Friday, March 19, 2010

Soothing Scents

In today's post I am participating with thirteen bloggers under a united theme organized by fellow colleague Ayala Moriel. Please follow the links at the end of this post to travel to the other participants in this blogorama.

1. Juniper Essential Oil

I came to the world of aromatherapy via essential oil of Juniper. The story of this journey has been repeated often in classes and lectures over the past fourteen years. I was in the midst of a divorce, my daughter Eve was three at the time and the prospect of single motherhood was terrifying. In an effort to rid myself of the psychological trauma as quickly as possible I decided to do as much inner work as possible. The type of work ranged from massage, kinesiology, rebirthing, working with a psychologist, a vision quest and participating in events with women.

A native American sweat lodge with a group of women was one such effort. After the pipe ceremony DeeDee, the friend who had invited me to the sweat, placed four little bottles of essential oil into the center of the circle. She encouraged each of us to anoint ourselves before proceeding to the lodge. I went over and deeply breathed in the aroma from each amber bottle. To my surprise upon inhaling one of the essences I was transported to a vital and fragrant forest where I instantly felt uplifted and fortified. That portal was a bottle of Juniper essential oil.

From then on I began to learn as much as I could about essential oils, ultimately resulting in a certificate in Aromatherapy and becoming a tutor the East West School of Herbal and Aromatic Studies. Soon I switched from teaching illustration classes at Art schools to teaching the benefits of Aromatherapy. Eventually that path widened to include Botanical Perfume.

2. In Fiore

In the year 2002, approximately, I met several individuals interested in botanical natural perfume which have become dear friends. One of them is colleague and mentor Julie Elliot of InFiore. Although I make my own beauty products there are specific items from Julies line that I adore and save for special occasions, like when I need a comfort scent. My two favorites at the moment are Fleur Vibrante, a Jasmine face balm, and the Rose petal "cleansing face and restorative balm" called Lustra. These are heavenly and created by hand from pure, vital ingredients.

3. California Sage

Ever since moving to the Santa Monica Mountains I have developed a fondness for the aroma of the native sages. Many different varieties grace our native garden. I adore how the scent fills the air with their herbal authenticity. Sometimes when we get home at night the scent of sage is the first thing I whiff as I open the car door. I'm looking forward for our plants to get really large so that the fragrance will broadcast throughout the neighborhood and provide food for the honey bees.

4. Tea

Sometimes I feel like I could just live on tea with milk and honey, in fact there are days where I will realize I haven't had anything else. One of my favorites is Herbal Chocolate and Roses from the Tea Garden and Herbal Emporioum. Another favorite is Puerh, lately I have been enjoying the one from Numi, normally I pick it up while in Chinatown. My other tea obsessions are Mate from my homeland Argentina, Vanilla bean from Mighty Leaf and a really good cup of Earl Grey.
Did you know that Earl Grey tea is flavored with essential oil of Bergamot?

5. Cimbalom & Chaparral®

Besides Julies beauty products and my essential oil collection the only other scented items I wear are my own perfumes. The two I most often reach for, especially out of balance, are Cimbalom and Chaparral® in their solid format. I keep both of these in my purse so that I can inhale or put some on whenever the need may arise.

6. The Bath

In aromatherapy the essences most often listed as comfort scents include: Sandalwood, Chamomile, Lavender, any essence in the citrus family but particularly Tangerine and Neroli, Frankincense, Rose and Vetiver. One of the things I do routinely to rsetor balance is to have a bath with one of the above mentioned essential oils or a synergy. My favorite is a combination of Patchouli, Ylang Ylang and Tangerine....euphoric, grounding, relaxing and extremely comforting, especially before bed.

Many thanks to Ayala for inviting me here today, now please journey on to the blogs of the other participants....

BitterGrace Notes
Perfume Shrine
Notes from the Ledge
Scent Hive
The Non Blonde
Perfume in Progress
Katie Puckrik Smells
A Rose Beyond the Thames
I Smell Therefore I Am
All I Am A Redhead
Savvy Thinker

Images: Enchantment and Sierra ©Greg Spalenka, Lustra ©InFiore, Sage photo, Tea cup on parchment and Cimbalom by Roxana Villa.


ScentScelf said...

I'm finding something comforting in simply journeying through your list of comforts...

I share your love for teas. I think I knew the earth had truly gotten to the equinox, to what in my neck of the woods is early spring's promise of future warmth with a tantalizingly warm day, when I decided to make a batch for iced tea. And it was good. :)

When my children were young, I created baths and sprays for them out of essential oils. Interestingly, I find that the scents that worked for them as comfort now are ones I reach for. Sandalwood and lavender were constants before they came along...but now, I find I myself like a hint of neroli. Who knows if that is nostalgia, or empathy, or simply an evolution?

Happy Equinox.

Scent Hive said...

I agree with you about Julies Lustra! I have a travel size sample that I use when I really need some pampering!

Love your post, so glad Ayala got us together to do this.


Illuminated Perfume said...

Hi Scent Self,
How lovely that you have stopped by for a visit, this warrants a cup of tea!
I didn't know that you used essential oils with your children and made preparations. How wonderful.
A very Happy Equinox to you to my friend.

Illuminated Perfume said...

Fun that we are here together via Ayala. Julies products are my absolute favorites!

Ayala Moriel said...


Thanks for contributing to the project!

I loved your story about juniper oil. I didn't know this is how you started. Isn't it wonderful how from harsh realities we find new beautiful things to live up for?

It's interesting how many of us had tea on our lists...! My new favourite is milky oolong: there is no actual milk in it, it just tastes buttery and caramel-like because of the fermentation process!

And your Chaparal is my favourite from all your scents that I've tried. Wonderful California sage :-)

Lucy said...

Great post, so personal and individual and specific, the best kind...I am fascinated by your friend's site, and hope to get some samples soon.

Perfumeshrine said...

Thanks for sharing some of your personal history with us!

The whole tea preparation is a deeply soothing ritual. There's something to be said about the joys of hugging a hot china with an inky liquid inside that smells so compelling too!

Katie Puckrik said...

Roxanna, like ScentSelf, I experienced comfort by virtually smelling the various scents as you mentioned them. How powerful is the imagination!

Rose said...

Yes tea! I really should have thought of that- earl grey ideally- and by extension bergamot

Illuminated Perfume said...

A pleasure to participate with you my dear. Indeed, it is fascinating how life comes in and course corrects ones path.

Illuminated Perfume said...

Lucy love,
Glad you enjoyed the story. I think you will become a devotee of InFiore, her products are glorious!! Can't wait to read what you think. I believe Beauty Habit has samples.

Illuminated Perfume said...

This line really got me...I have been pondering it ever since I read it here: "...the joys of hugging a hot china with an inky liquid..."
So well put!

Illuminated Perfume said...

Hi Katie, welcome...
I am thrilled to know that the words and pictures worked to invoke some comfort. Excellent!

Illuminated Perfume said...

I just adore tea...think I'll go have a cup now, want to join me?
Thanks for stopping by.