Bergamot

Bergamot Origin

Bergamot has been used for hundreds of years by perfumers in Western Europe for its ability to mingle with other fragrances. Its medicinal history dates back to the 16th century when the Italians used the oil for fevers, as an antiseptic, for respiratory problems and skin ailments.

The tree has a curious history. Some say that the evergreen tree is a cross between an orange and lemon and others say it is a cross with a grapefruit. There are those who argue that it is native to Asia and others to Greece. Another legend is that Christopher Columbus took the tree to the Caribbean and elsewhere where it was used in voodoo to protect oneself against harm.

Whatever the history, it appears that the name came from Bergamo in Lombardy, Italy where it was first sold.  It is the Italians who have the largest production of bergamots. The Greeks attest that the name came from Turkish word meaning “the lord’s pear”.

Bergamot Essential Oil

The tree is relatively small, growing only to 13 feet. The small fruit itself is yellow when ripe and is sour and basically non-edible. It is the peel that is cold pressed to make the fruit. It takes approximately 100 bergamots to make 3 ounces of oil.

The components make it useful as an antifungal, anti-inflammatory and antidepressant  essential oil. It is known to be a rival of lavender essential when relaxing the mind.

The aroma is crisp, tart with a peppery spicy undertone. You can find bergamot essential oil in HollyBeth’s flourish roll on perfume, marigold bergamot dry oil, citrus cream and citrus spray.

Essential Oils & Aromatherapy

flourishslider

Essential Oils & Aromatherapy

History

Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines aromatherapy as “the use of natural oils that have a pleasant smell to make a person feel better especially by rubbing the oils into the skin.” The use of essential oils for aromatherapy dates back over 6,000 year ago to Egyptian times, spreading quickly to Israel, Greece, and Rome. Throughout the entire Mediterranean region, essential oils were used in massages, burned in incense, and utilized as perfumes for their fragrant, energizing properties. Though the use of essential oils began to decline upon the arrival of modern science, a contemporary resurgence and enthusiasm has reignited the use of these naturally powerful oils.

Aromatherapeutic Flourish Calming Perfume

Each essential oil delivers its own fragrance and therapeutic benefit. HollyBeth designed her new Flourish Calming Perfume to evoke feelings of tranquility and reduce stress utilizing specific essential oils known to calm the senses (and smell great!).  The earthy, citrus perfume utilizes bergamot, cedarwood, and ylang ylang to ease stress and relieve anxiety, marjoram to combat fatigue, and rose geranium and chamomile to soothe and uplift the spirits. Simply apply the perfume to the skin via rollerball application, allow to dry, and inhale the aroma deeply. Voila! An instant mood boost.

Whether you’ve had a tiring day of traveling, a long day at work, or just want to smell something pleasing, revive your spirits with some of Mother Nature’s stress-relieving oils.

Marjoram

marjorampic

History

Marjoram (Organum Marjorana) is a perennial herb belonging to the mint family. With rounded, pale green leaves, Marjoram is often mistaken for oregano; however, it has a sweeter taste and a more delicate nature, preferring moister soil and warmer climates. Originating in Asia Minor and the Mediterranean region, the herb was acclaimed in Egyptian, Roman, and Greek culture. The Greeks called marjoram “joy of the mountain,” crowing newly married couples with it as a celebration of love and good fortune. Aphrodite, the goddess of love, was said to grow and treasure marjoram, making it a popular herb for love spells. When placed under the pillow of a young woman, it was believed to reveal her future husband in her dreams.

Medicinal Uses

Marjoram is also renowned for its medicinal properties. Extremely beneficial to the stomach, it aids in digestion, calms cramps, alleviates nausea, and relieves upset bowels. Its antiseptic, antiviral, and antibacterial properties help the body fight sickness, including food poisoning, malaria, staph, and the flu. Marjoram even improves circulatory function, helping lower blood pressure and cholesterol, while its anti-inflammatory properties soothe head, body, tooth, and muscle aches.

Aromatherapy

Marjoram’s aromatic properties make it the ultimate stress reliever. Testing has shown that marjoram’s tranquil aroma relaxes brain waves. It soothes the senses, alleviates anxiety, reduces stress, and even helps with insomnia.

Marjoram’s warm, woodsy fragrance and natural calming abilities are celebrated in HollyBeth Organics’ new Flourish® calming perfume. This double-duty perfume delights the senses and the mind.

Riviera Reverie

photo courtesy of www.theyachthouse.com

July is often a daydreamy kind of month. Sometimes, especially in the South, when it’s so hot and humid that I can barely move, my thoughts tend to drift out the window to a faraway place. With Bastille Day arriving earlier this week, and from my days in the studio sniffing our Lavender Hand Cream, I’ve found myself drifting off to the French Riviera. Several years ago I took a trip to France and ended up in Eze, which is on the coast, not far from Nice. We visited an outpost of Fragonard, a French ‘parfumeur’ that is almost a century old.  As I remember it (and that’s all that matters, isn’t it? How we remember places we’ve seen, not how they actually are?) Eze was something out of a dream—all crumbly stone walls, blanketed in crawling vines and flowers. At the perfumery, we took a workshop on aromatherapy and learned about the process of making perfume. Do I remember anything specific that I learned that day? No, of course not. What I do remember is the lovely, smiling people, and the place that looked so old and crumbling, but that all my senses told me was very much alive and breathing.

Another old yet alive and breathing place, so very far from the French Riviera, is St. Simons, a barrier island of the coast of Georgia. My family has been making a yearly pilgrimage there for many decades now, and our next trip is next week. There is certainly not an historic perfumery on St. Simons, nor are there fields of lavender, but there are hanging curtains of Spanish moss, magnolia blooms, and warm, salty-spray air. It is a dreamy place in its own right, with its own soul.

Where are some of your dreamy places? What smells, flowers, or colors take you back to them?

vetiver essential oil

Vetiver_Roots

 

Vetiver, “aroma of tranquilty” is a grass that is native to India, Sri Lanka, and Indonesia and cultivated from Brazil to Reunion. The grass has numerous uses that include erosion control (animals will not eat it) to making mats and blinds. The essential oil is unique as it is derived from the roots whereas most essential oils are from the flower. The essential oil is best known in perfumery, however it is also known to have the following properties, calming, anti-inflammatory and to stimulate hair growth. It’s aroma is earthy, woodsy and smoky but when blended with other essential oils it binds the notes and takes a back seat. I combined it with chocolate peppermint essential oil to create our popular hair & body silk.