Monday, February 22, 2010

The Nose Knows ~ ~ Part 2 ~ ~

In part 1 of 'The Nose Knows' we discussed how the power of Aromatherapy can help you to control the stress in your environment whether it be the need to concentrate, relax or attract. Now lets discuss what essential oils can do for you in a domestic capacity. First you must understand that the term 'essential oil' is a misnomer. Pure essential oils when dropped on blotting paper will impregnate it, then evaporate and disperse, leaving no oily patch. There are some exceptions to this rule, but the oils I am going to discuss typically follow the rules I just described. Instead of stores selling fragrances or beauty products, look for pure E/O's in shops concerned with natural health such as Whole Foods, Sprouts,etc. I will also list at the bottom of this Blog some reputable suppliers in E/O's that deal with mail orders. This is ideal for the beginner as you get to know what the real thing smells like and, as you become more sure of your nose's ability to discern the good from the bad, seek a more conventional retail outlet.
Other clues to buying pure E/O's is price and strength. It is often the case that synthetic aromas will smell more pungently of the raw material than the real thing. Do not then be influenced by strength, but rather by price, supplier reputation and, in time, your own experience and instinct. Also, realize that E/O's are varied in price due to growing conditions, production costs, and transportation. That being said it is not uncommon that you will find Jasmine at 92x the price of Grapefruit and Sandalwood 4x the price of Lime on a wholesalers list. The reason being it takes 8,000,000 hand-picked Jasmine blossoms (picking time is before sun is at its hottest on day of first bloom)to make 2.2 pounds of Jasmine oil. And Sandalwood isn't harvested until the tree is 30 years old and at least 30 feet high. No reputable supplier sells E/O's all at the same price. Your E/O should arrive in a brown or dark bottle and be kept out of light , heat and dampness. Tops should be closed tightly when not in use. The shelf life of an E/O is approximately 2 years, although some would argue that it may be longer, and when the aromatic principles are the main action (IE: air fresheners, kitchen surface wipes, perfumes, etc) then certainly this may be true. Unfortunately, E/O's are not yet dated when sold, so it is impossible to tell how old they are when you buy them – another reason to purchase through a reputable supplier. So let's look at some domestic uses, shall we?


Because all doors of a house open onto a hallway, this where the aromas from every single room mingle to form the aromatic fingerprint unique to your home. Since hallways are often windowless, the odors that linger tend to hang about like a smog. We light candles and place potpourri in our rooms, but hallways are often neglected. Hallways need something pleasant and fresh, rather than the spice / herbal scents of the kitchen or more heavily scented oils we might use elsewhere.
Some pure oils that provide this refreshment are as follows:

Spring/ Summer


Autumn/ Winter


A synergistic blend that are just as refreshing are:

Spring/ Summer

Lemon 10 drops
Geranium 4 drops
Pettigraine 3 drops
Sandalwood 2 drops

Autumn/ Winter

Orange 8 drops
Frankincense 3 drops
Benzoin 3 drops
Geranium 4 drops

Methods using pure oils or blends are:

Diffusers >> 1 – 6 drops ** non porous only **

Light Bulbs >> 1-2 drops
*** Do Not place oils on hot bulbs. Place on cool bulbs then switch lamp on***

Humidifiers >> 1-9 drops ** add to water **

Radiators >> 1-9 drops ** place on cotton / wool ball and lodge between pipes **

Room Sprays >> 4 or more drops per 1 cup of water
** Spray where necessary being cautious with certain woods **

Water Bowls >> 1-9 drops
** Put boiling water in a bowl, add drops of E/O and seal room for 5 minutes **

Wood Fires >> 1 drop per log
** allow oil to set for 30 minutes prior to fire **


The majority of E/O's are antiseptics and bactericides, which means they inhibit growth of bacteria, clearly a concern within the home. The following oils are chosen for price and power:

Palma Rosa

We talked about the 2 year shelf life, but as it turns out, the disinfectant qualities of Eucalyptus actually improve with age. If you have oils too old to incorporate in skin or body care, keep them next to the kitchen / bathroom sink and use 4 drops per cup of water, then spray on a cloth to wipe down surfaces.


To deter insects from coming in through the windows, cut strips of paper or ribbon and add one drop of whichever E/O you prefer listed here:


Flies and moths particularly dislike Lavender oil, while Peppermint keeps mosquitoes and ants away. Moths have an aversion to the citrus oils too. Either one of the following blends will do a good job at keeping insects on their side of the window frame:

Blend 1

Citronella 10 drops
Peppermint 3 drops

Blend 2

Lavender 5 drops
Citronella 5 drops

These blends and other E/O's can also be placed on cotton / wool balls and placed in nooks & crannies or sprayed around the room. Better than chemicals, you are on your way to being environmentally safe as well as saving $$

Well, I hope this has been an interesting article to read as it was to write. Aromatherapy can become quite the hobby as well as a necessity. In part 3 of The Nose Knows, we will go on to discuss some first aid basics. Please do not hesitate to comment if there is a particular condition or remedy of which you are interested. I will be happy to respond with up to date research and helpful tips.

Please read on for the list of suppliers to purchase your Essential Oils.
For a catalog and pricing lists, be sure to send a self addressed stamped envelope to:

Essentially Yours North America
PO Box 81866
Bakersfield, CA 93380


Aroma Vera Inc.
PO Box 3609
Culver City, CA 90231


Original Swiss Aromatics
PO Box 606
San Rafael, CA 94915

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