Flower and Bone body butter jar opened and sitting on a round wooden tray surrounded by dried flowers

the allure of scent in skincare

March 20, 20224 min read

When I first started out making my own skincare, years before I ever put a label on it, i was experimenting with cocoa butter bars and various scents I could find. To me it, I wanted to capture the scent and aromatics. However, since I started my in depth exploration into the plants, nutrition, as well as my certification in holistic herbalism, this whole world for me has been turned on it’s head.

Don’t get me wrong, I still use essential oils but not so much for their aromatic properties. When I started formulating and actually putting labels on my products to sell, it wasn’t really about the scent. It was about the concentrated healing properties of the plant. The scent of the product was more of a bonus.

But since 2016, I have slightly tweaked things here and there. I have swapped out suppliers for not just organic but regenerative, fair trade and small batch producers. I have also started paying more attention to which plants are more threatened and what countries are producing them.

However, the real meat of this conversation about scent is about the liberal versus intentional use of scents and why that even matters.

I compare making essential oils out of plants to juicing veggies. When you are making essential oils, you are only extracting the volatile or aromatic oils of a particular plant and leave behind a myriad of incredible and medicinal compounds. Not unlike juicing plants, which removes some vitamins but mostly importantly the plants sugars and leaves behind the most important part of all, fiber.

Next think about the amount of vegetables it takes to make up one cup of vegetable juice, it takes quite a lot. Well, same goes for the your essential oils. It takes TONS and TONS of plant matter for the tiniest amount of that aromatic oil.

In the world of consumption, being mindful of how much is gathered and used it quite important. In my opinion, the liberal use of essential oils, can be quite irresponsible and disrespectful to the plants themselves.

Most importantly, to me at least, you actually aren’t harnessing the full potential of medicine that plant has to offer. Just like when you juice veggies you leave behind the fiber and other compounds, which helps slow down the release of sugar to your bloodstream that you are downing when you drink only the vegetable juice, you also leave behind SO many more amazing compounds of the plants from making essential oils. Yes, I am also indirectly saying, I equate juicing to only being slightly better for you than a candy bar (shocking I know) but sugar is sugar. Period.

I also find the comparison to the latest research within the world of cannabis, articulates another point on this as well. We all have heard of THC and CBD so freaking much by this point, but did you know that if you just take the isolated compound of THC or CBD, you aren’t getting the medicine at all. You will most likely not feel the effects you are expecting and even more likely that you could actually worsen your symptoms. Not cool, I know.

This is why research on the plant and pharmaceutical use has been so slow, because they love to isolate things and they realize that’s not how plants actually work. This is called the entourage effect. It basically means that you can’t just isolate the main compound and think that you have the magic cure all. Plants are much smarter that than. All the compounds of the plants work together synergistically in the body. It’s seriously SO amazing.

Case and point with cannabis and cancer research, they are finding that actually harnessing all the compounds in a several types of cultivars (or “strains”) of a cannabis plant, yield much greater benefit than by themselves.

So bringing this back to scent…. to be honest, in all my formulations, it’s the dead last thing I even consider. I mean, yes I don’t need my face and body to smell nasty, but I don’t think even in the craziest combo of plants I use could ever possibly smell gross.

Yes, our noses are great detectors and let us know when something is off and aromatherapy is quite spectacular with what it does for the brain, but that’s not the point in my products. To me, the greatest and most potent part, is harnessing as much of the incredible plants as possible, which turns out is also the most healing to the skin and the body.

Using essential oils really needs to be considered very intentionally and used with discretion. Not just slapped on so liberally without any regard with how much plant matter we are actually consuming. It is how nature intended the plants we consume, whether internally or externally, to be used. I don’t even think the science, quite honestly, has even caught up to how synergistic all these compounds even are. We are merely scratching the surface here.

But all this to say, this is why whole plant herbal infusions are at the heart of what I do and the essential oils in the formulations are just a very small but intentional touch. So use and choose your scents wisely and make sure that you are getting the most out of those amazing and incredible plants!



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© Flower and Bone Supply 2024

All Rights Reserved