The scent of LOVE…

Ahhh… February, the month of love! As soon as January draws to a close, we see hearts and roses everywhere! Especially roses, did I mention roses?! Well, I’m here to tell you that Rose isn’t the only oil that will help encourage love, romance and affection this month, or any other month for that matter. 

What I am not aiming to do is to provide information on oils that will bring some magical aid into the boudoir, but that will help encourage affection, warmth, stimulation and encouragement, in all areas of our lives. A lot of my referencing was taken from AromaWeb, where the creator and author of the site explains that aphrodisiacs are substances that may enhance or stimulate passion or arousal, and that are found to be sensually stimulating by the person using them or are, ‘Substances… that may help reduce the physical, psychological or emotional ailments that interfere with sexual desire or arousal.’ 

“Individuals that are physically or emotionally exhausted, under stress, lacking proper nutrition, depressed, anxious or physically ill often have a significantly more difficult time enjoying intimacy.”

Listed below are my choice of oils for February, and reasons why I think these oils are suitable for this ‘season of affection’.

  1. Ylang Ylang

This oil is known for its calming and stress reducing properties, and its sensual nature and relationship with the heart. If you’re looking for something floral and exotic that will help soften the atmosphere, then give this oil a try.

NOTE: Overuse of this oil or using it in a high dilution may cause headaches. It must also be used in low dilution percentage (max 08.%) if being applied topically to avoid irritation.

2. Cardamom

A refreshing and invigorating oil that will bring some warmth and spice to the bedroom. This oil also has great anxiety-reducing properties if you’re feeling a little nervous.

NOTE: When used topically, the 1,8 cineole content of this oil may dry the skin and its ‘hot and spicy,’ nature may cause skin irritation. Use in low dilution.

3. Ginger

Another warming oil. Ginger can be sustaining on a physical or emotional level helping to replenish energy levels encouraging strength and endurance.

4. Amyris

This oil has become one of my favourites. Commonly mislabelled as Sandalwood, due to its synonym, ‘West Sandalwood Oil,’ it is actually from a completely different botanical family. Its Botanical name is Amyris balsamifera, and it comes from the Rutaceae plant family. True Sandalwood varieties comes from the Santalaceae plant family.

The scent of Amyris is sweet and warm and is great for inducing relaxation and discouraging stress. 

5. Sandalwood

True Sandalwood oil (see above) is calming, peaceful and great where there are self-esteem issues. It has a rich, woody but sweet fragrance. 

NOTE: There are different varieties of ‘Sandalwood’ oil, some are from a threatened species and will have different properties. Due to this it can be quite expensive and hard to obtain. The oil I’m referencing is ‘East Indian Sandalwood’ Santalum album; this oil may cause skin irritation and the reduced max dilution percentage is 2% for topical application.

6. Patchouli

A deep, rich, earthy and sensual scent that for me is a bit like marmite and can be quite overpowering. However, this oil is a CNS sedative and can be incredibly peace inducing, helping to reduce nervous strain.

NOTE: May inhibit blood clotting and pose a drug interaction hazard.

7. Palmarosa

I’m always surprised how this oil doesn’t get the credit it deserves. It was one I hadn’t heard of until I did advanced Aromatherapy training, but it has so many benefits. It has a floral scent, that I would say is somewhat sharper than Rose Geranium and can be a bit sickly.

Energetically though, Palamarosa is a scent of compassion that can help us find forgiveness from wounds of betrayal. It is also extremely useful for anxiety and grief and can help us find a place of stillness within our heart and spirit.

NOTE: Drug interaction and skin sensitisation risk, topical maximum 6.5% depending on geraniol content.

8. Black Pepper

Did you hear that POP?! Black pepper is a crisp, fresh oil that stimulates the senses. This oil is great for combining scents and livening them up. If your blend needs a bit of heat or enhancing, then try adding this spice. Best avoided before bedtime!

9. Coriander

Another stimulating oil with a sweet but spicy and fruity scent. If you like your blends  light and refreshing, give this oil a try, it’s great for lifting fatigue. 

10. Jasmin

Ahh what love list would be complete without the exotic and dreamy floral fragrance of Jasmin?! Jasmin is an oil that can help us be more trusting when confronted with a situation that might make us feel afraid by helping release our inhibitions and provides supporting comfort. Its beautiful scent will help lift your mood and bring light into your heart.

NOTE: A little goes a long way with this oil and there is a moderate risk of skin sensitisation when used topically. Maximum dilution 0.7%. Jasmin is often found to be adulterated so know your supplier and know that true Jasmin will likely be expensive due to the high amount of plant source needed, and the complex process it takes to produce the oil.

11. Neroli

Another ‘oil of light’ that helps us combat depression and grief and helps encourage happiness and peace. It’s floral, sweet and exotic and like Jasmin, a little can go a long way. It can help with frigidity by relaxing the nerves and soothing the heart. If you need emotional support, then this is your oil! Again, like Jasmin, this oil is frequently found to be adulterated. 

12. Nutmeg

I’ve added this oil cautiously, due to the safety advice for it regarding neurotoxicity and skin irritation (see NOTE). However, this oil is warming, motivational and revitalising, helping to give us endurance to get things done and rekindles our life force if we’re feeling sluggish. It’s a spicy, sweet and somewhat woody aroma that can help stimulate our mind helping us to focus, that’s good to blend with other citrus floral and wood oils. 

NOTE: There are two chemotypes for Nutmeg, East Indian and West Indian. Both have varying chemical components so care must be taken to know what contraindications need to be considered for the oil you’re using. Either chemotype needs to be used in low topical dilution percentages, 0.8% for East Indian and 5% for West Indian. Oxidised Nutmeg oil can also cause skin irritation. It is also a strong aroma and can be psychotropic in high doses, so should be used in low amounts for inhalation.  

13. Petitgrain

Another subtle favourite of mine. Initially I found the aroma of this oil strange, but when blended with other floral and fruity fragrances, it grew on me. Petitgrain comes from the leaves, twigs and branches of the bitter orange tree. It is floral yet woody, with calming and balancing properties that help to ease stress and anxiety. An oil that can help with insomnia and connects us with our deepest memories, shining a light of awareness upon your mind. 

References:

Butje, A. Aromahead Institute. Aromatherapy Certification Programme Online. http://www.aromahead.com

Robbins, W. AromaWeb LLC. www.aromaweb.com

Tisserand and Young. (2014). Essential Oil Safety 2e. Churchill Livingstone Elsevier.

Zeck, R. (2018). The Blossoming Heart. Australia: Aroma Tours.

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