Why essential oils?
Because they are magical. The end.....
Ok that might not give you the information that you thought this post would. But it is the answer that enters my head every time someone asks me this question. I truly think that the magic of nature is harnessed within these oils, and I have experienced and seen the wellbeing benefits they bring, time and time again. There is a reason why the power of plant oils has been used for centuries to aid wellbeing.
When I began my journey into candle making many years ago, I knew that I wanted my candles to be more than just home fragrance. I wanted them to bring an elevation in mood, and create a reconnection to nature. Using pure essential oils to create my home fragrance products was my natural choice. Having trained in aromatherapy 23 years ago, and working as a holistic therapist since 2002, I was well versed in how essential oils can enhance wellbeing.
What is an essential oil?
Pure essential oils are, in their simplest form, plant extracts. They are concentrated liquids extracted from plants via steam distillation, or cold pressing. They have a higher concentration of active ingredients than the single plant they come from, as several plants are used to produce the oil. This is why a Whist candle will never contain oils from plants that are on the "at risk" red list, have a huge carbon footprint, or are over farmed.
Worth noting - essential oils created using a chemical process, are not classed as pure essential oils. I only use pure, therapeutic grade essential oils in my candles.
But how does aromatherapy work?
Aromatherapy works in a few ways. Firstly, through inhalation and on the Olfactory system. When pure essential oils are inhaled, (via diffusers, directly, candles etc), the scent molecules travel along the Olfactory nerves, to the emotional centre of the brain. This part of the brain, the amygdala, is responsible for processing and dealing with emotions. It's kind of a big deal in the brain world....
Sense of smell is also a powerful weapon that we, (and many species), have in our arsenal. I am pretty sure that you have experienced a time when a smell triggers an emotional response in you. It is a direct route to any number of emotions, such as nostalgia, happiness, even sadness. Many animals rely on their sense of smell to alert them to danger, food, a mate.....It really is a powerful sense, and using the power of plants in aromatherapy, harnesses this to positively enhance our emotions and wellbeing.
Absorption is another way that essential oils are used. There is a reason why so may beauty companies use essential oils in their bath products etc. In my practise as an aromatherapy massage therapist, I would choose the blend I would use in treatment, based on the clients individual circumstances. For example, if they were looking for a calming of a busy mind, I may use a massage oil blend containing chamomile, lavender or bergamot. These oils are known for helping to calm the mind. The oils would absorb through the skin, and enter the bloodstream, delivering and starting the healing process.
Essential oils in candle making
In the interest of true transparency, using essential oils in candle making is approximately 4 times more expensive than synthetic fragrance oils. Some essential oils can cost upwards of £100 per gramme of oil!!! It is why so many candle makers, including the BIG brands, use fragrance oil.
But you do not get the same wellbeing benefits with fragrance oil, and potentially, you could be releasing toxins into your home with synthetic oils. Using essential oils also means that I can create bespoke, unique fragrances for Whist. Blends that actually mean something to me, and I hope, the user. I blend my chosen essential oils, (as many as 8 different oils per blend), based on how I want the person burning it to feel, and the connection to nature or a cherished memory, that I am trying to achieve. It is a beautiful part of the candle making process, (and often the most frustrating), but I feel that the time, expense and test of my patience, is so very, very worth it. Elevating your mood, aiding your wellbeing AND giving you a beautifully scented home, is my absolute drive.
I hope this has given you a little insight into the power of essential oils. If ever you would like a little guidance on choosing a blend for an emotional need, pleas always feel free to message me. I am more than happy to offer you suggestions xx
Whist - not just home fragrance