Essential oils have been around for a very long time. They were first used in perfumes and in temples. Egyptian women would wear large perfumed wax balls in their hair that would melt as the day progressed and mask the odor of sweat. In Rome, women and men alike would take baths and then would be massaged with sweet smelling oils. Much later, women in Europe would wash their hair in oils laced with lavender or rose.
Eventually people noticed the essential oils specific properties. These properties could be used in a variety of ways. In Magick, a Witch will often use essential oils to increase their spells' strength. Essential oils can also set a mood and help focus intent. In aromatherapy books, you will find lists of what ailments that essential oils can help with. Experiment but be careful! Make lists of the oils you use and do patch tests first. Never take an essential oil internally. Don't cook with them either. Although essential oils are natural, they are chemicals and can be toxic.
As I'm sure some of you know, essential oils are expensive. They will also last you a very long time. Always remember that they are very concentrated and a little will often be better than a whole lot. Experiment and see how much you can use happily. The fragrant oils that you will find in drug stores or novelty stores are much less concentrated. They will be cheaper too. I admit that I do most often use these oils because of their cheapness. I simply can not afford fifty dollars per oil.
No matter the quality of your oil, don't ever put it directly onto the skin. Always mix with a carrier oil such as olive, grapeseed or almond. Once you have mixed the oils, do a patch test. It is better to know ahead of time if certain oils bother you. Also, don't make the oil too concentrated. Body oils and oils for general use should be 2% concentrated. A good guide is having 4 drops of essential oil per 20 mL.
Ways To Use Essential Oils
Body Oils- Body oils are easy and a lot of fun. For more information see the separate section on them.
Burning- Essential oils can be burnt in special burners to great effect. Buy a burner and a few tea candles. Add a few drops of essential oil and then some water to the depression on the top of the burner. Light the tea candle after placing it under the depression and let burn. Even though this oil won't touch the skin, I'd still do a patch test otherwise you might have some respiratory irritation if you're allergic.
Cleaning- Yes, you can clean with essential oils. To freshen clothes, add a few drops to the rinse cycle in your washing machine. When cleaning, you can also add a few drops of lemon oil on your cloth. Don't wipe on finished wood as it will stain!
Clothing- Ever hate the smell of mothballs? A fantastic alternative is a blend of lavender, lemon and camphor. Just dab onto a cotton ball and place into the closet to keep the bugs away. The oils give clothes a nice fresh smell too. Other essential oils can be used just for the smell. Remember to re-apply the oils every so often as the oils will slowly evaporate.
Candles- When making your own candles essential oils can be added so, see the section on how to make them.
Face Sprays- I'm sure you've seen these around and the price is hardly low. Believe it or not, making them isn't hard. Add your favorite oil to some water and shake before you use. If you can find it, some pure alcohol can be added in addition to the water. Just as a small amout. Use a spray bottle to apply or splash on your face.
The oils listed are some of my favorites and those that I use most often. There are many more but I would suggest that you start small. Buy oils that smell good to you and then look them up in a book.
Cinnamon - Purification, stimulation, wealth and prosperity, business. When you use this oil, only use a small amount. Cinnamon is very potent and may mask all other oils.
Clove - Pain relief, intellectual stimulation, business success, wealth and prosperity, divination, exorcism, protection, psychic awareness.
Frankincense - Spirituality, astral strength, protection, consecration, courage, exorcism. I really like frankincense and use it often for an annointing oil with sandalwood.
Lavender - This is my best friend's favorite oil. It can be used to tread headaches as well as helpin cleansing, healing, love, happiness.
Lemon - Lemon esssential oil has quite a few magickal and practical uses. It helps healing, love and purification. It also helps remove bad odors and if you mix a few drops with water to use in house-cleaning your home will smell great!
Lilac - Soothing, warding off, exorcism. I grew up smelling the lilacs bloom and it forever makes me think of my childhood.
Myrrh - This oil is centuries old. Spirituality, hex-breaking, meditation, healing, consecration, exorcism.
Peppermint - Energy, mental stimulant, exorcism, healing. Peppermint is great for stomach aches, but use carefully. Somepeople have used it and suffered an opposite reaction.
Pine - Use this oil when you want to be strong in the element of earth. Grounding, strength, cleansing, exorcism, healing.
Rose - I guess I'm a traditionalist as this has to be my all time favorite. Rose is great for love, house-blessings, fertility, healing.
Sandalwood - This is another favorite. Sandalwood has a rich and mysterious scent and has been used for centuries. It is often used as a general, all-purpose annointing oil. Spirituality, healing, protection, astral projection, exorcism.
Strawberry - Love, luck, friendship.
Vanilla - Lust, mental powers. Vanilla should be mixed with a sharp smelling oil or it will often mute other fragrances.
Violet - Wisdom, luck, love, protection, healing. Everyone seems to love violet and they beg me to burn it when they visit.