There seems to be a miss conception that aromatherapy is a healing modality strictly for women. That aromatic bliss is an olfactory pleasure reserved for females only.
I suppose the word aromatherapy traditionally conjures an image of luxurious bath, scented candles, massages and nice smelling fragrant substances in pretty bottles. So, it seems to have inherited a reputation for being a thing for feminine indulgence which men should stay away from.
I have to say that nothing could be further than this misconception. At the apothecary store, very often men would pop in to buy a gift and from my observation, they too enjoy spritzing, sniffing and breathing in pure plant fragrances when I give them some aromatic treats to test out – just as much as women do.
It is the lack of awareness and education on usage mainly, secondly how its packaged, followed by scent preference and choices that makes the difference.
Historically, men have played a very important role in holistic aromatherapy from the time it was formally introduced in the modern sense of the word. “Aromatherapy” is a modern terminology with ancient origins. The relationship between fragrant plant aromatics and healing have been around for almost 6000 years practiced by major civilizations throughout history. In fact, I was so fascinated by these plant aromatics that were mentioned in ancient scriptures that I started to delve deeper and deeper into it and that led to my journey becoming a practitioner.
The word AROMATHERAPY as we know it was coined in the early 20th century by a French male chemist, Rene-Maurice Gattefosse, also known as the Father of Modern Aromatherapy. The story is, he badly burned his hands in a lab accident so he plunged them in the nearest tub of liquid and later discovered it to be Lavender essential oil – so amazed he was at the healing and no scarring, that he was inspired to experiment with them during the First World War on soldiers wounded in the military hospital.
Robert Tisserand is an English Aromatherapist, who authored “The Art of Aromatherapy” is hugely responsible for bringing the knowledge of aromatherapy to English speaking nations. Then there is Dr Jean Valnet, who wrote “The Practice of Aromatherapy” was a celebrated military army physician and surgeon.
Interestingly they all happen to be French and hence till today, the practice of Aromatherapy is most popular in France, where it is recognised and used as part of integrative medicine in hospitals.
I am inspired by Dr Daniel Penoel who is an internationally renowned medical aromatherapy expert. His work on Fragonia, a beautiful, balancing essential oil only found in Western Australia, had a great influence in inspiring me to creating my blends such as Frequent Flyer for jet lag and Nurture which I created for a Women’s Health & Wellness Symposium a few years ago.
Closer to home, I keenly follow the works of Salvatore Battaglia, who is the founder and co-owner of Perfect Potion, author of the internationally acclaimed text book for Aromatherapy “The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy”
So, I guess by now I am hoping if you have been vaguely interested in Aromatherapy and essential oils, you can be rest assured from its onset it has been pioneered by great men – the Fathers of Aromatherapy who have shared with us how these powerful healing oils exists to be beneficial for both male and female alike.
Since I mentioned Fathers of Aromatherapy, Father’s Day here in Australia is around the corner so I wanted to share some universally loved scents that can be used in men’s aromatherapy products. There is a growing number of men who are health conscious and looking to incorporate natural and organic solutions to support their wellbeing.
Hence, this is a perfect opportunity to let the men in our lives know how much we appreciate them in all that they do for us and with us by making something special to show how much we care. If you are interested in essential oils yourself, and have a collection of oils in your arsenal you could do your own DIY blends – handcrafted with love gifts are the best.
So how do we go about using Aromatherapy for these special men that we love so they too can take advantage of the emotional, physical and mental therapeutic benefits found in essential oils?
There are a great number of essential oils and scent profiles that are perfectly suited to a man’s preference, temperament and emotion. I used to think roses and jasmines were strictly for women but how wrong I was then.
When rose is combined with grounding, earthy wood oils, like cedarwood, amyris or sandalwood together with spicy hit of exquisite cardamom, its heavenly and can be a very healing, pleasing, confident masculine scent.
Jasmine in a blend with Palo Santo, Frankincense and Bergamot has immense masculine appeal and I have found it to be a very popular when used in men’s grooming & skincare products.
These can be added to shaving creams, lotions or bath gels. Always practice less is more is when doing this and keep a light and delicate hand so you can control the scent intensity. Get some fresh air every now and then so you don’t get fragrance fatigue and overdo it.
You could also try making a personal inhaler (empty nasal inhalers available at the chemist) or Himalayan salts by adding 5 drops of Cedarwood, 5drops Lemon, 3 drops Peppermint and 2 drops Rosemary. They are excellent as desk diffusers if you put the salts in a glass jar. This is great for mid afternoon fatigue.
If you are feeling confident and you want to create a signature blend try playing with Vetiver, Patchouli, Grapefruit, Pink Pepper, Clove, All Spice, Sweet Orange and Nutmeg. Make a Signature Scent in a roll on bottle with fractionated coconut oil as a base.
All of the above are quite easy and simple to make and everyone will love the scent.
Most importantly, we have to remember, men or women, we all have our own scent preferences, styles, issues and concerns and that is the key when it comes to using or choosing aromatherapy – let the nose listen. Also do some research on safety issues for instance, citrus oils (most of them) can be highly phototoxic so dont use them where the skin is exposed when going out in the sun. Hot oils, like cinnamon & oregano can be a skin irritant and avoid contact on mucus membranes eyes, nose, mouth and definately not suited in the bath!!
Alternatively, if you are reading this and you couldn’t be bothered making your own but would love to give an aromatic gift as a present then drop in the store and I will help you to create something special.
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