I usually take a walk around the perfume & beauty products when I’m in an airport, just to see what’s out there – it often makes me feel a little sick, not just the headiness & intensity of most of the fragrances, but the feel of the advertising & packaging. You get a sense of what’s behind the product, the intention to draw you in & make you feel like you need something to make you more sexy, desirable, attractive, younger, confident &/or cool… most of the models in the ads have a look of total emptiness, a dash of aloofness & there is more than a whiff of porn in many of them.
It actually feels totally disgusting to have that directed at me, and the layout of the airport means you can not escape passing by it.
The product shown in the image here caught my attention and actually disturbed me as I realised we have come to a point where women are being marketed something that looks like a sex toy that we are supposed to roll our faces with.
I’ll let you feel into your own response to this but it’s worth being aware of the energy behind something we might buy, be that clothes, food, beauty products, anything, we are saying ‘yes’ to that product and supporting that business.
I wrote the following two blogs a while back on appreciating the quality we bring in the way we use skin care and beauty products, so even though we may not find many products on the market that offer something to truly honour how precious we are, we can bring it in the way we use it:
This is a treatment you can easily give yourself whenever you feel to. It can help with digestive problems such as IBS, bloating, constipation, general discomfort, loss of appetite and digestive anxiousness*.
You can use just olive oil, but if you would like essential oils to enhance the treatment then see the suggested blends below.
Lay down in a comfortable supported position. This is really important, you want to make sure you’re able to completely relax, it could be on your bed, sofa, a massage table or on the floor if you can support your body enough. Have a steady place ready for the oil to stand that you can reach and it’s not likely to be knocked over and wear clothes that can reveal your tummy area. You may need a towel under you incase the oil runs, blankets to keep you cosy and pillows or cushions to support your body (for your head or under knees).
Once you’re set, place one hand on your heart to help settle your body and use the other hand to massage the oil or ‘digestive blend’ around your tummy. Do this in small, gentle, anti-clockwise circles, initially just to apply the oil. Then you will follow the route of your digestive system, which goes clockwise, but make your massage movements anti-clockwise… begin at the stomach, just under your ribcage, then around the centre of your tummy covering the ‘small intestine’ area, gradually move down towards the start of the ‘ascending colon’, follow this up the right side of your body, then across the body as it becomes the ‘transverse colon’ and finally to the ‘descending colon’ down the left side of your body. You may feel to repeat, to focus on certain areas and to take a moment to rest once complete.
I actually love doing this before I go to sleep at night and would love to be able to continue laying there until I fall asleep but I have to get up to wash the oil off my hands, especially if I’ve used an essential oil blend.
*The massage is a support, not a longterm cure for symptoms, but it can help relieve and clear in the moment. You should consult your doctor if symptoms persist.
Here are some blend suggestions, they are also available to purchase as a ‘Bespoke Blend’ designed for your personal situation:
My workshops involve making aromatherapy and skincare products using essential oils and other plant derived ingredients. I choose to run them in settings that have a connection to nature, preferably with plants that yield essential oils. I feel it is important to know where the ingredients come from, who looks after them and how. This in itself can tell you a lot about the plants properties, qualities and help understand why it might be useful for supporting health and wellbeing. It also highlights how precious the plants are, when you realise the quantity of plant material needed and the huge amount of work that goes into providing a tiny little bottle of essential oil, you cannot help but respect it and the way you use it more deeply. A lot goes into every single drop and it makes a difference if what goes into it is love, care and consideration for the all!
In 2020, I will be running several courses in association with the Field Studies Council, this is an organisation who have been providing outdoor education since 1943 and are dedicated to taking care of our natural environment.
I feel honoured to be working with them and highly recommend visiting any of their stunning sites which are situated in areas of natural beauty all over the country. In most cases you can stay onsite, with meals provided and they offer a huge range of natural history and art and craft courses. It is a gorgeous opportunity to go away for a weekend and connect with nature. My workshops are part of a new initiative focusing on health and wellbeing and will be offered at the following centres:
Weekend Course in Wales: Botanical Alchemy – Natural Skin Care & Aromatherapy at FSC Orielton, from Friday 17th – Sunday 19th April 2020. Takes place at their impressive Georgian mansion secluded in 120 hectares of diverse habitats including woodland, grassland, meadows and freshwater. Click here for full details.
Weekend Course in Scotland: Botanical Alchemy – Natural Skin Care & Aromatherapy at FSC Millport, located on the Isle of Cumbrae on the Firth of Clyde, from Friday 1st – Sunday 3rd May 2020. Click here for full details.
One day workshops in Suffolk: a series of 4 consecutive day workshops at FSC Flatford Mill, set amidst the quintessentially English countryside of the Dedham Vale. You can book the following workshops individually, or all four for a discounted price, click each workshop for full details:
Weekend Course in Devon: Botanical Alchemy – Natural Skin Care & Aromatherapy at FSC Slapton Ley on the coast of South Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, from Friday 7th – Sunday 9th August 2020. Click here for full details.
Please note that these oils are organic, high quality and with a good shelf life, but my range will slowly reduce to focus on the more precious oils that I have been sourcing and that seem to be more popular with my clients.
During refreshment breaks at my events, I like to serve tea and snacks made with scented botanical ingredients. For ‘Plant to Perfume‘ workshops at Glasgow Botanic Gardens, I have a friend make ‘nut balls’ flavoured with my orange essential oil, here is the really simple recipe if you would like to make them:
Last month a cabinet of heavy perfume bottles tipped onto my head and left me with two cuts on my forehead.
The following pictures show the stages of the wounds healing during the first week, until the scab fell off the lower cut (which happened naturally over night, I did not pick it*):
I’ve been making bespoke blends with essential oils for clients for many years to help them take care of their scars after a variety of operations including mastectomy, caesarean & broken bones. The experience of caring for my own scar has given me a deeper appreciation for the preciousness of what I offer & how supportive it can be.
I felt quite tearful & vulnerable just after it happened, especially when I looked at the cuts on my face. I went away for 4 days straight after it happened so I swiftly made my usual blend (recipe below) to take care of it – knowing I was able to do this with effective quality ingredients made me feel better – I use rosehip oil, calendula macerated in olive oil and essential oils of myrrh, lavender, chamomile and rose.
Initially I only dabbed it very gently around the wound as it was sore and did so twice a day. At this stage it is important not to apply it directly onto the wound, as it prevents it drying out & the scab from forming but since the oils absorb into the skin, it is still effective.
When the scab fell off and I could see that the skin had closed completely underneath, I continued to apply twice a day directly onto the scar and spent more time gently massaging it in as it was not so sore.
After the first week I made a balm which is easier to apply than an oil blend – made with the same ingredients, just with added butter & wax to make it a solid consistency.
These pictures are taken from the 2nd to 4th week after the incident:
What I noticed is how much the redness faded and how the skin was raised around the scar and has flattened out now.
I didn’t appreciate that much had changed each day until I put the pictures together, I had a few thoughts that it wasn’t doing much and a few moments where I only just remembered to apply, but the pictures show a gradual improvement and that’s after only one month. It really makes a difference to be consistent with your care and you can continue to care for a scar for as long as you want, years even and also begin to care for old scars and still see an improvement.
The images below show the scars healing between 2 and 3 months, they are closer up than the previous images and I actually have wrinkles more prominent than the scars. I will continue to use the scar care balm as each time I compare previous pictures, I can see an obvious continuation in improvement, but I also notice that I’m less dedicated to applying the balm twice daily as they don’t show so much now, but again, the when I see the difference, I’m inspired to keep going…
If you would like to try a scar care balm, for any type of scar including mastectomy, caesarean, old injuries, even acne scars, please get in touch Laura@essentialoilsandyou.co.uk or use the recipes below to make your own.
There is plenty of research to support that massage itself helps scars to heal, so the combination of ingredients in the blend and the act of massage helps the scar to heal as best as possible, although everyone will do so in their own way and time. It’s important not to make it about the end result, but supporting yourself as best you can through what can be a very vulnerable time… I also made an effort to support my body to heal from the inside too, I took Vitamin C powder each day and avoided all unhealthy inflammatory foods.
Scar Care – 20ml Oil Blend Recipe (5% max strength blend used first week)
rosehip oil, 10ml
calendula macerated in olive oil, 10ml
myrrh essential oil (not suitable in pregnancy), 10 drops
lavender essential oil, 7 drops
chamomile essential oil, 2 drops
rose otto essential oil, 1 drop
Scar Care – Balm Blend Recipe (3% blend for continued use)
rosehip oil, 20ml
calendula macerated in olive oil, 24ml
beeswax (or alternative if vegan), 3g
myrrh essential oil (not suitable in pregnancy), 20 drops
Introducing OYL’E London – Essential Oil Diffusing Jewellery.
Last year I met Sumera Shamim at one of my natural perfumery workshops and she shared her plan to make essential oil diffusing jewellery. I could tell immediately that what she would design was going to be exquisite and would reflect her own beautiful style.
When she got in touch to let me know her range of jewellery was ready I was not disappointed, every detail has been carefully considered and the design so elegant and delicate.
The collection is made from 925 Sterling Silver and Rhodium plated allowing durability. The OYL’E pendant is designed to open with ease, but not accidentally, and holds a bespoke 100% pure wool bead perfectly. The vents that make up the pendant are constructed specifically to slowly diffuse your chosen essential oil & aroma throughout the day. The chains are adjustable, allowing them to be worn quickly and easily.
I have been wearing my bracelets and pendants for a couple of months now, and the initial captivation has not worn off, in fact it has deepened as the real magic of the product comes into play. Each morning I decide between the rose gold and the silver jewellery and then I decide which scent I want to wear.
The essential oils are sprinkled onto a little ball of organic washable wool and then encapsulated in the sphere. I currently have a few balls with different combinations of oils on. Every now and then they need refreshing and sometimes a new oil is added to the mix.
It’s a lovely moment in my morning ritual that I am then reminded of through out my day. Often I take the pendant to my nose and enjoy the perfume, and sometimes if I bend down and the pendant swings I notice the scent. I have a different blend inside the bracelet and so get to enjoy two smells.
This really is a beautiful way to use essential oils, some of my clients use them to support their health, one made a blend to help with a cold, one for feelings of anxiety and one for morning sickness.
At the moment I have rose, neroli & pink pepper in my pendant, and sandalwood, myrrh & black pepper in my bracelet…