Tag: apothecary

If you’re looking for me, I’ll be at Enfleurage, learning to blend essential oils into beauty products. Wanna come?

June 25th, 2012 — 3:39pm

A friend recently tipped me off to this really neat store in the west village here in NYC. It’s called Enfleurage, which loosely translates to a process by which the fragrant compounds exuded by plants are captured and preserved.  I’d always wondered how that was done! A little research informed me that it’s quite a complex process developed by the French in the 19th century.

This small boutique offers a range of hands-on classes designed for anyone who wants to learn more about aromatherapy and essential oils. Why would I want to do that, you ask? Because then you can:

  • Stop using synthetic fragrances in the home
  • Stop using artificial fragrance for personal scent
  • Get rid of an upset stomach or headache without drugs
  • Use essential oils for basic first aid
  • Naturally build up your immune system
  • Naturally regulate and balance your mood
  • Start making your own beauty and household cleaning products
  • Save money and reduce manufacturing and packaging waste
  • Alleviate the effects of stress, anxiety, and depression without medication
  • Transition to a more eco-friendly lifestyle

I attended a free Sunday morning class with two others and loved every bit of it. Christina, our instructor, was incredibly well informed, really good at sharing information, and let us smell, touch, and feel everything. I, of course, asked a bunch of questions, and the lovely woman answered every last one and gave us each a handout she’d made with information about carrier oils, essential oils, astringents and toners, and talked to us about how to use them if acne is your issue, dryness is your concern, or you get eaten alive by mosquitos and need help stopping the itch. I can’t say enough good things about the class and the info with which I came away.

Upcoming classes (that aren’t free) include: Natural Beauty Products for the  Body, Natural Beauty Products for the Face, Essential Oils for Detoxification, and this past weekend the class was on Aromatherapy for the home, and taught attendees how to switch from synthetic to natural home fragrance, reduce or eliminate the use of harsh commercial cleansers, discover strategies for natural odor, insect and pest removal and control, and how to change their atmosphere and mood with fragrance. Students were allowed to make two customized essential oil blends to take with them. So cool, right?

Even more cool – in addition to her NYC aromatics shop, the owner has her very own distillery in Oman, where she specializes in aromatics from the natural world like frankincense and agar wood, in particular. I would love to visit her Oman shop not just because I’d love to see that part of the world again, but more importantly because she makes ice cream infused with various oils and sells them to local businesses! Amazing.  I keep up with her super cool life on her blog:  www.absolutetrygve.com

A few things I learned during the class:

  1. Franincense is most useful in skin care for its wound healing and cell regeneration properties. It plumps up the skin, which makes it good for anti-aging products. It’s also great to heal fresh scars.
  2. Tea tree is a very powerful anti-viral, anti-fugal and anti-bacterial oil, but still gentle enough (for most people)  to be used straight on the skin (although I’d keep it away from mucous membranes – ouch!) I’ve been using it on blemishes with great success.
  3. Geranium has a balancing effect on hormones internally as well as astringent properties when used externally. Because most acne is a result of hormonal fluctuations and the excess sebum our skin produces because of that hormonal ebb and flow, a geranium hydrosol (water/botanical face spray) would be great for those of us suffering with acne to add to our regimen.
  4. Sea Buckthorn Oil is known to combat dryness and wrinkles because it contains high levels of vitamins A, C, and E, which means it does a great job repairing skin and regenerating cells. A+ for those with eczema, psoriasis, burns and sun damage.

What exciting information will I learn next time? I can’t wait!




A bowl of frankincense! I had no idea that it’s resin from scraping a tree that’s unique to Africa and the Middle East.


A box of sandalwood sticks.  I never thought about the fact that that delicious scent comes from actual wood!


A nice welcome from some greenery in the window.


Sweet little Buddha sitting next to an aromatic oil-heating bowl.


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