Materia Aromatica November 2009 Newsletter and Special Offers



We are now settled in Devon, between Totness and Ivybridge, in beautiful rolling countryside, a short-distance away from both the moors and the beach. The view is beautiful whether the sun shines or it rains. The peace is hard to believe after the hustle and bustle of London Life - no more planes or the sound of heavy traffic but the air echoing with the sounds of a rich wild life. We moved into our new house whilst a couple of swallows were bringing up their young's in a nest they had built under the bathroom window. Here are 2 of the youngsters on their first outing, 50 cm away from the safety of their nest. They waited all day, perched on the wire, for their parents to return with their beak full of juicy insects! The two adults did not stop a second flying back and fro, feeding their babies in mid-air not to waste any useful time!

Many of you have been waiting for our most recent newsletter.  It has been a busy few weeks sorting out the stock, finding a place for everything and getting used to our new way of life.  Among all this, we have not forgetten to expand on our research and are pleased to introduce a new essential oil.

Galbanum is a medicinal plant that has been used for thousands of years by ancient civilisations.  It has many useful therapeutic properties and helps with conditions involving the respiratory tract, nervous tension, rheumatism and sluggish digestion. it is also prized to improve skin conditions such as dryness, inflammation, wrinkles and scarring.  It has a earthy and green leafy aroma, persistent without being overpowering, offering as such an ideal enriching base in natural perfumery.  It is a versatile oil that will blend well with many others.  




    Ferula galbaniflua

Galbanum essential oil is steam-distilled from the gum of a species of Ferula, a family of giant fennels.


It is native to southern Europe, North Africa and western Asia also it is thought that the plant originates from Iran. It grows particularly well in India and Iran and it is from the latter that the oil comes from. The plant has the characteristics of its smaller relatives - umbels of small white flowers, finely toothed leaves and a thick stalk - but it can grow to a height of 2 m.


The plant was highly regarded by the ancient populations. The Egyptians used it their religious ceremonies and it was part of the ingredients used in their embalming procedures.
The Hebrews used it in their anointing oils and the Greeks mention it as being sedative, antispasmodic with diuretic properties.
In classical Ayurvedic Medicine, it is considered to exert a balancing action on all three doshas: vata, pitta and kapha.


The stem contains resin ducts that carry a milky oleoresin. Incision are made at the base of the stalk from which the gum runs and hardens in the shape of brown tears. The tears are then steam-destilled to produce an essential oil which is clear in colour. Despite belonging to the Apiaceae family, the oil of galbanum does not share in any way the aroma of its relatives. It has a leafy-green earthy odour, with a slightly bitter rooty note - a strong and powerful but not overwhelming fragrance.
Chemically, the oil is rich in monoterpenes including alpha and beta-pinene, delta-3-carene, camphene, 1-alpha phellandrene, and esters including bornyl acetate.


  • Respiratory tracts: Combined with pine, it is useful in case of catarrhal coughs and bronchitis.
  • Dry & mature skin: It is useful for skin disorders involving abscesses and inflammations and is particularly useful to promote the formation of scar tissue. Use in combination with other pertinent oils such as rosehip, borage, argan, frankincense, neroli.
  • Antirheumatic: The oil may be used for muscular stiffness and pain and osteo-arthritis. Combine for example with rosemary cineole 1.8, frankincense and ginger.
  • Digestive stimulant: The oil helps with complaints of poor appetite, abdominal pain and gastrointestinal spasm. Blend with orange, cardamon, petitgrain and peppermint.
  • Nervous tension & Stress related complaints: The oil imbues a feeling of calm, grounded focus. This is due to its ability to smooth the flow of Qi and act as a nervine antispasmodic, in a similar manner to another gum resin: frankincense.


Galbanum can play a useful role in the creation of a perfume as an enriching base and as a fixative. It has a strong aroma so very little is needed but it is flexible and will ‘get on’ with many oils and add a unmistakable ‘je ne sais quoi’ to your creation.

For masculine scent, it will blend well with all the woody oils, cedarwood, sandalwood, vetiver, cypress …

For a more feminine accord, it will blend well with all the citrus oils, bergamot, lemon, mandarin, orange, and even some of the more flowery aromas such as palmarosa and geranium.

Galbanum will also blend well with all spices, black pepper, cardamon, ginger ...

The possibilities are endless ...


Retail: 5 ml: £ 9.56                         12 ml: £ 18.00                            30 ml: £ 40.32

Trade: 5 ml: £ 9.56                         12 ml: £ 18.00                            30 ml: £ 40.32


(Bibliography: The Encyclopedia of plants and oils and how they can help you by Daniele Ryman / Gabriel Mojay: Course notes)

Special Offers

end on 31st December 2009

20% off retail & trade prices on a selection of items

Follow the links to access the Special Offers Section of the website





As usual we have a selection of 10 essential oils in 5ml, 12ml and 30ml prices

Basil                             Cajeput                            Marjoram                             May Chang                    Palmarosa

Rosalina                       Rosemary Camphor       Spanish Sage                    Spikenard                      Black Spruce            


SOFT BAGS - 36 and 5 hole sizes





Dispersion of essential oil in pure mountain spring water

Neroli & Rose


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