Aromatherapy: Petitgrain from Beauty and Home

Refreshing Body Spritzer

To uplift your spirits at any time of the day, try this delightful spritzer.

1 tsp cider vinegar
1 drop pure petitgrain essential oil
1 drop pure lemon essential oil
1 drop pure lavender essential oil
50 ml distilled water

Put the vinegar into a spray bottle or atomiser, then add the oils and shake well to disperse the oil droplets. Top up with distilled water and shake again. Spray all over your body, keeping your eyes shut. Shake each time before use.

Three Step Facial for Oily Skin

A weekly deep-cleaning facial will brighten and tighten the skin, reduce excessive oil secretion and clear up any spots and pimples. Here's what you do. First cleanse your face and neck using cleansing milk (or a shop-bought pH-balanced cleansing bar).

Steam inhalation

Next, for a thorough cleanse, steam your face for 5 minutes. Now apply the face mask. For best results, allow your skin to 'breathe' by keeping it totally free of make-up, lotions and potions for at least two hours after the facial.

Step 1 - Cleansing Milk

images (36)

Milk is an excellent cleanser for all skin types. And according to Dr Anna Kingsford, a British physician of the late 19th century, 'The only way to rid the face of blackheads is to wash the face of blackheads is to wash the face in water as warm as possible, and bathe it in tepid milk.' With the addition of a tiny amount of essential oil, the milk becomes a gentle but effective antiseptic for treating spots and pimples.

1/4 tsp carrier oil
1 drop pure lavender essential oil
1 drop pure petitgrain essential oil
1 tbsp full-fat milk

Add the lavender and petitgrain essential oils to the carrier oil. Warm the milk just slightly, pour into a small container, add the oils and shake the mixture to blend well. Dip cotton wool pads in to the solution and cleanse your face and neck.

Step 2 - Facial Steam

600ml steaming water
2 drops pure petitgrain essential oil

Pour the water into a heatproof bowl and add the essential oil. Put a towel over your head and the bowl to form a 'tent'. Steam your face for 5 minutes, then pat with a soft towel to remove excess moisture.

Step 3 - Face Mask

Parsley is a marvellous ingredient in this mask as it helps to reduce excess oiliness of the skin and imparts a healthy sheen. Additionally, the yoghurt and green clay will deep-cleanse, brighten and tone the skin.

face mask

15g fresh parsley
1 tsp live natural yoghurt
1 drop pure petitgrain essential oil
1 tsp green clay

Finely chop the parsley, then crush it in a pestle and mortar - or use the back of a wooden spoon - until the juice runs. Mix the parsley juice with the yoghurt, add the essential oil and enough green clay to form a thick paste. Apply to face and neck, avoiding the delicate skin around your eyes. Leave on the skin for 10-15 minutes. Rinse off with cool water, then pat dry.

Hair and Scalp Care

If your hair is very long and thick, increase the quantities in these recipes.

Honey and Oil Pack

A deep-conditioning treatment suitable for most hair types, except very oily. It even helps cleat stubborn cases of dandruff.

15ml sweet almond oil
1/2 tbsp clear honey
2 drops petitgrain essential oil
1 drop rosemary essential oil

Warm the almond oil and honey in a heatproof bowl placed over a pan of simmering water, stirring constantly. As soon as the honey has dissolved, remove the bowl from the heat and stir in the petitgrain and rosemary oils. Massage the mixture into your scalp and then comb it through every part of your hair. Cover your head with a plastic shower cap and leave it on for us to 1 hour, before shampooing with a milk pH-balanced shampoo. To increase the effectiveness of the treatment, add cider vinegar to the final rinsing water (about 4 tbsp to every 2 pints).

Lemon, honey and petitgrain pack

1 1/2 tbsp clear honey
1/2 lemon - juiced
1 drop pure petitgrain essential oil
1 drop pure rosemary essential oil

Melt the honey in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water. Remove from the heat and then stir in the lemon juice and essential oils. Proceed as for the previous recipe.

Scented Shell Candles

Candle making ingredients can be bought at craft shops.

You will need:

  • 2 saucepans, 1 larger than the other
  • 180g paraffin wax
  • 15g stearin
  • length of wick
  • scissors
  • shells about 7x9x4cm
  • pencil/drinking straw
  • metal spoon
  • yellow and red dye sticks
  • 8-10 drops petitgrain essential oil
  • cooking thermometer
  • muslin
  • tissue
download - 2020-10-15T142937.611

Half fill larger pan with water and bring to the boil. Put wax and stearin into smaller pan and stand this over it, stirring occasionally until it melts. For each candle, cut a piece of wick twice the depth of the shell and dip into the melted wax. Pour a little wax into the base of the shell and press one end of the wick into it.

Pour a little wax into the base of the shell and press one end of the wick into it. Tie the top end round a pencil or drinking straw, then lay this across the top of the shell.

Stir the wax with the dye sticks until you get the colour you want. Gently heat the remaining wax mixture for 2-3 minutes until it reaches a temperature of 80°C/175°F. Cool slightly, then add the essential oil. Pour into the shells, saving a little, and leave to set for 2 hours. Top up with remaining wax to fill the dip which will form as the wax cools. When fully set, snip the wick to the required length. Rub the surface with muslin, then polish with a damp tissue.

Petitgrain Scented Window Cleaner

Vinegar was traditionally used to being a shine to windows - and helps remove a build-up of grease. The addition of petitgrain gives it a clean, citrus scent.

You will need:

  • 200ml colourless malt vinegar
  • 200ml water
  • 5 drops pure petitgrain essential oil
  • plastic plant mister bottle

Mix the vinegar and water together in the mister bottle and add the petitgrain oil. Spray the windows with a fine mist then polish dry with a soft cloth.