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Summer into Autumn

October 2016

I can hardly believe its autumn already, but it’s been a great summer! One of the things I loved most about the sunshine months was taking my aromatherapy work to festivals. I’ve discovered a common pattern amongst clients whilst working at music and other festivals. For the first few days people tend to bounce into my aromatherapy and massage tent, often sprinkled with mud and glitter, occasionally dressed as unicorns and full of the joys of life. The final day however can be very different; sleep deprivation and over-indulgence giving rise to frayed emotions.

In The Art of Aromatherapy Robert Tisserand reminded us that ‘Aromatics have been used for states of emotional disturbance since the times when they were first used as incense’. One of my favourite oils to support fragile emotions is Frankincense (Boswellia carterii). With its ability to encourage slower, deeper breathing and focus the mind I find it helpful for anxious states. Gabriel Mojay writes that this is an oil which can both relax and re-vitalise, so it's one I often also reach for with emotionally exhausted clients. Petitgrain, extracted from the leaf of the bitter orange tree (Citrus aurantium), is another of my favourites.
It’s rich in the ester chemical family, making it great for encouraging feelings of calm. Petitgrain’s flowery aroma also promotes optimism and it blends beautifully with frankincense.

I also often add Cypress essential oil (Cupressus sempervirens) to my blending bowl when clients are stressed, sad or despondent, in order to harness this oil’s wonderful optimistic and uplifting qualities. Along with frankincense and petitgrain, this oil wonderful conifer oil has proved useful in soothing frazzled minds and supporting my festival clients through the final day of their festivities.

If you’re feeling emotionally frazzled yourself try one of our recipes suggested on this page. When working with the emotions it can be good to use fewer drops of essential oils than usual; less can be sometimes be more! We all respond individually to aromas, so try different essential oils if the scent of these blends isn’t quite right for you. Add a total of 8-10 essential oil drops to 30ml to one of our carefully blended carrier oils (facial, dry or normal skin). Gently massage into your face and wrists, so you can smell the aroma. Alternatively add your essential oil drops to 50mls of lavender or rose floral water, pour into a spray top bottle, shake well and use to gently scent your clothes or pillow.


  • 30mls carrier oil
  • Frankincense (Boswellia carterii) 4 drops
  • Cedarwood (Cedrus atlantica) 2 drops
  • Rose (Rosa damascena) 5 drops


  • 30mls carrier oil
  • Petitgrain (Citrus aurantium) 4 drops
  • Neroli (Citrus bigaradia) 3 drops
  • Sweet Orange (Citrus sinensis) 3 drops
  • Frankincense (Boswellia carterii) 2 drops


  • 30mls carrier oil
  • Cypress (Cupressus sempervirens) 3 drops
  • Sandalwood (sustainably resourced Santalum austrocalednonicum) 3 drops
  • Palmarosa (Cympopogon martinii) 4 drops


  • Davis P (1988) Aromatherapy an A-Z, Saffron Weldon: Daniel
  • Lawless J (1995) The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils, Dorset, Massachusetts & Victoria: Element
  • Loughram K & Ruah (2000) Aromatherapy & Subtle Energy Techniques, California, Frog Ltd
  • Mojay G (1996) Aromatherapy for Healing the Spirit, London: Gaia Books Limited
  • Tisserand RB (1977) The Art of Aromatherapy, Vermont, Healing Arts Press (quote p. 96)
  • Worwood VA (1996) The Fragrant Mind, London; Bantam