Aromatherapy is the practice of using essential plant oils for physical and emotional healing. It’s associated with Aphrodite (the goddess of love and beauty), sensuality, cosmetics, massage and all things sensuous.
Fragrance directly affects our consciousness.
People, plants and insects subtly secrete pheromones (from the Greek pherin to transfer and hormon to excite).¯ Pheromones are microscopic chemical messengers that affect hormone levels, fertility, aggression and libido. People often give off lots of pheromones, affecting the brains of the opposite sex.
A plant produces essential oils to affect growth, reproduction, to attract pollinators, repel predators and as protection from disease.
Doesn’t it make sense (scents?) that these precious fragrances benefit humanity?
Essential oils affect the body in several ways. Scent travels along a neurological pathway, bypassing the blood brain barrier. The limbic system, at the back of the brain, is associated with memory, emotion and learning. When essential oils are smelled they can have a powerful effect on the emotional body and can stimulate the production of neurotransmitters.
The sense of smell is greatly underused in its ability to help sexual concerns. People will engage in more touch therapy when pleasant fragrances abound in lotions and potions. If a particularly essential oil is not pleasant to you or your beloved, don’t use it, no matter what its traditional uses are.
Listen to my podcast segment…
In this Green Divas Eco-Sexy episode, I talk about which scents can help put you in the mood, and others that may not.
Here are seven essential oils that help turn one’s thoughts to passion:
Cinnamon (Cinnamomum zeylanicum) is a member of the Lauraceae (Laurel) Family. Cinnamon is sweet, spicy and warming. It invigorates the senses, calms the nerves and improves circulation. Cinnamon increases desire, creativity and can improve erectile dysfunction and frigidity. Pumpkin pie spice also had this effect. Never use undiluted.
Ginger (Zingiber officinale) is a member of the Zingiberaceae (Ginger) Family. Ginger is pungent, sweet and warming. Its stimulating fragrance helps open the heart, even benefiting erectile dysfunction. It improves circulation and depression. Do not use undiluted.
Jasmine (Jasminum officinale), a member of the Oleaceae (Olive) Family, is sweet, warming, stimulating, rich, sensual and exotic. It is available as an absolute, which is not a pure essential oil. It relieves stress, helps move emotional blocks, calms fear, anxiety, and is mildly euphoric. Jasmine is sacred to Kama, the Hindu love god, and eastern version of Cupid, found on the tip of one of his arrows.
Neroli (Citrus bigaradia, C. aurantium) is a member of the Rutaceae (Rue) Family. Neroli, from orange blossoms, is sweet and cooling, relieves anxiety, stress, grief, and is an antidepressant. Neroli helps relieve first encounter apprehensions when spending time with a new partner. It is used to calm pre-menstrual tension and cramps.
Patchouli (Pogostemon patchouli, P. cablin) is a member of the Lamiaceae (Mint) Family. It is sweet, musty, woodsy and warming. Patchouli calms anxiety, lifts the spirits, stimulates the nervous system, improves clarity, and attracts sexual love. Used to treat frigidity, yeast and vaginal infections, as well as balance libido levels, most likely, by balancing the endocrine glands. Patchouli is antifungal, antidepressant, antiseptic, aphrodisiac and regenerative. For many of us, patchouli brings on 1960s memories of Woodstock and Grateful Dead concerts and is beloved by hippies.
Rose (Rosa gallica officinalis, R. damascena, R. centifolia), is a member of the Rosaceae (Rose) Family. Rose is considered sacred to Aphrodite (Venus) and queen of all flowers. Its fragrance is rich, deeply floral, sweet and cooling. It is available as an absolute. Rose is associated with physical and spiritual love and a supreme heart opener. Rose is both sensual and romantic and helps heal grief from emotional trauma. Rose helps one feel happier, relieves anger, jealousy and relationship conflicts. It is good for anyone who feels distanced from their emotional center.
When wanting to rekindle the spark of love, use rose oil while making love. Place one diluted drop on your forehead before sleep, to have dreams of love. Place a drop of rose oil on your lover’s and your own heart chakra after first smelling it. It strengthens the uterus, regulates menses and relieves cramps.
Before you balk at the price of pure rose oil be aware that it takes 180 pounds of rose blossoms to make just one ounce of the essential oil. Used also for irregular menses, uterine disorders, menorrhagia, menopause, erectile dysfunction, frigidity and low sperm count. Rose is antidepressant, antiseptic, aphrodisiac and rejuvenate.
Ylang-ylang (Cananga odorata), a member of the Annonaceae (Custard Apple) Family, is sweet, bitter, cooling and erotic. Ylang ylang means “flower of flowers” in Malayan language. It is euphoric, relaxes a nervous partner and stimulates the senses.
Long used to calm anger, anxiety, fear, frigidity and improve self esteem. It helps foster a state of peacefulness. Ylang ylang has been recommended as a remedy for PMS, to balance hormones, improve erectile dysfunction, and orgasmic ability. In Indonesia ylang ylang flowers are scattered on the beds of newlyweds to promote desire and bless the union with children. Ylang ylang is antidepressant, antiseptic, and aphrodisiac.
Romans applied aromatic essential oils to their hair, body and soles of feet.
Consider anointing each of the chakras with essential oils diluted in an oil base. Delicately scent your pubic hair with a dab of neroli or patchouli. After washing your hairbrushes, put one or two drops of essential oil of jasmine or rose on your brush. Essential oil use should be subtle, and not overpowering. Dizziness, nausea and rashes can all be signs that you are overdoing it, or that you are sensitive to particular oil.
It can be as simple as smelling the flowers!
Be sure to use pure essential plant oils and not synthetic fragrances. Quality is imperative. Be suspicious of clear bottles and companies, where each essential oil is the same price. Keep essential oils out of the reach of children and anyone irresponsible for their own actions.
Store essential oils away from light, heat, plastic and metal. Some oils can stain clothing and damage the finish on furniture. Keep essential oils away from mucus membranes such as the eyes, mouth and genitals, as well as broken skin. Avoid essential oils during pregnancy as they may induce contractions.
Most essential oils are too strong to use undiluted. They should be mixed with a carrier oil such as almond, grapeseed or apricot kernel oil because they’re light, without strong odor and lend themselves well for blending. For certain people, a stronger oil such as hazelnut or sesame is preferable, particularly if you want to create a more warming blend.
For more information on uses, safety and preparations, read Aromatherapy: A Complete Guide to the Healing Art by Kathi Keville and Mindy Green (Crossing Press).
Like this? Check out my post 10 Herbs to Enhance Sexual Vitality.