Aromatherapy is the art and science of utilising natural aromatic plant essences to balance, harmonise and promote the health of body, mind and spirit. It is in itself a holistic approach to green beauty, often encouraging the use of other complementary natural ingredients and botanicals. The ethos of Bodhi & Birch stems from aromatherapy and the use of these ingredients to create modern aromatherapy skincare and wellbeing products. Here are our top ten favourite essential oils to awaken the skin and enlighten your senses.
Mistress of the night, the king of flowers, the queen of flowers, a gift from heaven… this flower is utterly surrounded by an air of devotion. Jasmine is an aphrodisiac and an antidepressant, with its intoxicating scent capable of softening stress and break the worst of moods. A potent sedative, Jasmine has a powerful ability to help quieten the mind, relieve anxiety and promote rest. Pioneered by ancient Greeks and Egyptians for it aromatherapeutic properties, it is now proven by modern science to induce a better quality of restful sleep.
Galangal, or Siamese Ginger, is a rhizome from the ginger family. A pungent, fragrant spice with a rounded earthy and citrusy note, Galangal was thought to be first introduced to medieval Europe by Arabian or Greek doctors. Commonly used as a spice in South-East Asia, Galangal is an uplifting warming oil with anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, antiseptic, anti-oxidant and stimulant properties. It is great for muscle aches and fatigue.
It’s a story of romance and seduction for Ylang-Ylang, long cherished as a symbol of femininity and sensuality throughout Asia and South Pacific. Its heady, sweet, exotic scent is revered as a potent aphrodisiac, explaining why native Indonesian women hid ylang-ylang flowers in their hair, and newlyweds were often met with a sprinkling of blossoms across the bed. Ylang-Ylang essential oil also helps to calm nerves, alleviate stress and boost the spirits in times of sadness.
Used throughout time for its healing properties, Lavender has a sweet floral and herbaceous aroma that is calming and restoring. One of the most versatile and useful essential oils, Lavender is perhaps best known for its relaxing properties. It is an excellent tonic for the nerves, offering both physical and emotional relief. Soothing and nurturing, it also helps to tone and revitalise the skin.
There are about 20 varieties and hybrids of Mint, native to the Mediterranean region. With several references in Greek and Roman mythology, its name comes from the nymph Minthe who was caught by Persephone in the arms of her husband Pluto. Who would’ve thought this herb has such a romantic past? Peppermint and Spearmint are most often used in aromatherapy for their amazing cooling and stimulating properties plus its ability to soothe headaches, migraines, motion sickness and sinusitis.
Find it in: Mint Thé Bath & Shower Therapy
There is no perfume without the Rose. Revered for millennia, the rose is a symbol of beauty and love. Its scent transcends mortality, its history spans civilisations through war and peace, its beauty inspired art and poetry, “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose.” Rose is a renown beauty oil, promoting skin recovery on a cellular level. A powerful antidepressant, it renews the spirit and calms emotional senses. Highly nourishing and an excellent emollient, this legendary oil helps tone, smooth, soften, repair and regenerate skin cells to bring a glowing radiance to skin.
Find it in: Desert Rose Facial Oil
Frankincense, aka Olibanum, is an aromatic resin from the Boswellia Tree. A renown ancient ingredient it contains amazing skin regeneration capabilities – its cytophylactic properties encourages the growth of skin cells, thus effectively heals sores and wounds while reducing scarring and inflammation. It is inherently astringent so it acts as a balancer, reducing excess dryness or oiliness, returning the skin condition back to normal. Emotionally grounding, its aroma is woody, earthy, spicy, balsamic and has a fresh fruitiness.
A well known spice, Black Pepper as an essential oil is rich and spicy, fiery opening notes with hints of green and floral, followed by a warm woody oriental base. It is a circulatory stimulant, great for warming overworked muscles and easing bodily aches and pains. Emotionally, Black Pepper oil is stimulating and helps heighten alertness, enhance assertiveness and increase self-confidence. Thus Black Pepper should be avoided before bed, unless sleep is not the intention.
Distilled from bitter orange blossoms, Neroli was named after the 16th century Princess Anna Maria de Le Tremoille of Nerola, Italy, believed to have introduced the alluring scent to her country. Neroli helps boost the natural healing of skin by triggering the growth of healthy skin cells, thus also improving skin elasticity. Its ability to balance both oily and dry skin makes it the ideal choice for combination skin. One of nature’s most effective anti-depressant essential oils, its balancing and sedative properties makes it perfect for treating all negative emotional conditions.
Find it in: Neroli Lucé Revitalising Face Oil
Rosemary for memory. That is because this culinary herb is an excellent brain and nerve tonic to help boost concentration. Research found that inhaling Rosemary essential oil displayed significantly higher cognitive function. Its fresh herbaceous scent revives the spirits, stimulates the senses and renews mental energy. Rosemary has natural detoxification capabilities too, and helps flush out accumulation of dangerous toxins.