Whether for professional or home aromatherapy use, essential oils of the highest quality should be used.
How do we define the quality of essential oils? The main challenge is that essential oils are not just used for aromatherapy purposes. Essential oils are extensively used in:
perfumery and fragrances
Each of these industries has developed its own set of criteria for defining the quality of an essential oil. It has been suggested that the quality of an essential oil should be based on knowing whether an essential oil is going to work in a therapeutic way. This makes a lot of sense but it does open the door to a new set of challenges. What defines the therapeutic activity of an essential oil? If we strictly follow this guideline, we may be required to adopt the standards adopted by some of the pharmacopoeias such as the British Pharmacopoeia, which means that many of the essential oils may need to be blended or rectified in order to comply with the pharmacopoeia standards.
Therefore, it is not surprising that some essential oil companies have decided to establish their own internal standards such as ‘therapeutic grade’. Some in the industry suggest that this term is misleading, but claim it is a failure of the aromatherapy essential oil trading associations to issue guidelines for essential oils that has led to this situation.
I agree with Harris who suggests that the ideal definition of quality for essential oils in aromatherapy should be: (1) preferably but not necessarily organically cultivated, and (2) that is supplied with the full chemical analysis of its constituents1.
Holmes also suggests that essential oil users often ignore the documented evidence provided in certificates of analysis such as the results of simple analytical tests (e.g. specific gravity, refractive index and optical rotation).2 Even the most important sensory-based method of organoleptic examination is often overlooked.
I have always been passionate about sourcing the highest quality essential oils. Thirty years of experience as an aromatherapist, educator and supplier of essential oils has helped establish Perfect Potion as the leading specialist in its field. It is, therefore, very exciting for us to launch a new platform to help you understand our essential oils.
By simply going to the link below and typing in the batch number of the essential oil you have purchased from Perfect Potion, you can access the Certificate of Analysis (C of A) of that batch of essential oil.
The C of A gives you vital information regarding the correct identification of the oil – the botanical name, the country of origin, clearly identifying if it is certified organic and the method of extraction.
It also describes the appearance and organoleptic qualities of the oil as well as the specific gravity and refractive index. These analytical tests can be very useful to identify if the oil has been adulterated.
We also include a detailed chemical composition of the essential oil. For those who have studied essential oil chemistry, this will give you a good indication of the potential therapeutic qualities of the oil. In future blogs, I will provide more information on how to interpret the chemical composition of the essential oils.
Perfect Potion limited-edition essential oils
Occasionally, I come across essential oils that leave you breathless because they epitomise the flawless beauty of nature. Our most recent batches of certified organic Roman chamomile, clary sage, Bourbon geranium, neroli, vetiver and ylang ylang complete are such oils. While all of our essential oils are certified organic and of such discerning quality, these oils are so unique that I have decided to make them part of a limited-edition range.
It is no wonder that Fischer-Rizzi once described essential oils as heavenly scents that touch your heart, making you keenly aware of the beauty that surrounds you and opening the door to your soul.
This batch of Roman chamomile is so rich in esters. Esters provide the essential oil with a delightful fruity aroma, which is so soothing and relaxing. I have not smelt Roman chamomile that is so fruity and sweet for so long.
Botanical name Anthemis nobilis
Country of origin Morocco
Status ACO certified organic
Organoleptic description – This Roman chamomile oil is a pale yellow mobile liquid with a very diffusive aroma with little tenacity. It is a top note. This Roman chamomile oil has a sweet fruity and apple-like top note, a sweet and herbaceous body while its dryout is herbaceous and dry.
There is such a pleasant, fresh, warm aroma to this batch of clary sage oil. It has the most euphoric and uplifting effect that I have ever experienced from clary sage.
Botanical name – Salvia sclarea
Country of origin – France
Status – ACO certified organic
Organoleptic description – This clary sage oil is a pale yellow liquid with a very diffusive aroma. It is regarded as a middle note. It has a fresh, fruity and amber-like top note, a floral and herbaceous body while its dryout is balsamic, dry and woody.
Geranium from Madagascar is considered the finest quality geranium and is also known as rose geranium oil. I am often asked “Why don’t we stock rose geranium?” This is a trade name that has no real meaning. I prefer to use the technical name for the oil, but if there were a rose geranium, this would be it.
This batch of Bourbon geranium oil has the most delightful, sweet, rosy and herbaceous aroma.
Botanical name – Pelargonium graveolens
Country of origin – Madagascar
Status – ACO certified organic
Organoleptic description – This batch of Bourbon geranium is green-olive coloured oil with a powerful diffusive aroma. It is referred to as a middle note. It has a fresh, green and leafy top note, with a rosy, minty and herbaceous body, while the dryout is sweet and herbaceous.
When I first inhaled this batch of neroli, I felt like I was walking on sunshine – it sends a tingle down my spine! The scent of this batch of neroli oil is so refreshingly divine – it rejuvenates and awakens the soul.
Botanical name – Citrus aurantium var. amara
Country of origin – Morocco
Status – ACO certified organic
Organoleptic description – This neroli oil is a pale yellow liquid with a light floral aroma with little tenacity. It is referred to as a top note. This neroli oil has a refreshing light, floral top note with a sweet, floral, herbaceous green body and a pleasant floral dryout.
When I came across this batch of vetiver, I almost cried. It took me right back to my childhood memories growing up on the farm. It has such a lush, rich earthy sweet aroma. For such an earthy oil, this was so surprisingly refreshing and rejuvenating.
Vetiver is one of the most chemically complex of all essential oils. This batch of Bourbon vetiver oil is very rich in sesquiterpene compounds, giving the oil its intensity, depth and complexity, reminiscent of roots and wet soil.
Botanical name – Vetiveria zizanioides
Country of origin – Madagascar
Status – ACO certified organic
Organoleptic description – This batch of Bourbon vetiver is an amber to brownish coloured viscous liquid. It is referred to as a base note. This vetiver oil has a sweet, heavy and woody top note, with an earthy and woody body while there is no change in its dryout.
Now those of you who have attended my classes will know my signature essential oil – yes, it is ylang ylang. Even those who are not such big fans of the intoxicating and rich floral aroma of ylang ylang will fall under the spell of this batch of ylang ylang complete.
This batch of ylang ylang complete oil has a scent that is heavenly, sweet and floral. It epitomises the character of ylang ylang that is charismatic and sensual.
Botanical name – Cananga odorata
Country of origin – Madagascar
Status – ACO certified organic
Organoleptic description – Ylang ylang complete is a yellow somewhat oily liquid with a powerful, intense aroma. It is referred to as a middle note. It has a powerful, intense, sweet and floral top note, followed by a rich, slightly medicinal and floral body while its dryout is pleasant, soft and powdery floral.
Cold and flu season has arrived. Elevate your wellness – side-step the struggles of an aching body and incessant sniffles this year and start feeling blissful instead!
Aromatherapy tips to help you stay balanced and blissful…
Feeling stuffy and congested?
Breathe Easy Blend is a powerhouse purifier. It features a decongesting blend of pine and eucalyptus to help you replace congestion with clarity. You’ll also find lemon essential oil included in the mix. Lemon is included as a high vibrational oil that helps lift your spirits when you’re feeling fatigued.1 Studies have also shown it to be effective in killing airborne microbesand to possess strong antiviral and immune-stimulating properties to help you fight off infectious conditions.2,3 Thyme essential oil is featured for its offering of ‘broad-spectrum healing qualities’ and strong antimicrobial activity which is often used for the treatment of infections like bronchitis.4
How to Use Breathe Easy Blend
Let Breathe Easy Blend work its decongesting magic. Add 5-10 drops to a bowl of hot water. Position your face above the water and cover with a towel.Take a deep breath in and enjoy the benefits of direct inhalation. Keep some tissues nearby! Another great option? Diffuse Breathe Easy in your home or office to help cleanse and purify the air you breathe.
Give yourself an Extra Breathe Easy Boost
“My little girl finally slept through after days of coughing – I’m using the oil and the balm. Just love your products. ‘ – Dusty!
Breathe Easy Balm utilises the powerhouse purifiers in Breathe Easy Blend in the form of a smooth, textured balm. Made from entirely natural and organic ingredients, it helps provide natural relief when you’re feeling chesty. Feeling a little under the weather? Support yourself naturally, apply Breathe Easy Balm to your chest, throat and back and under your nose. We also suggest applying it to the soles of your feet and popping on some socks. Why? Your feet are highly absorbent and will allow the essential oils to be absorbed into your system quickly and deeply.
Sip to Soothe
‘Great if you’ve got a cold, sore throat, sniffles…’ – Saffron
Make prevention a priority! While Breathe Easy Balm does all the hard work, put your feet up and sip some warm Breathe Easy Herbal Tea. When cold and flu season hits, we love to stock up on this herbal helper and sip it daily for a natural immunity boost. This fortifying brew of echinacea, elderflower, liqourice root, peppermint, sage and thyme will help build your natural defenses and immunity.
Why Breathe Easy Tea?
The herbs in Breathe Easy Herbal Tea have been especially chosen with their unique healing properties in mind. Echinacea is known for its ability to raise your body’s resistance and to stimulate your immune system. We’ve also included peppermint to help settle upset tummies. Sage is recommended for soothing inflammation of the mucous membranes of your nose and throat.5
Your Breathe Easy Questions Answered!
Are Breathe Easy Blend and Balm safe for children and babies? Yes! Breathe Easy Essential Oil Blend is definitely safe to diffuse around little ones. The oils in Breathe Easy are quite powerful, so we suggest diffusing in a large, well-ventilated area and under supervision to ensure they have no complaints and do not come in contact with the diffuser or pure oil blend.
Breathe Easy Balm is an excellent plant-based chest and back rub. For children age 6 months – 1 year, we recommend applying on the back and feet. Children over 1 can use as directed. As with all products, a small patch test is recommended to ensure your child’s skin doesn’t react.
How many cups of Breathe Easy Tea can I have? Drink as needed. Anywhere up to 3 cups is fine.
What is the difference between Breathe Easy Balm and Breathe Easy Blend? Breathe Easy Balm and Breathe Easy Blend utilise the same powerhouse oils, however they differ in the way they can be used to benefit you. Breathe Easy Blend should be used in a diffuser, dropped onto a tissue, or by steam inhalation by adding a few drops to a bowl of steaming water and breathing deeply. Breathe Easy Balm is great to use as a chest, back and feet rub. It’s also excellent dabbed under the nose.
Fischer-Rizzi S. Complete aromatherapy handbook. Sterling Publishing, New York, 1990.
Bardeau F. Use of essential aromatic oils to purify and deodorise the air. Chirugien-Dentiste de France (Paris), 1976; 46(319): 53. Cited in Quintessential Aromatics database, 2013.
Davis P. Aromatherapy: an A-Z. 2nd edn. C.W. Daniel COmpany, Saffron Walden, 1999.
Blumenthal M et al. The complete German Commission E monographs: therapeutic guide to herbal medicine. American Botanical Council, Austin, 1998.
Study and Aromatherapy: The best aromatherapy tips to help you study
Our Marketing Assistant gives us her aromatherapy tips and tricks when it comes to studying during this exam season.
Dreary late night assignments and early morning exam cramming are an all too common occurrence for those of us currently studying.
A thirst for knowledge and learning are what make us human, but that doesn’t mean that study isn’t without its bleak moments.
Often our study areas smell of old coffee, paper and a general scent of panic and anxiety. After spending six and a half years studying at university, and experiencing the highs and lows of panic and anxiety setting in, I’m proud to say that I’ve got the ‘study’ thing pretty much sorted.
During my postgraduate study I became almost reliant on my ‘study ritual’ set up that allowed me to maintain focus and clarity well into the early hours of the morning, when I could hear the birds waking up even when I hadn’t yet gone to sleep.
While a lot of my study has been reliant on coffee (a lot of very, very strong coffee), I also came to depend on the clarity and relaxation aromatherapy was able to give me.
Those dreary late nights spent in front of my laptop writing essays on literature or memorising facts for exams were made possible particularly by one little bottle of essential oils; Perfect Potion’s Focus Essential Oil Blend.
Working in store at Perfect Potion and then at headquarters, the Focus blend quickly became my favourite blend and I would recommend it to every student I met. I even had classmates asking for me to bring them bottles of the gorgeous, clarifying blend.
The blend of rosemary, basil, lemon, black pepper and peppermint kept my mind sharp and my eyes open on those late nights and early mornings. I would diffuse it on my desk, letting the vapours create the perfect study sanctuary for me.
During exams, I would wear a few drops on my shirt, on special diffusing necklaces around my neck, or on bracelets. And while I went around exams smelling amazing, I also felt better too; I was more confident in my abilities and calm enough to place everything neatly into perspective.
Aromatherapy for Focus and Clarity
Focus Essential Oil Blend
Perfect Potion’s Focus Essential Oil Blend is a balance of essential oils that will help you feel uplifted, focused and inspired. It is the essential oil blend I use the most and recommend to everyone. Each unique essential oil has been chosen with study and focus in mind and are carefully blended together to promote concentration and clarity.
Basil: The leafy, herbaceous aroma lifts the spirit and awakens the senses. Basil is clarifying and stimulating with its intensely fresh and vibrant aroma.
Black pepper: Black pepper essential oil has a warm, spicy scent. It is invigorating and strengthening and can help us ‘get a move on’ when we feel stuck.
Peppermint: The powerful, refreshing scent of peppermint is clarifying and awakening. Peppermint enhances concentration. According to Mojay, peppermint enhances our receptive capactities on mental and spiritual levels and would be beneficial for those in need of inspiration and insight.
Lemon: Revitalising and uplifting, lemon was original used as a remedy for scurvy. Fischer-Rizzi describes lemon as an essential oil with high vibrations that can lift one’s spirits, especially when one may be feeling fatigue. Similarly, Robbie Zeck states that lemon oil will enhance rational, logical thinking and any intellectual pursuits.
Rosemary: The fresh, herbaceous scent of Rosemary essential oil is associated with clear thought and clarity. Rosemary is the star ingredient in Perfect Potion’s Focus Blend as it has such a wonderfully revitalising effect on one’s psyche. Studies on the effects of Rosemary on cognitive performance have shown that the essential oil significantly showed improvement of cognitive tasks.
As rosemary essential oil is associated with clear thought it is therefore associated with the third eye chakra. The third eye chakra is connected to the brain and can be made more powerful through meditation, yoga, other spiritual practices and intellectual pursuits.
How to use Focus
Diffuser: Create the ultimate study sanctuary in your own home by diffusing a few drops of Focus Essential Oil Blend in your diffuser.
Jewellery: Experience the benefits of Focus even when you’re not at home with your diffuser. Add a few drops onto your Lily & Laura bracelet or on a special essential oil diffusing necklace.
More Aromatherapy for Study
Along with Perfect Potion’s Focus Essential Oil Blend, aromatherapy for concentration, calm and clarity comes in many other different forms. These are some of my personal favourites I use to help focus my mind, calm my anxiety and wholly commit myself to my activities.
Apart from Focus, this is my Holy Grail product. The blend of peppermint, rosemary and lavender enlivens the senses, promotes calm, eases tension and gives clarity. I rub a tiny amount onto my temples prior to exams, during times of stress, or when I feel tension in my head.
As an anxious person, I found that the blend of lavender, ylang ylang, and geranium in the Relax range helped when my mind started to wander to irrational and stressful thoughts. I often found much relief in rubbing the Relax Balm onto my wrists and dabbing it under my nose.
Sleep is such an important part of study, even though we may at times we may feel like we don’t have the time. It supports healthy brain function and allows us to process everything we have learned that day. When we are lying awake at night, worrying about exams and assignments Sweet Dreams Balm, Pillow Mist, and Essential Oil Blend can be used to help calm your mind and allow you to drift off into a worry-free slumber.
The warming effects of Perfect Potion’s Active range helps ease the tension caused by hunching over desks and laptops. The invigorating scents of specially chosen essential oils like black pepper, cajeput, and peppermint will give you the ‘pep up’ you need to keep going until your semester is finished.
For more tips on using aromatherapy in your everyday life, visit our beautiful green gods and goddesses at your closest Perfect Potion store.