There are endless ways to pair together various notes to get a fragrance that's uniquely you. I lust after cherry-tobacco scents for instance, but one of my go-to parings is Aveda's Vanilla Absolute ($26) with Sandalwood Essential Oil ($26). Renowned perfumer Mandal Aftel recommends clary sage and rosewood or patchouli with either rose, ylang ylang, or frankincense. But what about you? What scent combinations appeal to you most?
As much as I love testing beauty products, there are times when I wonder if I'll even remember to put on one more thing! However, that's not the case with Hollybeth's Wildflower Dry Oil. The elixir of botanical infusions and plant extracts (95 percent organic!) provides unparalleled moisture for my dryness. Normally, even my favorite face cream seems to vanish by morning, yet this leaves my skin feeling smooth after a night of shuteye. Simply use the included eyedropper (which can double as a cap) to drip onto fingers before applying to the flowery-scented oil to your face and neck twice daily.
It's said to diminish fine lines and counteract the formation of free radicals. Now, I've only been using it for a week so I can't report any visible changes, but I do know that I don't want to stop touching my soft face. Even with a big price tag of $40 (for 0.5 fl. oz.), I'd not only recommend it for wintry dry skin, but also because the company participates in UNICEF's Inspired Gifts program. With proceeds from sales in 2009, they've committed to purchase five water pumps, each one will providing clean, safe drinking water for an entire community. It's a nice way to feel like you're helping others while also helping yourself.
If you did a lot of cooking over the Thanksgiving holiday, I'm sure you did a lot of dishes. And if you did a lot of dishes, I'm sure your hands are feeling the effects. Even if you weren't scrubbing away, the cooler months often produce dry hands that need some extra TLC. So, if you're looking for an easy do-it-yourself treatment, I learned this great combo while holiday shopping at an Aveda store last year.
In your hands, mix the following, work in for an invigorating massage, and rinse away: about a quarter-sized amount of Hand Relief ($19), a scoop of Soothing Aqua Therapy ($28.50) bath salts, and a few drops of your favorite essential oil. Currently, I'm really digging Patchouli Oil ($13). Psst — you can use drugstore ingredients, too. The results are still luxurious. Aaah.
The color lavender is a pale shade of purple, however the Lavender plant has leaves, seeds, flowers and a rich scent which is often used in foods, medicines and dyes. Its name is derived from the Latin root, "lavare" (to wash) since the Romans used to add lavender to their baths.
Lavender has many uses. Not only is it part of Herbes de Provence and can be added to both sweet and savory cuisines (it's actually part of the mint family), but it can also be dried and made into sachets and potpourri.
In the beauty world, lavender oil is used frequently because of its calming, soothing and antiseptic qualities. It can be found in shampoos, soaps, bath and body products, fragrances and cosmetics. Do you have a favorite lavender scented product?
Jasmine is a vine that breeds white, star-shaped flowers (some varieties are yellow or purple). They grow from April to September and there are more than 200 known species. The flowers give off a sweet, strong scent popular in women's fragrances, and when pressed, their essential oil can be extracted through an expensive and elaborate process called enflourage.
The highest quality of jasmine is grown in the perfumery capitol of Grasse, France. It also grows naturally in India, China, and Australia. Jasmine is also used in a raw form to balance hormones, treat depression, improve the appearance of stretch marks, and soothe sensitive skin. It is used in tea to calm nerves and to reduce headaches. Additionally, Yasmin (Persian for Jasmine) is a popular name for girls.
Clary Sage is a Spanish flowering herb that can be distilled to produce a sweet and nutty essential oil. The oil comes from the purple flowers and the leaves of the plant and is often used as an antiseptic, a holistic treatment for the kidneys and the stomach, and a calming agent for anxiety and nervousness. It has actually been known to create a kind of light-headed euphoric feeling, which is why it should be avoided when pregnant.
In small quantities, clary sage is also commonly used in women's fragrances and bath and body products. Lisa Hoffman likes it so much that she named one of her Variations scents after the plant.
I am not sure why, but I have been under the impression that bergamot — an ingredient I often come across in fragrances — is a spiny flower. Indeed it is, but did you know that the Italian and Ivory Coast-based plant also produces a pear-shaped yellow citrus fruit? (It is not, however, related to the bergamot herb.)
The skin of the fruit yields a delicate, yet spicy, essential oil that is found in one-third of all fragrances. It is also used to treat acne, eczema, and sebhorrhea. When it's not being used for its aroma, it can be found in Earl Grey tea (it aids digestion), insect repellent, and medications that treat urinary tract infections and depression.
Melissa is a sweet- and pleasant-smelling essential oil that is also commonly referred to as lemon balm. In Greek, Melissa means honey bee and the plant is often found growing near bee hives. It is considered to be one of the most medicinally powerful oils in aromatherapy practice due to its strong antiviral, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and sedative qualities.
Since it is antiviral, it is a safe and effective cold-sore treatment. In addition, its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties also make it a terrific, nondrying and nonabrasive spot treatment.
Melissa is expensive because it takes anywhere from three to seven tons of plants to make one pound of oil. Therefore, it is usually diluted to make it more affordable. Melissa oil is associated with helping nervous disorders, headaches, and emotional imbalances such as anxiety and stress.
Neroli is an extremely precious and expensive material. It is a fragrant oil that comes from the orange blossom (also known as the bitter orange flower) and it grows mainly in Morocco, Tunisia, Spain and various other areas of southern Europe. It has a soft, fruity smell that has become increasingly popular in many of today's fragrances.
One of the reasons neroli oil is so costly is because once the blossoms are picked, they are almost immediately distilled since the quality of the oil will weaken once the flowers begin to wilt. Therefore, it can not be harvested and dried should any crop issues arise.
Neroli oil has many different beauty benefits such as excellent skin toning and brightening properties. It is also good for problematic (blemished) skin, stretch marks, scars and mature skin since it improves elasticity as well as circulation.
Other common uses for neroli include antiseptics and antibacterials. It is also believed to treat those who experience hormonal surges during menopause or bouts of PMS — good to know!
Spicing things up in your love life doesn't always have to involve taking off your clothes - you may just need to take off your shoes and socks.
Whether you are the giver or the receiver, both people benefit from a foot massage. Of course the receiver will experience less stress and pain relief, increased circulation, and unexplainable pleasure, but the giver reaps the benefits too. It's a very caring, and nurturing act that's sure to deepen the connection you feel with the other person.
Want to know how to give an incredible foot massage? Then read more