Can't get enough of those smells!

*The majority of this post was deleted due to my impending book

-CAJEPUT is a camphoraceous odor, very medicinal in nature. It is slightly milder, with a bit more fruity smell than eucalyptus. ....It is not to be used during pregnancy.

-CAMPHOR has a sharp, pungent odor which smells like....well camphor! lol ....It is not really compatible with homeopathic treatment, and should not be used by epileptics, or on babies or during pregnancy.

-CARAWAY has a strong, yet warm, sweet spicy scent, like rye bread. I

-CARDAMON has a fresh, sweet green, spicy, balsamic scent. 

-CARROT SEED has a mild, spicy, herbaceous fragrance. ...... This oil should not be used during pregnancy as it can cause spontaneous abortions.

What's that Smell?

Last week I began a list of essential oils and what they are good for. Since there are over 300 known essential oils, I will concentrate on the most common and easily found, or the most popular. For a refresher about the basics of essential oils, please revisit the post;
And for how to dilute and how to use the essential oils, revisit the post

Before continuing on with the list, I left out some of my favorite information about annis. Annis is often called the Fisherman's Friend, as it attracts fish while reducing the human scent. It also promotes balance and relaxation and is also a good remedy for coughs and colds.Okay, on with the list!

*The majority of this post has been deleted due to my impending book


-BALSAM PERU is a sweet, warm and smoky vanilla like scent. I.... it is not reccommended for use during pregnancy.

-BASIL is a warm and spicy herbal scent. ..... *Basil may trigger epileptic seizures in susceptible individuals.*

-BAY LAUREL is a warm, herbaceous scent that smells a bit camphoraceous...... Its use should be avoided during pregnancy.

-BAY has a fresh, sweet yet spicy, balsamic scent. 

-BERGAMOT is a spicy, citrus scent with a high floral note.... If it is not specified as being bergapten-free, it may cause photosensitivity, so care should be used when deciding which products it is to be a part of.

-BLACK PEPPER is a hot, sharp, fruity, and spicy scent. .... Use this essential oil in moderation only as it has rubefacient properties in high concentrations.

The Little Black Box has organized a Black Friday Bonanza. This is a large group of Indie shops that will be offering great savings from November 28-30. You can check out all the info at And, before you ask, I am sorry to say that my shops will not be participating, as I did not read the email account that this was sent to in time! I will, however, be offering my own sales, so be sure and stop in!

The Essentials of Essential Oils

As previously discussed, herbs, flowers, spices, and shrubs and their essential oils have been used for centuries to treat various ailments. Used in the proper form, administered by a knowledgeable herbalist, maladies of all types have been relieved or even cured by essential oils. In deed, these oils are used to treat just about everything that modern day drugs do.

Of course, as with any drug, they can also be dangerous, therefore ingestion should only be attempted under the care of a knowledgeable professional. Before you begin using essential oils for any treatment you should make sure that you are purchasing from a reputable dealer, that their oils are of the highest quality, and that you are fully informed of any potential adverse interactions. Essential oils are highly concentrated and should only be used either diluted, or by the drop. Prior to use you should always perform a patch test. That is, use a very small amount of the oil on a small patch of skin and check fro irritation. If irritation occurs, thoroughly wash the area with soap and water . You can then try again with a more diluted version or simply not use at all. Some oils, mainly the citrus family and cassia (which is cinnamon bark) are to be used with the utmost of caution. While cinnamon bark is beneficial as a skin conditioner and an anti-inflammatory, it can also be very irritating to the skin. Therefore the amount used in any skin care recipe becomes very critical. An inexperienced bath and body creator may be inclined, which would be a huge mistake, of adding essential oils to scent, when they should be added for their benefit first and foremost! Whether adding for benefit or scent the creator must be cognizant of the essential oil to dilutant ratio. The safest recipes and most effective aromatherapy formulas are blended at a 2 1/2% concentration rate. This means that there will be 15 drops or less of essential oil per quart or liter of carrier oil. If you have seen the cost of some essential oils, this fact is actually a small plus!

While here, this may be a good time to mention that essential oils can be very pricey. You do not want to skimp and get the cheap one just because it is cheap. To illustrate my point take lavender for exampkle. Lavender comes in a mix called 40/42. It is a mixture of lavenders (Lavendula spp.), largely from Spain, that is steam distilled. One of the plusses for it is that is the least expensive lavender essential oil (eo) that you can buy. It is also the most floral smelling lavender, and the most consistantly lavender smelling one. Most people think of this scent when they think of lavender, because of this, it is often the lavender of choice for soaps, candles, perfumes and cosmetics. The issue, however, is that it is also the least therapeutic of lavender essential oils. So if you are looking for the therapeutic value found in lavender EO, you need to look for lavendula latifolia aka spike lavender, which is actually used in some pharmacutical applications, or lavendula angustifolia, aka Bulgarian lavender which is the prized lavender for perfumery. So, if you are making something that you just want to smell like lavender, buy all means use the 40/42. But, if you are counting on the therapeutic benefits to work, or marketing your products as theapeutic grade or aromatherapy quality, you will need to purchase the more expensive types. In this instance you will get what you pay for. By the same token, your favorite organic bath and body product maker may be using the 40/42 to save themselves money. In this instance you will be the one cheated out of the therapeutic benefits of lavender. If the bath and body maker is not knowledgeable, and sadly many are not, they will think they are saving money and making a sound business decision, when in fact, they are negating the main reason for their product. When you are in doubt, read their product descriptions and their company biography. Ask questions. Know what you are making and know what you are buying! At Unique Garden Essences, , I only use the highest queality, therapeutic grade, mostly food safe, essential oils. I believe in the healing powers of natural plants and once you experience them you will too!

While I certainly do not consider myself to be qualified to offer instruction on ingestion of oils, after many years of study, I can help you to navigate the what oil is for what path. There are many oils and some are more recognizable than others, but all can easily be found on line and from many health food stores. Additionally, many craft supply shops are now offering essential oils also. You should always start with a small bottle if you cannot sniff before you buy, so you won't be saddled with something that is not what you had in mind. You do need to understand though, that EO's are highly concentrated and that means they are stronger that you are use to. Also, if you are making a blend to treat a specific ailment, the scent is not what you should be focused on anyway. These next few posts will detail many of the EO's and what their uses and properties are. Remember that some properties can only be accessed by inhalation, some by dermal application, and some by ingestion. Of course some can also be accessed by multiple methods, this is just an overview for general knowledge.

*The majority of this post has been deleted due to my impending book


-Ajowan EO is from India and is a lot like thyme, with a herbacious, spicy scent.

-Allspice ... It is a powerful, spicy, sweet and warm fragrance. I.... Its use should be avoided during pregnancy.

-Amyris .... has a musty, warm, woodsy scent. 

-Angelica Root or Seed ..... It has a sharp, almost biting scent of green stems with peppery overtones. ....This is NOT to be used during pregnancy or by diabetics. Some materials I have read say that the seed oil users should avoid sun exposure, but not all sources noted this. Since I am not sure of the accuracy of this statement, I would error on the side of caution.

-Anniseed ... has a warm, sweet, spicy and licorice like scent. ..... acts as a narcotic and slows down circulation in large quantities, which can lead to cerebral disorers. It should NOT be used during pregnancy.

Let's Get Carried Away!

Since essential oils cannot be applied directly to the skin in their pure state, they must be diluted in base oils, otherwise known as "carrier oils". These oils are rich in fatty acids, vitamins and moisturizing nutrients. Carrier oils contain healing substances that make the skin soft, as well as elastic. They also provide lubrication for the hands when massaging against the skin. The oils can be added directly to bath water for a skin nourishing soak, used in hair treatments, or in many other skin applications. Natural bath and body designers utilize various mixtures of carrier oils to produce some magnificent feeling oils. For the most part, carrier oils are easily substituted for each other in any recipe. So, once you understand their properties, feel free to experiment to find which oils you orefer and what works best for you in your recipes! Sweet almond oil- (12-14months) light, rich in oleic and linoleic fatty acids, for all skin types; softens skin, relieves itching, has restructuring properties. Also great for cooking, especially stir fry as it has a high flash point and is cholesterol free. Apricot kernal oil- (1yr) light, high in linoleic and oleic acids, great as a massage oil, especially facial massages; rehydrates, restores skin's glow, high in vitamin A and B Avocado oil- (8-10 months) great for dry skin; easily absorbed, plumps up prematurely aged skin, natural vitamin B1, B2, D, E and A *not very stable, keep in cool, dark place Borage oil- (3-6 months) rich in linolenic acid; treats eczema and psoriasis, has anti-aging properties Calendula oil- ( ) heals cracked skin and rashes Carrot Seed oil- ( )reduces premature aging, itching and scarring, rejuvenates, restores skin's elasticity Coconut oil- (10-14 months unrefined, 2-3 yrs. refined) excellent for cracked or brittle skin, helps retain skin's moisture Evening Primrose oil- (6months) high in essential fatty acids, great for dry skin, treats acne, rosacea, exzema and signs of aging, has anti-inflammatory and antioxident effects *Do not heat this oil, apply to recipes after the heating process- Keep refrigerated to extend the shelf life. Grapeseed oil- (12-24months) odorless, easily absorbed, great for full body massages, Grapeseed is especially useful for skin types that do not absorb oils too well, and it does not leave a greasy feeling. Wonderful for those with skin sensitivities because of its natural non-allergenic properties. Hazelnut oil- (3 months) gentle, non-greasy, good for extremely dry skin, easily absorbed *best kept refrigerated, is food quality Jojoba oil- (24-36 months) antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, an emollient, very hydrating *this is actually a liquid plant wax, not an oil. It becomes cloudy as the temperature drops, this is normal and does not affect the quality. Macadamia nut oil- (10-12 months) one of the best regenerative oils available, high in monounsaturated fatty acids, closely resembles sebum (the oil naturally produced by ones skin to help protect it), a protective oil with a high absorption rate, has been successfully used as a healing oil for scars, sunburns, minor wounds and other irritations. Olive oil- (6-8 months) disinfecting, healing, excellent to sooth chapped skin, relieves itching of the skin and the effects of stings or burns, is good for muscular or joint liniments *store in the dark, has a naturally greenish tint, is great for babies Rose Hip oil- (12-18 months) High in Vitamin A which helps to delay the effects of skin aging, assists with cell regeneration, and promotes collagen and elastin levels to increase, also contains a high amount of essential fatty acids and Vitamin E, is rich in linoleic and linolenic acids, used successfully to treat stretch marks, UV damage from overexposure to the sun, scars from surgery, burns, and acne, eczema, psoriasis, wrinkles and premature skin aging, dermatitis, sunburns, age spotsand even brittle nails and dry and damaged hair * This oil should be kept in the refrigerator, in a dark bottle to prevent breakdown Safflower oil- ( 12 months) high in oleic acid, light texture, easily absorbed by the skin, highly moisturizing, deeply soothing *Safflower oil stores well under any conditions, but high heat will decrease the shelf life. Sesame oil- (12 months) natural sunscreen, pleasant, nutty aroma, but one that will not interfere with recipe scents, this oil is naturally active in vitamins A and E and essential proteins. Sunflower oil- (6 months) possesses large amounts of fatty acids, high in vitamin E and folic acid, slightly oily on the skin, lightweight, softens the skin, helps to maintain the natural moisture level of the skin, but has slow absorption rate by the skin *refrigerate to extend shelf life.

Wheat Germ oil- (6-8 months) this oil promotes skin cell formation, is great for nourishing and rejuvenating dry, mature, dehydrated skin, and reducing scars, stretch marks, sunburns, and damaged skin, has anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant effects, is a natural preservative, helps to prevent rancidity, and prolongs the shelf life of cosmetic products. Wheat Germ Oil has been shown to be effective for treating dry, cracked skin, eczema, psoriasis, prematurely aged skin, stretch marks, dull complexion, tired and overexerted muscles, sunburn and burns, and scars. **Wheat Germ oil is a very sensitive oil that will degrade quickly when exposed to extremes in temperature fluctuation, oxidization and light. Refrigeration is highly recommended. Because of its unrefined nature, this oil is very dark in color and heavy in odor. It should not be used, either internally or externally, by those with wheat or gluten allergies.

Now that you have the base oils, the next post will deal with which essential oils to use for what!