Making Scents: Getting Back into Essential Oils


A few years ago I went through an aromatherapy phase.  I acquired a number of bottles of pure essential oils and worked with them a bit.  I made body lotions and lip balms and a lot of other “hand-made gifts” that I inflicted on friends and family.   After a while, I lost interest in this hobby, mainly because I surmised my friends were not thrilled with my handiwork and also that essential oils are a bit expensive — too expensive to be in the hands of someone who doesn’t know what she’s doing.

Last weekend, I started going through some drawers here at home and came across my aromatherapy supplies.    Since they were all in their original dark brown bottles in a dark place, most of them were still in good shape.    I took an inventory and discarded any bottles that needed discarding and made notes of the quantities of all the remaining.   I realized that most of the oils I had fell into the “the most practical and least expensive” range.  That is, I have plenty of lemon, lavender, peppermint, and eucalyptus oil because they are some of the least expensive oils and you can do a lot with them.    I don’t have any rose oil, and most likely will never have any,  because it is one of the most expensive oils.  (It takes 30 roses to make 1 DROP of rose oil).

Because I am at a new place in my life with a better understanding of tools and techniques for achieving wellness of mind and body, I think my interest in essential oils has come to a better place as well.    Oils are powerful in their ability to heal the mind and body.  The use of essential oils is the oldest medical modality, predating the development of Chinese and Ayurvedic systems.      Oils are mentioned over 150 times in the Jewish and Christian scriptures, with at least 33 different types mentioned.    In the Gospel of Mark, an unnamed woman with an alabaster jar anointed Jesus with spikenard, an oil used in modern aromatherapy for its anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal properties.

I decided that I would approach my new work with essential oils with a little more care and respect than in previous years,  so immediately I began reading literature and finding reputable web sources to educate myself about essential oils.    I came across an on-line tutorial offered through  a major reputable  distributor of pure essential oils.   At the moment I am working through the tutorial.   This tutorial will not make me a certified aromatherapist.   In fact, I have learned that it takes many years of study to become certified.   Furthermore, in Europe and Asia where aromatherapy is more well-regarded by the medical establishment, it takes almost as long to become an essential oil practitioner as it is does to become a medical doctor.

I am not a medical practitioner.  And I don’t intend to use my oils for that purpose.  I have, over the years, used my oils periodically for household uses and for stress reduction.    My hope is to expand on these personal uses as I study the oils.    I am going to post my notes and discoveries here on this blog primarily for myself, but also for anyone else who is interested.

To get things rolling, here is a youtube video I came across that addresses the proper way to store oils.

Until next time,

The Wayward Pelican (c) 2010


3 responses »

  1. How right you are, Lori. It’s not just when dealing with essential oils that we should be respectful. I think we should be aware and respectful in everything we do. I think people tend to treat things like this with too much flippancy and forget that we have inherited this precious knowledge and should treat it with due care and attention. That is, after all, why it has survived for so long.
    PS homeopathic products need to be stored in the same way as the essential oils but they need to be treated with even more respect as they should never come into contact with anything strong-smelling

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