Ah, February—the season of love! What better time to explore the benefits of aromatherapy to open the heart, bring a feeling of peace and love, all while relieving stress and pesky feelings of sadness or loneliness that might spring up during this time.
1. Romantic Rose
The first essential oil that comes to mind is, of course, rose—the queen of flowers. All matters of the heart are what rose bring to us: love, romance, passion, plus relief of sadness, grief, loneliness and anxiety. Plus, it is an aphrodisiac!
Throughout history, roses have been associated with love, passion and romance. Cleopatra VII identified herself with Isis, who was closely associated with roses, and used rosewater in her fountains and to bless her ships.
Ancient Romans loved rose oil, as well. They would use the scent of roses in fountains, their famous bathhouses and even their famously lavish parties. They would often spritz their guests with rose water, sometimes dipping doves’ wings with the scent, then flinging them into the air to anoint awaiting guests. (There’s a thought if you’re looking for that over-the-top party surprise.)
Rose aromatherapy comes in many varieties, including:
- Rosa centifolia, which is usually solvent extracted as an absolute (with hexane, which is burned off in the process);
- Moroccan rose, also called rose de mai or rose Maroc;
- Rosa damascene;
- Rose attar or rose otto, which is precious, expensive and steam distilled;
- Rose water or hydrosol.
Keep in mind that rose water may be different than rose hydrosol or distillate, as rose water may be rose oil that is added to water, while the hydrosol or distillate is a product of steam distillation and may include different properties than those in the oil-in-water.
Sherrie Dawkins, formulator and trainer for Body Bliss, is a long-time professional aromatherapist. She has owned a day spa and original aromatherapy line, held positions as Ojai Valley Inn’s lead aromatherapist and art instructor, and created custom blends for luxury spas. Currently, Dawkins is developing iconic Body Bliss products and protocols.