Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Aromatic Holidays part 2

Okay I am on a roll and want to share with you some the easiest and most effective ways to change your world and the world of the people around you through essential oils.

Let's Make Holiday Logs for the fire. Whether your fireplace is inside or outside, this will surely evoke memories of yesteryear and perhaps create new ones for years to come.

All you need is one drop of EO, that's right only ONE drop of Essential oil per log per fire. Surprisingly, this one drop will be enough to provide an aromatic boost to the Holiday ambiance. If you make a holiday blend from the essential oils below, simply use ONE drop.

Simply put the "Firewood or Holiday" oil onto the log and leave it to soak in before putting on the fire. I suggest 20-30 minutes, sounds good. The reason is that Essential oils are flammable so unless the oil has been given time to soak in, you might see more sparks than you bargained for.  I usually prepare several logs at a time and set them aside and use as needed.

Firewood Essential Oils: Frankincense, Myrrh, Cedarwood, Cypress, Sandalwood

Holiday Essential Oils: Cinnamon, Clove, Bay, Pine, Cedarwood, Mandarin, Orange Tangerine, Frankincense, Myrrh

(Essential oils can be found at your local natural grocer or specialty store or my favorite source Aromatics International.)

Happy Holidays from the studio of Aromatic Institute to your family...As always, thank you for your support throughout the year and as a way to show you our gratitude, use coupon code "thanks" for 20% savings when shopping with us at Aromatic Institute, where we have better Synergy Essential Blends for diffusing or putting on logs throughout the year.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Aromatic Holidays

As we are full swing in the holiday season, I have found that most are getting into the real season of holiday spirit, which is not the materialistic world of Big Box shopping. This blog is meant to awaken your senses and bring back fond memories of holidays past.

There is an aroma that most of us know and it definitely warms the spirit and evokes fond childhood holiday memories and that is fresh cut Pine or other resinous conifer. The simplest way to fill your surroundings with this heavenly smell is to use it as garland throughout. Dress your windows and doorways, decorate it with ribbons, bows and lights if you like.

The association of a particular aroma varies for many depending on where you were brought up or lived. Here in the good ole USA memories of happy childhood holidays may be evoked the aroma of
Bayberry, because traditionally at this time of year, candles made from Bayberry wax was burned in the memory of the first settlers who made all their candles from the Bayberry.

So from my studio to your family, I give to you today a simple recipe for HOLIDAY HOUSE SPRAY.


Pine Essential Oil 8 drops

Orange EO 4 drops

Cinnamon EO 2 drops

Diluted in 1 cup of distilled water in a plant spray bottle.

(These oils are available at your local natural grocer and other specialty stores, or one of my reputable sources for quality oils
Aromatics International)

With the help of nature's essential oils, the evocative aromas of the Holidays need not be lost. Stay tuned as Part 2 will be here soon.

Please visit 
Aromatic Institute for all your natural, organic skincare and aromatherapy needs.

Happy Holidays and Most Abundant New Year!


Monday, December 12, 2011

Choosing Essential Oils

There are a variety of companies that sell essential oils. Knowing the reputable ones from the bandwagon ones takes knowledge and further research.

As an professional Aromatherapist, there are several factors I must inquire before purchasing essential oils.
  1. knowing the date of distillation is extremely important as some essential oils begin to lose their therapeutic value and have approximately `1-2 years of shelf life.
  2. I always ask for the GC/MS fore each oil of purchase as this gives me the exact constituents that are comprised in a specific batch of essential oil.
  3. Knowing the conditions in which the oil was grown also lends to the constituent value of a specific oil.
Now with these unique factors in place, your average consumer would not be privy to this information nor would they know how to analyze it.  It is my belief that if you want an oil that smells good to freshen your environment, go ahead and purchase it from your local health food store.

There is no way of knowing how long that product has been on the shelf nor can you know if it was adulterated in the extraction process. Unfortunately there are companies that add chemicals or other ingredients to a specific batch of essential oil to "stretch" the yield.  Again, to the average consumer, your nose might not pick up on this.

As the holidays approach, we at Aromatic Institute would like to wish you a most merry holiday sewason and Happy New Year!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The Impact of the Safe Cosmetics Act 2011 on Small Businesses

We urge you to oppose the Safe Cosmetics Act, H.R. 2359.  My colleague and friend Kayla Fioravanti from Essential Wholesale has broken down the bill and how this will affect small businesses and big alike which will trickle down to the consumer. 

The Safe Cosmetics Act 2011 is now publicly available and you can read it here.  I have carefully reviewed every section of The Safe Cosmetics Act, H.R. 2359 and it is my firm belief that the bill is fundamentally flawed and could not go through enough revisions to gain Essential Wholesale’s support.  For that reason, we oppose H.R. 2359.  You can read my point by point opposition here.

Our objective as small business owners is to gather support to defeat H.R. 2359 rather than to accept the small business exemptions in this draft of the bill, which amount to small and insignificant tokens of compromise when they are viewed in context of the entire bill.  I have shared bullet points to explain my opposition of the bill and show the adverse impact on small businesses and the cosmetic industry as a whole.

Looking at the current make-up of the House of Representatives, I am confident that we can stop this bill, especially given the economic environment and the fast approaching elections.  Most members of Congress are reluctant to do anything that will adversely impact businesses of any size, including raising fees, increasing taxes, and making it in any way harder for them to increase hiring.  Share with your Representative how this bill will impact your business and let your voice be heard.

We ask that all small business owners takes the time to thoroughly read the entire bill, not just the exemptions in a vacuum, and understand all aspects of the legislation prior to supporting it.  While it is true that small businesses are exempt from fees and registration, they are not exempt from numerous flawed regulations that minimize any positive impact the exemptions might otherwise have.

If this bill were to pass, small businesses would be unable to comply with even a fraction of what is required, because its overall impact, even with the exemptions, would cost them far more than any fee or registration requirement.  And, I haven’t even started discussing the adverse impact this bill would have on the consumers who have benefited from being able to choose handmade soap and cosmetic products made by small and independent American businesses.

I have not come to this conclusion lightly.  I have read and re-read the bill in excruciating detail.

Impact of The Safe Cosmetics Act on Small Businesses

Small businesses are exempt from registration and fees, but the costs of complying with the rest of the requirements of the bill will far outweigh these costs.

In addition, these exemptions would place a large target on small businesses for big businesses, Campaign for Safe Cosmetics (or as some say "Campaign for Scaring Consumers") and the Environmental Working Group to use to say that cosmetics from small businesses are the only unsafe cosmetics in the world due to lack of compliance.

All small businesses, soapers and crafters would fall under “professional use” and “vulnerable populations” sections of the bill.

Small businesses, and big, could never comply with the “reasonable certainty of no harm” section of the bill that requires omniscient-like knowledge of consumers environment and buying habits to account for “additive effects” and “cumulative exposures” of every potential customer of their cosmetics.  The safety standards are simply impossible to comply with and leave all businesses vulnerable to closure, fines and/or private lawsuits.

Small businesses that are not registered will not receive up to date information regarding changes in regulations, ingredient safety and will suffer due to the fact that they are segregated out of the communication loop between the FDA and cosmetic companies.

Consumers would get the impression that the products of big businesses are safer than those from small businesses due to the difference in regulation.

The costs of raw materials will increase for everyone.  Small businesses buy ingredients from suppliers who will have to pay the registration fee and comply with the new regulations.  The trickle-down effect of the costs of compliance will hit both consumers and small businesses.

Many small businesses use Private Label and Contract Manufacturing companies.  These relationships that have long been protected and private will now be forced out into the open with many of the requirements in this legislation.  In addition, many of the Private Label and Contract Manufacturing companies are large enough to be required to register and/or pay the fees required in this legislation and the costs will be passed down in higher prices to the small businesses.

All businesses will be required to disclose their supply sources to the government rather than simply INCI names or CAS # of an ingredient.

All finished cosmetics, whether from a big or small business, will require pre-market testing in order to comply with the parts per billion contaminant ingredient listing and MSDS creation.  The costs of pre-market testing for contaminants from ingredients, the combination of ingredients and packaging would be a barrier to entry for small businesses and put the majority of them out of business with the enactment of this bill.  In addition, all MSDS will be required to be available in any language and small businesses will bear the cost of producing those in all translations.

MSDS are for the handling of hazardous material.  The simple fact of requiring a MSDS for all finished cosmetics treats them as if cosmetics are hazardous materials.  This creates the wrong impression of cosmetics and will lower the value of MSDS when companies are truly handling hazardous materials.
The paper trail required of MSDS for finished cosmetics and an MSDS for all of the ingredients in each cosmetic is a ridiculous waste of paper and natural resource in the day and age when companies are trying to operate green and paperless.

Many small businesses specialize in natural and organic cosmetic products.  There is no exemption for botanicals and no guarantee that they will be among the first 300 ingredients given listing and approval in the first year.  All cosmetic chemicals already have safety data that will make it easier for non-botanical cosmetics to prove safety before the natural industry.

The requirement for all suppliers and manufacturers to submit safety data and information for their ingredient will virtually end the supply of fair trade and small farm natural botanicals.  It will be impossible for small farmers in the United States, overseas or in the small villages that supply fair trade ingredients to comply with this regulation.  The safety data would require the testing for and disclosure of all contaminants in parts per billion requiring sophisticated testing procedures.

The bill requires that the Secretary send “notification of failure” to “each known customer” if the Secretary fails to act in time to a cosmetic or ingredient.  This would require small businesses to track their customers, even if they sell at a craft or farmers market.  This is simply impossible and over-reaching.

Suppliers of ingredients would be required to do pre-market testing on their ingredients based on what “the supplier expects may be used in a cosmetic” which would be costly and simply an impossible act of mind reading and again omniscient knowledge.

Many times throughout the bill there are requirements for tests to be repeated even if the ingredient was tested already by another source.  Even if the supplier of an ingredient has complied the manufacturer of the cosmetic must repeat the process for the finished good in the retail packaging.

The 24 hours given to respond and appeal a “cease distribution” will require small businesses to have 24 hour legal representation on hand.  This will simply cause small businesses to fold in the case of a cease distribution order, even if it is unwarranted.

Small businesses will be unable to afford to “petition for information to remain confidential” which will put them at a distinct disadvantage to those who can afford a legal staff.

All small businesses who think they got a pass with the registration and registration fee need to be well aware that your products will not be exempt from this random testing.  I think my favorite part of this is “or other relevant issues of concern (as determined by the Secretary).” Which makes these random tests like the ultimate of pop quizzes – you won’t even know how to prepare for the test because you don’t know what it might cover.

Universal Flaws of SCA that Impact the Entire Cosmetic Industry

Label Confusion:  There is no exemption for contaminants that occur in nature and appear in botanicals.  In addition, the process of writing a descending order label with all components and contaminants of every ingredient will require percentages of each to be known and merged like a Rubik’s cube.  It will take a math whiz to accurately produce a correct label.

International Confusion: American made cosmetics will be completely out of step with the rest of the world and simply confuse consumers with long, unrecognizable ingredient lists.

Aromatherapy: All essential oils will be required to list constituents and contaminants making it impossible to recognize the essential oil used and wrongly alarming consumers.

Authoritative Source:  The Secretary and resources for safety information are less qualified to address the safety of cosmetic ingredients than the current CIR Panel.  This will cause confusion and the listing of ingredients never used in cosmetics and information unrelated to the topical use of ingredients.

Duplication of Registration: In Sec 619 of the bill the manufacturer and distributor of a cosmetic are both required to have a registration number.  This would force even more layers of red-tape and expenses into the cost of cosmetics for consumers.

New wild, wild West:  Small businesses, and big, would all be at risk of the new wild, wild West created by this bill.  According to Sec. 620 ANY “responsible party” that has ANY “reason to believe that a cosmetic” is adulterated or misbranded by the definitions of this new legislation and has ANY reason to “present a reasonable probability that the use or exposure to the cosmetic (or an ingredient or component used in any such cosmetic) will cause a threat of serious adverse health effects or death to humans” has the right to turn your into the Secretary.

It will be your duty to defend yourself against ANY and ALL inaccurate “probability” that someone has that your product will cause “adverse health effects or death to humans” despite the fact that no cosmetics EVER have.

Adverse Health Effects:  The term adverse health effect is not clearly defined in the bill, despite being peppered throughout the language of the bill.  In reality an adverse health effect could be an allergic reaction, which given the range of allergies in the world would be impossible to avoid in one in a million people.

You can help stop this bill by sharing your opposition at Open Congress, writing your Representative and spreading this message through your channels of influence.  If you are are twitter please use #no2sca to help quickly spread the message.

This petition is for crafters, owners of small and big businesses and consumers of cosmetics.  If you love cosmetics from small and big businesses and handcrafted please sign this petition to formally oppose The Safe Cosmetics Act 2011.

The Oppose H.R. 2359: Safe Cosmetics Act of 2011 is ready for you to sign.

Thank you for taking the time to read and educate yourself of a topic that we in the industry have be battling and getting revised for quite some time now. We need your voice. We must rise up together to break down a system that does not have the people's best interest at heart.Remember that we at Aroma Pharmica provide an array of organic chemical free skincare products that are infused with therapeutic essential oils that create healing effects for the mind and body.

Until next time, XOH

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Cats and essential oil safety

This post comes from the infamous Robert Tisserand, one of my mentors in the essential oil realm. What a pleasure to know and work with him as his passion and knowledge are tremendous! Thanks Robert! This is a much needed topic of discussion to be aware of. He and Vicki co-wrote an article that can be found in the post below. She and I met at an AIA conference a few years ago. Great woman with a passion for animal care and aromatherapy. I love my feline companions, thanks for a great article.
 I recently helped Vicki Rae Thorne with an article about cats and essential oil safety. You can find the article here, and it appears in the July 2011 edition of Animal Wellness Magazine. Vicki canvassed many opinions, and it’s an excellent piece, though I will say that I am not quite as concerned as it might appear. It’s true that cats are missing an enzyme (glucuronyl transferase) that humans do possess, and which is important in the metabolism of many essential oil constituents. Therefore, there is a theoretical risk of increased toxicity to cats.

Menthol, for example, is primarily metabolized (in humans and rodents) through glucuronidation, and toxicity testing shows that menthol is 3-4 times more toxic to a cat than a rat (Opdyke 1976). We don’t know for sure that the greater toxicity to felines is because of the missing enzyme, but it’s very likely. But, while 3-4 times is a significant difference, it’s not a massive one. I certainly don’t advocate dousing your cat in large quantities of neat essential oils – ever. And cats are quite susceptible to toxicity from nutmeg oil and tea tree oil. But, a small amount of any essential oil, and a moderate amount of most, will not harm your cat.

In 1995 a Japanese film crew came to my house in Brighton England, to film me and my cat Myrtle. It was for a Japanese tv show about famous people and their cats, but the focus was clearly on Myrtle, not me. And, I guess you did not have to be an A-list celeb to be classed as “famous” (though aromatherapy is more popular in Japan than in the US, and with my father-figure status…I’m just saying…)

The shoot with Myrtle was difficult. She was not a very social creature even with her family. At one point she hid under a bed, and my two (then little) girls decided to jump up and down on the bed, to “encourage” her to come out. The film crew’s focus went down to floor level in order to film Myrtle steadfastly staying where she was, with the mattress bouncing up and down on her head. This went on for some time.

Somehow Myrtle survived a further 13 years and when she passed away she was replaced by Ziggy.
Ziggy is a Maine Coon, a breed of cat ideally suited to cold climates. Maine Coons have long hair, even between their toes, and long, bushy tails. So, not exactly perfect for Southern California weather, but when we got him as a kitten he didn’t look especially hairy! I have never used essential oils on Ziggy, because I have never had a reason to. I did use tea tree oil on Myrtle once, when she had an infected puncture wound. I squeezed out the pus, and dripped one drop of tea tree oil into the hole. I repeated this treatment over next two days, and she healed up fine after that.

However, an “overdose” of tea tree oil could be lethal to a cat. A total of 60 mL of undiluted tea tree oil was applied to the skin of three cats, as a treatment for severe flea bites (the cats had previously been shaved but there were no nicks) and to prevent further infestation. Later the same day, one cat was hypothermic, uncoordinated and unable to stand; one was comatose with severe hypothermia and dehydration, and one was trembling and unsteady. After intensive treatment two of the cats recovered and one died (Bischoff and Guale 1998).

The outcome is perhaps not surprising considering the very large amount of essential oil used, 20 mL on each cat. Given that a typical cat weighs 3-5 kg, this is equivalent to 4.0 – 6.6 mL/kg, although not all of it would be absorbed. The cat that died had elevated liver enzymes, suggesting hepatotoxicity. Several cases of toxicosis have been reported when tea tree oil was applied dermally to dogs and cats. In most incidents the oil was used to treat skin conditions at inappropriate high doses. The typical signs observed were depression, weakness, incoordination and muscle tremors. Treatment of clinical signs and supportive care has been sufficient to achieve complete recovery within 2-3 days (Villar et al 1994). But perhaps the greatest aromatherapy-related threat to a cat’s health comes from pennyroyal oil. On the NOW Foods website you will find the following:

“Fun fact: Back in the days of yore, pennyroyal was also known as “pudding grass” for its use in a stuffing made of pennyroyal, honey, and pepper that was often used in hog’s pudding. Pennyroyal is a member of the mint family, and exudes a fresh, minty, herbaceous scent. While its scent is actually a bit more powerful than other mints, its therapeutic value is actually not as strong. Pennyroyal was used frequently by Ancients for a variety of ailments, and remains current in the British Herbal Pharmacopoeia, which recommends it for flatulence, intestinal colic, the common cold, delayed menstruation, and gout. However, its primary use in today’s world of aromatherapy is in pet care. Pennyroyal was a favorite of Pliny the Elder in the fight against fleas, and remains a favorite natural enemy of fleas to this day.”

The back label of NOW pennyroyal oil
Here’s another fun fact – using undiluted pennyroyal oil to treat your cat’s fleas could also kill your cat. We know that pennyroyal oil is toxic to the liver in both rodents and humans. We don’t know about toxicity to cats, but it can’t be any less toxic. Many websites do contain warnings about pennyroyal oil, and using dried, crushed pennyroyal leaves is perfectly safe. However, the fact that you can buy a 1 oz bottle of pennyroyal oil, and that neither it (see left), nor the above (related) website specifically tell you (a) not to use pennyroyal oil undiluted on your pet, nor (b) how much to dilute it for it to be safe, is worrying. (The reference to “aromatherapy” on the label is intriguing – what constitutes “aromatherapy use”? I certainly can’t think of a scenario in which undiluted pennyroyal oil would be safe.)

The rat oral LD50 value for pennyroyal oil is 400 mg/kg (Opdyke 1974) compared to 1,900 mg/kg for tea tree oil (Ford et al 1988) so pennyroyal is approximately 4.75 times more toxic than tea tree. Since 20 mL of dermally applied tea tree oil is lethal to a cat, then the probable equivalent lethal dose of pennyroyal would be 4.2 mL. I have little doubt that, in sufficient concentration, both essential oils will kill fleas, but there has been no published research on essential oils and cat fleas, dog fleas or human fleas. So we really don’t know what would be a toxic concentration to fleas, while being nontoxic to cats. My advice – tea tree oil is fine to use at up to 5% on cats, and pennyroyal at up to 1%. Whether these concentrations would repel or kill fleas I have no idea, but I would suggest not using pennyroyal oil as a pet flea treatment. Sensibly used, most essential oils are safe to use in pet grooming products.

 Bischoff K, Guale F 1998 Australian tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia) oil poisoning in three purebred cats. Journal of Veterinary Diagnostic Investigation 10:208-210

Ford RA, Letizia C, Api AM 1988 Monographs on fragrance raw materials. Food & Chemical Toxicology 26 supplement, p407

Opdyke DLJ 1974 Monographs on fragrance raw materials. Food & Cosmetics Toxicology 12 supplement, p949-950

Opdyke DLJ 1976 Monographs on fragrance raw materials. Food & Cosmetics Toxicology 14 supplement, p471-472

Villar D, Knight MJ, Hansen SR et al 1994 Toxicity of Melaleuca oil and related essential oils applied topically on dogs and cats. Veterinary & Human Toxicology 36:139-142

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Mood Enhancing Beauty Products...

Beauty products that make you happy (or calm, or sexy) were the hottest trend for 2010, but it seems they’re still abuzz as a reporter contacted HBP a few weeks ago looking for info on “mood enhancing” products for a story she was working on.

These products supposedly create a sense of well-being in the user through ingredients that act on the brain’s neurotransmitters. The reporter mentioned several mainstream products that contained pheromones and synthetic chemicals to create “happiness”.

When I offered to connect her with an aromatherapist or a cosmetic formulator who works with natural ingredients, say, essential oils (said to affect mood), she declined. But I figured there was no reason why I couldn’t cover the story from a natural perspective for HBP.

Contacting Andrea Butje, LMT, Clinical Aromatherapist and instructor at Aromahead Institute, seemed like a good place to start. Aromatherapy, a practice dating back thousands of years, is the use of therapeutic oils extracted from natural plants and thought to promote overall well-being, but for this article, I’m most concerned with how aromatherapy can be used for mood enhancement. Here are the questions I asked Andrea.

Can you explain the benefits of aromatherapy? What sorts of things can it help?

The primary benefit of aromatherapy is that it can be used to support a variety of health and emotional concerns without the use of synthetic chemicals.  It’s a well-researched, natural option for skin care, mood support, healing and a wide variety of other issues.

The average shopper may not be aware that true aromatherapy is the use of pure essential oils.  Because there’s no regulation around using the word aromatherapy in marketing, anyone can create a synthetic fragrance product and call it aromatherapy.  Real aromatherapy uses essential oils distilled or extracted from plants and unaltered in any way.

Can mood be positively affected by scent?

Human emotions, or moods, arise from a part of the brain called the limbic system. Originally, the limbic system was referred to as the rhinencephalon – meaning “nose brain.” The term rhinencephalon reflected the enormous impact that smell had on the functioning of this part of the brain.

All of our senses impact the limbic system. Any of the senses can have a positive or negative effect on our mood. For example, our sense of vision can have a positive impact. When we observe a person who is happy and smiling, this observation can lift our spirits.  When we smell rotting food, we are repelled.  When we smell tasty food cooking, we feel ourselves getting hungry and happy as we anticipate eating a satisfying meal.

All of these sensations – hunger, anticipation, happiness and eagerness –  arise from the interplay of different parts of the brain’s limbic system. By paying attention to what scents lift our mood, we can consciously impact our mood by smelling certain scents.

Is there scientific study backing this up?

The science behind scent and mood comes from the basic anatomy of the brain, and from decades of research.

From a purely anatomical perspective, we know that the nerves from our nose that are receiving the scent connect directly to the limbic system.  In fact, the nerve connections between the smelling apparatus of our nose to the limbic system are faster than those for sight and sound.

Scientifically speaking, the sense of smell is called olfaction. The smelling (olfactory) apparatus is located high in our nose.  It is called the olfactory membrane. This little area contains millions of nerve cell receptors that analyze the air we inhale for odor. The olfactory membrane of humans is only about 0.8 inches square, yet contains 10-20 million olfactory receptors. It is able to identify between 2000-4000 different chemical stimuli (molecules).

Scientific research on scent and it’s effect on behavior is what originally led scientists to name the limbic system the rhinencephalon, “nose brain”. A great deal of that research is used by the perfume and personal care industries to devise hundreds of products that consumers buy all the time.

The 2004 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine went to the team that finally uncovered the mechanics of identifying scent.

http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/medicine/laureates/2004/press.html (Interesting science)

Essential oils have been studied extensively for decades, particularly in Europe.  Oils are analyzed using a process called Gas Chromotography/Mass Spectrometry, a test that identifies all the chemical components of an oil.  Many of those individual components have been researched in clinical studies.

How do scents work on the brain to change mood?

The limbic center holds our instinctive behaviors, drives, and automatic emotional responses.  The limbic system also plays an important role in memory and learning. The key to understanding how scents affect the brain is to remember that the information gathered in the nose from the olfactory bulb goes directly to the emotional center – the limbic system.

Because of this direct neurological connection between scent and the limbic system, we can use aromatic products to impact our moods and emotions as well as our ability to learn, remember and recall. The limbic system facilitates memory storage and retrieval.  Long-term memories can be evoked via the limbic system.  This response can be noted when a certain smell may bring you instantly back to your childhood and your mood is deeply impacted.

Can EOs used in skin care and other beauty products be as effective in enhancing mood or does it need to be the straight oils?

It is very effective to blend essential oils in beauty products – often lotions or organic oils – for application on the body.

Can anyone blend their own mood enhancing oil blends or do they have to come from someone who’s trained in how to do it?

If safe dilution guidelines are followed, anyone can begin blending.  It does take a reasonable amount of education to blend therapeutically, especially for emotional concerns.  While some blending approaches are based in the chemistry of essential oils and require education, we can also blend using methods related to plant parts, plant families and our intuition. That being said, inhaling an essential oil you love or applying that lavender lotion after your shower can bring such pleasure. Sometimes it really is that simple.

Are there oils associated with “happiness”?

Many essential oils are emotionally uplifting. We love using citrus oils in particular to create a feeling of spring and sunshine and health.  During the winter months, these oils can be especially helpful. We add them to our sponge for cleaning, in a diffuser for uplifting and to our liquid soap.

Lavender is a calming oil, but may also conjure a feeling of happiness through relaxation of the senses.  Stronger florals like Ylang Ylang or Rose have heady, sensual aromas that can create an entirely different feeling of happiness.

Pure essential oils contain an incredible range of aromas from plants. When you love an aroma, we would call that happiness!

This interview was from The Healthy Beauty Project. To learn more from Andrea, visit her blog. And to ask a network of natural beauty enthusiasts about their experiences with aromatherapy, visit our beauty social network, www.healthybeautysocial.com

At the Aromatic Institute along with its product line Aroma Pharmica, the possibilities are boundless as over 125 pure essential oils are synergistic blends to create nature's most powerful medicine. Stop by, peruse the store and leave empowered by plants and their healing gifts. Use the coupon "thanks" for 20% off your purchase. That's our way of says thanks for caring about your health and happiness.

Until next time,

Monday, May 9, 2011

World's Oldest Perfumes Discovered...

The world’s oldest known perfumes have been found on the island reputed to be the birthplace of Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love, lust, and beauty, Italian archaeologists announced. Discovered on the Mediterranean island of Cyprus in 2003, the perfumes date back more than 4,000 years, said excavation leader Maria Rosaria Belgiorno of the National Research Council in Rome.

Remnants of the perfumes were found inside an ancient 3,230-square-foot (300-square-meter) factory that was part of a larger industrial complex at Pyrgos. The buildings were destroyed during an earthquake in 1850 B.C., but perfume bottles, mixing jugs, and stills were preserved under the collapsed walls. The artifacts are currently on display at the Capitolini Museum in Rome, along with modern reproductions of the centuries-old scents.

Dwight Loren is a perfumer and fragrance consultant with Essential Creations in New Jersey and a member of the American Society of Perfumers. He said Grasse, France, is considered to be the center of modern perfume making, but the industry is known to have ancient roots. “How sophisticated it was we don’t know, but certainly people were looking at natural ingredients to enhance either their own body or their environments or to use them in medicine,” he said.

Scents re-created
 Belgiorno’s team analyzed the remains of the mixing jugs and identified 14 fragrances native to the Mediterranean region used in perfume production. Extracts of anise, pine, coriander, bergamot, almond, and parsley are among the ingredients the ancient perfume-makers preferred. The team also discovered four “recipes” concocted with the different fragrances. An experimental archaeology center in Blera, Italy, recreated these perfumes using techniques described by Pliny the Elder, a Roman author who died observing the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in A.D. 79. Plants and herbs were ground up and mixed with olive oil in clay jugs, then distilled in a clay apparatus, Belgiorno explained.

The smell of the perfumes is “a nice experience that re-creates in our mind a sort of ancestral reminder,” she said in an email interview. Parsley, she noted, “is a terrible fragrance if used alone, [but it] forms a nice scent if blended with other fragrances.” The re-creations are not yet for sale to the general public, but the excavation team is looking for a partner to market them. Proceeds would fund further archaeological work. Loren, the perfume industry consultant, said such a venture could prove viable if marketed to the appropriate niche, such as museum visitors, and packaged in a similar way to the ancient concoctions.

Aphrodite Connection
 Aphrodite was likely recognized as the goddess of Cyprus because the island was already well known for its perfumes by the time the myth arose, according to Belgiorno. Many perfumes today are considered aphrodisiacs—substances believed to boost sexual desire. “The Cyprus perfumes were born before Aphrodite, and after Aphrodite they remained linked to the island and its goddess” Belgiorno said.

The archaeologist added that she doesn’t know why the people of Cyprus started making and wearing perfumes 4,000 years ago. In ancient Egypt, she noted, perfumes were used for cosmetic and pharmaceutical purposes as well as religious ceremonies. Regardless of how the Cypriot perfumes were used, she believes today’s fragrances just don’t compare. “We have lost the real world of natural fragrances,” she said, “because most of the perfumes of today are chemical reproductions of the natural fragrances and scents.”

from John Roach, National Geographic News, March 29 2007

This great article came from Robert Tisserand.

Join me in exploring the depth and beauty of the natural realms of fragrances through the use of Essential Oils. Get you own custom perfume blended specific for your needs by our Aromatherapist at the Aromatic Institute

Thursday, April 28, 2011

We are settling in to Greatness...

As the end of yet another week comes to a close, we at the Aromatic Institute are getting our groove on. We are settling in to the new studio and ready for full formulations.

There have been several themes whirling around with clients and customers as of late. One is "Busy mind syndrome," that keeps you from sleeping fully, which creates a depleted immune system, which will lead to sickness. I want to let you know of one of our Inhaler Blends called "Night Night Sleep Tight." This synergestic remedy is perfect for the busy mind as it grounds you and allows your mind to rest on one thought, sleep.

The next the swirling and whirling is a result of the above syndrome, which is a weakened immune system. We have a blend called "Enviro Support," which is available in an Inhaler, a Room and Body Spray and a Diffuser Oil. This remedy has incredible boosting essential oils and great fighters of germs to support and assist in restoring your body to optimum.

I am pleased to offer you a coupon for 20% off your next order at Aroma Pharmica. Simply type the word "Thanks" in the coupon section of the checkout process and you will be well on your way to natural health and wellness. Enjoy, be well and laugh often!

Until next time,

Sunday, March 27, 2011

New blends, New Day, New, New, New...

As we all continue to flow through the energies of late, I have been blessed with the assistance of nature through the use of incredible plant botanticals in the form of essential oils.

As the Aromatic Alchemist, I was commissioned to create a collection to assist in the dramatic shift that we are all experiencing in some way, shape or form. We are each creating new realities that serve our highest good, which has created uneasiness, fear and uncertainty for many.  This is because we are entering into a new spectrum of the rainbow that we have never experienced before. This color is Purple. We have lived in the Red aspect for the last 1000 years, no wonder we are feeling unsure.

Aroma Pharmica has just released these to be masses, it is called the Power Up Kit. Now you can conquer, release, replace and renew with ease while smelling incredible AND creating powerful immune building components to your incredible vessel.

Essential oils are God's greatest gift to us as they are energetically comprised of the plant from which it came, thus empowering wee mortals with the components and constituents that have sustained and survived the elements. Embrace the gifts, continue to grow, life your very best life now, 'cause we only get one go in this Earth School.

Aromatic Kisses and Heavenly Wishes,
Heather A. Howell