By Debbie Lewis
Aroma’s power and sensual qualities are undeniable. The soft scent of roses summons the memory of the delicious feel of your lover during your first kiss. Cedarwood’s sharp tang recalls the time your sweetie helped you build the deck, then kept the sweat flowing in a different way.
Essential oils (EO’s)—potent, highly aromatic substances extracted from certain species of plants—have often been used for physical, emotional and psychological needs over the centuries. Ancient Egyptians used EO’s extensively, as they learned that these essences had the ability to transform and enhance many areas of life, including intimacy.
Aroma can elevate moods or reduce stress. And a caress from the right person heightens the experience to an art form. Through the use of pure essential oil blends, commonly known as aromatherapy, the two extraordinarily sensual senses of smell and touch converge to enhance your intimate encounters.
Intimacy begins in the mind. Several of the EO’s have properties that provide a good emotional foundation when used alone, or in a sensuous blend. Lavender, a fresh, floral, herbaceous aroma, restores inner calmness and serenity. The 'leafy-minty-rosy' fragrance of Rose Geranium emotionally uplifts. Cedarwood, a woody, balsamic aroma, often used in men’s fragrances, provides confidence; while bergamot, a citrus EO with a spicy balsamic undertone, eases stress and arouses a sense of well being. In other words, your spirit is peaceful and relaxed—fertile for intimacy.
Enjoy EO’s solo or in blends of two or three, in the appropriate amount of carrier oil, to create sensuous applications. Here are a few EO’s that promote sensuality and have aphrodisiac properties:
§ Sweet Orange, a bright, fruity, clear aroma, uplifts, as it evokes both sensuality and joy
§ Clary sage, with its earthy, herbaceous, slightly nutty fragrance, reduces anxiety and produces a euphoric state.
§ Jasmine, a sweet, intensively flowery aroma, promotes feelings of attractiveness and allure. Some researchers believe it has pheromone qualities.
§ Earthy, woody patchouli, a favorite in the sixties, heightens the libido and sexuality.
§ Ylang ylang has a sweet, heavy, distinctive floral scent, with enticing, erotic properties, which arouse euphoria and induce deep relaxation, as well as stimulating sex drive.
§ The evocative floral scent of Rose activates sexual desire and dispels resentment.
The different therapeutic effects possible with EO’s (i.e. calming, aphrodisiac, energizing, etc.) can be achieved topically or through inhalation. Massage, the best application for intimacy, incorporates both touch and smell, so we’ll concentrate on that one. But a diffuser permeating the room a half hour before can't hurt!
Any combination of the oils listed above, in the right measure, could make excellent massage blends. If you want to try your hand at aromatic alchemy, see the recipes below. Always dilute EO’s in appropriate amounts of carrier oils, such as almond or grapeseed, rather than applying EO’s directly to skin. It is also a good idea to do a patch test. Take a couple of drops of the blend (including the carrier oil) and massage into the blend of the inner arm. If there is not skin irritation within twenty-four hours, you’re not allergic. Most people have no issues when the oils are properly used.
Make sure to also adhere to any other warnings on the labels (i.e. photosensitivity from citrus EO, avoiding Clary Sage in early pregnancy, etc.). Some safety information can be found at http://www.tsaofoundation.org/healthtips/aroma04.html.
You can multiply the amounts, including the vegetable oil, by two or three times if you decide you like a blend and want to use it several times over two or three weeks. I do not recommended that you produce more than five ounces at a time, as you would not want to store more than two months without proper storage preparation.
Try these two recipes to begin your odyssey:
13 drops of patchouli or clary sage,
4 drops of jasmine
8 drops of ylang ylang (or 12 total drops of ylang with no jasmine)
Add all, a total of 25 drops, to a 2 ounce dark bottle.
Swirl drops gently, then slowly add 45 ml (1.5 ounce) of jojoba or sweet almond oil. Roll the closed bottle between your hands for a few minutes. Store in a cool, dark place. Invert several times before each use.
For a livelier massage try:
7 drops each of patchouli, sandalwood, ylang ylang
2 drops of rosemary
1 drop of cinnamon leaf (NEVER exchange for cinnamon bark)
Mix as above.
Stores such as Whole Food, Central Market and almost all natural food retailers stock a good selection of pure essential oils (such as the Aura Cacia brand). Often each manufacturer makes testers available for you to sniff out the blends that speak to you. Some EO’s, such as rose and jasmine seem pricey, but keep in mind that a few drops go a long way. However, if you don’t want to go the experimental route, email me at infoinqry.att.net, to obtain pure, handmade, customized blends. Our Soul Escentials sample kits are a great introduction to aromatherapy.
Watch for upcoming articles on the methodology of aromatherapy and making it a part of your intimacy arsenal.