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Stocking Fillers, Secrete Santas & Small Gifts!

November 2019, posted by Emma

It's the time of year to brush off your decorations, bake mince pies and, inevitably, get stuck into the Christmas shopping. Worry not - we’re here to ease your gift buying worries with a lovely selection of aromatic stocking fillers. In fact, we are delighted to present a selection that Santa’s elves would be proud of! Let’s begin our festive celebrations by introducing some shining stars of our aromatic Christmas.

THE FRUITS

This Season's Favourite - Mandarin (Citrus reticulata)
Citrus fruits, particularly the orange varieties, are intrinsically connected with this time of year. Can you imagine stockings without tangerines nestling in the toes, or mulled wine minus orange slices? Christmas cake, pudding and mince pies also rely on bursts of citrus peel to bring a little zest to the palette.

Mandarins, now sadly simply labelled ‘Easy Peelers’ by many supermarkets, were imported from China to England in 1805. They are possibly descended from wild Indian orange trees which were growing as long as 3,000 years ago. This popular little fruit is said to be simply named after Mandarin speaking Chinese officials. Another popular variety, the tangerine, was named after the seaport from which they were originally exported to the USA: Tangiers. In aromatherapy, mandarin essential oil is fantastic for calming stress and anxiety. In dermal blends it penetrates the skin easily, making it a useful addition to products where a quick therapeutic result is sought. It’s high in monoterpene compounds, so take care with quality control, as it will oxidise more quickly than many essential oils.

To enjoy a full citrus burst this Christmas, try the following

CRACKER FILLERS
ESSENTIAL OILS: 2.5ml mandarin, 2.5ml joie de Vivre blend, 2.5ml Santa's Soice blend
BATH MELTS: Joie de Vivre, mandarin
SKIN CARE: orange lip balm, citrus squash cleanser

GIFT BOXES & SECRETE SANTAS
Joie de Vivre scented candle
Santa'sSpice scented candle
Large Joie de Vivre soap with a 2.5ml bottle of essential oil,
Make your own body wash (200ml body wash & 5ml Joie de Vivre blend)

THE PINES

This Season's Favourite - Black Spruce (Picea mariana)
Conifers smell like Christmas. Why? Because Christmas trees are members of the conifer family, of course! This special cone-bearing tree is a Canadian native. It is rumoured that early North America colonists used spruce needles to make beer, which sounds very festive! Conifer essential oils, including Black Spruce’s cousin Scot’s Pine (Pinus sylvestris), have been used for many years in cleaning products and room fresheners. Medicinal uses include using to ease muscle aches, stimulate poor circulation and to offer support through times of mental fatigue. The therapeutic properties of Black Spruce are often best utilised in inhalations, particularly when its supreme decon
gestant properties are required. Emotionally, Black Spruce is grounding and fortifying. It connects us to our breath, gifting us the space to calm and focus.

To awaken your spirits with the breath-expanding aroma of Black Spruce and other pine essences, try the following:

CRACKER FILLERS
ESSENTIAL OILS: 2.5ml Black Spruce, 2.5ml Elven Forest, 2.5ml Mon Beau Sapin, 2.5ml L'Air de la Foret

GIFT BOXES & SECRETE SANTAS
Mon Beau Sapin scented candle
Large Tea Tree & Lemongrass soap with a 2.5ml bottle of Black Spruce or Elven Forest,
Make your own body wash (200ml body wash & 5ml Black Spruce

THE SPICES

This Season's Favourite - Clove Bud (Eugenia caryophyllus)
Spices have a long history of use in traditional festive fayre. Think Christmas cakes and puddings, mince pies and hot mulled drinks. The unopened flower buds of this evergreen tree are a key ingredient of all. Clove is believed to hail from the spice islands of Indonesia. Historically clove was a highly valued spice, traded along the ancient Silk Road and at the centre of wars fought to secure exclusive sales rights. It is still an important ingredient in spice blends across the globe, including north Indian curries, American meats and European cakes. Did you know that clove flavouring adds a touch of zing to your tomato ketchup and Worcester sauce?

Therapeutically clove has an important role to play in aromatherapy, although its essential oil should be used with care (see below). It is very high in the phenolic compound eugenol, allowing it to act as a local anaesthetic. For this reason it was used in dentistry and home toothache remedies for many years. It is an excellent general stimulant and can be particularly useful when immune function is depleted and spirits are low. It can help ease pain and inflammation, so has a role to play in preparations for achy joints. It has a warm, pungent aroma with deliciously sweet undertones. Inhale a drop to invigorate the spirits and warm the soul. Note that clove essential oil should not be used on children under 2 years, or applied to sensitive or damaged skin. It’s contraindicated with some blood disorders (especially regarding blood clotting) so check with your doctor before using, if needed.

The aroma of clove is beautifully matched with the following:.

CRACKER FILLERS
ESSENTIAL OILS: 2.5ml clove, 2.5ml Elven Forest, 2.5ml Santa's Spice

GIFT BOXES & SECRETE SANTAS
Santa's Spice scented candle
Large Geranium soap with a 2.5ml bottle of Santa's Spice or Peaceful Night

FOR YOU TO PLAY, CREATE & BLEND

We have designed 2 Christmas fragrances, combining the traditional (and less traditional) Christmas aromas

Santa's Spice Elven Forest Rudolph's Bells
This smells just like Christmas Woody & Spicy - A forest with a touch of magic! To boost the immune system & ward-off pesky colds!
1 drop Clove 2 drops Clove 4 drops Sweet Inula
1 drop Cinnamon leaf 2 drops Cinnamon leaf 3 drops Scots Pine
2 drops Nutmeg (Optional) 2 drops May Chang 3 drops Myrtle
3 drops Cardamon 1 drop Spearmint 1 drop Peppermint
3 drops Ginger 2 drops Black Spruce
3 drops Patchouli 2 drops Cedarwood
4 drops Spearmint 2 drops Pine
8 drops Sandalwood 1 drop Eucalyptus radiata
3 drops Mandarin
7 drops Sweet Orange
Makes about 1 ml of oil Makes about 1/2 ml of oil Makes 1/3 ml of oil

Combine the essential oils in a 5 or 10ml bottle.
We have specified how much roughly (always difficult to judge as the size of the drops will depend on the density of the oil), each recipe will make in ml. Vetiver is particularly hard to measure as it is so thick and won't come out of the dropper. The best way is to remove the dropper insert, take a toothpick, dip it in the bottle and let one drop fall out. It will be a larger drop than the rest.

Santa's Spice & Elven Forest are more complex than our usual blends and require a larger palette of oils than you may have. So for those who do not have the selection or the time and inclination to blend - we know this is a busy time of year - we offer the pre-blended forms.

WAYS TO ENJOY YOUR BLENDS

DIFFUSER
Add a few drops to your diffuser or essential oil burner when desired. The no of drops depends on the size of the room. Start with 5 or 6 and add more depending on the scent throw required.

MAKE YOUR OWN TEA LIGHTS
Why not make your own tea lights with the aroma of your choice. They are very easy and quick to make and will infuse your room with classic festive aromas.
We have put together a pack to make 5 soya wax tea lights. This will require a 5ml bottle of essential oil of your choice which can be purchased separetely. Burning time for each tea light is 4 hours.
The casing can be re-used a few times.

POT-POURRIS
We have put together 2 combinations made with our organic herbs

  • Spice & with Cinnamon sticks, clove buds, star anis, calendula flowers, peppermint leaves,
  • Spice & with Cinnamon sticks, rose petals, violet flowers, lavender flowers, roots,
    Pour the herb in a display bowl, add 10 to 15 drops of the essential oil blend, mix well and enjoy. When the aroma starts fading, add more drops and mix and so on…

SCENTED CANDLES

We have given our scented candles a new look, replacing the aluminium jar with a stylish lidded glass jar that can easily be re-used

They come in the popular fragrances
Joie de Vivre
Lilac Haze
Mon Beau Sapin

We hope you have enjoyed our newsletter, the ideas and gifts it aims to provide.
We thank you for your trust and support over the last year and wish you a wonderful, aromatic Christmas

from Isabelle, Emma and the Materia Aromatica team.

References
• Battaglia S (2018) Black Spruce Monograph, accessed 18/11/18, available from
http://www.salvatorebattaglia.com.au/?s=black+spruce
• Britannica.com (2019) Clove plant and spice, https://www.britannica.com/plant/clove
• Harvest to Table (2016-19) A History of the Mandarin Orange, accessed 06/11/19, available from
https://harvesttotable.com/a_history_of_the_mandarin_oran/
• Mojay G (2015) Aromatherapy & Oriental Medicine Reference Notes (ITHMA course text, unpublished).
• McCormick Science Institute (date unknown) Cloves, accessed 06/11/19, available from
https://www.mccormickscienceinstitute.com/resources/culinary-spices/herbs-spices/cloves
• New Crop Resource Online Program (2017) Mandarin Orange (Citrus reticulata), accessed 06/11/19, available from
https://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/morton/mandarin_orange.html
• Peace Rhind J (2012) Essential Oils (second edition), London & Philadelphia; Singing Dragon
• Still Point Aromatics (date unknown), Black Spruce, Picea mariana, accessed 18/11/18, available from
https://www.stillpointaromatics.com/black-spruce-Picea-mariana-essential-oil-aromatherapy
• UCLA: History and Special Collections, Louise M Darling Biomedical Library (2002) Clove, accessed 06/11/19, available from
https://unitproj.library.ucla.edu/biomed/spice/index.cfm?displayID=7