Saturday, January 16, 2010

Experimenting with Essential Oils

I've had a growing interest in essential oils for some time but I've been afraid to jump in there and try them out.. why? Well, there are some issues with essential oils that you don't get with fragrance oils - firstly, they do have an effect on the body and mind; that's a good thing right? Yes, however there are contraindications with some people, ie pregnant women and I was afraid that something I might make may cause problems - how awful would that be? There's also the issue of blending the various oils together to make different new fragrances - whilst this is a great idea in principal, the testing and experimenting can also be costly.  And we all know, in this day and age, costly experimenting is something very small businesses can't always afford.  On the other hand, they can't afford not to either.  Hmmmmm, so where did that leave me then?

I decided that I'd go the safe route into this unknown territory! I chose a variety of citrus essential oils that I personally really like, ones that are safe to use (small safe even with small children) and try them out on me.  After all, none of my products are tested on animals, only humans, including myself so why should any new product be any different?

So, from my fabulous supplier, I got a variety of oils - Lemongrass, Grapefruit, Lime, Mandarin, Tangerine, Basil, Fennel and May Chang.  I also know that citrus oils can sometimes be so not longlasting so I bought the May Chang (aka Litsea Cuba) as I know that it acts as a "fixative" for the other citrus oils. 

Last night, I made myself a body butter using my usual recipe - a tried and tested recipe that I adore and one I hope to introduce my customers too early this year.  I added a blend of Grapefruit, Mandarin and May Chang and I have to admit, even for a complete newbie in this area, it's lovely! Fresh and uplifting and it has a slight "fizzy" aspect at the end which I believe is due to the May Chang.  I really love it.  Now the only thing is that the body butter didn't firm up as usual but it was warm in the house last night (we've gone from minus temperatures to 10 deg in about two days with this crazy weather) but I need to see how it is today.  I did a lovely whipped version, very light anyway so it's not surprisingly it isn't that firm really!!!

I'm off shortly to have my shower and slather this wonderful butter all over myself and see how the fragrance has developed! I'm really excited to try this ... it may only be the first of many experiments! Keep an eye on this space for feedback!


  1. I have never been drawn to solo citrus - I need a base of vetiver or patchouli or something similar.
    However, I have had a noticeably increased appetite for May Chang (really all citrus eos) lately....I think it is due to the rather severe winter. (Odd, because my normal craving is for vanilla, tonka, incense-type frags in winter)
    I went on a spree with May Chang (LOVE it with grapefruit) - and now am tiring of it.
    Have fun! may never be able to go back to certain FOs after you delve into the Eos.
    Your butter sounds fab!

  2. Oh I love the heavier, deeper fragrances too.. any time of year, I've developed a real liking for patchouli too.

    I think you could be right about the whole terrible winter thing too - you do need something to brighten the day up!!! I added the oils at 1% given they can affect sensitive skin and I'd liked to have added them to a slightly higher degree, I love a strong fragrance myself. It's very light and fresh fragranced, a very summery scent.

    Oh Lord is this going to be yet another addiction then?

    Thanks for the comment Teresa!


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