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:
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…
When I trained 10 years ago, I was taught that it was generally accepted to be safe to use lavender and tea tree essential oils undiluted on the skin. A drop applied neat to a specific area such as a spot, cut, burn, insect bite or a graze was considered appropriate as an anti-septic, to ease pain & inflammation and help the area to heal more effectively and efficiently. It’s something that I’ve practised myself and also advised clients to do so, but after investigating essential oil safety more deeply recently, my view on this has now changed.
The safe use of essential oils is a hot topic in the world of professional aromatherapy right now because there is a huge amount of unsafe use promoted on the internet, mainly by MLM (multi-level marketing) companies, especially with regards to using oils internally and undiluted on the skin, with severe outcomes.
You should never use essential oils internally without professional support from someone experienced in using oils in this way – it is worth noting that it would be quite rare that it would be recommended, and should definitely not be used for boosting general health.
You should never use essential oils undiluted internally; drinking a few drops of essential oil in a glass of water would expose the delicate lining of your digestive system to a neat oil, (since essential oils do not mix with water) it could burn and cause serious damage.
If you consider how much plant material is needed to make such a tiny bottle of oil, you get an idea of how concentrated it is; 250 pounds of lavender for just 1 pound of lavender oil, 1200 rose flowers for just 20 drops of rose oil.
I had never had a ‘reaction’ to an essential oil (apart from a few I’ve disliked the scent of), but a few months ago during a course making an alcohol perfume, my skin responded in this way (see image below) after dropping an essential oil mixed with alcohol on it, it passed after about 20 minutes and may have been due to the alcohol. I have handled essential oils pretty much every day for 10 years without problems but this goes to show that you can never be sure and should always be careful.
If you do happen to get an essential oil on your skin and have a ‘reaction (which could include burning, itching, a rash or hives) then you can apply olive oil or another base product to the area as this will help to dilute it. Even if you have used lavender neat on your skin without any initial reactions or irritation it could still cause ‘sensitisation’. which can occur after over use of a product.
What does sensitisation mean?
it’s an immune response to using an oil regularly over a period of time,
symptoms could include a rash, hives, blisters, sores, burning, cracked skin & shortness of breath,
it could mean that you can never use that oil again.
If, like me, you use lavender for a myriad of reasons, it would be a real shame to one day find you can’t use it all, so it’s wise to take precautions.
Using essential oils is not a case of the more you use the better the effect, so you do not miss out by diluting the oil, in fact it is usually more beneficial to be used in a carrier product.
Advantages of diluting essential oils:
base oils are nourishing to the skin,
you use a lot less oil which reduces the demand which means less impact on the environment,
you use less and therefore spend less.
I now have a bottle of ready to use lavender essential oil blended in olive oil in the house for all those moments when I need it. If you want to make a ready to use blend you can either add 5 drops to 10ml of base oil (or 2 drops in 10ml for children & sensitive skin), or if you have a different sized container, click here to refer to the blending chart to check how many drops to use.
Do not dilute essential oil when using in a diffuser or burner, in an inhaler stick, if you sprinkle lavender on your pillow at night, or use it in your ironing water. None of these are going directly on your skin and using a base oil would stain sheets or damage diffusers.
Since lavender is one of the safest essential oils to use, all other essential oils should also be diluted before use on the skin, including in the bath.
When we think of relationships most of us will automatically refer to the one we have with an intimate partner, but actually we are having a relationship with everything all of the time, even with inanimate objects such as a chair, or with our computer. We have a relationship with our environment, with sleep, with work and with food… so of course we can have a relationship with essential oils too. And, in all cases, we are either having a healthy, harmonious relationship or not.
Essential Oils and You is about bringing awareness to the relationship we have with ourselves and how that can be reflected in how we use the oils.
Essential Oils + You = Relationship.
The question is though, what kind of relationship is that?
The quality of your ingredients will play a part in the quality of the outcome, so using quality essential oils is important but what is the quality that ‘you’ bring to the relationship?
Whatever it is that you are having a relationship with, ‘You’ are the common ingredient, and the relationship you have with yourself will have a great impact on the outcome. And so, ‘the way’ you relate to you and the quality of care that you bring to you is really important.
When it comes to using an essential oil, I have had many clients who ask for an oil to ‘fix’ back pain, or an oil to ‘solve’ sleep problems. It is possible to use them in this way, i.e. to match the symptom with an essential oil with properties to address that symptom.
For example, lavender essential oil has pain relieving and calming properties, so it can support back pain and sleep problems. But, what about the affect of ‘you’ in that equation?
What if it is the quality of our intention behind using the oils that matters most? Do we just want relief from a situation so we can continue living in a way that has contributed to those ailments? Or do we want the true healing on offer?
What if your purpose in using the oils was more like this:
I have back pain, there are lots of things going on in my life that I think may be causing it, and some that seem to make it worse, how can I support myself best to change or address these things that are resulting in back pain?
When we ask ourselves these questions, then there is the potential for true healing to be the result, rather than bypassing the issue that caused the symptom and just addressing the outcome. The more honest you can be with yourself, the more you get to discover about yourself and the quality of your relationship with yourself deepens. You then bring a different intention to the way you can use essential oils (support rather than relief) and a different quality to all your relationships.
So the equation has the potential to look something like this:
Essential Oils + You = an unfolding relationship with more honesty, more care, more awareness, more understanding, more nurturing, more love… in relation to everything in life, and hopefully along the way the symptoms will improve or pass as you deal with the root causes.
Your most important relationship is the one you have with your self, because you are the key ingredient in your relationships with everything else in your life, whether it be the way you use essential oils, the way you express with your colleagues at work, or the way you put yourself to sleep each night… You are the most important ingredient in every relationship.
Recently, I had the absolute pleasure of working at Hever Castle, in Kent, during their summer event: ‘Hever In Bloom’ -it’s a week in their calendar when the gardens are in full bloom and I gave daily talks and ran workshops for visitors about essential oils.
I can not help but appreciate my surroundings here and each day I enjoyed walking around the walled rose garden that smells so heavenly in the warm sunshine. And here I am reminded of an anecdote on the importance of appreciation that Natalie Benhayon shared previously at a presentation for women, it goes something like this…
You have the most beautiful rose garden, you’ve put lots of work into it leading up to the summer and there is an entire rainbow of coloured flowers on show, delicious scents that make you swoon and an abundance of wild life enjoying the full blooms in all their glory. It’s a stunning sight and everyone that passes by is impressed and can’t help but enjoy it.
But – there has to be a ‘but’ – and that ‘but’ is a very small patch of weeds, tiny infact, just a few sprouts, but they’re really annoying you, so when anyone pays you a compliment about how beautiful your rose garden is, you respond with “Oh, but look at those weeds, I really need to get on top of them”, and when the person responds with “What weeds? I hadn’t noticed any.” all you can do is remain focused on the weeds: “Oh they’re all over the place, those darn weeds!”. And, yet, the garden is breath takingly beautiful. Yes, there are a few weeds to deal with, and if they were ignored they may begin to affect the beauty in the rose garden, but by bringing all the focus to them, you miss out on the beauty and joy in the garden – When you can’t see the roses for the weeds, it seems even a few weeds have taken over the show…
It’s worth considering how much we bring appreciation into our daily life. How often do we bat away a compliment by playing it down, ignoring it, completely denying it, or possibly admitting it with a ‘Yes, but…’ deflection. What would happen if we actually accepted that compliment and realised the importance of showing and sharing our natural, unique and lovely qualities? We are taught to not blow our own trumpet, but what if the more we blow our own trumpet, the more others will realise it’s ok to blow theirs and before long we’ll have a full blowing orchestra of people shining. The music is then enjoyed by many, just as the beauty of the rose garden is, and we too can enjoy and cherish ourselves with out holding back or playing small.
If it feels a little awkward to accept a compliment and enjoy the rose garden in full (while still taking care of the weeds) then we can start to bring appreciation into our daily life. This can be as simple as taking a moment in between the day’s tasks and recognising the completion before rushing onto the next task. We can easily get caught in the overwhelm of ‘things to do’ but if we were to appreciate each little step along the way, then the whole day doesn’t need to pass by under the pressure of trying to get a ‘to do’ list done, with a view to only appreciating and feeling satisfied if we complete it -which never happens as the ‘to do’ list is always never ending!
Appreciation can then begin to really bloom, with our rose garden showing the depth of the beauty that resides in us naturally, what ever kind of day we are having.
‘A rose by any other name would smell as sweet’, but there is no trying to be sweet, the sweetness is just there, so take a moment to stop and enjoy it.
If you feel like you would like more time to stop and smell the roses, you might like to join ‘‘A Rose Retreat‘ in beautiful Bulgaria, beneath the Balkan mountains, in the rose valley – an opportunity to deepen your understanding of appreciation in a place that will constantly reflect this. Click here for more details.
Rose Essential Oil is one I often choose to use with men.
When I first began studying essential oils and aromatherapy, I carried out a lot of practice massage sessions on friends and family and I immediately noticed that when I chose the blend of essential oils to use during the treatment, rose oil was making a lot of appearances – it didn’t make a difference if the client was male, in fact I realised that I almost always used it with men.
Rose oil has a deeply nurturing quality to it, and using it can support us to bring more of this quality to the way we treat ourselves. So, when I considered how much I was using it with men, it felt important not to shy away from it, because surely men deserve to be nurtured, cherished and adored just as much as women? In fact, it may be more important for them to feel that, because in many cases, they will not have been shown that quality by society. At heart breakingly early ages boys have their sensitivity crushed, by being told to ‘man up’, ‘don’t be a baby’ and that ‘real men don’t cry‘ – before they’re even born their baby grow is picked out in ‘baby blue’.
There are so many stereotypes swamping our society of what a man should be like, even the perfume industry dictates what men should smell like, there is a certain style of scent that is always marketed towards men – with more woody, spicy, musky, ‘manly’ notes – compared to a classic ‘feminine’ fragrance which would be light, delicate and floral, and definitely not seen as masculine.
Rose is one of my favourite essential oils by far, but I always choose the oils to support the client and why wouldn’t I use one of the most divine, delicate, sweet, lovely essential oils with a man? When a man is naturally himself he is absolute love, tenderness, and so deeply caring. Even the hardest, toughest man is as sensitive as a new born baby under that bravado and given a new born baby to hold he would surrender to this natural delicate tender way in an instant.
When I have experienced a man expressing that natural tenderness, it has blown me away, and far from being pathetic or soft, it is truly powerful and either melts me, or makes me feel uncomfortable because it shows me when I’m rushing and not being delicate in the way I move. There is so much more beauty for us to appreciate in men and this is why I have such a tendency to use rose with male clients, wether it be to celebrate that quality in them or to support them in letting it out.