog word “ilang,” meaning “wilderness,” which is where the tree is naturally found. The wilderness to which it is native or in which it is cultivated includes the tropical rainforests of the Philippines, Indonesia, Java, Sumatra, Comoro, and Polynesia. The Ylang Ylang tree, scientifically identified as the Cananga odorata botanical, is also sometimes referred to as The Fragrant Cananga, The Perfume Tree, and The Macassar Oil Plant.

Ylang Ylang Essential Oil is derived from the steam distillation of the plant’s sea star-shaped flowering parts. It is known to have a scent that can be described as sweetly and delicately floral and fresh with a fruity nuance. There are 5 varieties of Ylang Ylang Essential Oil available in the market: In the first 1-2 hours of distillation, the distillate obtained is called Extra, while grades I, II and III of Ylang Ylang Essential Oil are extracted in the following hours by specifically determined fractions of time. The fifth variety is referred to as Ylang Ylang Complete. This final distillation of Ylang Ylang is typically achieved after it has been distilled for 6-20 hours. It retains the characteristic rich, sweet, floral scent; however, its undertone is more herbaceous than the previous distillations, thus its general scent is lighter than that of Ylang Ylang Extra. The name ‘Complete’ refers to the fact that this variety is the result of a continuous, undisturbed distillation of the Ylang Ylang flower.

In Indonesia, Ylang Ylang flowers, believed to have aphrodisiac properties, are sprinkled on the bed of a newlywed couple. In the Philippines, Ylang Ylang Essential Oil is used by healers to address cuts, burns, and bites from both insects and snakes. In the Molucca islands, the oil was used to make a popular hair pomade called Macassar Oil. In the early 20th century, after its medicinal properties were discovered by a French chemist, Ylang Ylang Oil came to be used as a potent remedy for infections of the intestines and for typhus and malaria. Eventually, it became popular around the world for its ability to promote relaxation by easing the symptoms and effects of anxiety and harmful stress.

Today, Ylang Ylang Oil continues to be used for its health-enhancing characteristics. Due to its soothing and stimulating properties, it is reputed to be beneficial for addressing ailments associated with women’s reproductive health, such as premenstrual syndrome and low libido. Additionally, it is beneficial for calming stress-related ailments such as anxiety, depression, nervous tension, insomnia, high blood pressure, and palpitations.

YLANG YLANG OIL BENEFITS

The main chemical constituents of Ylang Ylang Essential Oil are Linalool, Geranyl acetate, Germacrene-D, beta-Caryophyllene, Benzyl Acetate, Geraniol, Methyl p-Cresol, Methyl benzoate, Geranyl acetate, Farnasene, and Benzyl benzoate.

LINALOOL is believed to exhibit the following activity:

  • Sedative
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Anti-anxiety
  • Analgesic
  • Anti-depressant

GERANYL ACETATE is believed to exhibit the following activity:

  • Anti-fungal
  • Anti-microbial
  • Anti-inflammatory

GERMACRENE-D is believed to exhibit the following activity:

  • Stimulating
  • Anti-viral
  • Anti-fungal
  • Anti-microbial
  • Anti-bacterial
  • Decongestant
  • Hepatoprotective
  • Insecticidal

BETA-CARYOPHYLLENE is believed to exhibit the following activity:

  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Anti-bacterial
  • Neuro-protective
  • Anti-depressant
  • Antioxidant
  • Analgesic
  • Anxiolytic

BENZYL ACETATE is believed to exhibit the following activity:

  • Fragrant (sweet, fruity, floral, and reminiscent of Jasmine flowers)
  • Sedative
  • Anti-spasmodic

GERANIOL is believed to exhibit the following activity:

  • Antioxidant
  • Anti-bacterial
  • Anti-septic
  • Analgesic

METHYL P-CRESOL is believed to exhibit the following activity:

  • Disinfectant
  • Anti-bacterial

METHYL BENZOATE is believed to exhibit the following activity:

  • Spasmolytic
  • Sedative
  • Anti-fungal
  • Anesthetic
  • Anti-inflammatory

GERANYL ACETATE is believed to exhibit the following activity:

  • Anti-fungal
  • Anti-septic
  • Anti-viral
  • Energizing
  • Stimulant
  • Warming
  • Diuretic
  • Aphrodisiac

FARNESENE is believed to exhibit the following activity:

  • Antioxidant
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Calming
  • Sedative
  • Anti-fungal
  • Anti-bacterial

BENZYL BENZOATE is believed to exhibit the following activity:

  • Insecticidal
  • Antimicrobial
  • Fragrant (faintly balsamic and sweet)

ylang ylang

Used in aromatherapy applications, Ylang Ylang Oil is known to soothe feelings of stress, anxiety, sadness, tension, and sleeplessness. Its pleasant floral scent, which has been described as both delicate and powerful, makes it an ideal ingredient for use in perfumes for both men and women as well as in aromatherapy applications. Ylang Ylang Essential Oil is reputed to have anti-depressant properties that not only address negative feelings, including nervousness, shock, and fatigue, it also promotes positive feelings of cheerfulness and optimism, thus uplifting the mood. Its aphrodisiac quality is known to boost libido to enhance sensuality between a couple by addressing the mental and emotional factors that sometimes hinder a romantic mood. With a deeply sweet, bright, spicy and stimulating scent nuanced with traces of Jasmine, Neroli, and Banana, Ylang Ylang Oil is a popular ingredient in cosmetic fragrances and other cosmetic products. When sprayed or diffused to freshen the air in an indoor environment, Ylang Ylang Essential Oil blends well with Bergamot, Grapefruit, Lavender, and Sandalwood essential oils.

Used cosmetically or topically in general, Ylang Ylang Oil is best known for balancing and regulating oil production in the skin and hair to prevent excessive dryness and oiliness. It soothes inflammation and irritation of the body and the scalp while strengthening skin and hair. It addresses acne as well as hair loss by enhancing circulation, encouraging the growth of new skin and hair, contributing and maintaining hydration, conditioning, and preventing infections with its anti-microbial properties. By calming the mind and body, it promotes the faster onset of sleep and arouses sensuality.

ylang ylang ingredient

Used medicinally, Ylang Ylang Oil works to effectively facilitate the healing of wounds by preventing cuts, scrapes, and burns, among other types of minor injuries, from becoming infected by harmful bacteria, viruses, or fungi. Its nervine property is known to enhance the health of the nervous system by strengthening it and repairing any damage it might have undergone. By reducing the stress exerted on the nerves, it helps reduce the chances of causing potential nervous disorders. Its hypotensive quality is believed to balance blood pressure levels, enhance circulation, and normalize the heart rate.

 Ylang Ylang Oil is reputed to have many therapeutic properties. The following highlights its many benefits and the kinds of activity it is believed to show:

    • COSMETIC: Anti-seborrheic, Protective, Stimulating, Moisturizing, Oil-Regulating, Clarifying, Conditioning, Anti-inflammatory, Brightening, Freshening, Smoothing, Strengthening
    • ODOROUS: Anti-depressant, Aphrodisiac, Sedative, Energizing, Soothing/Calming, Hypotensive, Nervine
  • MEDICINAL: Anti-seborrheic, Anti-depressant, Anti-septic, Hypotensive, Nervine, Sedative, Anti-inflammatory

YLANG YLANG OIL USES

Used in aromatherapy applications, Ylang Ylang Essential Oil can be diffused in an essential oil burner or electric diffuser to stabilize emotions, inspire feelings of relaxation, and create a hospitable atmosphere. For an aromatherapy blend that naturally enhances energy by addressing problems like constant tiredness, fatigue, body aches, and exhaustion, diffuse 2-3 drops of Ylang Ylang Essential Oil. This is also known to immediately boost the mood, sedate the mind and body to alleviate factors leading to insomnia and lower the body’s stress responses such as palpitations. Diffusing Ylang Ylang has the added benefit of working as an agent that enhances the inclination to socialize. Furthermore, it is a circulation stimulant and an aid for improved digestion and metabolism. Alternatively, a single drop can be added to bedsheets or to a small area of clothing that will not directly or constantly brush against the skin.

To create an aromatherapy diffuser blend that promotes positivity, happiness, and optimism, combine 2 drops Ylang Ylang Essential Oil, 2 drops Grapefruit Essential Oil and 1 drop Bergamot Essential Oil. To create a natural aphrodisiac blend that can also be applied as a roll-on perfume, first pour 15 drops of Ylang Ylang Essential Oil and 5 drops Sweet Orange Essential Oil into a small glass bowl. Using a toothpick or a chopstick, mix the two oils together thoroughly. To this mix, add 2 tsp. of Grapeseed Carrier Oil and thoroughly blend it in with the other oils. Using a syringe, transfer this oil blend to a 10 ml roller vial. This perfume can be applied to pulse points, such as the collarbone, neck, wrists, and inner elbows.

Used in cosmetic applications, Ylang Ylang Essential Oil can be diluted and applied to the skin to maintain its health. To reduce the signs of aging, to soothe irritation, and to generally protect the skin, simply dilute 1-2 drops of Ylang Ylang Essential Oil in 1 Tbsp. Coconut Carrier Oil or Jojoba Carrier Oil, then gently massage it into the face 1-2 times daily.

To create a relaxing aromatic bath that is simultaneously romantic, combine 15 drops Ylang Ylang Essential Oil, 10 drops Geranium Essential Oil, 10 drops Grapefruit Essential Oil, and 2 cups Dead Sea Salt in a glass bowl. Pour this salt blend into a bathtub under hot running water. Before entering the tub, ensure that the salt has dissolved completely. Soak in this calming and balancing bath for 15-30 minutes to stimulate better circulation and to promote an affectionate mood.

For a conditioning hair treatment, that enhances the health, luster, and texture of strands, mix 2-3 drops of Ylang Ylang Essential Oil into a 2 Tbsp. of Coconut Carrier Oil. Next, massage this blend into the scalp and smooth it down over the strands to the hair ends to prevent tangles, to soothe dandruff, and to reduce the chances of hair loss. Before showering, massage this blend into the scalp and hair, and allow it to soak for 20 minutes before washing it out with a regular mild shampoo. Alternatively, it can be diluted in Jojoba Carrier Oil or even in a regular conditioner.

For a massage oil blend that soothes tired muscles, combine 4 drops Ylang Ylang Essential Oil, 4 drops Sandalwood Essential Oil, 4 drops Sweet Orange Essential Oil, 2 drops Bergamot Essential Oil, and 60 ml (2 oz.) Carrier Oil of personal preference. Suggested carrier oils include Argan, Macadamia, Olive, Sesame, or Sweet Almond. Next, cap the bottle and shake it well to thoroughly combine all the oils. Allow the mixture to sit for a couple of days to ensure thorough mixing. When it is ready to be used in a massage, pour a dime-size amount into the palm of the hand, rub the hands together, and massage the oil over the body. For the added benefits of other essential oils that are reputed to have aphrodisiac properties, dilute 5 drops Ylang Ylang Essential Oil, 3 drops Sandalwood Essential Oil, and 3 drops Wild Orange Essential Oil in 1 tsp. of a Carrier Oil of personal choice. This enticing blend can be massaged onto the inner thighs before bed.

For a moisturizing and oil-balancing face cream with antioxidant effects that slow the look of aging, 1-2 drops of Ylang Ylang Essential Oil can be added to a usual face cream. Alternatively, to make an all-natural face cream that exhibits the benefits of Ylang Ylang and that is valuable for use on combination skin, first combine ½ cup Shea Butter, 2 Tbsp. Rose Floral Water, and 1 Tsp. Vegetable Glycerin in a blender. Once the mixture has been blended into a creamy consistency, which will be white in color, scoop the emulsion into an amber glass jar. To this, add 5 drops Ylang Ylang Essential Oil, 5 drops Lavender Essential Oil, and 3 drops Geranium Essential Oil. Next, using a thin stick such as a chopstick, thoroughly incorporate all the oils into the cream. To use this moisturizer, gently massage a pea-sized amount into the skin. If stored in a clean, cool, dry place when it is not in use, this cream may be able to last for 6-12 months.

For a nourishing and hydrating body lotion that lifts, tones, protects and promotes the faster healing of skin, first place ¼ cup Olive Carrier Oil, ¼ cup Coconut Carrier Oil, ¼ cup Beeswax, and ¼ cup Shea Butter in a glass bowl. Place this bowl in a saucepan filled with water, then place the saucepan on the stove over medium heat. Stir together all the ingredients. After they have thoroughly combined, remove the bowl from the heat, allow it to cool down, and place it in the refrigerator for 1 hour. Once the mixture hardens, take the bowl out. Next, with a regular mixer or a hand mixer, beat the blend. Once it reaches a fluffy and whipped consistency, mix in 2 Tbsp. Vitamin E liquid from a broken supplement gel followed by 20 drops Ylang Ylang Essential Oil, 10 drops Frankincense Essential Oil, and 10 drops Myrrh Essential Oil. Once more, mix the combination until all the ingredients are thoroughly fused. Spoon this blend into a glass container. To apply this lotion, use the fingers to scoop a small amount into the hands, rub it between the palms, and massage it into the preferred area of skin. To store this lotion, keep it in a cool place when it is not being used.

To promote hair growth by stimulating circulation while eliminating the bacteria and inflammation that may cause hair loss, first pour ½ cup of Coconut Carrier Oil into a clean dark dropper bottle or container. Next, add 10 drops Ylang Ylang Essential Oil, 10 drops Rosemary Essential Oil, and 10 drops Lavender Essential Oil. Cap the bottle and shake it well to thoroughly combine all the oils. 1-2 hours before showering, massage this conditioning blend into the scalp and hair and allow it to soak. When it is time for a shower, wash it out with a regular mild shampoo. This will leave hair feeling silkier and looking shinier Alternatively, a conditioning hair oil can be made by diluting 15 drops Ylang Ylang Essential Oil in ½ cup Sweet Almond Carrier Oil.

For a hair perfume or body spray that allows strands and skin to emit a long-lasting and pleasantly intense scent, combine 7-10 drops of Ylang Ylang Essential Oil, 2 tsp. Aloe Vera Gel Juice and 45 ml (1 ½ oz.) distilled water inside a 60 ml (2 oz.) spray bottle. Shake the bottle to thoroughly blend together all the ingredients, then spray it on the hair or on the skin as a regular spray-on perfume.

Used in medicinal applications, Ylang Ylang Essential Oil is known to stimulate circulation, ease pain and inflammation, and soothe mental ailments such as nervousness and sadness. To create a massage oil that is reputed to have all of these effects, first, pour ½ cup of Coconut Carrier Oil into a 120 ml (4 oz.) amber glass bottle. To this, add 15 drops of Ylang Ylang Essential Oil. Replace the bottle cap and shake the bottle well to ensure the oils are thoroughly combined. This massage blend can be applied to the feet, scalp, back, or hands.

Ylang Ylang Essential Oil’s anti-depressant, sedative, and anti-spasmodic qualities are known to address and reduce the mood swings and cramps associated with pre-menstrual syndrome. For a remedial massage blend that balances hormones and naturally eases these unpleasant symptoms related to the menstrual cycle, dilute 5 drops Ylang Ylang Essential Oil, 3 drops Lavender Essential Oil, and 1 drop Clary Sage in 2 Tbsp. of a Carrier Oil of personal preference. This massage blend can be applied to the lower abdomen and the lower back to release stiffness, pressure, aching, and cramping.

For an anti-septic oil blend that can soothe or diminish the appearance of acne, wounds, rashes, boils and ingrown hairs, first, pour 2 tsp. of Witch Hazel Distillate into a 10 ml (0.33 oz.) bottle. To this, add 2 drops Ylang Ylang Essential Oil and 2 drops Tea Tree Essential Oil. Apply this blend to the affected areas.

YLANG YLANG OIL VARIETIES & THEIR BENEFITS

YLANG YLANG ESSENTIAL OIL (#1, #2, and #3)

Botanical Name: Cananga odorata

Method of Extraction and Plant Part: Steam distilled from flowers

Country of Origin: Madagascar

Qualities of Each:

    • All the varieties share a scent that is characterized by a base note with a medium aroma. Their fragrances can be described as sweet, exotic, and floral; however, each higher grade has a slightly less-sweet aroma than the previous grade.
    • Ylang Ylang Essential Oil I: Has the sweetest, brightest scent of the 3 grades and is best suited to aromatherapy applications.
    • Ylang Ylang Essential Oil III: Has the heaviest/darkest scent and is the grade best suited to the manufacturing of scented soaps, candles, shampoos, and other bath and body products.
  • All Varieties: Have anti-depressant, aphrodisiac, euphoric, and sedative properties. They are reputed to tone the nervous and circulatory systems, regulate blood pressure, and calm heart palpitations. They balance sebum production and stabilize several other body functions.

CONTRAINDICATIONS FOR YLANG YLANG OIL

Ylang Ylang Oil should never be ingested due to its toxicity. It is imperative to consult a medical practitioner before using this oil for therapeutic purposes. Pregnant and nursing women are especially advised not to use Ylang Ylang Essential Oil without the medical advice of a physician, as it may have an effect on certain hormone secretions and it is unclear whether these effects are transferable to babies at these stages of development. The oil should always be stored in an area that is inaccessible to children, especially those under the age of 7.

Those with the following health conditions are recommended to be advised: diabetes, cancer, low blood pressure and other heart-related ailments, peptic ulcers, liver damage, bleeding disorders, skin disorders, or hormone-related ailments. Individuals that are taking prescription drugs, undergoing major surgery, or who are at a greater risk of experiencing strokes, heart attacks, or atherosclerosis are also advised to seek medical consultation prior to use.

Prior to using Ylang Ylang Oil, a skin test is recommended. This can be done by diluting 1 drop of the Essential Oil in 4 drops of a Carrier Oil and applying a dime-size amount of this blend to a small area of skin that is not sensitive. Ylang Ylang Oil must never be used near the eyes, inner nose, and ears, or on any other particularly sensitive areas of skin. Potential side effects of Ylang Ylang Oil include sensitization, rashes, headache, and nausea.

Those seeking medical care to manage moods, behaviors, or disorders should treat this essential oil as a complementary remedy rather than a replacement for any medicinal treatments or prescriptions. In the event of an allergic reaction, discontinue use of the product and see a doctor, pharmacist, or allergist immediately for a health assessment and appropriate remedial action. To prevent side effects, consult with a medical professional prior to use.

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Elemi Essential Oil

Elemi essential oil is distilled from a resin, is very skin-loving, and is great for the respiratory system.

Elemi has a lot in common with Frankincense.

But while Frankincense resin is produced in response to a wound in a plant’s trunk, Elemi resin is produced when the Canarium luzonicum tree sprouts leaves. When the resin makes contact with air, the tree produces a soft aromatic oleoresin that can be distilled for the essential oil.

Here are a few recipes that highlight Elemi’s talents!

Elemi is excellent for respiratory support.

I use Elemi for respiratory infections accompanied by a lot of mucus—such as colds or sinus infections. It’s especially helpful in blends for children because it’s so gentle.

I use Elemi in a chest rub blend for kids over five years old. You can make it in a 1 oz (30 ml) bottle.

Resin Chest Rub

  • 1 oz (30 ml) jojoba (Simmondsia chinensis)
  • 2 drops Elemi (Canarium luzonicum)
  • 1 drop Frankincense (Boswellia carterii)
  • 1 drop Myrrh (Commiphora myrrha)
  • 2 drops Cedarwood (Juniperus virginiana)

Just combine your ingredients in the 1 oz (30 ml) bottle. Rub a bit on the child’s chest two or three times a day.

For kids under five, you can diffuse the essential oils instead of applying them topically. Run the diffuser for about an hour several times during the day. Before bedtime, run it for half an hour in the child’s room, then turn off the diffuser when it’s time to go to sleep.

Elemi’s emotional and mental effects are also similar to those of Frankincense, so this blend is very calming and centering. Perfect for bedtime!


 

Make Elemi bath salts for relaxation.

Relaxation is so important for the nervous system and overall health, yet relaxing doesn’t come easily for a lot of people.

Back when I was a Massage Therapist, I made a lot of blends to encourage relaxation. One of my favorite ingredients was (and is!) Elemi essential oil. Elemi centers your mind and reassures your heart. It lets stress, over-thinking, and circuitous thoughts just fall away.

So I have a bath salt recipe that’s great for before bed!

Elemi Let Me Relax

  • 4 oz (112 g) Himalayan salts
  • 10 drops Elemi (Canarium luzonicum)
  • 2 drops Vetiver (Vetiveria zizanoides)
  • 2 drops Myrrh (Commiphora myrrha)
  • 6 drops Frankincense (Boswellia carterii)

Directions

Just put your salts in a wide-mouth 4 oz (120 ml) jar. Drop your essential oils into the salt as you stir gently. This recipe makes enough for four baths, with about 5 drops of essential oil per bath. (This dilution is very skin-friendly!)

If your muscles are sore, you can add Epsom salts to this recipe. Just add a half-cup of Epsom salts right to your bath water.

I suggest making this blend fresh every few weeks, as opposed to keeping it in storage, since it’s not made with a preservative.


 

Elemi is great for reducing scars.

Resin-based oils, including Frankincense and Elemi, are good at reducing scars and supporting healthy tissue re-growth. What I take away from the way Elemi resin is produced—so gently and naturally when the tree sprouts leaves—is that it can heal old wounds while encouraging new, healthy growth.

I thought it would be great to have this healing effect in a body butter for scars! So here is my recipe. It’s good for both old and new scars.

Scar Reducer Body Butter

This makes 6 oz (180 ml) of body butter. I like to make it in three 2 oz (60 ml) glass jars. You can also use an 8 oz (240 ml) jar, and just have space left over in the jar.

  • 1 oz (28 g) Beeswax (Cera Alba)
  • 2 oz (56 g) coconut oil (Cocos nucifera)
  • 2 oz (56 g) cocoa butter (Theobroma cacao)
  • 1 oz (28 g) shea butter (Butyrospermum parkii)
  • 60 drops Elemi (Canarium luzonicum)
  • 16 drops Helichrysum (Helichrysum italicum)

Directions:

  1. Melt the beeswax in a Pyrex measuring cup over the stove. (Use the “double boiler method”—putting the Pyrex in a soup pot that’s about ¼ full of boiling water.
  2. Add the coconut oil and melt.
  3. Add the cocoa butter and melt.
  4. Add the shea butter last, and stir gently until all the shea is melted.
  5. Remove the blend from heat.
  6. Add the essential oils, stirring gently.
  7. Pour your liquid body butter into the jars, place the lids over the tops (so the essential oil won’t evaporate), and let them cool for several hours.

You can use this body butter all over, but it’s especially healing for areas that are scarred or have been wounded, so go ahead and massage those places with extra special care!


 

Some of my favorite homemade perfumes include Elemi essential oil.

Elemi is a resin-based oil. It’s a base note and has a warm, peppery, piney, lemony aroma that can ground the other scents in a blend and harmonize them with one another. I have a true love for the incredible aroma of the essential oil.

Here’s a current favorite blend I’d like to share. I make it in a base of beeswax and vanilla-infused jojoba, winding up with a smooth, silky balm. The essential oils I use are:

  • 1 oz (28 g) Beeswax (Cera Alba)
  • 2 oz (60 ml) vanilla-infused Jojoba (Simmondsia chinensis)
  • 25 drops Elemi (Canarium luzonicum)
  • 15 drops Frankincense (Boswellia carterii)

Directions

  • First set up the Stovetop Melting Method. Place a Pyrex measuring cup in a soup pot ¼ full of gently simmering water.
  • Melt the beeswax in the Pyrex.
  • Add the vanilla-infused jojoba and remelt, stirring gently with a glass stirring rod or the handle of a stainless steel spoon.
  • Remove the blend from heat and add the essential oils, stirring gently.
  • Pour the blend into three 1 oz (30 ml) glass jars or metal salve tins.

Apply your perfume on your wrists, neck, and anywhere you’d like to smell good!

I can’t end this essential oil Spotlight without saying something about vanilla-infused jojoba! It’s just jojoba wax that has been infused with vanilla oleoresin. And it has such a rich, decadent scent! It’s the perfect background for Elemi and Frankincense. You can buy ready-made vanilla-infused jojoba, or make your own!


 

Get to know Elemi.

While Elemi fits right in with the other oils produced from resins (like Frankincense and Myrrh), it definitely has a unique personality that helps it stand out . . . and can help your blends stand out, too!

Organic Skin Care ~ 19 Chemicals to Avoid in Skin Care

The beauty industry has an ugly secret. Most skin care products–both regular and “organic”–contain harmful chemicals. When it comes to cosmetics, no one regulates what “organic” or “natural” means.

Your makeup, face cream, skin moisturizer, or cleanser may deliver short term smoothness and brightness, but it may disrupt your hormones and fertility, expose you to known cancer-causing pesticides, and deliver dangerous toxins that penetrate and age your skin. That’s right. The cosmetics you use may actually speed the formation of wrinkles, age spots, and worse.

In the US, researchers have found 1 of every 8 ingredients used in cosmetics is an industrial chemical. Many of these were originally created to keep concrete soft, remove grease from auto parts, and as surfactants paints and inks.

You might think if these industrial chemicals were that bad they’d be banned. Well, in fact, many are…in Europe. European authorities have banned more than a thousand of these chemicals. In the US, the FDA has banned eight.

Lookout for These 19 Ingredients

To protect your skin and keep it looking young, firm, and bright, look for these chemicals in all skin care products–and avoid them.

1. BHA/BHT

Used to lighten skin, BHA and BHT are considered by the National Toxicology Program as a likely carcinogen. In studies, animals exposed to these chemicals developed stomach cancer and liver damage and developed problems with their thyroid and reproductive organs. Banned in Europe.

2. Sodium Borate / Boric Acid

These chemicals interfere with hormones and cause infertility in men. Regular exposure is linked to low sperm counts. It absorbs easily into the skin and is used in diaper creams. Banned in Europe and Canada, and the cosmetic industry states it’s unsafe for infants.

3. Coal Tar

You can find coal tar still used in hair dyes and dandruff and psoriasis shampoos. It’s recognized as a carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer. On ingredient lists, it goes by aminophenol, diaminobenzene, and phenylenediamine.

4. Formaldehyde-Releasing Preservatives

Another known cancer causing agent, formaldehyde also harms the brain, interferes with growth and development in children, and induces asthma. These preservatives slowly release formaldehyde to keep the skin care product from spoiling. These often trigger allergic reactions on the skin. If you’ve ever experienced a contact allergy after using a skin lotion, it probably had one of these ingredients: DMDM Hydantoin (very common), Diazolidinyl urea, imidazolidinyl urea, methenamine, and quaternium-15.

5. PEG Compounds

These go by many names like Propylene glycol, polyethylene glycols, or polyoxyethylene as they are petroleum-based compounds. But they go by other names too; If you see a word with “–eth” or “–oxynol” in it, it’s likely one of these PEGs. These chemicals can be contaminated with 1,4-dioxane, a chemical the FDA says may cause cancer.

6. Mercury

You know mercury is bad, but some cosmetics use it to lighten the skin. It absorbs easily through your skin and with enough use can develop into mercury poisoning. Steer clear of products with “calomel”, “mercurio”, “mercurio chloride” or just plain old “mercury”.

7. Hydroquinone

Another skin lightener, it causes a skin disease called ochronosis that features black and blue lesions that can become permanent. In animals, studies have found enough exposure leads to tumor development.

8. Oxybenzone

Sunscreens use oxybenzone to absorb UV light. In humans, this chemical causes skin irritation and allergic reactions. Animal studies report it acts as an endocrine disruptor and interferes with hormone activity.

9. Triclosan

You’ll find this one in many antibacterial hand soaps and hand sanitizers. But it’s also used in deodorants, skin cleansers, and toothpaste. It’s another endocrine disruptor that harms your thyroid and reproductive hormones.

10. Parabens

You’ve probably seen a slew of products marketing themselves as “paraben-free”. These chemicals mimic estrogen and lead to hormone imbalance. Now, CDC reports suggest their presence in every American’s body. Whether they are or aren’t, avoid products with parabens to prevent reproductive problems like infertility or slowed growth and developmental disorders in children.

11. “Fragrance”

Also called a perfume, these terms indicate a mixture of ingredients that cosmetic companies don’t have to legally tell you about. Three thousand or more chemicals may be used to create a fragrance. Some “Unscented” products contain fragrances with masking agents.  Some fragrances have been linked to allergic reactions, asthma, and breathing difficulties while others have links to cancers.

12. Phthalates

A common ingredient in “fragrances”, phthalates block testosterone and damage a man’s reproductive system. These dangerous chemicals have also been linked to an increased risk of breast cancer.

13. Petroleum distillates

Used in mascara, these ingredients come from oil refineries and often contain impurities linked to cancer.

14. Siloxanes

These, and similar ingredients labeled as “methicones”, soften and smooth skin. They also disrupt your hormones and interfere with fertility and libido.

15. Sodium Lauryl (Laureth) Sulfate

You’ll find this one in most shampoos, soaps, and cleansers. It may contain 1,4-dioxane, a known carcinogen, and ethylene oxide, a chemical known to harm your nervous system. The California EPA has even identified it as a possible developmental toxin.

16. Toluene

Used in nail polish, toluene is also used in paint thinners. Research suggests it interferes with the human immune system and may be tied to the development of malignant lymphoma.

17. Retinol, or Retinyl Palmitate/Acetate

This vitamin A compounds are not safe for skin use. Sunlight breaks them down and creates free radicals that increase the risk of skin cancers. Avoid all skin and lip products with any of these vitamin A chemicals.

18. Fungicides

Used in dandruff shampoos, these ingredients wreak havoc when rinsed down the drain and into nature. Researchers report that one fungicide, climbazole, kills tiny organisms like algae and stops growth in larger plants and fish.

19. Nanoparticles

Many cosmetics now use nanoparticles to deliver chemicals to the surface or even into the skin. Many of these products have not been evaluated for safety. Some are even used in sprays that make it possible for particulates to enter your lungs and blood stream.

Best Options for Natural Skin Care

Even though the cosmetic industry is largely unregulated, with a few mindful steps, you can protect, heal and restore your skin. Many natural products including olive oil, coffee berry, and green tea can treat and prevent premature aging of your skin from UV exposure.  Here’s what to do…

First, don’t buy or use any cosmetic product, cream, sunscreen, ointment, or lotion that has any of the ingredients listed above. This may take a little work, but you and your family will be far better off in the long run.

Next, do a little research online. Take a little time and research products that not only claim to use natural, organic products but have ingredient lists that support their marketing. Find out where you can buy these.

Many of the best, safest, and “real” natural skin lotions and cosmetics can be bought online, saving you time and travel. For your most delicate skin, I personally recommend Parfait Visage®, an all-natural facial cream that contains no synthetic preservatives. For more information and as a great comparison label, view this ingredient list of a natural and organic skin care product.

Aromatherapy Healing ~ The Emotions

The fragrance captures the attention: the sweet smell of a rose, the enticing aroma of a freshly baked cinnamon apple cake, the appealing scent of a cup of warm peppermint tea, the pleasing fragrance of your favorite perfume. Just the word “aromatherapy” conjures up intriguing images, and with good reason. As much as we take our sense of smell for granted, fragrance affects us in a way that is both primal and provocative.

When I first began giving tours through my herb garden in the early 2000’s, I couldn’t help but notice how each fragrant herb produced its own unique effect. I also observed that each group of visitors responded the same way to particular fragrances. The lavender inevitably produced smiles and everyone who sniffed it noticeably relaxed. Chamomile soothed the group even more – so much, in fact, that everyone began speaking much more softly. That is until they reached the peppermint bed, which sent them chattering a mile a minute!

As a masseuse, I wondered how I could capture such mood-altering properties in a massage oil. I wanted to help send my clients into deeper relaxation and use fragrance to relieve their stress or to perk them up, depending on what they needed. Lavender has always been one of my favorite scents, so I selected it for my first experiment. It produced such relaxation in the first client I tried it on that she fell asleep – that was all the encouragement I needed! I designed a set of massage oils, each with a different effect: calming or energizing, coping with emotional conflicts and providing mental clarity.

The results from these oils were exciting, but little did I realize how popular aromatherapy would become a few years later. In the 2000’s, aromatherapy stepped into the world of modern science and marketing.

The term “aromatherapy” was first coined in the early part of the twentieth century by the French chemist Rene-Maurice Gattefosse, who used this word to describe the medicinal use of essential oils. In actuality, however, aromatherapy was not a new practice even then; it had always been a part of herbalism. Many traditional remedies had multiple purposes –  a single potion often served as cosmetic, perfume and medicine. This is no surprise since many aromatic herbs that are used as cosmetics are also medicinal.

What makes aromatherapy different from herbalism is that it uses only the herbs that contain essential oils. These herbs are easy to identify because they are all fragrant. When you read a herb book, keep in mind that all the medicinal properties found in a herb are not necessarily contained in its essential oil. Most herbs are filled with other compounds in addition to essential oils. However, the essential oils are often responsible for a herb’s antiseptic properties, and many of them perform other medicinal duties as well.

Not all aromatherapy deals with the effects of fragrance on the emotions. For example, fragrant herbs and essential oils are used in massage oils to loosen tight muscles.

Using Aromatherapy.

As mysterious as it might seem, aromatherapy is easy to use. It is also highly individual, built on the concept of finding the fragrances that are appropriate to each person’s emotional needs. The simplest way to determine the best healing fragrance for you is to determine which scents you find most appealing. After all, aromatherapy should be enjoyable. The best way to find the scents that are right for you is to try different scents one by one. If you don’t like a particular scent, pass it up and go to one that you find more attractive.

Most people prefer familiar fragrances. If a particular odor has a negative or positive association, it may evoke the same emotion the next time you smell it. When students participating in a study at the Olfaction Research Group at the University of Warwick in Coventry, England, were told that they performed poorly after taking a test in a scented room, they became depressed every time they smelled that odor. Students told that they were successful had the opposite reaction: Their self-confidence was boosted whenever they sniffed that aroma.

I know of children who have disliked the smell of strawberries ever since they experienced strawberry scented masks to help relax them during surgery. Many of us have known people we found romantically attractive, except for something vaguely unsettling. Then you realize that the person’s cologne or perfume is the same one that was worn by someone who broke your heart years before.

I once observed a similar phenomenon while giving an aromatherapy lecture. As a sample of lavender was passed around, each student who inhaled its fragrance relaxed and smiled, until it reached one man who immediately stiffened up with the most painful look on his face. When I asked if he had any past association with lavender, he remembered that it was used in his hometown funeral home. Many people he had been close to had died when he was a child and the scent of lavender produced a flood of painful feelings. I am sure that no matter how much he learns about the positive qualities of lavender, that man will never be able to truly enjoy its fragrance.

Many times I am asked if a person can overcome his or her dislike for a particular fragrance. It is not easy, but you can try to recondition yourself – providing your original negative experience with that scent was not too dramatic. When you are in an enjoyable place and mood, sniff a faint amount of the problematic scent combined with another scent that you like. After trying this a few times, you may find yourself experiencing the once-disliked fragrance more pleasantly.