Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Helichrysum And Carrot Seed Essential Oils (Aromatherapy, Natural Skin Care, Blending & Perfumery)

Recently I received a question, in regards to my old helichrysum+rosehip post.  LB mentioned that she didn’t like the smell of helichrysum and carrot seed essential oils, and she asked if they are supposed to smell bad.  Thanks for the great question LB! :)

Helichrysum essential oil does have a unusual scent.  One of its other common names is the curry plant!  I actually like the scent, but many others don't care for it.  To my nose it smells  spicy with some honeyed and fruity notes.  Many people say they don’t like the smell of carrot essential oil too, but I like it!

I can't say whether your helichrysum essential oil smells bad, since scent can vary based on a lot of different factors including growing season, climate, distillation methods, variance in chemical composition, etc.  But quality of essential oils can matter too, and sometimes essential oils (especially one as high priced as Corsican helichrysum essential oil) are often adulterated.  Also there are different species of helichrysum (I am assuming you have (latin name) Helichrysum italicum since that is the one mentioned in my previous blog post), and the different species smell different from each other.  

Helichrysum can be hard to blend with; for example, it took me months to create the blend for one of my elixirs for my skin care and perfume business (Earth Alkemie), but you can create beautiful scents by blending it with other essential oils.

In my experience helichrysum blends well with citrus (peel or the petitgrains), floral notes (for example: rose, jasmine, high altitude lavender, geranium), herbaceous scents (I like roman chamomile, patchouli, lavender, clary sage, geranium) and some spicy scents (such as clove).  I listed some of the essential oils in a couple different categories, because each essential oils has primary, middle, and back notes (they are not just straight notes but each essential oil has a few different notes).  I just listed some of the main notes in each.

To my nose, carrot seed essential oil is earthy, woody, and spicy.  It blends well with citrus, geranium, frankincense, lavender, cypress, spicy, and woody notes.

To blend, start with only two aromatics.  Use drops and vials to make sample blends, with different proportions.  Then once you get the blend you like, use it in your products.  OR add a third aromatic, and continue your blending experiments.  Some people pre-dilute (so they dilute in a carrier before they mix) and some people (like me) dilute afterwards (after all the essential oils are mixed together, then I dilute in a carrier).  Others just forgo making sample blends and just like to just add drops of essential oils directly to the carrier oil (I do this sometimes if crafting for myself, and not the business).  :)