Chemical Attraction & Red Flags

I’ve been in a polyamorous relationship with essential oils (EOs) since about 2002. Polyamorous because not just one EO can satisfy my physical and emotional needs. So I’ve been following my nose and pure chemical attraction to guide my aromatic experiences. And while I’ve fully absorbed myself in every sensual encounter, I never let it get too serious.

From Attraction to Intimacy

After sixteen years I realized I was craving more depth. I had this desire to explore my attraction to each essential oil more intimately, while opening myself up to newer relationships too. My casual approach had limited my ability to experience the rich complexities that EOs have to offer; individually and synergistically. I knew that daring vulnerability into the world of organic chemistry could actually make my relationships with EOs so much more pleasurable and fulfilling.

My intention has been to explore why a single EO has the power to make me feel a certain way. How can a scent instantly transport me through space and time? And from where does it get the power to enhance my mood, calm my nerves, and unwind my stagnant energy? Also, why do some EOs help me think more clearly, breathe easier, or rest better? And why do others have the gift of supporting my anxious mind, broken heart, or dysfunctional gut? How is it that a few droplets of essential oil can remove pain, inflammation, bacteria, fungi, and viruses while boosting my immune system? And if I blend certain EOs, why does that sometimes enhance the physical, emotional, energetic, and aromatic experience for me?

Dating Profile of an EO

To answer those questions, I’ve learned to always refer to the “dating profile” of an EO before introducing it into my body or environment. In the aromatherapy world, that profile is called the Gas Chromotography/Mass Spectromotry (GC/MS) report which should be provided for each batch of essential oil you purchase from an EO company. That report lists the percentages of each chemical component (ingredient) contained in every batch of oil. That’s how you verify it’s purity, therapeutic behaviors, and safety considerations for:

  • children
  • elderly
  • pregnancy/breast feeding
  • potential photo-toxicity
  • potential drug interactions
  • high/low blood pressure
  • asthma
  • seasonal or skin allergies
  • cancer treatment
  • epilepsy
  • internal use

Beware the Red Flags

Imagine the familiar aroma of Peppermint EO, Mentha X PiperitaI’m sure you instantly associate it’s scent with cooling, pain relieving, anti-inflammatory, digestive and decongestant properties. But even Peppermint EO has red flags. If you were to examine it’s GC/MS report you’d find that the majority of it’s therapeutic behaviors come from menthol of the monoterpenol chemical family. While most monoterpenol rich oils are generally safe on the skin and are not known to irritate (like Lavender or Tea Tree), the presence of menthol warns you that Peppermint:

  • may cause skin or mucous membrane irritation & should be used at a dilution of 1-2% max
  • should be avoided while pregnant or breastfeeding
  • should not be used with children under five as it can be neurotoxic when applied near the face
  • can be harmful if inhaled by infants
  • is contraindicated in case of cardiac fibrillation & for G6PD deficiency

Chemical Attraction to Love Connection

I’m not so sure I believe in love at first sniff anymore. I mean, you can’t deny instant chemical attraction but that’s just the beginning. A true love connection comes from:

  • purity of intention & honest communication (GC/MS report)
  • quality time spent together (inhaling, diffusing, blending etc)
  • deep respect (responsibly sourced organic EOs blended with mindfulness)


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