Tuberose (Polianthes tuberosa) is native to Central America. Its native name Omixochitl means bone flower and was widely used by the Aztecs 600 years ago for its anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic properties. Maybe they also used it in their chocolate for its heady and sensual effects? Mmmm, chocolate for lovers…
When first brought to Europe it was cultivated in Grasse for use in perfumery, now it is mainly cultivated in Morocco, China, South Africa, France, Comoros Islands and India. The clusters of flowers grow on a 50 cm high stalk. This is a night-blooming flower which is harvested early in the morning when the buds are closed. The flower gives off its scent over a long time, when cut and put in a room they will scent the entire room. The best way to extract the scent is by enfleurage which is the most time-consuming way of extraction but gives the truest scent. Another, more commonly used method is solvent extraction which gives an absolute. It takes 1 200 kg of flower buds to get 200 grams of absolute, making tuberose one of the most expensive scents.
The scent of Tuberose is extremely complex and changes over time; a cut flower will change its scent from sweetly floral with slight campherous notes to earthy and musky notes as the flower matures and finally the scent turns to rot and bloody meat as the flower turns brown and dies. This dramatic change, thankfully, does not happen with the absolute 🙂 The absolute has a strong heady, sweet floral scent with a musky undertone. It is deeply sensual, relaxing, narcotic and exciting. The scent is considered to enhance emotional strength and depth by centering the mind, bringing peace and serenity. Its exciting and sensual properties makes it an aphrodisiac.
“Innocence” by Arthur hacker (1858-1919)
During the renaissance, young unmarried women were forbidden to walk in the gardens of tuberose as it was believed that the scent of the flowers would arouse their passions and give them instant orgasms. Women put tuberose flowers under their skirts to attract and seduce men.
Posted in Aromatherapy, Essential oil profiles, Inspiration, perfume, Product information, Profiles, Scents
Tagged aphrodisiac, aztecs, chocolate, excitement, expensive scent, heady, peace, perfume, perfume ingfedient, serenity, tuberose
This is a tree; the bitter orange tree. It yields no less than three different essential oils; from the fruit (bitter orange), the flowers (neroli) and the leaves (petit grain bigaradier). How’s that for abundance?
The tree originated in southern China and northeast India and was later introduced to Italy. It is widely cultivated for its oil in France, Paraguay, Africa, Italy and Tahiti. The name amara comes from the Latin “acrumen”, in French amère, which means bitter. This evergreen tree grows to a height of 10 meters, the leaves are dark green and glossy. Old leaves fall after new ones have grown. The trunk is smooth and greyish as are the branches. It carries fragrant white flowers and fruits that are smaller than sweet orange. It is the hardiest of all citrus trees.
Bitter orange (pomerans and bigerade are other names for it) is the essential oil pressed from the rinds of the fruits. In perfumery it is sometimes called “Seville orange”. The scent is reminiscent of sweet orange but sharper and deeper. It is fresh, dry with a slight floral undertone.
- Skin: It helps balance the sebum-production, making it useful for oily skin. Its anti-inflammatory and antiseptic qualities can be used for acne. Use in massage against stretchmarks.
- Circulation: Can help with water-retention.
- Digestion: tonic and aiding cramps, indigestion, flatulence.
- Emotional: Studies have showed that bitter orange oil can “quiet” the brain which makes it useful against insomnia when there is too much “chatter” in the head. It is helpful against anxiety or feeling low.
- All citrus oils have a shelf life of about 6 months. They oxidize very easily and then turn cloudy. Do not use on skin since they become skin irritants as they age.
Petit grain bigaradier: The name comes from the French “petit grain”, meaning small grains as the oil originally was distilled from the small, green unripe fruits of the tree. Now the oils come mainly from distilling the leaves (and sometimes green, fresh twigs). It is an ingredient in the classic “Eau de Cologne” and sometimes called “poor man’s neroli”. The scent is floral and fresh with a citrusy woody undertone, slightly herbaceous.
- Skin: Balancing and calming, it is helpful with both oily and dry skin. Helps with acne.
- Digestion: Works as a tonic when liver is sluggish and can help with nausea. It is useful for digestive cramps and spasms that have an emotional origin.
- Emotional: Calming, balancing and uplifting. Use for anxiety, depression, shock. It is a good oil to have around when you feel stressed.
NEROLI comes from the flowers which are handpicked. The yield of essential oil is 30 times less from the flowers than the fruits or leaves. The oil is very costly, but as always with the more costly oils, little goes a long way. I have found that with these oils, less is more, the scent as well as the effects are actually magnified in lower dosages. The name is believed to come from an Italian princess, Anna Maria de la Tremoille, Countess of Neroli who used the scent as her personal signature perfume. The scent is rich, deeply floral and sweet with fresh overtones.
- Skin: Improves skin elasticity by helping cell regeneration, use for dry, sensitive skin.
- Emotional: Depression, grief, hysteria, anxiety and shock. It is believed to have an aphrodisiac effect by releasing nervous tension.
- Physical: Neroli can help with a wide variety of physical problems that originate from emotional disturbances. I recently used this oil for a grieving widow. It kept her balanced and calm all through the funeral arrangements and later eased her grieving process.
PERSONAL: I use the Bitter orange oil for people who chatter uncontrollably, often from stress. It helps calm and freshen the mind, allowing a free flow of positive thought-patterns and diminishes the tight feeling around the head, creating a feeling of space. Petit grain is a terrific balancing oil and easily incorporated into blends. It can highlight any aspect of a blend, be it woody, fresh or floral. It calms physical tension and relaxes the spirit. The uplifting, fresh aroma brings a sense of lightness and ease. Neroli is one of the best oils for grief as it is uplifting and gives a feeling of hope, like a ray of light in the darkness. When desperation threatens, Neroli will take you through it by inspiring calm serenity.
Posted in Aromatherapy, Essential oil profiles, Flowers & Herbs, Product information, Profiles
Tagged anxiety, aphrodisiac, bigaradier, bitter orange, countess of neroli, depression, france, italy, neroli, petit grain, pomerans, seville orange, uplifting
Fragrances have through time been associated with sensuality, love and passion. Humanity has forever looked for the scents which are aphrodisiac in nature, turning people’s heads, making them breathless with desire. Essential oils are amongst these scents; since ancient times have they been used to induce passion and love. Scents as widely removed as clover and rose are on this list.
When researching aphrodisiac scents I noticed that the idea of aphrodisiacs has changed through the times, depending on society and whims. At one time the strongest aphrodisiacs were thought to be musk and civet – taken from the sex-glands of the muskrat and civet-cat. These are strong pheromones that supposedly stimulate the vomeronasal organ, or VNO. Today it is known that this part of the olfactory system is used to “pick up” pheromones between individuals of the same species.
Over time the idea of aphrodisiacs has gone through most scents we know today, from grasses and spices, through woods and roots to flowers. (Though some flowers were always thought to be aphrodisiacs.) I think it also had something to do with the abundance of human smells in the earlier days. In a letter from Napoleon to Josephine he writes: ” I will be home in 3 months, don’t wash”. This gives an idea of the pheromone power!
I personally believe that sensuality is a combination of many things; pheromones – we enjoy the other person’s smell, food, relaxation, scent and, of course for women, monthly cycle. Body smell is made up of pheromones; as much as we enjoy the scent of our loved ones, as badly do we experience the smell of someone we don’t like. One of the first signs of “falling out of love” is when we no longer enjoy the other person’s smell.
(“Researchers have already shown that ‘man sweat’ can elicit some unusual physiological responses in some women: an increased heart rate, a better mood, and sexual arousal.” Read the article here)
Perfumes are designed to make people attractive to each-other. Male perfumes are usually the scents that mostly attract women and vice verse. Today there is a whole industry creating perfumes with pheromones (synthetic) to enhance the attraction of the other sex.
Here is a list over the most commonly used aphrodisiac essential oils, there are of course many more. Sniff around and go with your feelings. The best-known aphrodisiacs are often warming and bring you into contact with emotion and body. To access the emotional areas of the brain, true essential oils are needed, not synthetic scents.
Use them in the bath, as air-spray, massage-oil, perfume and/or room-scent. Spray them on your linen and on your hair. Use your imagination and have fun. Just remember dosages and possible sensitization. For best effect, use them sparsely – too much scent dulls the mind and can give head-aches instead. Be careful with floral oils if there is asthma or allergy.
Posted in Aromatherapy, perfume
Tagged aphrodisiac, bath, black pepper, cardamom, cinnamon, civet, clary sage, clove, essential oils, flowers, ginger, history, jasmine, Massage, musk, Napoleon, Oud, patchouli, perfume, pheromones, relaxation, rose, sandalwood, sensuality, sex, smell, vanilla, vomeronasal organ, ylang-ylang
My grandfathers name was Valentine. My father in law died on Valentines day, I found it sort of beautiful; he was so ill – and old – that his passing actually became an act of love. My mother in law said it was because he hated the whole thing, and she was probably right, but I stick to my romantic notions because they are prettier…
Love is in the air and so is despair. Around Valentines day my heart goes out to all lonely, abandoned and heartbroken people. It is like the whole world is enhancing the loveless-ness, much like Christmas. Therefor I am, today, creating blends to heal broken hearts and cover the wound of loneliness as well as blends to enhance love, affection, and lust.
The oils that are most associated with love are:
- Rose (rosa centifolia, r.damascena) Opens the heart for love
- Jasmine (jasminum officinalis) The enigmatic scent of sensuality
- Sandalwood (santalum album) Stillness and unity, balsamic.
- Bergamot (citrus bergamia) Relaxes, releases and refreshes, joy to the heart
- Patchouli (pogostemon cablin) earthing and arousing. Playfulness
- Ginger (zingiber officinalis) warming and invigorating
- Ylang-ylang (cananga odorata var. genuina) Joy and sensuality, liberation
- Black pepper (piper nigrum) Fire and power. Energy
There are plenty of oils that fit in there as well, but these are the most popular and best known. Use your imagination and have some fun.
The oils that will help a broken heart and/or loneliness:
- Marjoram (origanum majorana) Warmth and safety in loneliness
- Cypres (cupressus sempervirens) Opens and guides for new directions, change.
- Frankincense (boswellia carterii) Spirituality, protection, warmth. Breath of life.
- Lavender (lavandula augustifolia) restoring, calming, eases the mind,
- Cedarwood (cedrus atlantica) stabilizes and opens the mind to a larger picture
- Rosewood (aniba rosaeodora) protective warmth like that of a mother
- Hyssop (hyssopus officinalis) opens the chest and breath, liberation
- Myrrh (commiphora molmol/c. myrrah) tranquillity, solitude, peace
- Benzoin (styrax benzoin) soothing and stabilizing. Enveloping sanctuary.
- Clary sage (salvia sclarea) Relaxing, expansion, warmth
Use oil-blends in the bath before meeting with your lover – or your self. 10-15 drops of essential oil in 15-20ml of unperfumed soap or cream. Add the oil-blend right before you get in, and swish it around with your hand.
- Sensual: Ylang-ylang 4 dr + Ginger 3 dr + Sandalwood 5 dr + Patchouli 3 dr.
- Uplifting: Bergamott 4 dr + Black pepper 4 dr + Ylang-ylang 3 dr
- Invigorating: Ginger 3 dr + Black pepper 3 dr + Patchouli 2 dr + Bergamott 4 dr
- Love: Rose 2 dr + Sandalwood 4 dr + Patchouli 3 dr
- Passion: Sandalwood 4 dr + Jasmine 2 dr + Ginger 3 dr
Use the same blends of essential oils in 5-10 ml veg. oil blend, preferably Jojoba-oil, for a sensual perfume to wear during the evening. You can also use these blends to scent your room; either put them in an aroma-burner / fan (3-7 dr depending on the size and ventilation of the room) or blend them in distilled water; 5-10 dr/ 100 ml. Shake well before use and don’t spray directly on surfaces.
Citrus-oils and rosemary can be used in any blend as an enhancer or pick-me-up. Many of the oils used for love are also used for loneliness. Have fun with the oils and don’t be afraid to experiment. Remember to always start with a lower amount of drops, this way you can smell if the scent is balanced and you have a chance to change your blend as you go along.
- Loneliness: Marjoram 3 dr + Myrrh 3 dr + Orange 5 dr + Lavender 4 dr
- Sadness: Lavender 4 dr + Frankincense 3 dr + Hyssop 4 dr + Clary sage 2 dr
- Despair: Benzoin 3 dr + Rosewood 4 dr + Cedarwood 4 dr + Myrhh 3 dr
- Changes: Cypres 4 dr + Rosewood 4 dr + Clary sage 3 dr
- Love: Rose 2 dr + Marjoram 3 dr + Rosewood 4 dr + Myrrh 3 dr
Note: The oils of Rose and Jasmine are very expensive but the scent is strong so they go a long way. In true perfumery musky and deep earth-notes are used in perfumes, such as spike-nard, valerian and oud. They enhance the more flowery smells and act as fixatives. A blend should become one distinguished perfume, not a collection of scents. If you want your perfume-oil to deepen in scent, you should blend it beforehand and let it “mature”. You will notice the scent changing and deepening over time.
Posted in Aromatherapy, perfume, Wellness
Tagged aphrodisiac, Aromatherapy, bath, cypres, essential oils, heart, jasmine, lavender, loneliness, love, myrrh, pain, patchouli, perfume, rose, rosewood, sandalwood, Valentine, ylang-ylang