Love is in the Air: Aromatherapy for couples

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Article first published in Alive Magazine 

Aromatherapy’s benefits include bringing awareness to the heart centre. Experience the bliss of essential oils in the bath, a massage, or in a diffuser.

Valentine’s Day celebrates romantic love between two people, with roses and chocolate traditionally given as gifts. Dark chocolate is known for its aphrodisiac and mood-enhancing qualities and the red rose symbolizes love. This Valentine’s Day, try something new—yet timeless—and introduce your lover to the wonders of aromatherapy.

Aphrodite, the goddess of love, is said to have used the aromatic petals of rose because she knew they were uplifting and helped to restore a woman’s connection to her femininity. Rose is ruled by the planet Venus, which represents love and all things beautiful. Rose essential oil can help open the intimate connection to the heart centre.

Open the heart centre

According to ancient Indian tradition, the heart centre or heart chakra is the middle (fourth) chakra in an energetic system of seven chakras or energy centres in our body. The heart chakra is related to love and is the integrator of opposites in the psyche: mind and body, male and female, persona and shadow, ego and unity. A healthy heart chakra allows us to love deeply, feel compassion for ourselves and others, and have a deep sense of peace and centredness.

Genuine and authentic essential oils can be used to bring awareness to the heart centre. The simple act of lighting a candle, intentionally making a massage oil to use on your lover, or taking time for you and your partner to create a romantic, aromatic bath can create an opening to the heart that can be a powerful aphrodisiac for the spirit.

Essential oils

Rose (Rosa damascene)
This oil has a very earthy, rich aroma that is highly concentrated and best used with a carrier oil such as jojoba. It blends well with sandalwood. Rose oil is especially beneficial for women; it can help to balance hormones, has a tonic effect on the reproductive organs, and can enhance sexuality.

Sandalwood (Santalum album)
The deep, rich, woodsy scent of sandalwood induces a state of calmness and serenity and relieves nervous tension. It is considered a sexual restorative for both women and men and is wonderful on its own or paired with other essential oils such as lavender.

Patchouli (Pogostemon cablin)
Associated with peace and love, this ancient fragrance has a rich, primal, earthy scent. The earthy aroma helps to ground our energy, helping us to feel present and connected to our roots.

Jasmine (Jasminum grandiflorum)
This oil has an exotic, fruity, floral fragrance that can help relieve nervous tension. Jasmine oil has mild euphoric properties and is said to restore sexual confidence. If you plan to use it as a perfume, it is best diluted in a carrier oil, such as jojoba, because the aroma can be a bit overwhelming. More is not always better in this case.

These essential oils can be used in diffusers or to scent massage oil or bath salts. For a memorable and sensual Valentine’s experience, try these fragrant aromatherapy recipes.

Massage for two

Give the gift of massage to your valentine. Combine the therapeutic value of touch with the healing qualities of the oils to soothe stress in your loved one’s hands, feet, legs, arms, and abdomen.

Rose-Chocolate Massage Oil

1 Tbsp (15 mL) cocoa butter, melted
1/4 cup (60 mL) almond oil
8 drops orange oil (Citrus sinensis)
4 drops rose oil (Rosa damascene)
6 drops sandalwood oil (Santalum album)

In a bain-marie (or double boiler), melt cocoa butter; stir in almond oil until melted together. Stir in essential oils. This oil is best used warm. If you are not going to use it right away, pour it into a bottle to store. Before you use it, heat the bottle in a cup of hot water.

Bath for two

Baths are an easy—and relaxing—way to use essential oils, combining the benefits of inhalation with the powers of absorption through the skin.

Be Love Blessing Bath

4 drops jasmine absolute oil (Jasminum grandiflorum)
4 drops lavender oil (Lavandula angustifolia)
1 Tbsp (15 mL) sunflower oil
1/2 cup (125 mL) sea salt

Mix essential oils with sunflower oil, and stir into sea salt. If you are not going to use it immediately, store in an airtight jar.

Heavenly scents

The essential oil diffuser is a common way of using and enjoying oils. The essential oils are heated in water so that they are vapourized (diffused) into the air.

Heart Chakra Diffuser Blend

5 drops orange oil (Citrus sinensis)
4 drops lavender oil (Lavandula angustifolia)
3 drops rose oil (Rosa damascene)

Boil 2 cups (500 mL) water. Pour into bowl and add essential oils.

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