Sunday, July 26, 2009
Remembering what I've learnt
A number of years ago, having just graduated university, I decided to take a course in something 'I actually found interesting'. Of course with the distance of time, I recognize that I actually enjoyed a lot of the courses I took for my degree. But at the time, university had worn me out. And I wanted to learn something fun.
So I took a course in Aromatology at Algonquin College (which sadly is no longer offered).
During each class we got to refine our sense of smell by blind smelling and attempting to identify the new essential oils we were learning in that class. We learned the therapeutic properties and applications of each oil and learned how to create blends of oils containing top note, middle note and base note oils. I loved that first class and went on to take the next three semesters to finish the program. It certainly was not the easy learning experience I was planning on - the hardest part was anatomy and physiology. To this day I am still using photocopied diagrams of the body with space to label in all the muscles as scrap paper.
When I finished the course I knew I wasn't going to make a career of aromatology at that point in my life. So I made blends and treatments for myself for a while but gradually did less and less until I had pretty much forgotten I'd even taken aromatology.
But then about a year ago as I was fully immersed in carbon footprint reduction and rethinking everything, I stopped using lotion, switched to olive oil, busted out my essential oils and started blending again.
Unfortunately most essential oils come from far away (although last summer I found some amazing lavender essential oil in Prince Edward County). I'm not ready to buy my own still yet (and don't have the land to grow enough product to turn into oil). So instead (inspired by Unstuffed - as always), I've decided to create my own infused oils.
The first one I tried is olive oil infused with lavender. I tried to pick the lavender at it's peak (approx. week 5 with some of the flowers open), but then got totally over excited and forgot to wilt the flowers to get rid of the moisture before filling the jar with oil. Unstuffed - help - am I going to end up with moldy oil?
Luckily there is still more lavender in the garden so I can make another batch if this one doesn't work out.
Oh and my favourite blend at the moment that I'm using in my olive oil? I've gone back to basics using three oils I learned in that first semester of aromatology. And I'm being a purist and only using one top, one middle and one base note oil.
Here's the blend (in 60ml of olive oil):
Basil (top note) - 8 drops
Lavender (middle note) - 4 drops
Vetiver (base note) - 7 drops
If you want to switch to using olive oil (or any oil) as a moisturizer, apply it when you skin is slightly damp (e.g. right after a shower). The oil will sink right in and won't leave your skin feeling greasy. Do use good quality oil (I use organic extra virgin olive oil).