Cosmetic Toxins: Yuck !

Cosmetic
Screen Shot from Video (Credit www.safecosmetics.org)

Watch and listen to this video (posted below) – it fabulously explains how bombarded we are by toxic ingredients in personal products.

The Story of Cosmetics, released on July 21st, 2010, examines the pervasive use of toxic chemicals in our everyday personal care products, from lipstick to baby shampoo. Produced with Free Range Studios and hosted by Annie Leonard, the seven-minute film by The Story of Stuff Project reveals the implications for consumer and worker health and the environment, and outlines ways we can move the industry away from hazardous chemicals and towards safer alternatives. The film concludes with a call for viewers to support legislation aimed at ensuring the safety of cosmetics and personal care products.

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Making Scents: The aromatic world of flowers

Not only can plants mimic other plants, but some flowers mimic animals. The flower of the bee orchid smells and looks, to the male bee, just like a female bee. The duped male bee attempts to copulate with the orchid’s petals, and the insect spreads pollen between the deceptive flowers. And flowers don’t just imitate bees. A few orchid species smell like female flies, and others replicate the aroma and texture of scarab beetles.

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[Image credit: Ian Capper via geograph.org]
Molecules in plant fragrances have powerful effects:  Reblogged from Science, Health and Environmental Reporting Program – an excellent article and resource about aromatic flowers.  Click here to read more.

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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

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The Perfect Essential Oil Company

IMG_9717With so many essential oil companies tooting their horn – how does one know which brand is the best?

Once again – there really is no need for me to re-invent the wheel – because I certainly do not profess to be a writer. That being said, there are many great writers and researchers who write fabulous posts (who have literally done their homework) and so I simply nod and tip my hat – and provide links to articles that are darn good reads. The Perfect Essential Oil Company: This article discusses the purity issue, multi-level marketing, therapeutic grade.

At Bespoke Aromatics we carry a large selection of Pure Essential Oils many of which are organically produced.

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

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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.

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

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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

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Aromatherapy: Essential Oil Safety

The popularity of essential oils has increased 100 fold since I began my studies in the early 90’s. Twenty five years ago the field of aromatherapy was beginning to emerge into the lives of everyday folks.  Back in the day I could have conducted workshops on a daily basis because there were very few of us who were qualified to work with essential oils, and there simply wasn’t enough hours in the day to tackle all the queries from the general public when I started selling essential oils.

Twenty years Screen Shot 2015-08-24 at 8.30.10 PMforward with the advancement of the internet and the unlimited resources about anything and everything at our fingertips – it now appears that Everyone is an expert when it come to essential oils.

There is a great deal of anecdotal information on the internet pointing to the use of essential oils internally.  This concerns me terribly, because as we all know – good information becomes diluted and convoluted.  Please take the time to thoroughly familiarize yourself with Essential Oil Safety at the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy or at The Canadian Federation of Aromatherapists.

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

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Holistic Living: Connection between inflammation and histamine levels

Three of the most common health issues that my clientele have shared with me over the last two decades are: 1) how terribly they suffer from environmental allergies; 2) how they have developed early on-set arthritis and 3) just how horrible their symptoms are during menopause.  There are a number of factors that contribute to these thee common complaints just as there are a number of complimentary health modalities and life style changes that one can incorporate into their wellness regime.

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One supplement that I highly  recommend is Quercetin, (in particular the Natural Factors brand which also contains tumeric extract, grapeseed extract and QCo10 (sorry I don’t have enough time to write an entire post about the benefits,  but here is a link to an amazing blog called The Menopausal Histamine Connection.  Check it out it – what a great resource!

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The Apothecary: Natural Perfumes

Resins-Absolutes

At Bespoke Aromatics we create two styles of natural perfumes.  Your Potion can be made either:
1) as an oily perfume (in a base of Jojoba oil) or
2) or as a concentrated spray perfume or cologne (in a base of perfumer’s alcohol).

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Every few weeks we prepare small batches of the resins and absolutes that we use in our natural perfumes.  Due to their viscosity, we dilute them in a perfumer’s alcohol.

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Once the thick absolutes and/or resins are thinned, we filter the solutions through a paper coffee filter in order to remove the excess undissolvable particles.  Now the solutions can easily be blended with other essential oils or with exquisite absolutes such as Rose, Jasmine, Linden Blossom or Champaka.

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

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History: To Bathe

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L. Alma Tadema, victorian artist

Bathing = … ‘the washing of the body, or immersion of the body in water, practiced for personal hygiene, religious ritual or therapeutic purposes’

Star Anise (Illicium vermum) Essential Oil has an aroma similar to black licorice.  From a topical aromatherapeutic perspective it may be helpful with musculosketal aches and pains related to sports injury and rheumatism.  Through nasal inhalation it may help to ease bronchitis and nasal congestion related to the common cold.

Dead Sea salt is renowned for it’s therapeutic benefits for thousands of years due to the high content of magnesium along with other beneficial minerals.  Studies indicate that Dead Sea salts have remarkable improvements with respect to the itching and scaliness associated with psoriasis.

Our Mediterranean Dead Sea Salts have Zen-BathSaltsbeen aromatically enhanced with Star Anise essential oil along with cedarwood, sweet orange and lavender.

If you’re a bath lover – we have several varieties of natural bath salts.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          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

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Sources:
Bathing. (2015, June 17). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia.
Dead Sea Salt, Benefits. SaltWorks, America’s Sea Salt Company.

Why do essential oils differ in prices?

Why do some essential oils cost so much?

Essenor-lav-euctial oils come from different parts of a plants, the; leaves, stems, flowers, roots, seeds, and resins. Different plants produce different volumes of essential oil.   For instance 1 kilo of lavender buds and stems yields more essential oil than 1 kilo of rose petals.  Market trends, the cost of labour, transportation, insurance and climate also contribute to the fluctuating prices of essential oils.

When purchasing essential oils it is imperative to buy from reputable suppliers who provide growing, extraction methods, safety and purity certificates.

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

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Natural Body Care: Monoi Oil

MonoiAt Bespoke Aromatics we have created 4 Exquisite 100% Natural Body Oil Blends that will nourish and soften your skin and tantalize your senses.

Monoi Oil – Coconut Oil which has been infused with Tahitian Gardenia Flowers

Shorea Robusta Seed Oil – known as Sal Butter is an edible oil that is indigenous to India and has wonderful skin soothing properties.

Rose Wax – Floral waxes are derived from the solid materials after the flower petal scent is alcohol extracted and chilled.  These waxes are used in solid perfumes and added to skin care products to soften, moisturize and soothe the skin.

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