Aromatherapy: A Blend To Take On Holiday


I love a posh aromatherapy blend like Aromatherapy Associates, but my budget doesn’t often stretch.  However, if I have treated myself, then I hang onto the bottle as you see here and use it to make a blend to take on holiday.  This bottle takes 55 mils which is perfect for taking in your hand luggage.  I’m off on a cruise soon so it’s time to get creative!

I’ve made a blend which is deeply relaxing and the first thing I’ll do when I get to my cabin on Celebrity is step in the shower and zing the place up by putting a glug of oil on a flannel and taking it in with me.  It will make the whole cabin smell wonderful.

I’ll use it mostly as a body oil and make sure I give my feet some TLC with it at the end of the day as I plan to do a lot of walking.

The blend I’ve chosen is frankincense, lavender and bergamot and the carrier is sweet almond.  I’ve chosen the essential oils not just for the scent, but for their therapeutic properties as follows:

Frankincense (Boswellia carteri) this works on an emotional as well as physical level which can help you move on when things have been tough. Just what I need right now. Its action is to relax you and slow down your mind. Physically it also helps to relieve coughs and sore throats and if you’ve ever been on a cruise you will know that the aircon can make your sinuses a bit dry after a few days, so using this in the shower and inhaling the vapour will help counteract any scratchiness.

Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) is hypotensive, so lowers blood pressure to aid relaxation.  It’s also an insect repellent – very handy for a holiday in the Med. million eyez

Bergamot (Citrus bergamia) is an uplifting oil which has a comforting action.  It’s important not to use this essential oil on your skin when out in sunlight as it can cause sensitivity, but as I’ll be using it in the evening, this isn’t a problem.

If you would like to make this yourself, you need 50 mils of a carrier oil such as sweet almond or grapeseed.  For a 50 mil bottle I use a 3% dilution which means 30 drops of essential oil. Up to you how you vary the blend, but I have used ten drops of each.  Don’t be tempted to add more as this is plenty strong enough.  Add the drops to the container with your carrier oil and give it a good shake – then you’re done.

PS I qualified as a clinical aromatherapist in 2005 and this little book that you see is my bible which I took notes in during the course and I’ve referred to ever since.












Essential Oils For Deep Relaxation


I’ll be honest, I don’t buy  Neal’s Yard Frankincense Nourishing Cream for what it can do for my skin.  I buy it purely for its intoxicating fragrance.

Frankincense aids deep relaxation and some nights, after a hot bath, I massage this into my face and neck, jump into clean sheets and drift off, dreaming of exotic places where, long ago, people lived in jewelled palaces, with courtyards surrounded by orange trees and damask roses, eating Turkish delight and ripe figs from silver platters.

Deep, fragrant, peaceful sleep.  That’s what frankincense says to me.

Juniper on the other hand is, in my opinion, one of the best oils for burning on those nights when you just need to clear your mind and reboot.  It says new beginnings, clean slate, declutter.  It also has sedative properties so will help you drop off (but don’t forget to extinguish the oil burner first!).  The scent lingers for ages, so burn it an hour before bed.  It has a meditative quality and would work well with a yoga practice.

Calm, refreshing sleep and a clear head.  That’s what juniper says to me.

The geranium and orange is a hand cream that I massage into my feet before bed.  Geranium and orange is a ‘pick me’ up blend.  It makes me feel happy and settled.  Orange is a nervous sedative, so can help if you are a little on edge.  Geranium has mild anti-depressant properties.  Used together, they help you feel calm and relaxed.

Balancing.  That’s what geranium and orange say to me.

You don’t have to create your own essential oil blends to benefit from their therapeutic qualities, but you do have to buy well. There are many lotions and potions on the market, but once you understand what they can do for you, there is a point when you just cannot go back to the synthetic and cheap alternatives which look pretty but do nothing else.  This isn’t an advert for Neal’s Yard – it just happens that they are one of a number of ‘go to’ brands that I choose when I don’t want to make up a blend myself.

If you are unsure about blending, just try essential oils on their own in a burner.  It’s a good way to see how you feel about each one.  You only need a couple of drops so it’s a really cost effective way of fragrancing your home too.

A Few Aromatherapy Favourites


I’ve been pampering with a few aromatherapy treats lately, adding my own spin to some products and just enjoying the others as they are!

 Neom Complete Bliss Candle

This is my second purchase of the same aromatherapy blend, so it must be a good one.  I love anything with rose in it and this doesn’t disappoint.  It’s quite a subtle fragrance and I love to light it for an hour before bed while I’m reading.  It’s perfect for setting your brain into sleep mode.

MuLondon Organic Chocolate Truffle Moisturiser

This smells good enough to eat! Seriously, it smells of chocolate! I’ve been using it on my hands and feet at bedtime.  It has a nice thick formula and feels very comforting. It’s organic, cruelty free and handmade in London. It contains a base of shea butter and jojoba and is scented with cocoa and bourbon vanilla.  It’s formulated as a facial moisturiser, but my preference is facial oil hence my alternative use.

Tisserand Coconut Oil

I’m using this as my night oil (applying it after serum).  There’s no fragrance so I’ve added some neroli essential oil which is a very feminine oil and excellent for a sensitive complexion. I want to use good quality products on my face and Tisserand is a brand I trust.

Base Formula Massage Oil

I won this sample on Twitter and have been using it as an after bath moisturiser just before bed.  This is a relaxing blend of lavender, neroli and frankincense essential oils in a base of sweet almond oil.  At this time of year, when prepping my skin for the big summer reveal, I never miss the opportunity to add moisture and prefer oils to lotions as long as I’m getting straight into my PJs!

As you can see, I just love a plant based formula!