We Interrupt Our Regularly Scheduled Nothing To Bring You An Aromatherapy Report

A while ago, as reported on this very blog, I bought a bunch of single note essential oils to mix with lotions, put in baths, and do other aromatherapy-ish sorts of things with, and tonight I found a wonderful combination of oils that actually does feel therapeutic.

I put six drops each of clary sage and bergamot into a warm Epsom salt bath after three particularly grueling days at work, and the result was amazing.

Clary sage is rather medicinal smelling, sort of like tea tree only not as sweet, and bergamot is citrusy and strong, but doesn’t smell at all like any other citrus, and is not as overpowering as orange or lime, or as cliché, come to that.

So the bergamot remained beneath the clary sage, though it was not flattened by it, but rather the citrus note buoyed and magnified the sage while distracting from the sage’s medicine-y texture, and the result truly was quite therapeutic – most refreshing and invigorating, while giving a sense of overall well being.

It was like going to the doctor and getting good news, or at least not getting any of the other sort, and at the same time noticing that the doctor is kind of cute, and don’t those scrubs hug her fulsome curves nicely? Why yes, I believe they do, and I wonder if she has a regular massage therapist. I should ask. 

That is all.

Mark out. 


Incense and Peppermints – Dabbling In Aromatherapy

Some of you might remember that song by the Strawberry Alarm Clock from The 60s (here it is on YouTube if you’re interested) – vaguely psychedelic, vaguely political, vaguely philosophical, and like really far out.

Okay, I never said ‘far out’ back then because I was way too cool for such hippie hyperbole, but even in that dim, dark, patchouli infused time people knew that scents are powers to be reckoned with.

And if you reckon that by ‘therapy’ we mean anything done purposefully to make someone feel better, then introducing pleasant aromas into his or her environment certainly counts.

We all know that the opposite is true, of course – standing downwind of a large hog farm, for instance, does not make one feel better, unless one happens to be a successful hog farmer. But even he wouldn’t necessarily consider the smell therapeutic.

In any case, for a large portion of my life, 45 years more or less, aromas were not a terribly important factor because I smoked cigarettes, and could not detect any but the strongest of them due to deadened olfactory nerves.

I quit smoking just over two years ago because it was time to do so – no one wants to be massaged by someone who smells even vaguely like smoke – and now I am always pleasantly surprised by how good some scents make me feel. Of course the opposite is also true, as mentioned above, but only rarely do I detect hog farm aromas in or around Pensacola.

So today as a sort of Christmas present to myself, I went to the Massage Warehouse site and ordered a whacking great bunch of essential oils.

Okay, the “whacking great bunch” were only nine, but ten if you count the ginger scented soy candle. Still that’s a lot for a first timer, and some of these oils are quite pricey.

But what I bought today are the pure, ‘single note’ oils, which are pressed, distilled, steamed or otherwise extracted from various plants, their roots, flowers, seeds, and so on.

A lot of study has been done, not by me I assure you, on the effects these scents have on the human mind, and I made a list of the ones I bought and their supposed effects.

And just FYI, while I’m writing this there are scented candles burning on the mantlepiece. Scented candles you buy at Target do not constitute REAL aromatherapy, mostly because there is little if any essential oil in the candles, although the Christmas Spice or whatever it is smells good.

Besides that, this sort of candle likely is made of paraffin, though the label doesn’t say, which is a petroleum product, so basically I’m inhaling diesel exhaust along with the Christmas smell.

That’s all right too. I used to live in southern California, drove a commuter bus on the freeways there, and also worked at the airport. My lungs laugh at diesel fumes, and my nose still thinks burning jet fuel is the smell of a good day’s work in the sun, though of course I never would expose a client to such as that, and that’s why I ordered the soy ginger candle.

But to continue, here is the list of scented oil goodies I ordered for my own Christmas stocking.

Bergamot: uplift and balance. Sure, why not? All I know is that bergamot smells good in Earl Grey tea, and if it’s good enough for Captain Picard, it’s good enough for me.

Eucalyptus: clearing scent. You betcha, bucko! There was a huge eucalyptus tree in my back yard in California. When it was hot out, the air smelled like a cough drop.  A few drops of this one are going into the bathtub with the Epsom salts.

Clary sage: relaxation and comfort. I don’t know this one at all, although a Swedish woman called Clary works at Emerald Coast Massage Specialists, and she gave me a really excellent massage once.

Ginger: warming, stimulating, improves circulation. Who doesn’t like gingerbread? And if it improves circulation, I’m in. This stuff is expensive though.

Lavender: relaxing, calming, excellent for healing burns. I didn’t know that last bit, the healing burns part. This definitely has a home-like smell to it, although the home you might think of could be your grandmother’s.

Lime: refreshing and energizing. I’m sure that’s why they always put it in your gin and tonic, but I expect the oil is a lot more than that. Looking forward to this one especially.

Peppermint: cooling, invigorating, clearing. I do enjoy the mint scents.

Rosemary: stimulating, energizing. I love the rosemary smell, roasting away on top of a leg of lamb. Who knew it was that other stuff too?

Tea tree: camphorous, medicinal. I couldn’t find any ‘oil of camphor’ in the list, though I know it exists. My mother used to use a product called Campho-Phenique to treat my bug bites. It was great stuff. We’ll see how this compares.

So what I plan to do with these oils when they arrive is mix them, singly at first and later in duets and trios, with plain grape seed lotion and use them on myself, to make sure they do what the brochure says they do. Or more probably to find out what they really DO do.

 Then I’ll use them on my private clients, if ever I get some.

Any volunteers in the Pensacola area? No extra charge for the aromatherapy. At first, anyway.

That is all.

Mark out.