Coconut Oil: What’s the Fuss?

coconut

Consuming Coconut Oil might be better than animal fat – but it’s still a high calorie fat, until more research is conducted, especially looking at the impact on heart disease risk, it may be better to limit your consumption.

From a skin nourishing perspective we like coconut oil because it has a long shelf life and it is considered an occlusive agent providing a physical barrier to reduce water evaporation from the skin.

In order to fully enjoy the odorous benefits of essential oils I prefer to use fractionated coconut oil because it remains liquid at cooler temperatures allowing us to create pourable massage oils and it doesn’t go rancid.

A few useful links:

Fractionated Coconut Oil
Why all the Fuss?
Is it good or bad for your skin?

Note:  Aromatherapy, like any other natural therapy, is intended to complement not replace traditional medicine.  When in doubt about any medical condition, always seek medical advice.  See legal

TinyFlowerSandra Topper, Professional Aromatherapist & Aromachologist
www.bespokearomatics.com

Advertisements

Do essential oils go rancid?

carrieroilWhen you purchase various vegetable oils (which are primarily cold pressed) for cooking and consuming, you will discover that over a period of time of 3-9 months, depending upon the type of oil it will begin to turn rancid and develop an off odour. Different vegetable oils vary in their shelf life.  Storing vegetable oils in dark glass containers at slightly cooler temperatures (rather than in a cupboard above your stove) will help to maintain their freshness. It is recommended that some vegetable oils be kept in the refrigerator – but it is dependent upon the type.

Essential oils are primarily distilled from aromatic plant materials and typically do not go rancid in the same respect as vegetable oils.  Over time essential oils will lose their freshness and crisp odour. When essential oils become oxidized they are more likely to cause dermal irritation – specifically citrus oils.

eoMany essential oils begin to breakdown or become oxidized when they come into contact with air (oxygen) – therefore never leave bottles opened.  Specifically cold pressed citrus oils contain high levels of limonene which begins to oxidize at the very moment that it is exposed to oxygen.  To extend the shelf life of a citrus oil beyond 6 months store them in the refrigerator.

Essential oils are often termed as volatile (meaning to evaporate) because they contain naturally occurring alcohols. Top note oils such as peppermint, rosemary, and eucalyptus contain high levels of alcohols so they tend to evaporate more quickly than those that contain less alcohol. Generally speaking top note oils should last 6 – 12 months (some say longer). Middle note oils such as lavender and geranium should last even longer 1 – 2 years.  Base note oils such as cedarwood, patchouli and sandalwood tend to be more viscous, are darker in colour and have lower alcohol levels resulting in a longer shelf life (possibly 2 – 4 years).

Storing essential oils in dark glass containers and not exposing them to drastic temperature fluctuations and away from direct sunlight will help to preserve your oils.  If you invest in a large bottle of an essential oil such as 1 – 2 oz (30-60 ml) then over time the oil should be decanted into a smaller bottle to reduce the ratio of air-to-oil in the bottle. Replacing the orifice reducer (dropper cap) periodically can also help to maintain an essential oil.

All essential oils should be blended into a carrier oil (natural vegetable oil) in order to use them on your skin. It is the carrier oil that goes rancid (often within 3 months) – a rancid carrier oil smells like old cooking oil. In order to render your aromatic body oil concoctions from going rancid and reduce the risk of allergens (such as almond oil) consider using fractionated coconut oil.

Using essential oils is akin to cooking – it is advised that you blend and use your concoctions immediately or at least use them within a week or two. You wouldn’t make a fresh batch of soup and store the leftovers in containers on a windowsill – would you?

Some useful links:

Eat by Date

Keep your essential oils cool

Note:  Aromatherapy, like any other natural therapy, is intended to complement not replace traditional medicine.  When in doubt about any medical condition, always seek medical advice.  See legal

TinyFlowerSandra Topper, Professional Aromatherapist & Aromachologist
www.bespokearomatics.com

Enter with caution and at your own risk!

Screen Shot 2016-06-21 at 11.35.33 PM

Visiting Bespoke Aromatics may cause severe hyperactive glee and in some persons a lowered level of respiration can occur resulting in severe relaxation.

Upon entering some folks have experienced difficulty when trying to articulate into words, the way in which their senses are being stimulated.

Sounds related to extreme joy have been witnessed, such as ooh and awe.

Some folks have become energized and have indicated that they have a profound desire to perform pirouettes, while others have literally been seen jumping up and down.

Some people simply stand in the middle of the shop and become catatonic.

Flared nostrils due to a heightened sense of smelling may also occur – if you are concerned about any these effects it is best to seek professional advice before entering our fragrant gallery.

Note:  Aromatherapy, like any other natural therapy, is intended to complement not replace traditional medicine.  When in doubt about any medical condition, always seek medical advice.  See legal

TinyFlowerVisit us – we’ll turn your nose on
#LiveLoveSmell

Good Ingredients to Know: Sea Buckthorn Oil

IMG_0525Sea buckthorn berry oil (Hippophae rhamnoide) is a rich red coloured substance loaded with anti-oxidants which are known to combat the skin’s aging process. Studies also indicate that it has a positive impact on the granulation process (a natural skin healing process) associated with dermal damage caused by burns, eczema, ultra-violet light injury, ulcers, cuts and wounds. This healing effect is due to the high content of beta-carotene (pro-vitamin-A), vitamin c and omega fatty acids. As a result, this rich powerhouse nutrient is becoming an attractive ingredient in skin care products.

From a topical perspective there are no known precautions, however due to it’s rich colour it may stain clothing and temporarily discolour the skin.

SeaBuckthornDue to the fact that it is an expensive extract, it is imperative to note where in the order of ingredients it occurs. When it occurs low down on the list, the benefits may be minimal. A maximum of 5% per volume in our opinion will provide optimal results anything less than 2% is simply a waste of money. From a do-it-yourself (DIY) perspective it is more economical to simply purchase a pure CO2 extract* and add it directly to a medium of your choice keeping in mind not to exceed the 5% per volume additive proportion.

*CO2 extraction is also known as supercritical extraction and is the more favourable method when it comes to producing plant extracts since there are no solvents used, no thermal stress and no exposure to oxygen. This process is the most environmentally friendly method which preserves the natural qualities of the plant extract.

References:

Chatelaine Magazine, The amazing health benefits of sea buckthorn

Dr. Andrew Weil, Better skin with sea buckthorn oil

Sea Buckthorn Fruit Oil vs Seed Oil: Do you know the difference?

Safety and healing efficacy of Sea buckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides L.) seed oil on burn wounds in rats.

Management of burn wounds with Hippophae rhamnoides oil

Note:  Aromatherapy, like any other natural therapy, is intended to complement not replace traditional medicine.  When in doubt about any medical condition, always seek medical advice.   See legal

TinyFlowerVisit us – we’ll turn your nose on
#LiveLoveSmell

 

 

The AromaBar

Everyday at Bespoke Aromatics we create custom blended Essential Oil Potions

 

AromaBar

Note:  Aromatherapy, like any other natural therapy, is intended to complement not replace traditional medicine.  When in doubt about any medical condition, always seek medical advice.   See legal

TinyFlowerVisit us – we’ll turn your nose on
#LiveLoveSmell

Live Love Smell & Learn

#LiveLoveSmell & Learn about Essential Oils
Workshops are starting soon
Visit our website for more details www.bespokearomatics.com 

Basic Aromachology Intro Workshop

Areas of discussion

Defining Aromatherapy and Aromachology. What are Essential Oils?
How are they made?
How to use Essential Oils Safely and Effectively
Debunking the Myths: Purity & Pricing
Reading between the Lines: The Lingo
We will cover 12 of the most useful Essential Oils
Formulation Mathematics
Logistics & Legal regarding the sale of your own handcrafted products.

 

IMG_0414

Note:  Aromatherapy, like any other natural therapy, is intended to complement not replace traditional medicine.  When in doubt about any medical condition, always seek medical advice.   See legal

TinyFlowerVisit us – we’ll turn your nose on
#LiveLoveSmell

 

Cinnamon: A Tasty and Aromatic Treat

The aroma and flavour of cinnamon is one of the world’s most popular, and just a pinch added to your daily diet has tremendous health benefits.  Research indicates that it may help to control diabetes, improve brain function, and aid in weight loss.

Waffles&BakedApple
When One Belgian Waffle isn’t Enough.  Paired with baked apple wedges and Canadian maple syrup and sprinkled with Sri Lankan Cinnamon. Oh what a Treat!

From an aromatherapeutic and olfactory perspective the scent of cinnamon elicits feelings of warmth and wellness, like peppermint and ginger, the scent of cinnamon may help to ease the discomforts of nausea.

Essential oils should never be consumed or taken internally.  In aromatherapy or in preference ‘aromachology‘ all essential oils must be well diluted in a natural medium such as coconut oil. Well diluted, means at or less than a four percent (4%) solution per volume within a chosen medium.

Even more care is required when using cinnamon or clove essential oils as both of these oils can cause skin irritation.  I do not recommend using cinnamon or clove in any all-over-body preparation.  However one or two (1 or 2) drops blended with other essential oils in a jojoba oil base adds a spicy grounding warmth to natural perfumes.

The aroma of cinnamon may even be a useful retail marketing tool when used in air diffusion.

People smelling warm fragrances such as cinnamon feel that the room they are in is more crowded, and feel less powerful as a result,” the authors write. “This can lead them to compensate by buying items they feel are more prestigious.

Natural perfume blends can be a little more concentrated at ten to fifteen (10-15%) than the four percent (4%) mentioned above.  However, they should only be applied three to five times per day (3 to 5 times per day) in tiny spot applications to body pulse points*, and only after conducting a skin test on the inside of the arm); *temples, inside of wrists, behind the ears, behind the knees and cleavage. 

For a yummy warm wintery natural perfume, in a 10 ml empty bottle try a ten percent (10%) solution mixed with Jojoba Oil – which would equate to the following:

2 drops of cinnamon bark essential oil
2 drops of lemongrass essential oil
10 drops of lavender essential oil
6 drops of vetiver essential oil
+ 9 mls of Jojoba Oil

Note:  Aromatherapy, like any other natural therapy, is intended to complement not replace traditional medicine.  When in doubt about any medical condition, always seek medical advice.   See legal

TinyFlowerVisit us – we’ll turn your nose on
#LiveLoveSmell

Benefits of Dry Skin Brushing!

Men have skin too and we love it when they radiate as well!

Nearly every article that appears online about the benefits of dry brushing and skin exfoliation are targetted towards women and how they ought to radiate. There are far more benefits to exfoliation than sheer radiance, and regardless of gender everone can benefit from Dry Skin Brushing. Check out the list below that we borrowed from Pure Green Magazine about the benefits of Dry-Skin Brushing.

IMG_0027
Hand-Crafted Soaps & Natural Body Brushes Available at Bespoke Aromatics

BENEFITS OF DRY SKIN-BRUSHING

  • Helps to shed dead skin cells, which can help improve skin texture and cell renewal.
  • Increases circulation to skin, encouraging your body’s discharge of metabolic wastes, which greatly aids the lymphatic drainage of the entire body. When the body rids itself of toxins, it is able to run more efficiently in all areas.
  • Helps to tighten the skin because it increases the flow of blood. Increasing the circulation to the skin can also help lessen the appearance of cellulite, as cellulite is toxic material that accumulates in your body’s fat cells as they are unable to be eliminated.
  • Stimulates the lymph canals to drain toxic mucoid matter into the colon, thereby purifying the entire system. This enables the lymph to perform its house-cleaning duties by keeping the blood and other vital tissues detoxified. After several days of dry brushing, you may notice the gelatinous mucoid material in your stools.
  • Helps with muscle tone and more even distribution of fat deposits.
  • Rejuvenates the nervous system by stimulating nerve endings in the skin.
  • Aids the skin in nutrient absorption by eliminating clogged pores. Healthy, breathing skin contributes to overall body health.
  • Individuals who sit at a computer screen all day long will especially benefit from skin brushing. People who have inactive lifestyles or jobs usually experience stiff and sore necks and shoulders that reach even into their arms and down their spines and into their lower backs.
  • Increased blood flow begins entering the areas brushed and you will experience an increase in electromagnetic energy that permits you to feel energized and invigorated.

TinyFlowerVisit us – we’ll turn your nose on
#LiveLoveSmell

 

Aroma Art: I need your nose

Aroma is akin to art, with the ability to create a mood or change emotionality.

When describing to how to blend essential oils together I often relate it to the way that an artist blends together primary colours to achieve various hues. Artists often choose to work with a signature scheme of colours and with various mediums in order to objectively convey their subjective experiences and emotions.

RainbowColours

When folks ask me what are my favourite essential oils are, I reply – oh I have many, it just depends on my mood or what mood I am hoping to achieve.  That being said, the way in which another person may interpret an aromatic concoction could be totally different from what I set out to create. It is the individual’s subjective interpretation of scent that I find fascinating, so when I create Aroma Art I literally need your nose as well!

The best way to appreciate essential oils is to understand that despite the fact that they are individualistic by nature they are actually very complex compositions. There are several theories that govern the use of essential oils and how they work synergistically with one another. In the practice of aromatherapy, essential oils are blended with a therapeutic intention. Whereas from a natural perfume perspective essential oils are blended based on a person’s personal taste and how they may affect an individual from a psychological perspective.

Note:  Aromatherapy, like any other natural therapy, is intended to complement not replace traditional medicine.  When in doubt about any medical condition, always seek medical advice.   See legal

TinyFlowerVisit us – we’ll turn your nose on
#LiveLoveSmell

 

 

 

 

Fragrance – is it natural or synthetic: Lilac

lilacQ. Is there such a thing as Lilac Essential Oil?
A. Unfortunately no, the blooms do not yield enough of the aromatic oil, and if one were able to capture enough, (via distillation or Co2 extraction) the cost would equate to approximately $1000 per ounce, therefore any product on the market that smells of Lilac is probably synthetically scented.

That being said you can capture the fragrance naturally, through a process called Enfleurage, where fragrant petals or blossoms are saturated in a natural oil or fat.

DIY your own Lilac Perfume Oil – Visit Pure Green Magazine

Note:  Aromatherapy, like any other natural therapy, is intended to complement not replace traditional medicine.  When in doubt about any medical condition, always seek medical advice.   See legal

TinyFlowerVisit us – we’ll turn your nose on
#LiveLoveSmell

In the Apothecary: Everyday is a Good Day

Twenty two years ago I owned a couple of stores that featured aromatherapy and essential oils, my retail business ended up spawning into a wholesale distributorship, supplying hundreds of locations across North America.  It was a crazy busy time; raising kids, managing stores, operating the warehouse, staffing etc., and phones were ringing off the hook.  Eventually I closed the stores, the kids grew up and I sold the distribution company, but I didn’t sell my nose, or lose my desire to create aromatic concoctions.

Despite the fact that I swore up and down that I would never get back into the aroma industry again, I guess when you know something so well, and love it so much – it’s essentially a calling – right?

My passion for scent goes beyond the norm, and what I love about being an aroma bar tender is the ability to connect with people and whip up fragrant concoctions for their discerning noses.  In essence, it is a form of art – and I love to share it.

Below is pictorial time line in response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge ‘Today was a Good Day’.  Everyday is better than Good, it’s Great when you can do what you love to do!

April 9, 2015 was a Good Day – it was the day that I opened my Fragrant Gallery.

IMG_9920

IMG_8287

IMG_8323

IMG_8421

IMG_8419
IMG_0111

IMG_0112

I envisioned a space filled with lovely aromatics paired with original art and other unique handcrafted goods.  Welcome to my Fragrant Gallery.

IMG_0001

Note:  Aromatherapy, like any other natural therapy, is intended to complement not replace traditional medicine.  When in doubt about any medical condition, always seek medical advice.   See legal

TinyFlowerVisit us – we’ll turn your nose on
#LiveLoveSmell