Text contributed by Jomien Rabie
Image by Praisaeng from freedigitalphotos.net.
There are a variety of ways in which the layman can use essential oils for health and beauty. The novice should start with three or five essential oils that they feel personally attracted to.
Always obey the rule of “less is more” i.e. keep dilutions to 1-3drops (one to three)per 5ml. carrier oil and be aware of any contra-indications that may exist for your personally chosen essential oil.
Essential oil in a blend can be used for its fragrance i.e. as a perfume, room freshener, candles, etc. Using blends in skin oils, massage oils and bath oils offer certain therapeutic benefits. Simple remedies can also be blended , to assist in treatment of fungal infections, relief of head aches, boosting of circulation and use as an antiseptic lotion.
Creating your own personal blends can be addictive. Work in an uncluttered space where you will be uninterrupted and free of distractions (phones, kids, etc.)for a period of time. Have all your bottles,containers, measuring spoons,droppers etc. ready. Be clear about the purpose of your blend and which essential oils and carrier base you are going to use. It is advisable to keep notes as you go along as you may not remember later and may never be able to ever recreate a special blend.
Some exclusive perfumes may have more than a hundred compounds, but it is possible to create a successful perfume with only a few essences. Creating your own personal perfume is possible with high quality essential oils ( 15 -30% ), combined with alcohol (70-80%) and water (5-10%). To achieve a balanced blend ,you will need to have base notes, middle notes and top notes in your blend which should come together as a whole without any one fragrance dominating too much.(although you will have spicy/floral/herbal/balsamic signatures.)Another factor to take into consideration is that your “perfume” may react differently on your skin or that the fragrance may change over time depending on the volatility of your essential oils.
To make your concentrate, blend your essential oils in the following combination of “notes” :
Base notes (no more than 20% ), Middle notes (60%),Top notes (20%).
Add the concentrate to your oil/water/alcohol base in a bottle and blend by shaking well. Leave the blend for at least 4 weeks in a dark cupboard before straining through a filter into individual bottles.
A simpler, quicker perfume can be made by adding your combination of essential oils to a solid base which is used on the pulse points of the body.
Your recipe for an alcohol based perfume will look like this:
Alcohol (perfumer’s alcohol/vodka ) 30ml.
Water /hydrosol 10ml
Essential Oil Concentrate 20-40 drops ( 2 ½ % - 5% dilution )
For a solid base perfume :
Melt together in a double boiler : 1/2tablespoon beeswax
4 tablespoons almond oil.
Remove from heat, stir well and as it starts thickening, add your essential oil concentrate (10-20) drops.
Pour into small containers.
You can change the above blend into lip balm by using only 4-8 drops of concentrate.
Easiest of all is to have an oil based perfume by adding your concentrate to a base carrier oil of your choice (20-30 drops to 30ml base.).
Base notes : benzoin, frankincense, myrrh, patchouli, vetiver, sandalwood
Middle notes: rose, rose geranium, rosemary, lavender, jasmine, ylang ylang, pine, petigrain, neroli, clary sage, ginger, lemongrass, rosewood, cedarwood.
Top notes : bergamot, lemon, lime, orange, peppermint, mandarin, juniper, lemon verbena.
To calculate your essential oil concentrate according to the percentage formula, divide the total essential oil drops needed for your blend by ten to get 10%. An Essential Oil concentrate of 20 drops will thus consist of 4 drops base notes, 12 drops middle notes and 4 drops top notes.
Blends for use in the bath
For a fragrant experience, just add 3-5 drops of essential oil or Essential Oil Concentrate to a full bath.
For more therapeutic use, blend the specific essential oil (chosen for its properties) into a carrier oil of your choice : 20-30 drops in 50 ml carrier or 1 - 3 drops per teaspoon of carrier oil.
For an exotic bath scrub, adapt the following blend from Soma:
1 tablespoon bicarb of soda
5 drops essential oil
Juice of one lemon
1 teaspoon almond oil
½ cup seasalt.
Stir the first four ingredients together and blend into the sea salt – dissolve into bath water or use as a scrub.
Other creative uses for Essential Oils:
Room Sprays : blend 10 drops Essential Oil concentrate into 250 ml distilled water, shake well and spray high into the air.
Aromatic waters for toning and cleansing : add 20 -30 drops to 100ml bottled/distilled water. Shake well and leave in a dark place for a few weeks, filter and use for face or body spritzers.
Antiseptic Wash : add about 7 drops of an antiseptic essential oil such as lavender, tea tree, rose geranium or lemon to 500ml. lukewarm water and use to cleanse cuts and wounds.
Always make sure to dilute oils as indicated and if you are not sure, ask the advice of a registered aromatherapist. Never use oils on babies or animals without consulting a qualified practitioner.