True Lavender (Lavendula angustufolia)
N.B. Don't use Lavender if you have clinically low blood pressure. Many of us are familiar with the scent of lavender. The foliage and the flowers are aromatic, bees love it and on a sunny day the scent fills the air. This beautiful oil is made from the flowers and is one of the most versatile essential oils. Lavender has been used down the centuries for perfume, scenting clothes, floral water and cosmetics.

Lavender blends well with most other oils, providing depth for the Top Notes and lifting the Base Notes.

Chamomile, German (Matricaria recutita)
German chamomile is non-toxic, non-irritant and can cause dermal irritation. Use in moderation.

The essential oil is made by steam distillation of the flower heads.

German chamomile is known for its affinity with skin care.

The scent is quite powerful, so if you are making a blend, the number of drops of chamomile is usually the lowest used, as it can overwhelm the other oils, particularly if you are using the more delicately scented oils. It blends well with Benzoin, Lavender, Geranium, Rose, Sandalwood, Ylang Ylang, Patchouli and Neroli.

Chamomile, Roman (Chamaemelum nobile)
Roman chamomile is non-toxic, non-irritant and can cause dermatitis in some people. Roman chamomile essential oil is made by steam distillation of flowers of the plant. The oil has a fresh, slightly minty scent that is powerful and can overwhelm other oils in blends.

Roman chamomile blends well with Lavender, Neroli, Rose and Geranium.

Geranium (Pelargonium alveolens)

N.B. Do not use if Diabetic.

Do not use in pregnancy.

Geranium is non-toxic, non-irritant and usually non-sensitising, though the Bourbon type can cause dermatitis on very sensitive skin.

The oil is made from the leaves, stalks and flowers. Geranium oil is a pale colour with a lovely fresh scent of pelargonium. The Bourbon variety can be sharper in scent, more rough edges.

Geranium blends well with Lavender, Rose, Sandalwood, Patchouli, Neroli, Bergamot, Orange, Petitgrain.

Jasmine Absolute (Jasminium officinale)
N.B. NEVER USE THIS OIL WHEN PREGNANT, it is a parturient, to promote and ease labour, and a galactagogue i.e. to increase the flow of milk.

It is non-toxic, non-irritant and generally non-sensitising, though allergic reaction has been known. Use in moderation.

Jasmine has one of the most heady scents, floral and sweet. It is one of the most expensive oils, being made from the flowers of the jasmine. Its price reflects the fact that a large number of flowers are needed to produce a small amount of oil. It is made by solvent extraction, as steam would damage the flowers.

Jasmine lifts the spirits and is used for skin care, helpful for dry, greasy, irritated or sensitive skin.

Jasmine blends well with Lavender, Rose, Geranium, Sandalwood and Clary Sage.

Orange Blossom (Neroli) (Citrus aurantum var amara)
Orange Blossom (Neroli) is non-toxic, non-irritant, non-sensitising and non-phototoxic.

The oil is made from the orange blossom flower of the Bitter Orange tree and has a lovely scent. It is one of the most expensive oils to buy and is suitable for all skin types, particularly mature.

It blends well with most other oils, including citrus oils, Geranium, Jasmine, Lavender, Chamomiles, Benzoin, Ylang Ylang.

Rose (Rosa centifolia or Rosa damascena)
Rose is non-toxic, non-irritant and non-sensitising.

The oil of the heart, for emotional healing and wellbeing. Rose is a wonderful oil for uplifting the spirits, for helping the emotions. P>Rose is one of the most expensive oils to buy, as it takes a huge number of rose petals to make the oil, but if you like rose, well worth it. Rose oil can be bought as an otto or absolute. The absolute is made by alcohol extraction and most of the alcohol is then removed from the oil. The otto is made by blending oils produced by the oil making process, using hydro and steam distillation.

Rose blends well with Lavender, Orange Blossom, Bergamot, Jasmine, Geranium, Clary Sage, Sandalwood, Patchouli, Chamomiles and Palmarosa.

Rose water can be used to help conjunctivitis as a cold compress.

Valerian (Valeriana fauriei)

It is non-toxic, non-irritant but may cause sensitisation, so use in moderation.

Valerian essential oil is made from the rhizomes. Its smell is musky, sometimes described as being like smelly socks!

Valerian blends well with Patchouli, Pine, Lavender, Cedarwood Atlas, Mandarin, Petitgrain and Rosemary.

Violet is non-toxic, non-irritant, with possible sensitisation in some people.

Violet essential oils are made by solvent extraction of the flower and leaf of the plant. The oils have different scents, the leaf oil being green in perfume and the flower oil floral.

Violet blends well with Clary Sage, Sweet Basil and other floral oils.

Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)
N.B. Avoid in pregnancy.

It is non-toxic, non-irritant and possibly causes sensitisation in some people.

Yarrow is a strong oil, so use in moderation. Prolonged use may cause headaches.

A lovely dark blue oil, the colour being due to the high chamazulene content, with a strong scent.

Yarrow has been used historically for respiratory infections, digestive complaints and nervous tension.

Yarrow blends well with Lavender, Cedarwood Atlas, Pine, Chamomile, Valerian and Vetiver.

Ylang Ylang
Use in moderation, as its heady scent can cause headaches if over used.

It is non-toxic, non-irritant and a few cases of sensitisation have been reported.

One of the most exotic essential oils, Ylang Ylang is made from the freshly picked flowers of the tree and has a heavy floral scent.

Ylang Ylang Extra is the top quality oil, made from the first distillate and it has a richer perfume than the usual grade.

Ylang Ylang is a good skin oil, balancing. It is a nice oil on its own or blends well with Jasmine, Vetivert, Bergamot, Mimosa, Rose.