J.Hannah Co. Botanical Friday

J.Hannah Co. Botanical Friday: Jasmine

Plants that wake when others sleep. Timid jasmine buds that keep their fragrance to themselves all day, but when the sunlight dies away let the delicious secret out to every breeze that roams about.
— Thomas More

Right now in southern France the fields are bursting with Jasmine, which is harvested in the early morning, distilled, and used in aromatherapy and natural perfumery. Jasmine is considered the flower of flowers, noted as one of the most important essences in perfuming. Many people find the aroma attractive with it's heady, narcotic sweetness, yet other's might find that it smells of rotten flowers. Either way, this flower continues to be of value to the perfumer. I love adding just a little bit of jasmine to a blend to brighten up the dark tones. Side by side, a synthetic will never be as complicated and beautiful as the natural jasmine absolute oil.

Jasmine veins.

Jasmine veins.

Aromatherapists might recommend Jasmine to cure a headache. Put a dab of the neat oil on your temples for a quick fix. Join us for an upcoming workshop to smell the oil for yourself!

J.Hannah Co. Botanical Friday: Ginger

Ginger (Zingiber officinale) always reminds me of happy things. Ginger rhizomes are a prevalent spice in cooking but the oil also has excellent uses in natural perfumery. This is a top note essential oil that pairs nicely with citrus oils and compliments florals. In my practice I love to add it to lift the top of a perfume, especially if it feels weighted or heavy. Though dose with caution because a little goes a long way.

When sourcing this oil I try to avoid the muddled versions and hunt for the bright full oils that smell like the fresh cut ginger root not like the dried versions.

Photo by: Frank C. Müller, Baden-Baden - Self-photographed.

Photo by: Frank C. Müller, Baden-Baden - Self-photographed.

In aromatherapy this oil can be a very useful aid to digestive issues. Just a couple drops in warm water and you have a soothing tea for an upset stomach.

No matter how you cut it, ginger is an excellent addition to your natural aromatic materials.

J.Hannah Co. Botanical Friday: Virginia Cedarwood

Virginia Cedarwood (juniperus virginiana) is the epitome of wood notes in natural perfume. It's a top note with a warm dry quality, helpful in dampening down overly sweet blends. There are many types of cedarwood including Atlas, Himalayan, and Texas, all of which have completely different woody aromas. 

Some people instantly think of old cedar chests and high school wood shop class when they get a whiff of this essence and it's for good reason. Virginia Cedarwood is distilled from timber waste from pencil factories and sawdust. Seriously. How about that for an amazing reuse!!

In my practice, this essential oil has been very useful to impart dry clean depth in men's fragrances, oriental blends, and herbaceous formulas. Smell Virginia cedarwood for yourself at an upcoming natural perfume workshop!

Cedar Pencils

Cedar Pencils

J.Hannah Co. Botanical Friday: Texas Lavender

I can't wait to get my nose on some fresh Texas oil, lavender oil that is! I am heading to Blanco, Texas this weekend for the annual Lavender Festival. I am a little giddy about the trip since I have been looking forward to it all spring. Lavender can be grown in many parts of the world and it has distinctly different aromas depending on the climate, region, and variety. Texas hill country has the perfect terrain and hot climate for this plant to grow gangbuster! Have I mentioned how excited I am about this?

Texas lavender, image from  hillcountrylavender.com

Texas lavender, image from hillcountrylavender.com

You've heard all the hype about lavender as a soothing and calming oil. It's considered the most well known and versatile oil in aroma therapy. The scent can be sweet and herbaceous with some floral notes. The essential oil is clear or light gold in color. The absolute, which is frequently used in natural perfumery, tends to be a dark green more herbaceous and viscous oil.

Lavender absolute on the left, lavender essential oil on the right. Image at J.Hannah Co. studio.

Lavender absolute on the left, lavender essential oil on the right. Image at J.Hannah Co. studio.

Here's a few ways to use lavender essential oil in your home:

  • Add around 15 drops of lavender essential oil to your bath water.
  • Ease restless nights by putting a few drops in a tissue on your night stand.
  • dab a drop on insect bites. 
  • Bake with it. Seriously. Add the flowers or essential oil to your short bread, ice cream, or lemonade.
  • Add it in your natural perfume at a J.Hannah Co. upcoming workshop.
  • Drop up to 10 drops in your diffuser to keep calm and soothed throughout the work day.

Are you as excited about lavender as I am? Check out the Blanco, Texas Lavender Festival for yourself!