Tag Archives: rose

EXTRACTION METHODS FOR ESSENTIAL OILS, what is the difference?

There are different ways of extracting the essential oils, or scents, from plant matter and I will explain the methods in this post. Some oils can be extracted through different methods and give EO’s  different in scent: Rose, for example, is both distilled; Rose Otto, and solvent extracted; Rose absolute, giving very different scents. Jasmine can be both solvent extracted; Jasmine absolute, and extracted through enfleurage; Jasmine enfleurage, but it can’t be steam distilled.

SteamdistillationSTEAMDISTILLATION:  The most commonly used method.  Steam is passed through the plant matter, “popping” the essential oil cells in the plant, carrying the light-weight EO with it into a cooler where the steam returns to water and the essential oil separates from the water. This is then collected in a vessel where water and essential oil will  separate since EO’s don’t mix with water. Depending on the density of the EO, it will either sink to the bottom or stay on top of the water. The EO is then taken out and bottled while the water is either used again or bottled as a hydrolat. The steam will only carry molecules that are light-weight enough, leaving behind waxes and other heavier plant-matter. Other light-weight molecules that are water-soluble will be carried by the steam and stay in the resulting water, hydrolat, which also contains tiny amounts of EO.

SOLVENT EXTRACTION (absolute, concrete, resinoid):This method is used mainly for very fragile materials such as flowers (jasmine, tuberose), or to extract scents for perfumery, as absolutes tend to be more true in scent to the real thing. The plant matter is mixed with a solvent, usually hexane, in which essential oil, waxes and colour is extracted from the plant matter. The solvent is then distilled off, leaving a waxy, semi-solid substance called concréte which consists of essential oil and other plant substances such as natural waxes. The concréte is then mixed with alcohol and filtered from all substances but the aromatic material. After evaporating the alcohol, there is an absolute.

COLD EXPRESSION: This method is used for all citrus oils, where the essential oil is found in the rind of the fruit. There are two different methods: The sponge method: The rind and pith is removed from the fruit and soaked in warm water to become more pliable. It was then inverted to break the cells that hold the essential oil. The EO is collected by sponges which are then squeezed to release the liquid. Water and EO separates. Écuelle à picquer: The citrus is placed in a rotating device with needles that break the EO cells, the oil and water-based material run off through a funnel, the oil is separated from the water and bottled.

CO2 EXTRACTION: Hypercritical carbon dioxide gas extraction. CO2 is the gas we breath out and the gas that plants thrive on. Carbon dioxide becomes hypercritical when a certain amount of pressure is applied, which means that the gas is turned into a liquid. This liquid can be used as a safe solvent for extracting EO’s from plant matter. CO2 is inert and doesn’t interact with the essence that is being extracted, furthermore there is no thermal degradation of the essence, since heat is not being applied. To remove the CO2, all that is needed is to remove the pressure, turning the liquid into gas, which can be used again, leaving only the EO. To obtain EO’s, relatively low atmospheric pressure is needed, extracting only the volatile parts of the plant. When higher atmospheric pressure is used, “heavier” plant materials are extracted as well (waxes, resins), leaving a substance much like the absolutes but without any traces of solvents.

enfleurageENFLEURAGE: A very old, time-consuming method which is hardly ever used today. The only oil I have come across that is extracted this way is a lovely Jasmine. There is not much of it around and it is very costly. Cold enfleurage: Odorless fat that is solid at room-temperature  (usually deodorized tallow or lard) is smeared onto framed glass-plates, called “chassis“, upon which the flower petals are spread in a single layer. The scent is then absorbed by the fat. Once the petals are depleted, they are removed and new petals are spread onto the fat. This is repeated until the fat is saturated with scent, it is then called a pomade. The pomade is mixed with alcohol, drawing the scent into the alcohol. The fat and alcohol is then separated and when the alcohol evaporates it leaves the absolute. Hot enfleurage:Petals are stirred into deodorized fat and heated. Again, depleted petals are strained and new added until the saturation is complete. The rest of the process is the same as in cold enfleurage. The remaining fat is used for soap as it is still scented. If you have read or seen “The Perfumer”, this is the method he used to extract the scent of woman 🙂

DIY moisturizing foundation & shimmer

Okay, got to share this with you guys: For foundation I use mineral powder but it started itching so I stopped using it. Today I decided to make a cream-foundation of the mineral powder, figuring that the irritation may be alleviated when I mix the powder in a cream. My daughter wanted a new shimmer cream for highlights in her make-up.

Foundation: I use my own base-cream that I make but any good quality natural cream would do: Put some cream in a small bowl and mix in the mineral powder little by little until you have the color richness desired. Put into a container and let sit for a day or two. For scent, add a drop of an essential oil, preferably floral; rose is gorgeous and the jasmine absolutely divine…

Shimmer: I love loose shimmer, both in make-up and on skin. I have some different hues of gold, copper and bronze. Into the same base-cream as for the foundation, we mixed sunny gold with bronze to get the desired hue of shimmer. Quite a bit of powder is needed to create a strong enough shimmer in the cream. We added a bit of D-panthenol for extra moisturisation.

Easy, cheap and fun. Like a kinder-egg 🙂

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

New years Eve is coming up and party-time is upon us. Here are some “I-feel-great” party-blends for that razzle ‘n dazzle:

  • Ylang Ylang (Cananga odorata) + Grapefruit (Citrus paradisii) +  Pine (Pinus sylvestris)
  • Rose (Rosa centifolia) + Geranium (Pelargonium graveolens) + Nutmeg (Myristica fragrans)
  • Jasmine (Jasminum officinale) + Black pepper (Piper nigrum) + Ginger (Zingiber officinale) + Sandalwood (Santalum album)
  • Petit grain (Citrus aurantium) + Mandarine (Citrus reticulata) + Bergamott (Citrus bergamia)
  • Myrrh (Commiphora myrrah) + Patchouli (Pogostemon cablin) + Rose (Rosa centifolia)

For body-scent use about 5-10 drops of a blend in 15-20ml veg. oil or unscented lotion. For perfume: 20-30 drops in 10ml jojoba-oil.

The day after (all that bubbly…) your liver might need some extra support: Start the day with lemon-water; Squeeze 1/2 lemon into a glass of warm (not hot) water and drink first thing. Blend 1 drop of rose otto in 5ml (1 teaspoon) of veg. oil and rub over your liver a few times during the day. The liver is situated on the right side of your body, under the lower ribs. Rub some of the blend into your temples as well 🙂

Beware of using Clary Sage (Salvia sclarea) together with alcohol; it can give some negative side-effects. In the old days clary sage (the herb) was often blended in wine to create a slightly hallucinogenic and euphoric effect…usually followed by a massive headache.

HAPPY NEW YEAR TO YOU ALL AND ENJOY!!!


SENSUAL FRAGRANCES

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.

  • Jasmine (Jasminum officinale / J.grandiflora): Helps when there is tension or fear.
  • Rose (Rosa centifolia, R. damascena): Heady scent that helps open up the heart.
  • Ylang-Ylang (Cananga odorata var. genuina): Euphoric, releases tension and anger.
  • Sandalwood (Santalum album): Deeply relaxing and balsamic.
  • Cinnamon (cinnamomum zeylanicum): Warming and opening.
  • Cardamom (Elettaria cardamomum): Exciting, releases tension
  • Ginger (Zingiber officinale): Hot, fiery, stimulating.
  • Clary Sage (Salvia sclarea): Very close to female hormone, deeply seductive.
  • Clove (Syzygium aromatica): Liberating, seductive. (might work best in a blend, since many associate it with the dentist!)
  • Black Pepper (Piper nigrum): Warming, fiery, movement.
  • Vanilla (Vanilla planifolia): Sensual, relaxing.
  • Patchouli (Pogostemon cablin): Playful, straightforward, fun. Used as a perfume by the hippie-generation.
  • Oud (Aquileria malaccensis): Use it straight up as a perfume, deeply sensual and sexy. Enhances floral notes.

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.

GOAL-SETTING

Lately I have been wrapping my head around the whole idea of goal-setting, really trying to break it down into the smallest possible components. Goals are like onions; layer upon layer, each layer hiding the one beneath…no wonder it can be so difficult to set goals.

I think most of us are the same; when asked what is the biggest wish/dream/goal our brains go into a chaos of random pictures, ideas, needs and wants. From this random chaos it is really very difficult to figure out what is the main goal; money? health? a baby? a job? a house? freedom? travel?

Simplify:

  • Goals don’t need to be realistic – go limitless – who said it wasn’t possible? Don’t ever limit yourself!
  • Goals need to be clear, no matter how limitless they are.
  • You need to be passionate about your goal. You need to want it.

Most often we set our goals after needs; they are usually passion-less and will take us to the absolutely most basic point of filling the need, but there is no abundance. Instead of setting goals after our needs, we should set goals after our wants, and the result will automatically take care of the need. Let me give you an example: Say you need more money to meet rising costs of living; Instead of setting the goal of “money enough to cover costs”, set the goal where you are affluent enough to live in abundance, and  your needs are automatically met. Allow yourself to dream.


The next step to realizing goals are to take them out of your brain and into the world: write them down, paint them; make a wish-list, story-board, dream-movie. Think about your goal(s) constantly. Make them so real in your mind that you can actually touch and taste them. Think of them in present tense and exclude all negations. Read your goals every day as often as possible. Do one thing each day to make your goal reality. Each goal can be broken down into little parts – like a journey starts with one step and continues with each following step – so does your goal. Take a step on your goal-journey every day.

VISUALISATION + VERBALISATION = MANIFESTATION

Essential oils that might help to open and ground your visionary self:

  • Frankincense (boswellia carterii) spriritual
  • Cedarwood (cedrus atlantica) spiritual / earthbound
  • Sandalwood (santalum album) spiritual
  • Myrrh (commiphora myrrah/c. molmol) spiritual / healing
  • Hyssop (hyssopus officinalis) vision /creation
  • Rose (rosa centifolia) heart
  • Angelica (angelica archangelica)  vision
  • Pine (pinus sylvestris) vision
  • Cypress (cupressus sempervirens) transformation
  • Palmarosa (cymbopogon martinii) subliminal

IMORTELLE / EVERLASTING: Helichrysum Italicum

Immortelle or Everlasting is the popular name of the plant Helichrysum Italicum /H. augustifolium. One of the reasons for the name is that the flowers of the plant retain their color and shape after drying, making them a popular flower for long-lasting natural flower arrangements, also called eternelles. Helichrysum means Gold Sun in Greek, and the flowers do resemble small golden suns as they grow on bushy, grey-green stems. The stems are woody at the base and the plant can reach  a height of 60cm or more. The flowers grow in clusters during the summer months. It grows on rocky sandy ground around the Mediterranean and is now also cultivated in the Balkans. The scent has herbaceous notes, reminiscent of warm hay, floral with a hint of honey.

The plant is steam-distilled to obtain the essential oils. Some of the best EO come from Corsica where only the flower-heads are distilled after being hand-picked. Over one ton of flower-heads is needed for about 1 liter of EO. In other places the whole plant above ground is distilled, creating a nice and useful oil but without the high and fine energy of the Corsican flower-oil.

PROPERTIES:

When meditating on this oil, what came to me was this: “The healing of mortal wounds on every level.” And it is a healing oil, especially for skincare and wounds. In Grasse, France, tests were carried out in the hospital using Helichrysum Italicum for broken skin tissue. There was rapid healing with very little scarring and no redness or infection. Research shows that by  multiplying the natural collagen count in skin cells, Helichrysum diminshes wrinkles. It is used to diminish bruises, heal skin-tissue, minimise scar-tissue (even old scar-tissue). It is anti-inflammatory, regulates cholesterol levels (for more info go to visit K-G Stiles), loosens mucous in the airways (inhalation). On an emotional level it can help reduce stress, is soothing and anti-depressant. On a deeper level it can help to unravel and heal emotional wounds.

  • Wound / bruise, try this recipe: Helichrysum italicum 2dr + Lavandula augustifolia 2dr. Apply 4 times/day for 1-2 days, then 2 times/day for 2-3 days. Then blend the EO in 5ml vegetable oil or Marigold (Calendula officinalis) infused oil and use 2 times/day until healed.
  • Mature Skin: Helichrysum 2dr + Carrot (Daucus carota) 2 dr + Rose (Rosa centifolia) 2 dr in 30ml blend of following vegetable oils: Sheabutter oil  (Butyrospermum parkii), Macadamia nut oil (Macadamia ternifolia) and Rosehip oil (Rosa rubiginosa), Apricot kernel oil (Prunus armeniaca). Massage into skin morning and night.
  • Emotional trauma: Make a blend of Helichrysum 4 dr + Myrrh (Commiphora myrrah) 4 dr mixed in 30ml cold-pressed vegetable oil. Massage stomach and forehead each evening when going to bed. If this blend disturbs your sleep, you can exchange Myrrh for Geranium (Pelargonium graveolens) which will be more balancing or Rose (Rosa Centifolia) which is more comforting.


VALENTINE

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.