Materia Aromatica July 2008 Newsletter & Special Offers


July 2008

Dear {firstname},

Black Spruce is not widely used in aromatherapy but those who have discovered it have found it intriguing. Over the last few months, we have received many requests to provide a fact sheet on this unusual oil as there is very little information that can be found on it.
Although distilled from the needles of a coniferous tree, the aroma of the oil is not typical of the well-known resinous notes of juniper, cypress and pine or even the cineolic notes of eucalyptus and tea tree. It combines the freshness of these oils with a tenacious sweet note which gives the oil a fresh, floral, up-lifting aroma. It is ideal to add into any blends designed to help the respiratory tract. It takes the blend away from a slightly medicinal and volatile note and gives it not only a seductive, calming, fresh and fruity aroma but one that will last for many hours to come.

Vegetable oil blends
We created these popular blends a few years ago, when our range of organic vegetable oils was still at an early stage and the selection available to us was not so large. As the years have gone by and our range has expanded, we are now spoiled for choice and thought it was time to redesign the blends to include those oils with specific therapeutic properties that will improve and benefit our skin.

Black Spruce

Picea mariana (Family: Pinaceae)



Black Spruce is a coniferous evergreen tree, native to northern North America, from Newfoundland west to Alaska, in a geographical region known as the taiga forest. Common names include ‘Bog spruce’ and ‘Swamp Spruce’ as Black Spruce forests develop most successfully in peat bogs and swamps, on soils naturally poor in nutrients.
It is a small up-right, slow growing tree (up to 25 m), with a narrow trunk, four sided dark blue-green needles and a thin bark. The fruits are small purple cones turning brown to dark grey at maturity. They are gathered in thick clusters in the upper crown of the trees and persist for several years protecting the seeds within.
The tree is bad at ‘self-pruning’ and will keep its lower dead branches for years.
Its root system is shallow and spreads widely in the first 15 cm of organic soil.
Ground wildfires are frequent in Black Spruce forests, easily fed by the lichen that grows on the dead branches at ground level, and prevent the development of uneven aged forests. The trees are easily killed because of their shallow root system and their thin bark. The species survive thanks to the post fire adaptations of delayed seed fall and delayed germination. Following a fire, seeds are released in large numbers, germinate and establish to form a new even aged forest. It will take 10 years for the young trees to produce new cones and guarantee the survival of the forest.
Similar essential oil-bearing species include Norway or Common Spruce (Picea abies), White Spruce (Picea glauca) and Hemlock Spruce (Tsuga canadensis). 

For Allergies, Asthma Essential Oil Blend
To prevent attacks of hay fever
and allergic asthma

Blend the following essential oils, add 6 drops
in a bath or 10 drops in a burner. Add 2%
dilution in a base cream or oil, and massage
over the sinuses or / and the chest

3 drops Black Spruce
3 drops Frankincense
2 drops Rosalina
2 drops Bergamot

For tired, achy muscles, stiff and painful
joints and osteoarthritis In a 50 ml bottle
of base oil
or cream, blend (at 2% dilution)

10 drops Black Spruce
10 drops Juniper
6 drops Eucalyptus globulus
4 drops Peppermint


Due to the small diameter of its trunk, black spruce has rarely been used for its timber. It has been used traditionally in Canada for pulpwood and as such is still widely commercialised.
The trees were also commonly used as Christmas trees although they have become a lot less popular due to the fact that they lose their needles as soon as they have been fell.


The essential oil of Black Spruce is steam-distilled from the needles and twigs of the Canadian Black Spruce tree, Picea mariana, also known as Abies nigra, Abies mariana, Picea nigra, Pinus nigra.
Black Spruce essential oil has a fresh-balsamic, oily-sweet coniferous aroma, with a fruity-resinous undertone.
The effect of the fragrance is calming, clearing and elevating - a excellent essential oil for aerial dispersion and to enhance yoga and meditation.



In terms of its chemical constituents, the essential oil is rich in monoterpenes including alpha- and beta-pinene, delta-3-carene, camphene, l-alpha-phellandrene; and esters including bornyl acetate.

For depleted and overworked
adrenal glands
Involving deficient Kidney-Qi
characterized by chronic fatigue,
lower back pain and poor sexual

In 50 ml of base oil, cream or gel,
blend the following essential oils
(2% dilution)

10 drops black spruce
8 drops Atlas Cedar
4 drops Thyme ct linalol
4 drops thyme ct thymol
4 drops ginger

For poor self-confidence, low moral,
melancholy and a negative outlook

To burn or add 6 drops into a bath

10 drops black spruce
10 drops Frankincense
6 drops Clary Sage
4 drops Rosemary, ct cineole 1.8


Reported to be analgesic, counterirritant, stimulant and vulnerary, decoctions of Black Spruce were a traditional North American folk remedy for cough, catarrh, dyspnoea, sore throat, rheumatic pain, arthritis, dyspepsia, boils, abrasions and minor wounds.

Like essential oil of Pinus sylvestris, Picea mariana is commonly used in the treatment of respiratory conditions such as catarrhal coughs, bronchitis and asthma, for its mildly expectorant and antitussive properties. Here it may be employed as an inhalant or as part of chest rub formula.

It may also be used for problems of a musculoskeletal nature such as tired, achy muscles, stiff and painful joints, and osteoarthritis.

The fact that essential oil of Picea mariana is rich in the monterpenes a- and b-pinene and d-3-carene has meant that the oil has often been recommended for restoring depleted and overworked adrenal glands. In terms of Oriental medicine, this reflects its ability to strengthen deficient Kidney-Qi, characterized by chronic fatigue, lower back pain and poor sexual vitality.

Black Spruce essential oil may be considered wherever there is poor self-confidence, low morale, melancholy and a negative outlook.


Black Spruce will blend with all the fresh and pungent oils such as eucalyptus, rosemary, tea tree, rosalina, fragonia, frankincense. With its sweet floral undertone, black spruce will play as a middle note holding the blend together to ensure it provides a long lasting aroma.
It will also blend well with some of the citrus oils such as lemon and bergamot so useful for any catarrhal or asthmatic complaints.


Vegetable Oil Blends

The following blends have been designed, using Materia Aromatica organic vegetable oils only. All ingredients are certified by Soil Association Certification Ltd. The oils are cold-pressed and filtered. They have not gone through any refining process and have not been deodorised or discoloured.
The ingredients for the following blends have been carefully chosen to maximise the therapeutic properties of the blend for a particular skin type or application.
The blends can be used as part of an aromatherapy treatment. To minimise the cost, they can be blended (50-50) with a cheaper oil such as sunflower, sesame or safflower. They can also be used on a daily basis, as a body oil. 1 to 3% essential oil can be added if desired.

We have also designed 2 new blends.  


Argan, Rosehip & Borage

The blend combines 3 oils most suited to encourage tissue repair and cell regeneration. Argan has amazing softening and nutritive qualities. It is a free-radical scavenger and is rich in Vitamin E. It combines well with Rosehip which works at a deep level to reduce scarring and discolouration. Borage, with a high GLA content, will contribute to re-hydrate and regenerate the tissues.
To use locally over scar tissue, deep wrinkles or damaged skin. 0.5% to 1% of helichrysum essential oil can also be added if desired. Do not apply over open scars but wait until the tissues have healed.
The blend can also be used to help prevent stretch marks. Use twice a day after a bath or shower or whenever it is needed when the skin gets taut and itchy. It would also be useful after the birth to help the tissues return to their normal shape.


Sesame, Avocado, Macadamia & Rosehip

The blend combines oils which will promote re-hydration of the skin and will help regenerate cells and tissues damaged by a long exposure to the drying and burning effect of the sun.
Apply after a day in the sun or on sunburns.
Caution: Sesame naturally contains sun protection agents. However this is not enough to protect the skin from the UV rays of the sun and the oil must not be used instead of sun cream.



VEGETABALE OILS BLENDS Ingredients 100 ml 250 ml 500 ml 1 L
Trade Retail Trade Retail Trade Retail Trade Retail
Dry Skin Argan, Calendula,
Jojoba, acadamia, Apricot & Evening Primrose
£8.00 £10.00 £16.24 £20.30 £26.24 £32.80 £40.80 £51.00
Mature Skin Argan, Macadamia, Rosehip, Evening Primrose & Borage 7.92 9.90 15.20 19.00 24.80 31.00 40.00 50.00
Normal Skin Sunflower, Sesame, Safflower & Walnut 5.44 6.80 8.40 10.50 12.80 16.00 21.20 26.50
Oily Skin Argan, Carrot macerated oil in
sunflower, macadamia, Avocado, Sesame & Jojoba
7.20 9.00 13.60 17.00 21.20 26.50 32.40 40.50
Facial Oil Argan, Carrot macerated oil in Sunflower Macadamia, Avocado, Sesame & Jojoba 7.60 9.50 14.80 18.50 23.52 29.40 36.00 45.00
Head & Hair     Coconut, Calendula, Jojoba & Argan 7.84 9.80 15.52


24.80 31.00 38.08


Tissue Repair Oil Argan, Rosehip & Borage 9.60 12.00 16.80 21.00 28.80 36.00 - -
After Sun Oil Sesame, Avocado,
Macadamia & Rosehip
7.20 9.00 13.60 17.00 21.20 26.50 32.40 40.50



(Valid until 31st August 2008)
Prices include discount, VAT and postage
No other discount applies

* * * * *

ESSENTIAL OILS ~ 20% off 5 ml and 12 ml
Oils listed as organic are certified by Soil Association Certification Ltd 


ESSENTIAL OILS Grade 5 ml 12 ml
Trade Retail Trade Retail
Citrus aurantium    
Organic £3.04 £3.80 £5.89 £7.36
Chamomile Roman
Anthemis nobile
Organic 12.00 15.00 23.04 28.80
Coriandrum sativum
Organic 3.97 4.96 7.65 9.56
Cupressus sempervirens
Organic 2.94 3.68 5.63 7.04
Eucalyptus globulus
Eucalyptus globulus
Organic 2.18 2.72 4.16 5.20
Boswellia carterii


4.16 5.20 8.00


Juniperus communis
Organic 4.16 5.20 8.00 10.00
Laurus nobile
Organic 4.13 5.16 7.94 9.92
Lavender, Spike
Lavendula latifolia
Organic 2.88 3.60 5.57 6.96
Ravensara aromatica
Organic 2.98 3.72 5.70 7.12


* * * * *

ABSOLUTES & ATTARS ~ 20% off 2.5, 5 and 12 ml size bottles

Attars are the result of the hydr-distillation of flowers or aromatic material in pure sandalwood oil

Absolutes are solvent extracted



ABSOLUTES & ATTARS Pure & Undiluted In organic Jojoba
5% dilution
2.5 ml 5 ml 12 ml 30 ml
Trade Retail Trade Retail Trade Retail Trade Retail
Champaka (Attar)
Michaela champaka
£12.96 £16.20 £22.53 £28.16 £7.87 £9.84 £18.35 £22.08
Gulab (Rose Attar)
Rosa damascena
12.96 16.20 22.53 28.16 7.87 9.84 18.35 22.08
Keora (Attar)
Pandamus odoratissimus
12.96 16.20 22.53 28.16 7.87 9.84 18.35 22.08
Mitti (Attar)
Baked earth
12.96 16.20 22.53 28.16 7.87 9.84 18.35 22.08
Motia (Attar)
Jasmine Sambac    
12.96 16.20 22.53


7.87 9.84 18.35


Rose (Absolute)
Rosa damascena
10.37 12.96 17.60 22.00 7.87 9.84 18.35 22.08
Tuberose (Absolute)
Polianthes tuberosa
30.40 38.00 41.50 52.00 9.60 12.00 18.56 23.20


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