Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Blending with Tabac - Tobacco Absolute

Recently on the Botanical Perfumery list at Yahoo someone asked about blending a Tobacco scent...

Eva Marie Lind was gracious enough to send in several suggestions, and gave me permission to share them:

I would try working with some of the notes that Ernest Daltroff made famous in Caron Tabac Blond - orris,vetiver, cedar, patchouli, vanilla, ambergris, musk?

However oftentimes I find 'leather' is the overlapping theme to creating tobacco notes and therein many of the oils overlap/are similar in selection ... labdanum,cedar (moroccan and also virginiana), costus, mastic & calamus (even though there are now some stringencies with these essences) tonka, spikenard, patchouli ... and to add in a bit of the spicy-smokey-floral inference,neroli & ylang ylang (generally the first.)

Also remember that there needs to be a bit of slippery citrus note -not too sweet and not too sour - sweet orange, lemon -even a bit of bergamot could have a nice relationship. Birch tar ~ adding in some tonka, opoponax ... and yes, even some vetiver - and I might even work in a smidge of tuberose if it is spicy and deep enough ~definitely will need a shaving of vanilla, however that could also be utilized through benzoin, styrax ... ? ~em

Interesting ideas, and I thank her for sharing her experience!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Breakfast on the Go

A year or so ago a friend suggested that I add some powdered protein to my diet. (I was going through some stressful situations and losing weight.)

Easiest way? A Smoothie. And they have been part of my daily routine ever since. The crew at work is used to seeing my carry my "liquid breakfast" into the office every morning. Someone asked how I made it... so...here's the routine:

Into the blender add one jar of any type of yogurt you enjoy. (Read the labels on your yogurt...I've found that most of the "Lite" varieties contain Aspartime, and I'd prefer to avoid that.) One scoop of powdered protein. (I don't like to use too much Soy, so I buy the whey-based, but either will work.) Vanilla or unflavored...Chocolate would NOT be good here.

Some juice... I use either orange or one of the White Cranberry varieties, white cranberry and peach, white cranberry and strawberry, something similar. You may or may not toss in a banana at this point.

Blend until smooth. Next comes the real secret. A handful of FROZEN fruit of your choice. Strawberries are wonderful with the above mentioned Banana. Sliced peaches are wonderful with peach juice and yogurt. With the peach I often add a good handful of frozen wild blueberries (a GREAT anti-oxidant...some authorities say blueberries are "brain food" and my brain can use all the feeding it can get!) Frozen Raspberries and Peaches give you peach melba.

With my blender, I have to switch it to highest speed (Liquify) once the fruit goes in. It makes a horrendous racket, but it does blend in the chunks of fruit.

For reasons I don't know, fresh fruit doesn't work quite as well.

I suspect you can use any combination of yogurt flavors, juice and fruit that appeals to you. The smoothie is high in protein, full of vitamins and things that are good for you...and tastes scrumptious.


Saturday, October 18, 2008

I *really* hate ironing!

I truly do. And I don't do it well...instead of turning out perfectly pressed shirts, blouses, whatever, mine always have pressed in creases. So, I'm a great believer in either perma-press clothes, or in the 'natural' look...after all, natural fibers shouldn't be perfect, right?

But I love having ironed sheets and pillowcases. So, for the last few years, I iron my pillowcases. It's worth the trouble to have that nice touch of luxury. (Years ago, in another lifetime and another continent I had a housekeeper who came in once a week. She left our home sparkling, and ironed everything she could find. Sheer luxury!) However...today I'm the ironer..so it's pillowcases only.

And, to add to the luxury, I want my pillowcases to smell of rose, or rose and sandalwood. Awhile ago I made a fabulous linen spray. 6 mls of Polysorbate 20, 2 mls of Rose Otto and 1 ml of Sandalwood essential oil, and distilled water - enough to fill a 4 ounce atomizer bottle. It was rich and lovely and the pillowcases smelled lovely for several days.

I used it all. I have no polysorbate at home, so I decided to fill the steam iron with rose hydrosol instead of distilled water. They are both distilled, right?

The first time I ironed all went well. Two weeks later - today... was another story.

Folks if you ever even think about putting a hydrosol in your steam iron, go take a walk around the block, a cold shower, a good book...anything to take your mind off that idea! Great globs of brown YUCK leaped out of the iron onto my pristine pillow cases. I suppose it will wash out. I hope it will wash out.

There are things I would rather shop for than a new iron. But it might be necessary.

It occurs to me that my mother used to spritz things she was going to iron with water, roll them tightly in a tube, wrap them in something??? (a plastic bag should work well) long enough for the moisture to permeate the fabric, and then iron with a hot iron.

Maybe spritzing them with the rose hydrosol will protect my iron next time?

(I've always been afraid to mist the linens with my linen spray and then iron...don't know if Polysorbate takes to extreme heat well.)

At any rate... there are a zillion uses for our lovely Rose Hydrosol. Filling your steam iron is not one of them!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Eucalyptus Citriodora - Antifungal

The latest issue of the Intl. Journal of Essential Oil Therapeutics arrived earlier this week. I sometimes get discouraged, because all too often the research articles printed have to do with rare and exotic oils that are not commercially available. This issue, though, has an interesting article about Euc. Citriodora (Lemon Eucalyptus.)

I've always known that Euc. Citriodora was a strong anti-fungal agent, and recommended it for this purpose. A research article shows that Euc. Citriodora is not only powerful against most "conventional" fungi, but it is even more powerful when used (in the laboratory!) against the newer drug resistant mutants of Candida.

Now, if the authors had not suggested that isolating "the active phytoceuticals from the whole oil may provide a valuable antimicrobial agent for counteracting fungal and drug resistant infections" I'd have been happier. I am not a chemist, but it seems to me that if big pharma isolates the one (or more) phytochemicals that give Euc. Citriodora its powerful anti-fungal effect, the possibility of the drug resistant strains becoming resistant to this valuable natural anti-fungal increases.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Emotional effects of Tuberose

And while we are quoting... from the same source:

Tuberose has a relaxing and sensuous effect and decreases depression and increases happiness and is used to enhance romantic moments. It caused a decrease in depression, reinforcing its positive mood swings.

No wonder both these oils are so beloved by perfumers!

Read more about our exotic Indian Tuberose Absolute here.

Osmanthus and mood

Quoting from "Aromatherapy Science a guide for healthcare professionals" by Maria Lis-Balchin who refers to a study between the Sense of Smell Institute regarding the effects of fragrance on mood. 'Osmanthus is stimulating and helps to reduce apathy and depression; it is highly coveted in China and Japan, with its floral/fruity smell somewhat like apricot, and showed an increase in happiness, with a decrease in all the negative mood factors."

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Save-a-Pet today

This in email from my daughter a few minutes ago:


Hi, all you animal lovers. This is pretty simple... Please tell ten friends to tell ten today! The Animal Rescue Site is having trouble getting enough people to click on it daily to meet their quota of getting free food donated every day to abused and neglected animals.

It takes less than a minute (How about 20 seconds) to go to their site and click on the purple box 'fund food for animals' for free. This doesn't cost you a thing. Their corporate sponsors/advertisers use the number of daily visits to donate food to abandoned/neglected animals in exchange for advertising. Here's the web site! Pass it along to people you know.


Please ask some friends to do the same thing. (I just did!)

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Post-it Notes from the Creator

I hesitated to share this here, because it feels way too personal. But one of my circle of wise council says that it needs to be shared..so...

This past weekend I spent at a woman's retreat at a campsite west of Nashville. Beautiful blue October skies, turning foliage, warm sunshine and nippy evenings, with comfortable rooms and great food. A hundred and a half beautiful women, each on our own spiritual journey, but sharing very similar paths. A wonderful 'vacation'... but the real gift of the weekend came in the form of a post-it note from the Creator

(Yes, my God gives me post-it notes as reminders!)

Saturday morning there was a workshop called "Blisters to Blessings"... how the painful events of our lives can turn into the greatest of blessings. Many beautiful women shared how their pain had turned into their blessings, and I felt called to share the story of the birth of Nature's Gift. How in 1994 I was told I was totally disabled, and would never work again...and how that terrible painful frightening time held in it the seeds of the life I had today, because it gave me time to read and learn and study my two passions - the healing power of the essential oils and online communication. The World Wide Web was new to me, and I had to learn how to design my own page. And then a friend commented on one of my blends..."this is wonderful, you need to sell it!" and somehow Nature's Gift was born.

I sometimes feel uncomfortable sharing that tale for fear it will come across as "how wonderful I am"... it's not about that. It's about the fact it is not humanly possible to get from where I was to where we are now. And the fact that I always wanted to be a "healer" and that has not been my gift - but because of what we do here, we get to participate in the healing journeys of thousands of people.

At any rate, I shared my "blisters to blessings" story, and several women said, afterwards, that it gave them hope. (Of course throughout the rest of the weekend, others kept coming up to me and asking "do you have something that will help with ____?" and I shared what I knew, but that's a different story.) As it worked out, a fair amount of the time this weekend was spent talking about what we do here. Which was just fine... it's my favorite subject!

But it still made me a bit uncomfortable to be talking so often about the oils and their healing power on what was designed to be a spiritual weekend.

The true gift, though, came Sunday morning. During the closing ceremony there is an exercise done with affirmations. Perhaps 40 of us in a group, and each of us drew a sealed slip of paper, the affirmation we would be working with, and sharing throughout the morning.

I opened my sealed piece of paper and felt my eyes fill with tears.

"You are doing God's Work"