Blending with Patchouli

Blending with Patchouli

When I think about how Patchouli leaves have to be soaked and fermented before distillation, it reminds me that Patchouli represents the breakdown of the past life of nature. This makes it a perfect new generation scent, which is why I think it was adopted in the 1960’s.

My first essential oilbecause my brother used itwas Patchouli. To this day, it makes me think of himmy Irish twin and our younger days together. I love it so much that I added it to the signature scent I made in the 1970’s, which I still wear to this day. And when I made my special blend called 2AH (for Two Aging Hippies), which I gave away when I did a talk called “Restart Me Up” at the 2013 Alliance Conference in St. Petersburg, FL, I used Patchouli. A few ounces of that blend remain, and one day, it will become part of another special blend.

Because of the many associations people have with Patchouli, some people love it and some people hate it. Once, when I went shopping and stopped into a store, the clerks said, “Did the bug man come today?” Others recognize it immediately and say, “I love that smell!”

Hopefully this will give you some ideas on how to enrich your blends, make some fabulous diffusion blends, or make some personal perfumes!        

When we use this leafy oil, we like to blend it with roots or woods and a touch of herbs or flowers. This combination can take us through the whole spectrum of life cycles. Then we have a complete plant perfume! What medicine can you make from these notes? We like to say, “Your perfume becomes your medicine … ”


Patchouli with ROOTS:

With Vetiver grounding Patchouli’s wild side, these two go together well. Both being bold and strong, it only takes a tiny amount to create their synergistic effect.


Vetiver and Patchouli Blend

Blend equal parts Patchouli and Vetiver. Start slow; let it mellow out and adjust. A tiny bit is very long-lasting. These two together can be used as a base for blends or even as a perfume on their own.

1 part Patchouli

1 part Vetiver


Patchouli with WOODS:

Cedarwood also has a grounding effect on Patchouli. In combination, they make a soothing anti-inflammatory for the skin.

Patchouli and Cedarwood Blend

Blend equal parts Atlas and Texas/Virginian (Juniperus spp.) Cedarwood for an earthy, masculine scent and grounding blend. You can use one Cedarwood in place of both … We just love them together.

1 part Atlas Cedarwood

1 part Virginian Cedarwood

2 parts Patchouli


Patchouli with HERBS:

With Geranium, Patchouli takes a whirl being a more feminine scent, exposing a different side of the oil. Here we have even more possibilities of actions, using the well-known balancing action and the slight, rosy floral of Rose Geranium, alongside the relaxing richness of Patchouli.


Patchouli and Rose Geranium Blend

5 drops of Patchouli

3 drops of Geranium


Patchouli with FLOWERS:

Jasmine is one of the most luscious flowers, and paired with the exotic, earthy Patchouli, this blend is good for dancing in the moonlight or lolling on the beach. Patchouli brings some spice to Jasmine and keeps it down on this plane! Pairing these needs practice and patience.


Patchouli and Jasmine Blend

3 drops of Patchouli

1 drop of Jasmine


Want to get really creative? Blend the Patchouli/Geranium, the Vetiver/Patchouli, or both—then play with some Jasmine. One drop at a time!

Tell us about your blending adventures with Patchouli. Leave a comment below.

Experience the full Inner Sanctum Membership.

Become a full member of the Inner Sanctum and enjoy new content like this each month, while getting to enjoy our vast collection of resources. You can receive 20% off a full-year subscription. (Discount will be applied at checkout.)

Learn more here and get yours today!

Rose Exploration

Rose Exploration

Common name: Rose

Botanical name: Rosa damascena

Part of the Rosaceae family, there are many variations of Rosa damascena. The big areas of production are Bulgaria and Turkey, and other names for it include Summer Rose, Bulgarian Rose, Turkish Rose, and Otto of Rose. Rose Otto is the oil, and the absolute is a thicker, richer-smelling extract. When you hear the name Rose Otto, you’ll know it’s the essential oil.

Rosa centifolia is another species that produces a much lighter oil. It comes from a lot of different places, and Sylla’s sample in this video is from Russia.

In the Otto, stearoptenes are up to 22%. These constituents are the more solid parts of the oil, which can cause the Otto to solidify at about room temperature. There are also monoterpenols in the Otto, along with geraniol and citronellol—up to 45%. The percent of phenylethyl alcohol is not as high in the Otto as it is in the absolute. The phenylethyl alcohol, or PEA, is what produces that very rosy, floral scent. A lot of people prefer the absolute for this reason.

Drawing these samples up in the pipette, you can see that the Damask Rose has a beautiful color. It is clear, which is very similar to the Centifolia. The absolute is a little thicker, darker, and richer. Some of the colors will come through with the absolute because it’s solvent-extracted. You can blend the two together, so you get the best of both.

Rose is a universal oil for all skin types and is great for skin care. It can be an antidepressant, an aphrodisiac, and it has antibacterial properties, which are especially effective on the skin, and even the underarm bacteria.

Rose is wonderful for balancing hormones. It works very well as a nervous sedative and can be used for all ages. Unless somebody has an aversion to Rose, it’s a wonderful thing.

When a lot of people first smell the real Rose, they don’t like it because they’re used to synthetic Rose. They’re used to their grandmother’s perfume or some cheap facsimile that’s called Rose. So true Rose is really a beautiful scent that people have to get used to.

Rose can help with cardiovascular issues, stress, and palpitations because it is such a relaxing oil. It’s great for insomnia, migraines, headaches, nervous tension, stress-related disorders, melancholia, sadness, disappointment, sorrow, and heartache. In this video, you’ll learn how Sylla used it while she was grieving the passing of her mother. Many books say Rose is good for grief, but Sylla cautions against using any oil too much during these times, as scents can become deeply connected to emotional states.

When Sylla was working the United Aromatherapy Effort and started to get sick, she used a hot toddy recipe recommended to her by a friend: hot water, a drop of Rose, Neroli, Eucalyptus, and Tea Tree. She added some honey, had two cups of it, and because of the steam and the uplifting properties of Rose and Neroli, she “felt like a million bucks.”

In terms of the safety of the oil, when tested at a low-dose, Rose is nontoxic, non-irritating, and non-sensitizing. However, if you use any oil undiluted, you always run the risk of sensitization.

In Natural Aromatic Materials: Odours and Origins, Tony Burfield talks about Provence Rose, or the centifolia, which is one of the samples Sylla shows us in the video. This is also called Rose de Mai because there are some fields in Grasse that still produce this in May.

About this oil, Tony writes that it’s a powerful, toppy, fresh, sweet but honeyed Rose odor and yet it’s spicy. “It’s less full and fruity than the Turkish…and the dry-down reveals a delicate yet moderately strong-rounded, petaly Rose character.”

It is often quoted that 4,000 pounds of Rose flowers produce one pound of Rose Otto. That means one pound (16 ounces) of Rose Otto is 4,000 pounds of roses! That’s 250 roses for every 30ml bottle. That’s a lot of Rose.

It’s important to remember that the phenethyl alcohol or PEA content of Rose is highly water-soluble and therefore, it is lost to the distillation water. This is why Rose water smells so rosy. By contrast, of course, the absolutes contain a much higher percent of PEA. Because of this, absolutes are considered a better character of the Rose blossom. The odor of the Moroccan absolute is full Rose character, somewhat with green PEA or phenylethyl alcohol, honeyed and sweet with slight woodiness.

Rose Otto Bulgarian is a white to pale green, like you saw, or yellow semi-solid liquid with a powerful, heady, rounded, fruit Rose odor with an almost alcoholic liquor character. The dry-down is disappointing, revealing a slightly smoky, woody, Tea Rose character. If we look at the Turkish, it is a little bit different. The odor terms of the Turkish show a strong, fruity top note with a spicy, deep Rose character. It is less floral and less rosaceous than the Bulgarian. The dry-down is a powerful, fresh, leafy Rose with some spiciness.

There is also Rose wax, which is very waxy, muddy brown, and almost greenish. It has a nice odor, is very petal-like, and this is part of the Rose extraction that is used a lot in cosmetics. You can also dab this on as perfume.

Watch Sylla smell and compare different Roses alongside the constituents in our chemistry kits. To get your own chemistry kit, follow this link.

Experience the full Inner Sanctum Membership.

Become a full member of the Inner Sanctum and enjoy new content like this each month, while getting to enjoy our vast collection of resources. You can receive 20% off a full-year subscription. (Discount will be applied at checkout.)

Learn more here and get yours today!


Rose Meditation

Rose Meditation

Out of the depths of darkness, Rose pulls us into the light. It lifts our heart to unknown heights, especially in our darkest days. The soft unfolding of this sweet scent helps to heal old wounds, inspiring us to live in the open air.

Rose calls us to open and dismantle the walls we create between ourselves and love. There’s a reason why Rose has been used for centuries as a gift between lovers—as well as to soothe the grieving heart.

When the world gives us pain, Rose is the earth’s remedy. The walls we build to protect ourselves also close us off from the full experience of love and joy; Rose beckons us to let those walls fall away and embrace the fullness of what our life is bringing us.

The many layers of this scent also remind us of the unending quality of our journey. Have you ever seen a rose blooming? Sometimes the opening of the petals seems to never end, which is the way of our heart. Rose helps us to lift off the top layer to find the softness underneath. When we can soften in the moment, we are at peace. Rose helps bring us to this sense of peace and inspires us to breathe in again, opening our hearts just a little more.

Give yourself some time alone with Rose. Light a candle and place your hand on your heart. Then place a drop of diluted Rose in your hands, rub them together, and breathe in the heavenly aroma. Allow yourself to take several deep breaths and just notice what happens.

Perhaps let your mind rest on these questions:

  • How can you open up and deeply connect to love?
  • How does your love or desire need to be expressed?

Listen for the wisdom of this scent to bring you the insights you need to make more love in the world. We all know we need it.


Let us know what Rose inspires in you by commenting below!

Experience the full Inner Sanctum Membership.

Become a full member of the Inner Sanctum and enjoy new content like this each month, while getting to enjoy our vast collection of resources. You can receive 20% off a full-year subscription. (Discount will be applied at checkout.)

Learn more here and get yours today!


Blending with Rose

Blending with Rose

For some people, the smell of Rose brings up delightful memories; for others, it may be associated with old, synthetic, inexpensive perfumes! Some people have to get used to the real R. damascena as an EO, absolute, or CO2.

Rose can and should be treated as a luxury oil! I like saving it for skin care or a perfume, rather than diffusion or baths—where it will go down the drain or out the window. Treat yourself with with this oil. And yes, you do deserve it!

Rose is so much fun to blend with. Many hesitate because of the price, but remember that a little bit goes a long way. The benefits are worth it because you are!

Though Rose is often used alone, it blends well with several other oils.

Rose with RESINS:  

Rose works well with resins, especially Frankincense and Myrrh. Blend the two resins first, then add the Rose. Frankincense and Myrrh make a nice, calming deep base note on their own. When Rose is added, it lifts this blend to new heights. This blend is excellent for calming racing minds and restoring self-love.


Rose with Frankincense and Myrrh Blend

4 parts Frankincense

4 parts Myrrh

2 parts Rose


Rose with ROOTS:

Get grounded and prepare to bloom! Earthy Vetiver and Patchouli couple well with Rose. I like to use equal parts for each oil. For some reason, that works!


Rose with Patchouli and Vetiver Blend

2 parts Patchouli

2 parts Vetiver

2 parts Rose


Rose with WOODS:

In the old days, Rose and Mysore Sandalwood together were to die for. Many of my early blends included Sandalwood. These days, with the shortage of true Sandalwood, I’m avoiding it for ethical reasons. Some still have the old Sandalwood or some from the newer crops, so if you do and want to indulge, here is a start:


Patchouli and Sandalwood Blend

2 parts Rose

6 parts Sandalwood

HINT: Australian or Hawaiian Sandalwood may be used. You can also try this with any of the other Cedarwoods (Tex/Mex or Virginian, the Juniperus spp.) instead of Sandalwood. Unfortunately, Cedrus atlas is now becoming endangered, so use one of the other various Juniperus species for the wood note.


Rose with CITRUS:

Bergamot will help lift Rose, while Mandarin and Orange/Lime help cut some of the floral notes, adding an uplifting top note.


Rose and Citrus Blend

2 parts Rose

5 parts Lime or 4 parts Orange — steam-distilled

10 parts Bergamot (FCF)


Rose with HERBS:

Herbal oils like Lavender and Marjoram will create a great sedating/calming blend with Rose, adding some herbaceous tones. Use this blend to help you drift off to a peaceful slumber. Be ready for the sweetest dreams you’ve had yet.


Rose, Lavender, and Sweet Marjoram Blend

7 parts Lavender

3 parts Marjoram

2 parts Rose


Rose with FLORALS:

For an all-out blissful blend of some of the best flowers, try this. This blend is a garden delight—a rich floral bouquet.


Rose, Neroli, and Jasmine (or Ylang) Blend

2 parts Rose

2 parts Neroli

2 parts Jasmine (or Ylang)


Want to get really creative? Play around with a Patchouli-Vetiver-Cedarwood base! See the Patchouli-Vetiver-Cedarwood formula here.


Any of these can be combined. Let us know what combos you come up with, what you like about Rose, and what works for you!


Experience the full Inner Sanctum Membership.

Become a full member of the Inner Sanctum and enjoy new content like this each month, while getting to enjoy our vast collection of resources. You can receive 20% off a full-year subscription. (Discount will be applied at checkout.)

Learn more here and get yours today!


Indulgent Rose Facial Scrub and Serum

Indulgent Rose Facial Scrub and Serum

There’s no limit to your creativity with aromatherapy. Here are just a few ideas on how to indulge yourself with Rose. You can top off these treatments with some fresh hydrosol for a complete treat.

Rose Petal Facial Scrub

This is a luxury scrub for indulgent skin care! Gently massage wet skin of the face, neck, and chest. Do not use pressure and do not use on irritated skin. Use before a shower or in the tub.


  • 2 cups organic cane sugar
  • 1/3 cup organic coconut oil
  • 2 to 3 TBSP organic olive oil
  • 3 to 4 roses, separate petals, discard stem
  • 1-5 drops of Rose essential oil, if desired



Collect organically grown and fragrant roses if possible; dried material will work all right, but it won’t have the smell of fresh roses.

Add sugar, coconut oil, olive oil, rose petals, and essential oil* in a food processor and process until smooth; start with pulses to mix, then blend till smooth.  

*Essential oils may absorb into plastic, so unless you have a dedicated food processor for aromatics or a glass blender, you may want to add the Rose oils after processing. Just transfer to a glass bowl, drop in essential oil and mix well with a metal spoon.

Package in glass jars with lids; use a spatula to get out a handful at a time. Use within a few weeks. Store at room temperature.


Rose Face Serum

A serum is a concentrate used on a small area such as the face and eye area. Serums often contain the most beneficial skin ingredients. Ours is simple but effective. The majority of the serum base consists of your favorite carriers, which you may already have on hand—along with additives for all skin types.

I prefer organic and cold-pressed vegetal oils. They do go rancid, so buy them fresh and store properly. The CO2 select and total extracts are new to the market, so we are just starting to play with those.



  • 8 drops of Rose otto
  • 8 drops Rose absolute
  • 10 ml of a quick-absorbing oil (like hazelnut, macadamia nut, or fractionated coconut oil)
  • 10 ml of a heavier, moisturizing oil to hold in moisture (like almond, avocado, and olive oil)
  • 10 ml additives of your choice

Additives can be customized to fit your skin type. Some examples include: evening primrose and rose hips for aging skin; calendula or perhaps callophylum for irritated skin. Other extracts like CO2 pomegranate seed provide antioxidants to fight free radical damage (sun damage).



First, blend the vegetal oils in a small pump bottle

Add the Rose oils and additives

Shake gently!

This should make about an ounce of serum. For best results, apply over wet skin that has been hydrated with rose water or another hydrosol.

Customize these any way you like. Not the biggest fan of rose? That’s okay. Replace the rose with any floral of your choice and still feel like an absolute queen!

For more info on skin oils for skin types, vegetal oils, and additives, see the Aromatic Spa Book—either as an ebook or hard copy!

Let us know how you like these recipes, what variations you discover, and the joy of making and using your own skin care products.

Experience the full Inner Sanctum Membership.

Become a full member of the Inner Sanctum and enjoy new content like this each month, while getting to enjoy our vast collection of resources. You can receive 20% off a full-year subscription. (Discount will be applied at checkout.)

Learn more here and get yours today!