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Why Essential Oils

EO stands for essential oils.

For over twenty years the aromatic essences of fruits, flowers, resins, trees and spices have been the heart and soul of everything we do.


Essential oils have been regarded with awe for centuries. The name ‘essential oil’ comes from theories in the Middle Ages of the fabled fifth element. There were believed to be four basic elements that made up all of existence: fire, water, air and earth. The elusive ‘soul’ of things was called the quintessential element or the fifth element. Over time it was shortened to essential. Alchemists swore that this element could change iron to gold…some believed it was the substance that held the planets in their orbits.


While we are relatively sure that they won’t turn iron into gold, essential oils do have unique chemical makeups that captivate the minds and hearts of people around the world. It’s hard not to fall in love with a tiny bottle that contains the concentrated essence of hundreds of plants.

Most essential oils today are steam distilled. This process separates out the aromatic essential oils from the solid plant matter. With steam distillation it can take thousands of pounds of plant matter to create just one liter of essential oil.

Other methods include expelling and solvent extraction. Expelling is simply using pressure to squeeze the essential oil out of the plant. This method is generally used for citrus oils. Solvent extraction uses substances such as CO2 to extract the essential oil. This method is used for delicate plants such as Rose and Jasmine which can be too fragile to withstand the distillation process.


Around the world, essential oils are being studied in modern clinical trials to try to substantiate ancient claims of healing. Essential oils are being studied for their effectiveness as antibacterial agents, fungicides, insecticides, pain relief, stress reduction and skin problems.

More than anything else, essential oils are scents. Both perfumery and aromatherapy have waxed poetic about the purity of plant essences. Many of today’s most well known perfumes are made with essential oils. The most iconic of them all, Chanel No. 5 has a distinct note of Ylang Ylang that is instantly recognizable.


Aromatherapy stems from the use of scent to help with mood and relaxation. Scent is one of the most impactful senses, it is the only place in the human body where the outside world comes into direct contact with the central nervous system. Scent is perhaps the sense with the most powerful influence on our emotional state. Scents travel through the nose and into the primitive centers of the brain before reaching the logic centers. We actually feel a scent before thinking about it.

Aromatherapy is the practice of stimulating wellbeing through scent. Modern clinical studies have substantiated a few of the claims, such as Lavender's calming properties. However, scent seems to be very subjective. One person may relate a scent to feeling calm while others find that same scent energizing. So, while we can generalize with how scents make some people feel, the individual still has to try it for themselves to see what they love.


The best way to start using essential oils is to start smelling them. Choose a bottle and open the cap. Take a deep inhalation, just letting the scent infuse your nose. Don’t think too hard, rather feel how it affects you. Essential oils are alive and they will speak to you in their own way. Remember, aromatherapy isn’t supposed to be rocket science… it’s just good scents.