Thursday, November 08, 2007

Review of Jeanne Rose's Aromatherapy Blending Class, Hosted by All Natural Beauty website (Aromatherapy Information)

I took Jeanne Rose's aromatherapy class (sponsored by All Natural Beauty website and All Natural Beauty portal) from October 26-28th, and though was exhausted for several days afterwards, I am extremely content. I am really glad that I took the class; though I've been learning aromatherapy through self study for over seven years, it really helps to take a class to learn new concepts that aren't in books, and to tie together everything I've learned so far. An added plus: most of the time Jeanne Rose doesn't repeat material in her books (like how some authors reprint the same articles/chapters/sections of books in different books), so all the material in the blending book we received during class was new.

First I have to say it was amazing finally meeting Jeanne Rose; I've always wanted to meet and take a class with her. Her Aromatherapy Book was one of the first aromatherapy books I ever read, and is still one of the first books I reach for when I am crafting aromatherapy remedies (the charts for specific conditions and the essential oils profiles are very good). I really enjoy her writing style, and I've learned a lot about aromatherapy, herbalism, and all natural/kitchen cosmetics from her writings. She has been teaching about herbs and aromatherapy for somewhere between 30 or 40 years, and is one of the pioneers in both fields. In person, she is warm, passionate about her craft, and full of energy. I still can't get over the fact she is seventy years old--she barely has any lines on her face, and she is so vibrant, youthful!

I also really enjoyed meeting Sharon (owner of ANB website and ANB portal, and SharAmbrosia--an all natural skin care and spa line). We've been chatting on the forums and through email for the last two years; I've always enjoyed our conversations and her passion for all natural cosmetics :) She is an amazing woman, who is creative and works on so many different projects! We talked so much about all natural skin care; it was very generous of her to host this class and open up her home to this workshop.

It was wonderful getting to know all the fascinating women in my class--everyone came from a wide range of backgrounds: some people were novices, and others were advanced students or herbalists. A couple people were also store or business owners. It was cool talking to other women that were knowledgeable about aromatherapy, herbalism, or crafting, since there aren't really any aromatherapy, herbalism, or crafting groups where I live (I'm seriously thinking of starting one though ;P)

The first day of class I was late and missed the first half of class! :( I left my sister's house a good three hours before the class started, but got caught up in traffic on the highway (Philly rush hour), and then when I got to the area, missed my exit (it was raining heavily and the exit was immediately after I paid the toll), got off the next exit, and promptly got lost. I didn't miss much (since Jeanne was kind enough to go over most of what I had missed over the next two days, and we all received a book with all the instructions/experiments, including a lot of information we didn't get to go over) but I am sad I was late because I missed all of the stuff not in the books--all of Jeanne's herbal related stories.

But since Jeanne and I stayed in the same hotel, I got to have breakfast with her, so was able to ask her a lot of aromatherapy and herbalism questions! :) I also learned more about her background, and found out we have a lot in common: she has a biology background (so knows both the scientific and alternative/indigenous/traditional uses of plants) and went to grad school (so learned how to really research), is very spiritual/believes in magic (I was already aware of this about her from her writings ;) ), and like many aromatherapists/herbalists is ecologically and socially conscious (she is the founder of the Aromatic Plant Project that advocates the usage of locally grown organic hydrosols), and believes in empowering women. I respected her a lot before I met her, and now that I actually met her, I respect her even more. :)

Overview of the class:

I learned so much in the class, including some concepts that I've never even read or heard about. In the first part of the class (which I missed but she went over several times later) we learned to distinguish seven different odor names (Floral, Fruity, Citrus, Green/Vegetative, Woody, Herbaceous/Camphoraceous, Spicy). This part of class was kind of new to me. Though I'm pretty good in smelling a combination and picking out which essential oils are used (for example: I was smelling one of my classmate's synergies, and she didn't remember what other essential oils she had used, and from scent alone, I guessed one of the essential oils she used was Eucalyptus citriodora (common name: Lemon eucalyptus)--though this class was the first time I had ever smelled that particularly species of Eucalyptus), sometimes I have trouble describing what type of odor it is, and this part of the class really helped me understand how to do that.

The next two parts were on measuring (which I also missed most of, and I need to do again soon) and also blending. I have a pretty good background in measuring and blending, but these two parts of class changed my perception a bit on essential oil concentration in blends, and also the act of blending. Though I was already aware that essential oil concentrations/the number of drops in a ml depended on the size of the dropper, the type of dropper, the viscosity and type of essential oil, I did not know it could vary by person (even if two people are using the same equipment and liquid substance, the number of drops in a ml will vary for each person). Also I did not know that combining essential oils together (with carrier oils) in different ways could affect the scent so greatly (each group combined essential oils and carrier oils in different ways, using the same ingredients and tools).

The rest of the class was spent learning how to craft remedies for different types of cosmetic, medicinal, and spiritual uses: uplifting and calm, uplifting and energizing, emotional blend (I made one for fear/anxiety), therapeutic (I chose Sinusitis, in an oil base), therapeutic for the respiratory system (smelling salts), spiritual (I chose to make a blend for psychic awareness), and perfume. During each lesson, after we researched essential oils and brainstormed ideas, Jeanne checked over each student's work, and offered advice on which combination of essential oils would be better to use. I am proud of myself because most of the time I was pretty good at choosing what essential oils to use, and she approved most of them without tweaking them (though she offer suggestions on how to improve a few of them). :)

Overall I really enjoyed the class, especially since Jeanne gave personal attention to each student and detailed answers if we had questions. For the class, we received a blending booklet, pencil, had access to forty three different essential oils (which were all very high quality, and included many I haven't used before; now I have to buy them ;P), and made eight different products (including the blend we made in a group). I felt the class really helped solidify my knowledge of aromatherapy, and helped improve my confidence in choosing the right essential oils in crafting aromatherapy remedies. I was so impressed with all the information we learned that I am going to take another (in person) class with her, and also enrolled in her aromatherapy home study course. The unique thing about her home study course (different from most other aromatherapy courses I was considering) is that she gives personal attention to her students (I will be able to call and email her with questions) and has a (private) yahoo group (where she answers her students' questions). The course book is fairly large and looks like it goes into great detail, and as part of the course, I'm also going to receive another book on essential oil usage for reproduction. In addition, after completing her course, I'll be eligible for practitioner's liability insurance, and her class counts for credits from various organizations.

The only thing I didn't like in class was using the orifice reducers (the kind where you have to tap the bottle hard, and not the little 'stick' kind where you can just tilt the bottle). I definitely prefer using glass droppers! But I guess that in a classroom setting you kind of need to use the orifice reducers (because if droppers or pipettes were used, there is a chance that a student might stick the wrong dropper into the wrong container, and contaminate the whole bottle of essential oil with another scent). I just had a little trouble with using them since I never use them! (I'm fine with using both kinds of orifice reducers on finished products, but when crafting products, when one drop can change how a whole blend smells, I really prefer droppers since with droppers I know how many drops actually make it in the bottle!)

I am excited about continuing my aromatherapy studies with Jeanne Rose. Though I know quite a bit about aromatherapy and am not an amateur, I am by no means a professional and most certainly I am not an expert or pioneer. I guess I see myself as an advanced student but I've really never felt that I had the right to call myself an aromatherapist (even though many great aromatherapists and herbalists are self taught, and some people call themselves aromatherapists or herbalists even though they haven't read more than a couple books, and have only completed maybe just one day long or weekend class). I still feel like I can't (though I've been crafting, studying, and researching this for years and have read a ridiculous amount of books, and have now actually taken a class, and am starting on another ;P), but I feel that I am on my way to (truly) becoming one.

For a list of all of Jeanne's classes (taught all over the U.S.), be sure to check out her website.

Check out Sharon's/All Natural Beauty portals's pictures of the events and blog entry.


Lesley said...

Hi, It's me, Lesley
Jasmine perfume id my favorite. No perfume stays on my skin. If you make one that will stay I will be forever in your debt.

I have had such good reviews for you on the samples of eye m/u you sent. Denise and Keren LOVE them. They weren't my colors, remember? I use brown, gold and olivey colors. But as I said, they got rave reviews. Smooth, easy to apply, lovely glimmers without being too sparkly.

I need to visit here more often. There is SO much to read. EVERYWHERE! And I don't retain. )-:

Solarkat said...

Hi Lesley

Good to see you here! thank you so much for the nice review of my products, I am glad Denise and Keren enjoy everything. Take care :)