Essential oil ideas for Valentine’s Day

With Valentine’s Day approaching I thought I might share some ideas I’ve come across, for scents that could help make for a great occasion. I’ve stopped using after-shaves for some time and now only use essential oils. With so many great essential oils and oil blends who needs Calvin Klein, Lagerfeld, Chanel or Estee Lauder; especially when you consider that a lot of these big names use synthetics that aren’t that great for you.
ylang ylang

Ylang ylang trees on the Young Living farm in Ecuador. Imagine the aroma from 240,000 ylang ylang trees.

Ylang ylang (Cananga odorata)

One essential oil that I’ve been using lately as an after-shave alternative is Ylang ylang. It smells great and both guys and gals can use it. It has so many great qualities from both a physical and emotional level.
It’s uplifting, relaxing, promotes confidence and is said to balance male and female energies.  It has a reputation as an aphrodisiac and in Indonesia, the marriage bed is sprinkled with ylang ylang flowers on the wedding night. On a physical level it has properties that can assist with high blood pressure. I usually apply a few drops on either the wrists, neck or even chest area around the heart. However you could also diffuse it in your living area or bedroom, or alternatively incorporate it into a massage, by adding it to a carrier oil (Almond oil, jojoba, etc). Ylang ylang’s other properties are: antidepressant, antiseptic, antispasmodic, vasodilating and sedative
Blend Classification: Personifier and Modifier
Blends with: Anise, bergamot, cardamom, chamomile, cumin, geranium, grapefruit, lemon, marjoram, sandalwood and vetiver.
Odor: Type: Middle to Base Notes (20-80% of the blend); Scent: Sweet, heavy, cloying, tropical floral with spicy balsamic undertones.
Safety data: Use sparingly if you suffer low blood pressure.


Shutran is an essential oil blend that was especially created by Gary to be used like a cologne (although without the synthetics in it). And although it was designed for men to boost feelings of masculinity and confidence, its aroma is appealing to both men and women. It includes the exclusive-to-Young-Living Idaho Blue Spruce (Picea pungens), a refreshing, invigorating essential oil to both body and mind. Also in the blend is ocotea (Ocotea quixos), hinoki  (Chamaecyparis obtusa), davana (Artemisia pallens), cedarwood (Cedrus atlantica), coriander (Coriandrum sativum), lemon (Citrus limon), lavender (Lavendula angustifolia) and ylang ylang (Cananga odorata). If applying on your skin avoid direct sunlight for up to 12 hours after.

Blends you can make up

The following are a couple of great ideas that were posted on the Young Living blog

Tyler’s “Blue Collar Meets White Collar” after-shave.

Has a masculine yet gentle aroma, that you can apply after shaving or before bed to moisturize the skin overnight. For this blend use the following:

  • 6 drops of Royal Hawaiian Sandalwood (Santalum paniculatum)
  • 4 drops of Myrrh (Commiphora myrrha)
  • 3 drops of Mister™, Hong Kuai or Hinoki10 drops of V-6™ vegetable oil
  • 10 drops of witch hazel extract

Make sure you use darkened glass bottle to store your blend

Tyler’s “Perfume for Her” for a light, sweet and long-lasting perfume. For this blend use: 

  • 15 Drops of a citrus essential oil like Bergamot
  • 3 drops of either ylang ylang, lavender, clary sage or geranium
  • 2 drops of a secondary floral oils from those listed above.

If the aroma is too strong add a few drops of V-6™ vegetable oil . If you prefer it stronger, add an extra drop of oil (or as needed) of the two floral oils.

Hope you have a lovely Valentines

Till next time



Disclaimer: Please remember that anything discussed here does not
constitute medical advice and cannot substitute for appropriate medical care. Where essential oils are mentioned, it’s recommended you use only pure, unadulterated therapeutic grade essential oils and follow the safety directions of the manufacturer.

Further reading:
Using essential oils in your love life, Wellbeing,  30th January 2013
Using essential oils in your love life: Part 2, Wellbeing, 7th February 2013.
Essential oils vs perfumes, Essential Oils For Living, 14th February 2013

Essential oils vs Perfumes

An ancient still extracting essential oils. From Popular Science Monthly Vol 51

An ancient still extracting essential oils. From Popular Science Monthly Vol 51

Happy Valentine’s to you all!

I’ve always loved the smell of after-shaves and perfumes. There was a time I got a real kick out of visiting a shop specialising in fragrances, perfumes and men’s after-shaves. Perhaps this has come from my Italian background, as my mum and dad, uncles and aunts and family friends always wore some kind of fragrance. However since I’ve come to learn what’s used in after-shaves, I’ve avoided them like the plague.

You see until the last 50-100 years or so, perfumes were essential oils or essential oil based. Now-a-days perfume manufacturers use animal secretions, such as musk (from the musk deer) and ambergris (a by-product of whaling), and synthetic imitations. The latter is pre-dominant, as obtaining animal secretions is quite expensive. Where plant fragrances (essential oils) are used it tends to be the lowest quality or grade, e.g. Frankincense. Then you have something like Rose oil where it takes as much as 5000 pounds of rose petals to make one pound of rose oil. Or Melissa essential oil which requires 3 tons of plant to make one pound of oil. So as a consequence, Melissa will cost anywhere between US$9000 and US$15,000 a pound. Ouch!!! Now that would hurt the hip-pockets of many perfume manufacturers. And here we come to the quintessential devil in the matter – profit!!.
Manufacturers would rather use synthetics, that not only have little or no therapeutic value but can also harm you, for the sake of the mighty dollar. So what types of fragrances do manufacturers aim to create?

Aphrodisiac fragrances

Generally speaking, they try create or re-create aphrodisiac fragrances, arousing the pleasure centres in our brains; both making us feel attractive and making us attractive to other humans. And they do this by creating blends similar to body scents.[1]
There are 3 types of body scents which correspond to hair colouring:
  • Blonds apparently have a sour cheesy scent
  • Red-heads have an acrid, sharp scent
  • Dark haired people have a sweet pungent scent very similar to perspiration.
So the perfumeries try to re-create these scents using animal secretions, plant fragrances or synthetic imitations (pre-dominantly). Let’s forget about the animal secretions and synthetics, shall we. Which essential oils correspond with the body scents we just mentioned? The following are some examples:
Essential oils from Neroli, Jasmine and other blossoms give the scent of Indole which is very animalistic in character. This is apparently a scent found in many classical perfumes.
Frankincense corresponds to the scent and persipiration of both dark-haired and red-haired people
Myrrh is similar to the scent of blond people
Geranium and carrot seed oil correspond to the scent of blonds.
Cypress apparently corresponds to the scent of blonds.
Not all essential oils have aphrodisiac properties. In a recent post I wrote for Wellbeing, Using essential oils in your love life, I go into more detail on what are some of the best oils to use and how to make blends.
One thing to note, perfumes (essential oil based or not) should never be used to cover up body odors; they will actually exacerbate those odours. And like body scents, perfume fragrances are more intense at night-time. For those of you interested in making your own perfumes, be sure to also check out my posts on making blends and making essential oil perfumes. Erich Keller’s book (see below) is also a great source of information for making your own hair and skin care products using essential oils.
Till next time

Disclaimer: Please remember that anything discussed here does not
constitute medical advice and cannot substitute for appropriate medical care. Where essential oils are mentioned, it’s recommended you use only pure, unadulterated therapeutic grade essential oils and follow the safety directions of the manufacturer.

[1] Keller, Erich, Aromatherapy handbook for beauty, hair and skin care. Rochester VT, Healing Arts Press, 1992

Further Reading:

Aromatherapy handbook for beauty, hair and skin care, Erich Keller, Healing Arts Press, 1992
Making essential oil perfumes, 11th September 2012
Aromatherapy Handbook for beauty, hair and skin care
Those of you who like me are concerned about the less than natural content in our personal care products (hair, skin care, toiletries, etc) will find this book of great value.
Erich Keller starts by describing the history and essence of modern day cosmetics and moves on to talk about what was the original source of cosmetics – essential oils.
So much of what we use today is not only denuded of therapeutic grade essential oils, but replaced with synthetics that can harm us.
Keller’s book gives people an alternative to this.
You’ll find:
  • information on the key ingredients found in natural cosmetics.
  • dealing with different skin types and hair types
  • recipes for skin care, aromatic baths, hair care and natural perfumes.
The format of the book makes it easy to use and refer back to.
All in all you’ll get great benefits from this book if you’re the kind of person interested in making their own grooming products.

Buy the book

Till next time

Essential oil perfumes and after-shaves

Just wrote a post on Wellbeing’s blog – Making essential oil perfumes – in which I show you how I can replace dangerous synthetic perfumery with essential oil blends, and I give you some tips on how you can make these.

Till next time