The therapeutic powers of essential oils on our physical and emotional wellbeing are well documented. In simple terms, Aromatherapy means ‘Treatment by aromas.’ Consisting of essential oils, they work by passing through our olfactory system which is linked to the limbic system of our brains, the area that controls survival instincts and emotions. Scent has become particularly important in these troubled times and almost acts like a sensorial balm to our senses.
With essential oils consisting of very small molecules that can pass into our bloodstream either by inhalation or topical use, different oils are said to have different benefits. Lavender oil, for example, is well-known for helping reduce stress and inducing sleep (it is a sign of the times that lavender-based beauty products have increased by an astronomical 552% from January-April in 2019 according to a study by the NPD group, it would be interesting to see the difference now during COVID-19.) Frankincense also has potential nerve-relaxing properties and rose is anti-inflammatory, which is soothing for skin and senses and also is said to balance out our hormones.
Whilst brands used to focus on bath oils and body products, they are now focussing on travel-size tinctures and roll-ons that you can keep in your pocket when working from home or stash in your handbag and pull out when you’re stressed at the traffic lights. Here are some of our favourites for different therapeutic uses – we have chosen the them because of their efficacy, potency and purity, all of which is incredibly important.
For the over-tired
The Anatome Essential Oil Elixir Energy and Strength, $27.11, is a blend you can use during exercise, but we also love it for boosting our body and brain when we’re tired or jetlagged. Blended with May Chang and Lemon, both used in aromatherapy to awaken the senses, it will brighten and focus your mood minus the coffee jitters.
For inner peace and confidence
The Ilapothecary Speak your Truth Roller, $38.92 is a rich, feminine scent which combines the Mothers of Aromatherapy – Rose for soothing and loving, and Sandalwood for light and joy. Together they should make you feel more centred and instil a deep inner peace. Perfect for gathering your thoughts pre Zoom calls.
For all your emotions
Our feelings shift all the time, which is why we love the Feelings Gift Set, $152.00, from amazing plant oil skincare brand Votary. It consists of 3 beautifully scented rollerball oils named Detach, Desire and Drift. The first is fresh, grassy and vibrant with rosemary and thyme, the second contains orange, rose and almond oil to help you feel reconnected and renewed, and the third contains lavender, Chamomile and English Rose if you feel in need of unwinding.
For emotional protection
Altitude Oil, $37.09 De Mamiel, has become a beauty editor’s cult favourite and was created by aromatherapist and founder Annee de Mamiel to help ward off bugs and help her feel clearer when she travelled. With Peppermint and Lemon Myrtle to provide a powerful lift, Pine and Eucalyptus to help clear a fuzzy head, and Patchouli to help you feel grounded, it’s one powerful SOS product for any occasion you want to feel more together.
For the stressed out
Tata Harper’s products are well known for their use of high quality botanicals and dreamy scents. Her ‘aromatherapeutic’ Aromatic Irritability Treatment, $62.49 is a calming scent that eases an irritated spirit and helps dissipate negative feelings. Containing Meadowsweet, Lemon, Borage and Calendula flowers, her advice is to spray it onto hands or wrists, to inhale deeply and feel your shoulders drop.
For the terrified flier
Ginger Flight Therapy, $37.08 from Aesop is a pulse-point roll-on enhanced with Ginger Root, Lavender and Geranium. Soothing, but bolstering and confidence boosting it will assist and calm the flight phobic but can also be used generally in life when you feel nauseous, stressed or weary.
For calming your nerves
Inner Light Calm Balm by Therapie by aromatherapist Michelle Roques O’Neil, $46.98 is a soulful, fragrant solid perfume that will cocoon and sooth frayed nerves in a spirit lifting scent. Containing Sweet Marjoram to promote happiness, Neroli to dismiss negativity, Sandalwood for grounding, and Bergamot for positivity it will calm and resettle feelings of unease or nervousness.
For when you are ill
Whether you are ill or feel you are coming down with something, the Support Roller Ball, $22.26 from Aromatherapy Associates will provide relief. With Pine, tea Tree and Eucalyptus, it will ease breathing whilst refreshing and sharpening the senses.
For working from home
We are very much in love with the Neom Organics Wellbeing Pod, from $123.64. This beautifully designed aromatherapy diffuser will fill the hair in your home or office with incredible essential oils. Choose from different oils for different moods: scents to Sleep, make you Happy, Destress, or Calm & Relax.
For difficult times
The Inner Strength oil by Aromatherapy Associates was created and explained to me by Geraldine Howard, the founder of Aromatherapy Associates who sadly passed away a few years ago. Created as she was going through cancer treatment, it is described as a ‘Coping mechanism in a bottle’. With anxiety-reducing Clary Sage, Sandalwood for grounding and Geranium to balance scattered emotions, it is both comforting and reassuring. The roller ball version is $22.26.
For a mood lift
If you are feeling down in the dumps, the Tisserand Happy Vibes Pulse Point Roller ball, $7.73 contains zesty Lemon Tea Tree, refreshing Bergamot and cheering Nutmeg and may just help you see the brighter side of things.
For when you want to go to sleep
Famous for the quality of their essential oils, Neal Yard’s Calming Temple Salve, $8.04 is easily absorbed and contains Eucalyptus, Rosemary, Lavender, and Camphor to create a cocooning aromatic blend. Apply to temples in a circular motion.
Containing Chamomile, Lavender, Bergamot, this very gentle smelling Serenity Essential Oil Mood Oil, Ebo, $37.09 is like a warm hug in a bottle. Stash in your handbag or keep by the bed when travelling for moments you wake and feel wobbly or alone.
The Balasana Essential Oil Blend, $30.91 from Bamford has been developed by Bamford’s amazing Yoga masters. A 100% organic blend of Cajuput, Frankincense and eucalyptus, it provides an aura of safety and protection. Apply to pulse points and inhale deeply.