Monday, January 31, 2011

Aroma Dreaming

By Christi Pugh for Nature's Gift

A 2008 research study, “The Impact of Olfactory Stimulation on Dreams,” presented by German researchers at the American Academy of Otolaryngology Head & Neck Foundation’s Annual meeting in Chicago outlined the influence (what you) smell during sleep has on (your) dreams.

I’ve always been a regular dreamer, dreaming in color, & remembering my dreams quite well. I even keep a journal by my bedside to write down any significant dreams in the night or first thing in the morning & frequently work the dreams for meaning. (I would recommend Jeremy Taylor’s dream work books & website.)

However, recently I’m experiencing a new phenomenon in my dreams: specifically smelling & recalling the smells the next morning. A few months ago I kept smelling a delicious aroma in my dreams & I would walk around asking everyone, “What is that smell?” No one would answer, some would shake their heads, but I did not get an answer. Finally one night the answer came & instead of from others, it came to me. I shouted out to everyone in my dream, “It’s Osmanthus!”

The next day I came to work & ran to the bin for a sample of Osmanthus which I don’t recall smelling ever, unless it was initially when we brought it in. I inhaled & suddenly had a huge smile on my face. The only way I know to explain Osmanthus is a sweet happy candy-like aroma that reminds you of something lovely you know you’ve experienced before but can’t quite place just where or when! It is a magical delight & no wonder perfumer’s rave about it so much!

Last week I began dreaming of Rosewood Essential Oil. It was the loveliest Rosewood I’d ever experienced. Rosewood has always been a favorite but over the last year I’ve not used it as much due to exploring so many other oils. I believe the dream serves as a reminder to bring back one of the oils that has always been an important part of my life. What I am beginning to take away from these dreams is that perhaps these are the oils I need on some level at the particular time I am dreaming of them. (Note: Nature’s Gift Rosewood is grown on a plantation that reforests.)

Only in recent years have scientists begun to research olfactory function during sleep & I find it fascinating. Of course, my situation was almost a reversal because I was dreaming of essential oils, not necessarily being influenced by anything during sleep. Or was I? Most nights I do use my aromastone to help with sleep & the oils I use vary but nearly always include Lavandin, Fragonia, Green Mandarine, & Blue Tansy. I find the Fragonia & Green Mandarine to be very happy oils, both relaxing & uplifting at the same time.

Do you recall any pleasant or unpleasant smells from your dreams?

For more information about these essential oils & other aromatherapy products visit Nature's Gift.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Gift of Happiness

... or the happiness of gifting ?

Was watching Oprah a couple of days ago. The theme of her show was Happiness. Various authorities spoke about what it is, and what it is not, how to achieve it, how not to.

I was struck by one comment - that a gift of "stuff" can not bring happiness. It may bring pleasure, but the pleasure from even the most extravagant new "thing" wears off and disappears in a few months, while a gift of "experience" can last forever. 

And I thought about all the memories from our trip to Colorado a couple of years ago - experiences that still make me smile two years later.

I started thinking about what we do here, and I realized that in so many cases, what we ship out every day truly are "experiences" rather than "things"...

True, they are packed in boxes and in bottles, jars, or atomizers, but you, the giver, can turn them from a "thing" to an experience.

Let someone enjoy the experience of a sensuous and soothing Bliss Bath,  of a Destressing massage. Let those who walk into your office experience the uplifting and welcoming aroma of Blood Orange, or of our BurnOut synergy.  They won't want to leave!

Give a little one the experience of conquering his or her fears with a spritz of "Monster Spray"...otherwise known as Lavender or Roman Chamomile Hydrosol, to banish the monsters under the bed or in the closet.

The proven links between aroma and memory guarantee that the aromatic experiences you create will be remembered long after the "products" are gone.  

Monday, January 24, 2011


stress is a plague on us in the 21st century. it's a word i seldom heard when i was growing up, and didn't hear too often in my young adult years. but now...

i won't stress readers by reminding them how many times a day we all hear reference to the condition of stress, nor will i add to the already overwhelming stress caused by dealing with our own stress and hearing about the stress of everyone else on the planet.

are you stressed yet?

what i would like to do is share with you a most delightful method of de-stressing.

sunday afternoon i was feeling trapped inside my skin. it was one of those times when you have no list but need one. i had worn paths on my hardwood floors going from room to room with this or that intention and all i had to show for it were the paths. the clock was ticking and i had barely touched on.........

i needed a long hot shower. i know 'they' say hot water's a no-no because of the drying effects, but friends, sometimes only a hot shower will do. i always shower by candlelight, and with good music if possible, so i set the stage, disrobed and entered into a state of bliss.

relief was immediate as the water ran down from head to toe. my knotted muscles began to relax. i wasn't clenching my teeth or fists anymore.

after allowing myself to splurge for several minutes with my water supply i pulled out my body brush and did an overall scrub with jasmine scented shower gel. jasmine isn't for everyone, i realize. personally i love it in small 'doses', but on this afternoon it was just right. jasmine scented steam swirled 'round me as i gently shampooed. i finished with a lavender scented face wash and patted down with fresh warm towels. aaaahhhhhh.

noodle-like was my physical state as i applied my after shower spritz of cleo's toner and did a leisurely face massage with drops of cleo's serum. my mental and emotional state? well... as i got dressed i was floating. i felt pampered and cared for. i felt calm, relaxed and alive. and i felt there was no such thing as--well, you know the word.

no, this is not a new idea; not a modern day technique for relieving stress. just good old fashioned sensuality serving it's purpose.

don't forget to nourish your sensual self. it's more important now than ever.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Squalane & Moisturizing Dry Winter Skin

By Christi Pugh for Nature's Gift

With nearly every U.S. state currently experiencing frigid temperatures & winter weather, there is an increased need for moisturizing the face, hands, feet, & other parts of the body.

“So what is the best moisturizer for winter skin?” we are often asked.

Truly it depends on the person as to which carrier oil you will respond best but we do recommend several, mainly found in our Dry Skin Sampler Pack, as well as our Shea Butter products, including Shea Souffle; Virgin Coconut Cream Oil, Cocoa Butter, & Baby Bottom Balm (in the winter we like to call it our Soothing Skin Balm!). While these products may be too heavy for warm weather usage (depending on if your climate is dry or humid), they can be perfect for driving away itchy, dry skin in the wintertime. (You may also be interested in our Cleo's Radiance Creme designed to moisturize mature skin.)

Working at Nature’s Gift, I’ve been fortunate enough to try most all of our carriers, & this winter my favorite is Squalane (Olea Europa). Squalane is an all vegetable product, extracted from Olive Oil. According to Marge’s description on the website, “…it not only moisturizes the skin, but also provides a barrier preventing transdermal water loss.” She goes on to say it should, “restore moisture & suppleness,” to the skin.

I don’t know why I waited so long to try it. Marge has been singing its praises for quite some time. It is clear & colorless, & can visibly make a difference overnight if you apply it to dry hands or little dry scaly spots at bedtime. It also has no real scent, so if you are using essential oils or other oils, it does not detract from them.

It may be used directly on the skin (avoid use if you have acne prone skin or extremely oily skin), at 5-10% dilution in your favorite moisturizer, blended with another carrier & essential oils, or in the making of a balm or salve.

For dry hands & feet a coating of Squalane underneath some of our Moisturizing Gloves & Booties could prove beneficial as well.

For more information about our wide selection of carrier oils, see

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

For our Australian Friends...dealing with mold

A Kangaroo trying to escape the
flood waters.
Just answered an urgent email from an old friend and client in Queensland.  I am taking the liberty of quoting part of her message, because for obvious reasons, there was not time to ask and receive permission. (She's let me quote her often in the past.)

"Hi Natures gift team

You guys are holed up with snow, we are with water.  There has been all sorts of tragic, horrific damage and loss of life in our region.  Those of us who are not yet directly under water we’re watching our tv network which has 24/7 coverage.

The issue we are dealing with is mold.  The air is sooo damp that mold is flying around and I’m conscious of the health issues this causes.  Just wondering if you can let me/us know which essential oils are most effective in dealing with airborne mold (hoping  to kill it before it settles) and also for the stuff that has settled and growing green fur shoes, clothes, bed linen, walls etc  there’s also black spot type mold and I believe this is going to get worse over the coming months.

Please reply all as power supply to our office will be cut shortly and I’ll only have access to hotmail for the next little  while."

I dashed  off an answer immediately. For those who are threatened by mold, this is what I used during our flooding:

Lemon Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus citriodora) And Tea Tree (Melaleuca alternifolia) in approximately equal proportions.  I diffused these 24/7 in an Amrita Nebulizing Diffuser. (Because I wanted to super saturate the building, I used a Professional Deluxe model.

We are used to seeing Chlorine Bleach recommended to remove mold and mildew. It is my understanding that bleach will remove the stains left by molds, but will not kill the mold itself and keep it from returning.   I would wash washable surfaces with detergent and water with a good amount of the essential oil blend in the wash water, THEN think about wiping down with diluted Bleach.  I would also wash all affected clothing, linens, etc. in hot (if possible) water with at the very least the Euc. Citriodora added.

Other essential oils said to be helpful against molds and spores (and other fungii) are Myrrh, Tagetes, Palma Rosa, Cedarwood,  and Lavandin Super; but my personal experience has been with the two Australian oils listed above.  One would hope that since both are grown and distilled in Australia they would be available in bulk at reasonable prices to the flood victims.
Stranded Wallaby

As I said earlier on Facebook, our thoughts and prayers are with the flood victims; having been through "the flood of the millenium" last Spring, we can empathize.