Tuesday, June 28, 2016

MWM: Some Essential Oils, Like Fine Wine, Can Improve With Age

Mondays With Marge returned this week with a number of inquiries, including questions about: the names of Helichrysum, oils for helping tweens/teens better focus, photosensitizing oils, and essential oils which will actually improve with age.

Gillean asked: “I didn't realize some oils get better with age. I have a Haitian Vetiver that I forgot about for 3 years. It is now quite thick and has the most wonderful deep, rich earthy aroma. My new Java Vetiver is brighter and more balsamic. And I just ordered your Indian Vetiver. My question: What oils get better with age? And which are your favorites?”

Marge: “Gillean, think 'base notes.’ If you are familiar with the perfumery / blending classifications
Vetiver Roots
based on top notes, /middle (or heart) notes and base notes (like a keyboard) think of the deepest base notes. Those are the oils that improve with age. Think the roots, like Vetiver and Angelica Root, or the woods such as Sandalwood, Cedarwood, Buddhawood, etc. Oh, and the exception among green leafy plants. Patchouli also improves with age.  Any of these oils will develop a smoothness as they age that isn't found in "fresh from the still" specimens. 

Back in the late 1990's I was given a tiny vial of true Mysore Sandalwood, distilled and bottled (and sealed!) in 1942, so it was close to 60 years old. In my memory, that has always been the benchmark against which I've measured every Sandalwood. It was a one-dram vial. I promptly gave 1/2 the contents to Christopher McMahan, from White Lotus... he and I were both attending either our first or second Aromatherapy conference and I knew how he loved Sandalwood. I hope he still has his...I promptly lost mine... it's here SOMEWHERE but I've not seen it for years.... (It was a gift from Robert Seidel, of The Essential Oil Company.)

Now, I do NOT recommend locking oils away for years. They are meant to be enjoyed. But in 2002, we brought in a really really nice Indian Sandalwood. One of my staffers bought 15 mls then, and put it away for her son's wedding. Her son was, I think 8 at the time…That is how the woods and roots last.

Which are my favorites? I really tend to like all of them, but a good Sandalwood, a good Atlas or Himalayan Cedarwood—ah…lovely...and a good Vetiver, of course! (Of our Vetivers, my favorite is the Haitian, right now... and our Tamil Sandalwoods... but that's today...)  

Have a burning aromatherapy question?  Join Marge for Monday’s With Marge each Monday night at 8:00 p.m. CDT.  Questions can be posed under the MWM graphic on our Facebook page beginning during the day each Monday.  Questions not posed there may not be answered.  We are trying to keep everything in one place for clarity! 

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