Using herbs for creating delightful fragrances and pure cosmetics is a
tradition that dates back thousands of years. The history of the
ancient Egyptians is rich with references of the use of aromatic herbs
and essential oils. Essential oils were used to adorn their bodies,
maintain health, and as part of their religious ceremonies. The Greeks
learned to use fragrant herbs from the Egyptians and relied upon
imports from Egypt to supply many exotic oils. Hippocratic, the father
of medicine, advised his patients to take a bath and massage daily with
essential oils to maintain good health. Much of the knowledge and
experience from these ancient cultures is still important to the
formulation of cosmetics today.
Essential oils are highly concentrated pure oils derived from herbs
and flowers. Not all plants produce essential oils and they are present
in different quantities in different plants. It takes about 12 lemons
to produce an ounce of lemon essential oil and over 2000 pounds of rose
petals to produce an ounce of rose essential oil.
Each essential oil has unique psychological influences and
medicinal properties. Pure essential oils act upon the olfactory senses
sending direct messages to the brain. The different aromas have the
ability to produce changes in our emotions by triggering memories and
the release of endorphins in the brain. Endorphins are hormone-like
chemicals that can produce gratifying sensations, euphoria and a sense
Many essential oils contain the healing qualities of the plant and
can be used to aid healing of cuts, wounds, burns, bacterial and fungal
infections through topical application or inhalation.
Almost all essential oils should be diluted before use. Some are
very irritating to the skin full strength. Never use essential oils
internally without direction from your holistic doctor.
When you shop for essential oils make sure it is labeled pure
essential oil. If the label says fragrance, aromatic oil, scented oil,
or perfume you are probably buying a synthetic blend. Synthetic
fragrances do not have the same aromatherapy properties as essential
oils and may contain harmful chemicals.
BERGAMOT - Promotes confidence & courage. Eases tension,
anxiety, worry and depression. Helps regulate menstrual cycle, relieve
P.M.S. and menopause. Antiseptic properties aid skin problems such as
acne. Helps heal cold sores. Caution: Increases photosensitivity: don't
apply before exposure to direct sunlight.
CHAMOMILE - Gentle, calming, soothing. Eases depression, stress,
anger and irritability. Aids insomnia. Soothes sensitive or irritated
skin. Soothing massage for painful muscles or joints.
CLARY SAGE - Brings tranquillity to the mind and emotions, calms
anxiety. Promotes deep sleep and vivid dreams. Helps regulate menstrual
cycle and relieve P.M.S. Regenerates skin cells, excellent for skin
care. Promotes hair growth. Don't use during pregnancy.
EUCALYPTUS - Purifies and clears negative energy. Helps alleviate
grief and sorrow. Antiseptic and antimicrobial properties useful for
JASMINE - Emotionally warming and uplifting. Stimulates creativity,
imagination, fantasy and dreams. Eases depression, apathy, lack of
confidence. Soothes and rehydrates skin.
LAVENDER - Brings clarity, peace of mind, emotional balance. Eases
insomnia, depression, stress, impatience, worry and shock. Helps
regulate menstrual cycle and relieve P.M.S.. Helps alleviate headaches.
Strong antiseptic and antimicrobial properties useful for burns &
wounds, colds, flu, and skin irritations. May use undiluted.
LEMON - Promotes mental clarity and decisiveness. Energizing,
brings cheer and humor into ones life. Digestive tonic. Aids healing of
wounds and infections. Dilute before using. Caution: Increases
photosensitivity: don't apply before exposure to direct sunlight.
ORANGE - Encourages trust, confidence, and tolerance. Bright and
cheerful. Promotes friendly interactions with others. Relaxing and
calming. Caution: Increases photosensitivity: don't apply before
exposure to direct sunlight.
PATCHOULI - Encourages individuality, centeredness and stability.
Alleviates fatigue, confusion and depression. Helps regenerate skin
cells, useful for skin problems.
PEPPERMINT - Helps clear negative energy. Stimulates the mind, aids
concentration and decisiveness. Helps relieve symptoms of cold and flu,
aids digestion. Flavoring for herbal products such as breath freshener.
Don't use during pregnancy.
ROSE - Awakens, inspires and brightens the heart. Enhances
creativity and invokes appreciation of beauty and harmony. Relieves
tension, depression, sadness and grief. Balances and regulates female
reproductive system. Aids regeneration of skin cells, excellent for
skin problems and general skin care.
ROSEMARY - Promotes self-confidence, courage. Stimulates mental
clarity, memory, and creativity. Rejuvenates skin cells. Stimulates
hair growth. Aids healing of wounds. Don't use during pregnancy.
SANDALWOOD - Quiets mind and emotions. Relaxing, calming, eases
stress, tension and fear. Soothing, moisturizing and astringent for the
TANGERINE - Inspires sensitivity and empathy. Brings cheer and
light. Calms stress and tension. Caution: Increases photosensitivity:
don't apply before exposure to direct sunlight.
TEA TREE - Antibacterial and antifungal oil useful for treating
acne, cold sores, eczema, rashes, candida. Useful for many types of
wounds, burns, and infections. May use full strength.
YLANG YLANG - Inspires creativity and appreciation for beauty.
Euphoric, eases depression, calms nerves and soothes negative emotions.
Eases P.M.S.. Stimulates hair growth. Balances oily skin.
From Aromatherapy Awareness Guide: The Therapeutic Benefits and Uses of Natural Essential Oils. By Legion of Light
Many essential oils are wonderful fragrances all by themselves but
you can have a lot of fun experimenting with different combinations to
create your own perfume blends.
To create your own perfume you will need a base of distilled water,
alcohol and distilled water, or oil. To mix an alcohol and water solution,
mix equal parts of each. Vodka is preferred because it is odorless and
less toxic than isopropyl alcohol. You will need to add 5-10 drops of
essential oil to each ounce of base depending upon the strength of
fragrance you prefer. Pour your base into a perfume bottle or atomizer
leaving some room at the top. Add your essential oils and shake well.
The following are pleasant combinations using just two essential oils.
CHAMOMILE & LAVENDER
LAVENDER & ORANGE
PEPPERMINT & LAVENDER
ORANGE & BERGAMOT
LAVENDER & ORANGE
ROSEWOOD & LEMON
3 DROPS CLARY SAGE
4 DROPS LAVENDER
2 DROPS BERGAMOT
2 DROP ROSEMARY
2 DROPS GERANIUM
2 DROP GERANIUM
1 DROP CHAMOMILE
2 DROP LEMON
1 DROP YLANG YLANG
3 DROP ROSEWOOD
4 DROPS GERANIUM
3 DROP LAVENDER
4 DROPS ROSEMARY
2 DROP CHAMOMILE
2 DROPS BERGAMOT
2 DROP YLANG YLANG
2 DROPS PEPPERMINT
5 DROP SANDALWOOD
5 DROPS PEPPERMINT
5 DROP VANILLA
5 DROPS LEMON
4 DROP LAVENDER
4 DROPS JASMINE
2 DROP CHAMOMILE
4 DROPS ROSE
2 DROP YLANG YLANG
2 DROP PATCHOULI
2 DROP CLARY SAGE
References and suggested readings:
Complete herbal guide to Natural Health and Beauty. Dian Dincin Buchman. Connecticut. Keats Publishing. 1995.
Consumer's Dictionary of Cosmetic Ingredients. Ruth Winter. New York. Crown Publishers.1989.
Herb Book. John Lust. New York. Bantam Books. 1974.
Herbal Body Book. Stephanie Tourles. Vermont. Storey Publishing.1994.
Herbal Healing For Women. Rosemary Gladstar. New York. Fireside. 1993.
Home - Made and at a Fraction of the Cost. Polly Pinder. Kent. Search Press. 1983.
Jeanne Rose's Kitchen Cosmetics. Jeanne Rose. California. North Atlantic Books.1990.
Natural Beauty at Home. Janice Cox. New York. Henry Holt & Co. 1994
Natural Health : The Guide To Well - being. Jan/ Feb. 1995. Vol.
25. # 1. How to Use Gentle Herbs to Clean, Soothe, and Refresh Your
Skin.. p. 72-77.
Skin Deep. Margaret Dinsdale. New York. Camden House publishing. 1994.
Way of Herbs. Michael Tierra,C.A., N.D.. New York. Pocket Books. 1990.