In older times, there seemed to be an essential oil for every ailment you could possibly imagine. Ancient societies would once hold the espoused ointments in the highest of regards, with some of those beliefs creeping into the modern day to a lesser degree. Of course, as times changed and medicine evolved, the focus on the essential oil was shifted into more fragrant and therapeutic enhancements rather than the traditional and once believed medicinal route. As such, there has never been a better time to be experimenting with the wonderful fragrant qualities that permeate through with the right essential oil for the right instance.
There are so many uses for the wonderful and natural substances, with more and more skincare regimens and products housing a range of organic and fresh creams, ointments, balms, conditioners and moisturisers that are enhanced with a beautifully fragrant essential oil. From skincare to aromatherapy and diffusing a room with a freshened scent, it seems that if there is a mood or a sensation you want to craft these days, there’s an essential oil that will get the job done.
This leads us to an interesting path of thought, with so much choice and so many utilities, what will be the right essential oil for you? This is where the fun actually begins and today, we’re going to delve a little deeper into what makes an essential oil so special, and the many ways you can decide which one is going to be perfect for your intention.
What Is An Essential Oil?
An essential oil is easy enough to grasp in terms of its concept. If you consider a botanical or naturally occurring plant as the source, the essential oil is the natural and purified extract from one aspect of its buildup. For instance, Lavender extract is from the flower spikes of certain species of the plant itself that have been extracted by way of steam distillation before being collected and sold in its pure form.
If you consider an essential oil in a simplified manner, it is the essence of the plant or source, carrying the fragrant or beneficial characteristics that make that source so unique in nature. This can be the chemical profile and its effect on the skin when combined with Sweet Almond Extract for instance, or its potent fragrant profile like that of Sandalwood or Lavender.
Each extract requires a different distillation method, this is primarily due to the different chemical build ups of the plant matter themselves, with some reacting negatively to traditional methods of extraction and requiring a different approach. Some go with steam, others pressure, and some use solvents to bring out the ointment and extracts from the plant matter more effectively. It’s all relative.
What Are You Looking For?
So, we know what an essential oil is more or less, now we can get into the crux of the matter and explore the various ways you can utilise them in your day-to-day life.
The more ambitious amongst ones have spent their 2020 in lockdown and have jumped on the e-commerce train, with a rising tide of homemade skincare treatments, soaps and routines sprinkled with an essential oil or two to add a bit of spice or fragrant elation. Some have developed their own branded scent by mixing and experimenting with the various unique fragrant profiles of different extracts to wonderfully exciting results.
So, it all starts with a simple question, what is it you’re looking to do with your essential oil?
Some extracts are not suitable for skin contact, and some are so potent that dilution is almost necessary in order to utilise them further. This is where your research comes into play a little bit, have a look in your local supermarket for instance and the ones that have essential oil spouted on the side of their branding is where you can start having a look at the safer options of what you can play with in terms of potential skincare solutions.
If you’re after a new and personalised scent, well this is where it gets a little freer, by using a typical diffuser you can use a whole range of different natural extracts to freshen and brighten the scent of any given room. This could be in your office to elate and promote a sense of calm and focus, it could be used in your home to give yourself a more relaxed and meditative environment for your home workouts or yoga sessions.
It’s not out of the ordinary for certain stores to take advantage of the scent profiles of our brains and entice us into their stores with the whimsical scents of particular smells that have a noticeable effect on our minds.
No Two Are The Same
It is fair to say that each essential oil is unique in its own way, no two are quite the same in terms of chemical build up, cohesion with skin contact and scent profile. This is where the experimentation can take you to strange and wonderful new places. Of course, not every mixture will be a masterpiece, but with a little practice and trial and error – you’ll start making strides in the right direction and who knows, you could stumble onto a brand-new scent or sensation that no one has ever come across before.
It’s fair to say that you should always be double checking the intended purpose of any given essential oil, after all having a very potent essential oil on your skin isn’t exactly a good idea and not recommended.
Choosing The Right Supplier
So, you know what you want to do with it, you have your idea in mind and you’re ready to take the dive into the wonderful world of extracts and experimentation. Now comes decision time, where on earth are you going to go to look for them?
Well, if you have a look online, you’ll find no shortage of websites, retailers, wholesalers and suppliers that all have different claims, benefits, deals and specials with their essential oil range. While a great many of them are legitimate enterprises, it’s always best to go with one that has a decent reputation in the field. This can be found by having a glance through their testimonials or having a look through online forums that discuss their experiences with different retailers.
There is also those who will claim the essential oil is genuine without any burden of proof that it is what they’re truly selling. This again is where a little research comes in handy, the legitimate sites will often have some form of process page or link to where they get their ingredients in a wholesome or sustainable manner.
Reputation counts for a lot so asking around with trusted friends who are in the field already is always a grand idea when diving into the essential oil world for the first time.
There’s never been a better time to explore some of the wonderful ways you can utilise an essential oil in your day to day life, from diffusing to enhancing your beauty products, if there’s a whim that you fancy, chances are there is an essential oil for the job.