Most of the time when I make perfume oils it’s all about the scent. (I have a couple of videos about making them, here and here.) This is different though, this one is all about the emotional benefits with my essential oil picks based solely on their traditionally recognized benefits for reducing anxiety and stress. I chose sunflower oil for the base because it hardly has any scent of its own so it carries the e.o. scents quite well. The essential oils I’m using are Neroli, known to decrease nervous tension and apprehension, so much so that Neroli blossoms used to frequently be placed in wedding bouquets, Clary Sage which is a happy scent, sometimes even described as euphoric and elation-promoting, and Lavender which is a relaxing scent. To make the blend, simply add the base oil (I use a funnel to reduce spillage) to the clean, empty bottle of choice. In the picture I have a clear, 1/3 oz. bottle, but I actually ended up using a dark amber bottle instead because dark-colored glass helps the essential oils stay fresh longer. In a 1/3 oz bottle I’d add about 12 drops of essential oils total, and in a 1/2 oz bottle size I’d add 15-18 drops total. For this blend none of the oils are exceptionally strong so I decided to add equal amounts to the base oil, so 4 drops of each oil went into the bottle. Always cap your blends right away and shake them, or better yet, roll them in your hands to mix the ingredients together. The blend is then ready to use but it will deepen and change a bit over a month’s time. Keep it out of direct light and heat for best results, and then use on pulse points to reduce nervousness and stress. Always remember to shake the bottle before using to make sure the essential oils are well mixed. This is so easy that even the most stressed out person can manage to do this without so much as a toddler sized tantrum or clenched jaw. Don’t forget to write down your personal blend formula for future reference, and also to label the bottle accordingly. I labeled mine ‘breathe’ so I remember to check on the quality of my breathing when I’m reaching for a stress-reducing scent. A mantra I learned a long time ago comes in handy at those moments: Breathe in the future, breathe out the past. The sweet spot is in-between the breath in and breath out which can only be recognized as the present. Let me know what your favorite stress-reducing techniques are. I’d love to hear them!
One nice thing that’s happened since getting a dog is I’ve rediscovered essential oils for daily use. I’m waging a one woman war against dog smell and losing on many fronts, but using essential oils every day is a clear win because not only do they smell good, they are also good for our health; mentally, emotionally, and even physically. In the mornings I light up my little essential oil diffuser with rosemary helping to wake me up and get my brain going. This is especially helpful since the dog is of the working breed variety and she apparently thinks it is her job to wake me up at 4:AM every day. I’ve told her we need to renegotiate her terms of employment, but her response of pant, pant, paw, paw seemed to say, “What are you jabbering on about? It’s Saturday morning and it’s almost dawn! Get moving lady!!!” So I put on the coffee maker and reached for the rosemary. I know when I’m beat.
Rosemary has a long history of being good for the brain, especially for memory. In Hamlet, Shakespeare had Ophelia say, “There’s Rosemary, that’s for remembrance. Pray you love, remember.” It’s also stimulating, antiseptic, good for circulation and sore muscles. After that takes effect, I usually add in a bit of cedar which is a bit more grounding. Later in the day I’ll switch to a couple of drops of orange with a couple drops of lavender. This sounds like an odd combination but it’s actually fabulous. Orange and actually all the citrus essential oils are stimulating and uplifting but in a calm way. If you are in the midst of January doldrums, citrus is the SAD antidote. Most people know lavender is calming and good for anxiety, but it also is good for exhaustion which might seem backwards to some people, but calm is very different from tired. I love the fact that lavender’s name comes from the Latin word “lavare” which means to wash because Romans used it for its antiseptic properties, to bathe in, and clean out wounds. Throughout history it’s been used by multiple cultures to ward of plague, illnesses, and pests, as well as to deodorize and perfume. Aura Cacia has a great article on the history of lavender which is well worth the read. When using essential oils, be sure to use authentic oils and not fragrance oils which do not have the same effects as their natural counterparts. There are many websites detailing essential oils and their many different qualities but it’s best to just go to a store that sells them to see which scents appeal to you. Have a happy, healthy weekend!