Introduction to Aromatherapy

Healing with Essential Oils

A Self Directed Home Study Course on the Use of
Plant Aromatics for Health and Well-being

By KG Stiles, BA, LMT, CBT, CBP
Certified Clinical Aromatherapist

Class 5: Aromatherapy Blending – Formulating Natural Beauty Skin Care & Perfume

“My life is my message.” ~Gandhi

Topics at a Glance
MOVIE: Sesquiterpene Family Aromatic Plant Images
Introduce Sesquiterpene Chemical Family – Wise Elders & Compassionate Ones
Sesquiterpene Family Properties, Actions & Effects
Sesquiterpene Family plant Identification, Distillation Method & Best Locations
MOVIE: Aromatherapy Blending
Aromatherapy Blending – Top, Middle & Bottom Notes
Formulating Natural Beauty Skin Care Treatments & Perfume:
Beauty Oil
Perfume Oil
Facial Toner
Facial steam
Facial Masque
Hair & Scalp Treatment
YOUR ASSIGNMENT: Enjoy “Create Your best Life with Mindfulness Meditation, Mirror Work & Crystals,” MP3 podcast and/or experience a product(s) you formulated and/or selected pure essential oil(s) from the Sesquiterpene Family.
Diluting Essential Oils
BONUS: Shelf Life

Let’s explore another of the twelve (12) chemical families:

MOVIE: Sesquiterpene Family Aromatic Plant Images

Click play button below to watch video

Photo Credit: Public Domain Images and Wiki Creative Commons GNU Free License as noted for each image.

SESQUITERPENE – Chemical Family of Wise Elders & Compassionate Ones: Grandparents, Guardians, Teachers, Emotional Healing, Ground, Soothe & Comfort

SESQUITERPENE PROPERTIES – Actions & Effects

Balancing
Anti-inflammatory (alleviates inflammation)
Antispasmodic (prevents and eases spasm and relieves cramps)
Cicatrisant (helps formation of scar tissue)
Sedative (calming)
Soothing
Analgesic (pain reliever)

Essential Oils in this class include:
Preferred distillation method, part of plant used, and some best locations for production.

YARROW – Achillea millefolium, steam distilled flowers, Bulgaria
BLUE TANSY – Tanacetum anuum, steam distilled flower tops, Morocco
GERANIUM – Pelargonium graveolens, steam distilled leaf, Reunion Islands Madagascar
GINGER FRESH ROOT – Zingiber officinale, steam distilled root Madagascar or Sri Lanka
CHAMOMILE GERMAN – Matricaria recutita, steam distilled flowers, England or Bulgaria
CEDARWOOD ATLAS – Cedrus atlantica, steam distilled wood, Morocco
CEDARWOOD HIMALAYAN – Cedrus deodora, steam distilled wood, Nepal
VETIVER – Vetiveria zizanoides, hydrodiffused root, Haiti
CARROT SEED – Daucus carota, hydrodiffused seed, France
SPIKENARD – Nardostachys jatamansi, steam distilled wild root, Nepal
PATCHOULI – Pogostemom cablin, steam distilled leaf, India
YLANG YLANG – Cananga odorata, steam distilled flowers, Madagascar
VALERIAN – Valerian officinalis, steam distilled root, India

MAKING AROMATHERAPY PRODUCTS I

MOVIE: Aromatherapy Blending

Photo Credit: Public Domain Images and Wiki Creative Commons GNU Free License as noted for each image.

Diluting essential oils

The first step in making aromatherapy products is to understand the concept of dilution. The principle idea is to dilute essential oils for safe skin application. Remember each drop of pure essential oil is very concentrated. One drop of pure essential oil is equivalent to 3-4 cups of botanical plant matter. As pure essential oils are very concentrated some can cause skin irritation if used undiluted.

Essential oils are usually diluted in oils, lotions, creams, or salts. We call these carriers of essential oil. Water alone is not an acceptable carrier for essential oil that is being applied directly to the skin, since oil and water do not mix. For general safe use on the skin it is always best to dilute the essential oil in an oil-based carrier or salt.

Choose carrier vegetable oils that are organic and skin nourishing like light coconut oil, or jojoba. These pure oils will absorb the essential oils and act to help them be absorbed into the fatty tissues beneath the skin, and avoid skin irritation.

DILUTION GUIDE for personal skin care and perfume oils (refer to your Class 3 lesson for a complete dilution guide).

  • 2% Dilution (10-12 drops per ounce of carrier) – personal skin care.
  • 5% Dilution (28-30 drops per ounce of carrier) – perfumes.
  • 10% Dilution (58-60 drops per ounce of carrier) – Very expensive perfume oils like Rose. The intensity of these pure oils makes them useful in dilution with great effect.

BASIC AROMATHERAPY BLENDING-

Keep this as a reference for creating blends.It is beyond the scope of this course to go into the details of Top, Middle and Base Notes for essential oils and their qualities. Though limited in application this guide is useful for basic blending of essential oils according to their aroma qualities, properties, actions and effects. After a little practice, you will know many different essential oils and enjoy creating aromatherapy blends for an assortment of uses!

AROMATIC FORMULATIONS are usually made up of Top, Middle & Base Notes

TOP NOTE QUALITIES: The first scent to arise from a blend and evaporate quickly. The Top Note fragrance is usually light, fresh, sharp, penetrating, and airy. These oils add brightness to a blend. Aromas of Top Note oils are reminiscent of wind chimes or the flute. Top Notes stimulate and clear your mind and uplift your energy. All citrus oils are Top Notes.

MIDDLE NOTE QUALITIES: Also referred to as a “Heart” Notes, these oils give a blend aromatic fullness and softness, and can notably round off sharp edges. Middle Notes can contain both Top and Base note aromas within them. They are harmonizing for your blends. Middle Notes provide balance both physically and energetically. Middle Notes are soothing and harmonizing for your body, mind, spirit and emotions.

BASE NOTE QUALITIES: Also referred to as Bottom or End notes these oils provide a warm, deep, and grounding quality to your blends.

Traditionally these essential oils were thought to function as fixatives as they were thought to reduce the evaporation rate of Top Notes.

However, current research indicates this is not the case. Base Notes add characteristic depth to a blend and often have an earthy aroma. The Base Note arises slowly, unlike Top Notes, which penetrate quickly. Base Notes are often used to relieve stress, anxiety, and insomnia. They are calming and grounding. Many essential oils derived from woods, resins, and roots are Base Notes. Ylang Ylang is the rare exception as it is extracted from a flower.

YOUR ASSIGNMENT: Formulate one or more aromatherapy products following the Basic Aromatherapy Blending guidelines and recipes given.

NATURAL BEAUTY SKIN CARE – Blending Tips & Supplies

You can blend up to three different essential oils. To help you select which essential oils to use in your blend please refer to your aromatherapy guides:

Eighteen (18) classifications of aroma
Chemical and alchemical properties of each essential oil
You’ll also want to follow your intuition or felt sense about which essential oils feel right for you to use in your formulation or blend.

To a one ounce dispensing bottle add a little less than one ounce of your favorite vegetable carrier oil, i.e. light coconut oil, jojoba oil, sweet almond oil, rosehip oil, or any ohter vegetable oil that you’d love to apply on your skin. You want to leave enough room in your dispensing bottle for adding your pure essential oils.

BEAUTY OIL RECIPE & BLENDING STEPS:

In your Aromatherapy Journal write down the name(s) of each essential oil you will be using. You will be recording the number of drops you add to your carrier oil for creating your Beauty Oil blend recipe.

Select an essential oil, inhale its aroma and make a note about its aromatic quality and effect, then add one (1) drop of the pure essential oil to your carrier oil.

Stir your blend into the carrier oil by using a sterile instrument, or simply tighten the bottle cap and lightly shake your dispensing bottle to disperse your essential oil into the carrier oil.

Inhale the aroma of your blend at this stage and make notes about its character qualities and effects now that it’s been added to your carrier oil.

Continue formulating your Beauty Oil Blend by selecting a second essential oil, inhale its aroma as before, and make a note about its aromatic quality and effect, then add one (1) drop to your carrier oil.

Lightly shake your bottle to disperse your essential oil into the carrier oil. Inhale the aroma of your blend and make notes about its character qualities and effects at this stage of recipe formulation. Take your time to enjoy the alchemical process of blending your Beauty Oil.

Continue formulating your blend by selecting a third essential oil, inhale its aroma and make a note about its aromatic quality and effect, then add one (1) drop to your carrier oil.

Lightly shake your bottle to disperse your essential oil into the carrier oil. Inhale the aroma of your blend and make notes about its character qualities and effects at this stage of recipe formulation.

YOUR BEAUTY OIL BLEND’S AROMA:

Through these initial stages of formulating your Beauty Oil Blend you have noticed how the aroma has changed with the addition of each pure essential oil.

Dispense a little of your aromatic Beauty Oil Blend in your hands, rub your palms together and inhale slowly. You will probably notice that the aroma of some essential oil(s) is lighter than other oil(s) in your blend.

You may notice the uplifting scent, or TOP NOTE first while the aroma of certain essential oil(s) linger longer in your memory, these are the MIDDLE and BASE NOTES.

As your Beauty Oil Blend synergizes over the coming days and weeks the aroma qualities will continue to change and take on a unique character.

Write down your aroma experiences for deepening your awareness of each essential oil and your Beauty Oil Blend as it synergizes over time.

The aroma qualities and language of aromas sing to your senses like muses inspiring you to formulate a balanced blend for harmonizing body, mind, spirit and emotions.

As you experiment with your aromatic formulations you will naturally get a feel for when to emphasize a particular aromatic note to achieve your desired results.

Continue formulating your Beauty Oil Blend by selecting one additional drop from any one of your three pure essential oils.

To make your selection of which oil to use refer to your reference guides for:

Classifications of aroma
Chemical and alchemical properties you want in your blend, as well as your Intuition or felt sense for which essential oil especially called to you, and you would like to use more of.

Add one (1) drop of your selected essential oil to your blend.

Lightly shake your bottle to disperse the essential oil into the carrier oil. Inhale the aroma and make notes about its character qualities and effects at this stage of recipe formulation.

Continue formulating the recipe for your Beauty Oil Blend by adding one drop at a time of any of the three essential oils you selected until you arrive at an aromatic blend that truly pleases your senses within the 1-2% range; that’s between 10-12 drops of essential oils.

After adding each drop inhale the aroma and make notes about your Beauty Oil Blend’s character qualities and effects.

Keeping track of the number of drops of each essential oil while blending ensures you will remember the stages of formulating your aromatic recipe and the exact recipe for your blend should it be a memorable one for you!

TRY THESE RECIPES for different types of aromatherapy skin care formulations. Blend into one ounce of your favorite vegetable carrier oil:

2% Dilution – Beauty Oil (10-12 drops total)
Lavender, Lavendula angustifolia – 3-4 drops
Ylang Ylang – Cananga odorata – 3-4 drops
Geranium – Pelargonium graveolens – 4 drops

2% Dilution – Regenerative Serum (10-12 drops total)
10% Chamomile, German – Matricaria recutita – 4 drops
Carrot Seed – Daucus carota – 2-4 drops
10% Rose – Rosa damacena – 4 drops

2% Dilution – Blemish & Acne Control Formula (10-12 drops total)
Cypress – Cupressus sempervirens – 1-3
Rose Geranium – Pelargonium roseum – 5
Lavender – Lavandula angustifolia – 4

Gently apply 1-3 drops your Beauty Oil Blend or Regenerative Serum on your wrists, your temples, the sides of your neck, and face.

Makes notes in your Aromatherapy Journal about how you respond to your blend over the next several days.

Try out your blend on yourself, family and friends. Observe and make notes about how others respond to your aromatherapy blend(s). Notice how your blend’s aroma changes over time and after you apply it on your skin. By trying out different aromatherapy blends with others you will be learning about how different aromas affect different people.

Through exploring the uses and benefits of essential oils for yourself and others they will become a valuable addition to your everyday life.

TRY THESE PERFUME OIL RECIPES, or create your own by following the basic blending guidelines for formulating aromatherapy recipes. Blend your selected essential oils into one ounce of your favorite vegetable carrier oil:

5% Dilution – Perfume Blend (28-30 Drops total)
Ginger, Fresh root – Zingiber officinale – 4
Bergamot – ( Citrus bergamia ) – 18-19 drops
Lavender, Lavendula angustifolia – 6-7
Ylang Ylang – Cananga odorata – 6-7 drops (alternate choice in place of Lavender)

5% Dilution – CLASSIC “Eau de Cologne” Formula (28-30 Drops total)
Lavender, Lavendula angustifolia – 12 drops
Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis ct verbenon) – 1 drop
Bergamot – ( Citrus bergamia ) – 15-17 drops

Gently apply 1-3 drops of your perfume oil blend on your wrists, and the sides of your neck.

Notice how you respond to your blend over the next several days.

Try out your blend on yourself, family and friends.

Observe and make notes in your Aromatherapy Journal about how you and others respond to your perfume blend.

Make notes in your Journal about how the aroma of your perfume oil changes over time and after you apply it on your skin.

FOR YOUR PERSONAL SKIN CARE:AROMATIC MIST – This is a favorite way of mine for using aromatic oils. You may use an aromatherapy spray as a facial toner, an all over body freshener, or as a room spray and deodorizer. The amount of oil you use depends on the purpose of your aromatic mist!

FACIAL TONER DIRECTIONS –

Half fill a two (2) ounce colored glass bottle that has an atomizer or misting top with pure filtered water, and follow the basic aromatherapy blending guidelines for formulating a recipe, add your pure essential oil one drop at a time, shake well after the addition of each drop, and spray to test the aroma quality and effect.

Continue to add drops of pure essential oil until you’ve added 12-15 drops total (1% dilution).

Add a tiny amount (6-15 drops) of alcohol, or witch hazel to act as a dispersant for your essential oils to blend into the water.

Shake well to blend essential oils thoroughly into the water.

TRY THIS FACIAL TONER BLEND RECIPE – follow the directions and formulate a Facial Toner aromatic mist.

1-2% Dilution – Facial Toner Blend (12-15 drops)
Lavender, Lavendula angustifolia – 7-8 drops
Frankincense – ( Boswelia fereana ) – 2-3 drops
Rose Geranium – Pelargonium roseum – 3-4 drops

FACIAL STEAM – As part of a deep cleansing routine

Preparation – What you will need:

Stainless Steel or Ceramic Bowl (facial steam bowl)
Hand or Bath Towel
1 tsp cream, or honey (as carrier)
2-5 drops Lavender pure essential oil (depending on the size of your bowl)Pint cup for mixing carrier and essential oil

DIRECTIONS:

Disperse 3 or 5 drops of your pure essential oil in a teaspoon of your chosen carrier, i.e. cream or honey, and mix into a pint of steaming hot water.Half fill your stainless steel or ceramic bowl with hot water.

Tip: Pre-heat your facial steam bowl with hot water first before filling it with “hot” water, so that it will retain heat longer.

Pour this “hot” mixture into your facial steam bowl that’s been half filled with hot water, and gently close your eyes as you lean with your face forward, over the facial steam bowl being sure to cover your head with a towel to catch the steam on your face.

Breathe in the steam and relax, enjoying your facial steam until the waters cool. You may also use your essential oil blend in a facial steamer.

FACIAL MASQUE – Deeply cleanse and tighten facial pores, as well as firm and tone skin.

Preparation – What you will need:

  • Pint cup for mixing carrier and essential oil
  • 1/4 cup moistened pink or green clay, honey, mashed avocado, or egg white (as carrier)
  • 1-3 drops Lavender pure essential oil
  • Sterilized instrument such as a stainless steel teaspoon.

Blend pure essential oil evenly into your chosen carrier with a sterile instrument. Generally when combining wet and dry ingredients you’ll want to start with half the recommended dry ingredient such as pink or green clay, and blend in your wet ingredients, then add more of your dry ingredients until the desired consistency is reached.

You’ll want your body care product for a facial scrub or masque to be a soft, smooth, creamy, and even consistency, not too wet or loose, or too dry so it will move across your skin, or stay on the skin, not runny.

The exact formula will vary according to the ingredients used, and the climate conditions like temperature, altitude, and humidity. So go slow and take your time formulating products; write down everything you do and your results in your aromatherapy journal.

Gently apply your facial masque with your finger tips beginning at your forehead, then the sides of your face and décolletage.

Be sure to cover your facial skin completely and evenly, stroking upwards to apply your masque.

Relax for 10-15 minutes, allowing your masque to do its magic of cleansing, tightening, and toning your skin. Do not allow your masque to completely dry out before gently removing it with warm water. Be sure to thoroughly remove the entire masque! Finish by washing with your favorite facial cleanser, and a refreshing skin toner.

HAIR & SCALP TREATMENT – You may add a drop of pure essential oil to your favorite shampoo for helping to reduce or even stop hair loss. Pure essential oils are also good for regulating sebum production to relieve oily/dry scalp conditions, and helpful for controlling dandruff!

Recommend: lavender, ylang ylang, rosemary, cypress, blue yarrow, clary sage.

YOUR ASSIGNMENT: Enjoy “Create Your best Life with Mindfulness Meditation, Mirror Work & Crystals,” MP3 podcast (click below to play or download, right click and ‘save target as’ for PC)and/or experience one or more of the essential oils in the 18 aroma classification(s), and/or experience a product(s) you formulated and/or selected pure essential oil(s) from the Sesquiterpene Family.

BONUS: SHELF LIFE FOR ESSENTIAL OILS:

There are many variables affecting the shelf life of essential oils. This is a general guideline only for the shelf life of different types of essential oils. It is impossible to say exactly what an essential oil’s shelf life will be.

Proper storage conditions will make a significant difference in the shelf life and quality of your essential oil. If you store your oils in a colored glass bottle that is full of essential oil with little, or no air space for oxidation to occur, kept closed and air tight, in a dark, and cool place, you can have some general idea about shelf life.

Refrigerating your oils can also help extend their shelf life. Generally I recommend you always refrigerate your citrus, and conifer oils to extend shelf life. Refrigerating your blue oils is also highly recommended to retain their vibrant blue color. Rose oil is the only essential oil you should not refrigerate as it will congeal and thicken.

NOTE: If an essential oil begins to appear cloudy, thicken, or smell more acidic, it has likely begun to oxidize.

Approximately 6 months-2 years from distillation:

Cypress – Cupressus sempervirens
Eucalyptus – Eucalyptus globules & radiata
Grapefruit – Citrus paradisi
Juniper berry – Juniperus communis
Lemon – Citrus limon
Lemongrass (West Indian) – Cymbopogon citratus
Sweet Orange – Citrus sinensis
Pine – Abies siberica
Black Spruce – Picea mariana
Tangerine – Citrus reticulata

Approximately 3-4 years from distillation:

Amni Visnaga – Amni Visnaga ~ Khella Plant Seeds
Bay Laurel – Laurus nobilis
Black Pepper – Piper nigrum
Bergamot – Citrus bergamia
Carrot Seed – Daucas carota
Cinnamon Leaf – Cinnamomum zeylanicum
Clove Bud – Eugenia caryophyllata
Eucalyptus – Eucalyptus globulus & radiata
Fennel, Bitter – Foeniculum vulgare
Helichrysum – Helichrysum italicum
Ledum – Ledum groenlandicum
Myrtle – Myrtys communis
Naiouli – Melaleuca quinquenervia
Neroli – Citrus aurantium var amara
Petitgrain – Citrus aurantifolia
Rosemary – Rosmarinus officinalis ct verbenone
Rosemary – Rosmarinus officinalis ct cineole
Sweet Marjoram – Origanum marjorana
Tea Tree – Melaleuca alternifolia
Lemon Tea Tree – Leptospermum petersonii

Approximately 4-5 years from distillation:

Cardamom – Elettaria cardamomum
Cinnamon Bark – Cinnamomum zeylanicum
Coriander – Coriandrum sativum
Cumin – Cuminum cyminum
Basil, Sweet – Osimum basilicum ct linalool
Basil, Holy – Ocimum sanctum
Blue Tansy – Tanacetum anuum ~ Moroccan Blue Chamomile
Clary Sage – Salvia sclarea
Frankincense – Boswellia fereana
Geranium Bourbon – Pelargonium graveolens
Rose Geranium – Pelargonium roseum
German Chamomile – Matricaria recutita
Ginger, Fresh Root – Zingiber officinale
Lavender – Lavandula angustifolia
Sweet Marjoram – Origanum marjorana
Oregano – Origanum vulgare
Palmarosa – Cymbopogon martini
Peppermint – Mentha piperita
Ravensara – Ravensara aromatica
Rose Geranium – geranium roseum
Rosewood – Aniba rosaeodora
Sea Buckthorn – Hippophae rhamnoides
Spike Lavender – Lavandula latifolia
Thyme ct vulgaris – Thymus vulgaris
Valerian – Valerian officinalis, steam distilled root
Yarrow – Achillea millefolium
Ylang Ylang – Cananga odorata

Approximately 6-8 years or longer:

Atlas Cedarwood – Cedrus atlantica (endangered)
Himalayan Cedarwood – Cedrus deodora
Virginian Cedarwood – Juniperus virginiana
Myrrh – Commiphora myrrha
Patchouli – Pogostemon cablin & patchouli
Rose Otto – Rosa damacena
Spikenard – Nardostachys jatamansi
Vetiver – Vetiveria zizanoides
East Indian Sandalwood – Santalum album (endangered)

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In your next class six (6) you will learn more about formulating essential oil blends and be guided step-by-step exactly how to formulate and use more of your own aromatherapy products for Relaxation and Self Care with Aromatic Spa Treatments, including: Bath Salts, Sugar Scrubs, Facial and Body Masques, Butters and Balms. Look forward to sharing more about healing with essential oils with you next week. Until then enjoy your journey!

PLEASE NOTE: Holistic Mind Body therapies, including Aromatherapy and Energy Healing can produce satisfying results where other methods have failed. Please consult with your physician regarding serious health concerns and do not attempt to self diagnose.

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