Frankincense is derived from the sap from the Boswell tree. When dried, frankincense is used as incense. When steam distilled it is an essential oil. The country of Oman is thought to be the oldest producer of frankincense. However it is produced in the Middle East, Africa and India.
Frankincense has a long history in the Middle East, mostly in religious ceremonies such as funerals. In Egypt it was ground to make kohl and used as an eyeliner and was thought to improve vision. Apparently Emperor Nero used a balm made with frankincense to decrease the effects around his eyes from a night of debauchery. When distilled as oil it was used as a perfume. And of course the most popular story is that it was given to Jesus as a gift by the three wise men to ward off evil spirits.


According to numerous studies, frankincense has been shown to inhibit inflammation. Thus helping a variety of ailments from arthritis to acne. One study mentioned its assistance in digestion, those with inflammatory bowel diseases. Others suggest that frankincense can help with respiratory disorders to dental care. As an essential oil it has a calming affect due to its sweet woodsy yet subtly citrus perfume. A few drops added to your bath water are a luxurious way to relax and relief muscle pain. And you can find it in our body polish coupled with cardamom. Frankincense for the season.


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.


It takes 8,000,000 handpicked jasmine flowers to produce 2 pounds of oil. There are over 200 species of jasmine and I have been seduced by this intoxicating aroma around the globe from Europe, Africa, India, Bali, Thailand, Latin America etc. …. and at home. This is the first bloom of the season and a photo of a jasmine being sold in a park in India.

jasmine essential oil

The first time I was acutely aware of its power was while living in Spain, the women would walk around the plaza with the flower tucked behind their ears. In India the streets were resplendent with large balls of jasmine. One is enveloped with a cacophony of aromas in India, this was a lovely bouquet that someone was selling in a park – the aroma is heady and glorious. My organic roll on perfume flourish and geranium jasmine lavender body lotion conjures images of all the wonderful countries I have been.

Jasmine used in my perfume and most other beauty products is either Jasminum Officinale and Grandiflorum and is quite expensive but so worth the aroma. It is in Flourishand Geranium Jasmine Lavender body lotion.

jasmine ball (1)

Clary Sage

Clary sage was originally used to improve vision it is now known to be effective as an astringent and aphrodisiac. Our marigold toner (12.50), witch hazel infused with calendula, lavender and clary sage organic essential oils, soothes and heals your skin. Hydrating and revitalizing, use on skin as make-up setter or pick me up. Great for air travel on hair and face. Follow up with our marigold bergamot dry oil (25.00). Also try our marigold foaming cleanser.

hollybeths 3042 (3)


Helichrysum oil is an essential oil that you is not widely used however, is quite restorative and effective in skincare. Studies indicate that the oil minimizes scarring and has the ability to filter uv rays. It has anti-inflammatory properties as well as being cell-regenerative. It can also soothe anger and stress and has been known to lessen migraine pain.  While researching genus helichrysum I found that there are over 600 species, including many that are in my backyard. The oil that is most commonly used for skincare is helichrysum italicum commonly known as the curry plant because of the aroma it produces and grows in the Mediterranean. You can find it in HollyBeth Organics rose geranium toner along with rose and rose geranium.

Vintage Strawflower Botanical Helichrysum macranthum