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The intoxicating world of essential oils

From glossy brochures to images of flannel flares and flower power, essential oils have had a rough time of it image-wise over the last few decades. It’s time to put that right.

Firstly, they’re not all sweetness and light. Whether it’s to fight off invaders, to protect themselves, or as a honeytrap to attract unsuspecting passers-by, essential oils are the distilled essence of nature’s bare-knuckle fighters. Trees, shrubs, flowers, leaves, roots and bark resins that are gnarly, angry, aggressive and downright scary if they want to be.

Essential oils are potent. They are antifungal, antibacterial and in some cases a bit anti-social. They are deeply beneficial too if used correctly and in the right amounts.

As seducers their powers are even more wily. Once an essential oil has its hooks into you, you are often charmed for life. It’s no accident that plants mimic animal pheromones, they want to lure you in.

Like botanical sirens, they intoxicate, hypnotise, and drag you to the deep. Do you really think it was Cleopatra’s eye makeup that sent Anthony into a spin?

When you uncork a bottle of an essential oil you are entering a world far older, more primal and much more powerful than you ever imagined.

The combination of these materials can be used to add allure and mystery to otherwise bland and pedestrian products. Washing detergent suddenly becomes the fragrance of carnal desire, hair conditioner wraps you in a web of intrigue.

What you are going to learn here is not a series of slick infographics of stuff you could have googled. Instead you are opening a door onto a world that, from its deepest root tip to the last petal, is steeped in history, indiscretion, despondent decadence and glorious bouquet.

This is the essence of life, enjoy!

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