Scents and Spirituality – Contacting the Dead with Candles?

Scents and Spirituality - Contacting the Dead with Candles

I received a really interesting direct message on the Scents the Moment Instagram the other night:

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Initially, as you can tell from my response, I was a little taken aback. I mean, if you look at my Instagram, I have photos of products and my dog, Lucy – I never thought my branding would direct me to be that kind of shop.

But, I questioned my own thinking… what, exactly, did I mean by that kind of shop?

A spiritual shop? A Wiccan shop? A head shop?… I realized the error wasn’t with the question, but in my own thinking.

Candles have existed for millennia and their brightness have served as metaphors for just as long. I realized the question I received was deep-rooted in far more history of candles that I was never aware of.  After a little guidance from my friend Deb Jasien, owner of Fields of Ambrosia, she directed me to Wicca Lore and I started to do my research and revised my response:

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Candles are inherently magical because they represent the four elements of nature. The wax is equivalent to the Earth (think of the soybeans used to create our wax base). The melted wax is like water – liquefied parts of the Earth.  The flame is obviously fire and the smoke produced by the candle is the air. According to Witches Lore, this deep-rooted connected between candles and Earth is strengthened based on the scent.

There exists a whole realm and encyclopedia of fragrances and what they spiritually mean.

  1. http://sacredwicca.com/herbs-correspondences – This website has a full and thorough list of so many fragrances and their power.
  2. https://wicca.com/celtic/herbal/magickall.htm – An herb list with all of their magical properties.

A few magical attributes examples associated with our candles:

Magical attributes of Chamomile: Good as a meditation incense, for centering, peace, sprinkle in your home for protection, healing, money.
Unstressed

Magical attributes of Jasmine: Used in love spells, charm, and sachets.
Summer Break

Magical attributes of Lavender: Sleep, long life, peace, wishes, protection, love, purification, visions, attracting men, clarity of thought.
Unstressed
Weekend Getaway

Magical attributes of Rose: Love, friendship, luck, protection, psychic power, and divination
Serenity Prayer Candle

Magical attributes of Sandalwood: Purification, protection, and healing.
Weekend Getaway


So, can you contact the dead with our candles?

Our candles were not created with the intent to draw any connection with the dead. We create our candles for beauty, aesthetic, fragrance, home decor, and to use your olfactory sense to connect you with a blissful moment in life.  That being said, we do use scents that are inherently “magical” (as demonstrated above) and would love to hear about how you use our candles to feel more connected with yourself, spirit, or more.

Serenity Prayer Candle Scents the Moment

Kristen Fusaro-PizzoPresident

Scents the Sounds: Perfect Musical Pairing with Soy Candles

Scents the Sounds Perfect Musical Pairing with Soy Candles

I absolutely love all kinds of music.  My iTunes is home to thousands of songs of countless genres. From “Pure Moods” to Pitbull, Gregorian Monk Chants (yes, really) to Lady Gaga, Broadway, Big Band, Beatles, Billy Joel, Billie Holiday, Billy Idol, Billy Ray Cyrus – you get the big picture. I was raised with music as a form of catharsis, stress relief, joy, and celebration. My father is a musician, and both of my parents loved music so much that it was just normal in my childhood to have some form of music playing 24 hours a day. To this day, there are evenings when I cannot sleep without my headphones.

As important as music is to setting a mood and creating ambiance, I look at it like a fine wine in need of a cheese pairing. We have our musical playlists to rev us up while we work out, or the perfect driving station, pairing your soy candle with the right playlist can also add an additional layer of relaxation and home decor, especially while entertaining.

For each candle, I am going to offer a few songs that I believe perfectly suits the scent and creates an ideal moment. I am using my Amazon affiliate links so you can go directly to the song or album and check it out for yourself.

After the Rain – Scented in Ozone, Mint, and Citrus

Beach Bumming – Scented in Sun, Sand, and Sea

It’s 5:00 Somewhere – Scented in Pina Colada

Summer Break – Scented in Ocean Mist

Unstressed – Scented in Lavender & Chamomile

Weekend Getaway – Scented in Lavender & Sandalwood

 

Kristen Fusaro-PizzoPresident

Simple Steps to Show Your Skin Summer Love

Simple Steps to Show Your Skin Summer Love

Winter gets a bad rap. Everybody fears dry skin in the winter time, and that’s true, but your skin is actually at risk for far more elemental damage during the summer months. Let’s look at all the risk factors in the summer:

  • Sun damage (UVA & UVB rays)
  • Chlorine damage
  • Excessive sweating
  • Clogged pores from sunscreen

Every season comes with its skin trials and tribulations, but summer skin really takes a beating. The bad news is that year after year of these beatings will eventually lead to permanent damage, the possibilities of melanoma, and sagging, dry, cracked skin. The good news is that the minute you decide to make a change, your skin is a living organ, so it will constantly regenerate and work with you to reverse the aging effects of the summer.

  1. WEAR YOUR SUNSCREEN! I can never repeat this enough. Even if it seems like a cloudy day, if you’re spending time outdoors, you need to have sunscreen on. If you’re sweating or swimming, you need to reapply every 80 minutes. Look for a broad-spectrum sunscreen that protects against both UVA and UVB rays. My personal favorite for the face is Clinique. It protects without that greasy feel.  For the body, I prefer a spray sunscreen, like Coppertone Sport. I always choose an SPF of at least 30, but I prefer 50 if I can obtain it.
    1. *A common misconception is that if your natural skin is darker in tone, you don’t need sunscreen, or you don’t need a high SPF – this simply isn’t true. Sun damage can affect anyone of any skin tone.
  2. PRE-WASH WITH RESTING BEACH FACE!  If you’ve been outside all day, or you’re coming in from a sweaty workout, or you’ve spent the evening with a full face of makeup, you need to give your skin a chance to breathe by washing away all of that dirt. Resting Beach Face is a perfect solution because of the combined Dead Sea Mud and activated coconut charcoal work as a debriding agent and gentle exfoliator to scrub off that top layer of dead skin cells. This helps to unclog your pores and free up your skin to feel clean and absorb the nutrients from the clay facial.
  3. CLAY, CLAY, CLAY to SAVE THE DAY!  A great way to reintroduce natural moisture and minerals back into the skin is with clay masks. Saving Face uses numerous clays, as well as colloidal oatmeal, to cleanse and nourish even the most sensitive skin. During the summer, I give myself clay facials two or three times per week. Make sure to give yourself the clay facial AFTER pre-washing your face!
  4. POST WASH with YOU GOT THIS! Make sure to rinse off all of the clay from your mask after 5-7 minutes and follow-up with a gentle, sensitive cleanser like You Got This!. This final cleansing helps to wash off any leftover clay as well as soothe and prepare the skin for moisture.
  5. FINAL STEP is to MOISTURIZE. After all that washing, it’s important to replenish the softness of your skin. Use Butter Me Up – only a teeny, tiny bit will do the trick. Rub in circular motions until fully absorbed. An important note here – don’t add more until your skin has absorbed what you already placed on it, or you can get greasy.

**ALTERNATIVE DAYS

  1. OR FACE THE DAY (FOR STEP #3,4,5)!  On days when you’re not giving yourself a mask, exfoliate with Face the Day. Face the Day serves as both an exfoliator and moisturizer in one so you won’t need any extra moisture after rinsing off the sugar. Remember to just leave the natural oils from the scrub on your face to penetrate the skin and deeply nourish.

 

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Face Day Monday, Thursday, Sunday
Step 1 – Pre-wash Face with Resting Beach Face
Step 2 – Saving Face Clay Mask
Step 3 – Wash face with You Got This!
Step 4 – Moisturize with A LITTLE bit of Butter Me Up

Face Day Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday
Step 1 – Pre-wash Face with Resting Beach Face or You Got This!
Step 2 – Face the Day Scrub 

Kristen Fusaro-PizzoPresident

Get Free Stuff! How to Take Advantage of our Rewards Program

Rewards Program

Everybody likes being rewarded. Gold stars on A+ exams, trophies for championships, frequent flyer miles – we believe the world is a better place because of positive reinforcement. This is why we want YOU to be rewarded every single time you shop and share with us.

We instated the rewards program in early 2016 when we went through our first rebranding. The goal was, and still is, to thank our customers for shopping with us and for sharing about us on social media.

Here are the current rewards and the number of points needed to achieve them:

$5.00 Off – 500 Points
$10.00 Off – 1000 Points
$15 Off – 1650 Points
$25.00 Off – 2500 Points
25% Off – 3750 Points
30% Off – 5000 Points
Free Shipping – 750 Points

How do you earn rewards? There are a number of ways you can rack up those rewards points, including:

Make a purchase -3 Points Per $1.00
Create an account – 100 points
Tweet about us – 50 Points
Visit our Facebook page – 25 Points
Refer a friend – 500 Points
Happy Birthday – 100 Points

How do you get started? 

Step One: The way to start earning rewards and keeping track of your points is to register for an account on our website, scentsthemoment.com.

Step Two: Click the tab on the bottom left of your desktop (or middle of the screen on your mobile device) that says “Earn Rewards.”

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It’s that easy! You’re all set up!

Now, this is how you can get reminded of your information.  Once you login to your account, you have access to all of your personal points and can be reminded about how to earn more points.

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Once you login, you will get directed to the screen you see below. The menu on the left explains all of the information you need about your rewards points balance, what the rewards are, ways to earn rewards, friend referrals, and more.

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EARN BIG REWARDS, FAST!

One of the best ways to earn 500 points is to share your referral link with your friends! Click the “Refer Friends” tab on the left side (after you login) and you will see a referral link that is unique to you. SHARE, SHARE, SHARE! Every person who uses YOUR referral link and spends at least $25 in our shop, YOU earn 500 bonus points!  

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Other ways to earn rewards?

      1. Write a review of any of our products and we add 20 bonus rewards points into your account (this can take us up to 30 days because we do this manually).
      2. Semi-annually, we offer double or triple bonus rewards points.  Just sign up for our email list to be notified and/or join our VIP Facebook group.

     

“You Got This” – Facial Liquid Soap & Mask in One

You Got This- Facial Liquid Soap & Mask in One

Who has the time to give yourself facial masks, nevermind go and get facials? While rituals of cleansing are important aspects of self-care, anything that causes you extra stress is not worth its time. Having this thought in mind, plus my obsession with the cosmetic benefits of clay, I decided to create “You Got This!,” a natural, liquid, facial Castile soap dually serves as a face wash and face mask in one.

 

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Click to View YOU GOT THIS

 

Another Monday? Didn’t get enough sleep? A sweaty mess from the gym? Acne and oil from crazy hormones? Don’t worry – YOU GOT THIS! You Got This! is intended to be an affirmation that you can take on anything the day has to offer you! Handcrafted in small batches with ingredients specifically chosen to awaken tired, dull, sensitive, acne-prone, oily, and/or sweaty skin.

The base is made from organic olive oil.  Because the saponified part of this soap is 100% olive oil. It is named Castile soap from the town in Spain where Castile 100% olive oil soap is derived. Castile soap is gentle and luxurious with a perfect amount of mild suds which do not destroy the skin’s natural protective layer.

The first goal of a facial mask is cleansing.  We use masks to especially remove dirt and oil from our pores.  We use white Kaolin clay in “You Got This!”  As explained on Stylecaster, “White kaolin clay is the gentlest [of the different colored Kaolin clays] and thus great for sensitive dry skin. It doesn’t absorb so much as it does soften with super gentle bits for a mild exfoliation.”  It softly purifies the skin and pores without the harshness that comes with other facial masks.

We include jojoba oil, which is an oil whose chemical property closely mimics human sebum, to create an extra moisturizing softness to balance out the pulling and deep-cleansing from the clay.  Finally, we scent You Got This! with a blend of essential oils to create both toned and balanced skin, as well as create a fresh, green, and awake fragrance.

You Got This! is mild, gentle, and safe to also be used as a body wash or as a bath soak. It works ideally in a sea sponge or a Konjac sponge.

Kristen Fusaro-PizzoPresident

Teacher Appreciation Week

Teacher Appreciation Week

I am almost finished with my 11th year of teaching. As with every year, there have been times of laughter, times of sadness, times of confusion and dismay, times of pride. While I always enjoy reflecting on my own teaching, what I like to do this time each year, during Teacher Appreciation Week, is think about the teachers I had in my past who have played their role in shaping me into the person I am today.

To the following teachers, in alphabetical order…

Dr. Marilyn Aronson (deceased)
Dr. Aronson – there’s not a class day that goes by where I don’t feel you in my very bones. Your lessons about “Hard writing makes easy reading” continue to resonate and I hope I make you proud every time I teach it. I took your Greek Tragedies book so I could have pieces of you with me from one of my favorite works during AP Lit, Oedipus Rex. I hope you know you are a legend and you are loved.

Mrs. Stacie Brooks
You were my first teacher-love. You were the first person (outside of my family) who made me believe in myself. You called me out when I feigned illness, but you never made me feel bad about it – you always knew it was about my self-confidence. You made me love school and I am forever grateful.

Mr. Martin Doyle
Any Russian I learned in high school, I learned from you. Seriously, I wish I had you for all three years of Russian. You taught me incredible study techniques that actually made me a better student. You are the only reason I had any confidence to take Russian in college.

Professor Donald Loewen
You made me challenge my honor and made me a better person for it. You are also the person who made me fall in love with Russian. Spasibo bolshoye, Professor.

Mrs. Carol Lowe
You were one of the toughest English teachers at Tech and that’s why I loved you. You were no-nonsense, brilliant, with an amazing sense of warmth and kindness. Every kid respected you to the highest degree because you deserved it. You read all of our work, each and every word, and you let me express myself – yours was the only homework I ever wanted to do.

Ms. Judith Mandiberg
Your leading sentences are what gave me confidence in creative writing. You may not believe me, but I would write several different stories for each of those sentences. But what was more important was how you cared for us. You trusted us with your address to write you letters and during a time that was so tumultuous for me, you were a guiding light, personally answering each and every one of my letters. I’m sorry I stopped writing. If I could find your address again, this time I would come for coffee.

Professor Rachelle Moore
Your guidance, leadership, and friendship molded me into someone who was confident enough to take control and run my own programs. Your Computers in English Studies class is what has given me the confidence to build my own websites today. You inspired me to write poetry again.

Mr. Sigmund Robinson
I can still rattle off electronics equations because you made us memorize every one. I am able to fix small circuits, understand the difference between parallel and series, and appreciate my Jewish ancestry because of you.

Professor Libby Tucker
Your classes are literally the entire inspiration for my teaching! Because of you, I am able to teach the most amazing senior elective English class in the history of public school. You showed me that my love of folklore and the supernatural was real and valid – you gave me my life’s purpose.

Professor Al Vos
You actually taught me how to read Shakespeare and I am forever grateful. You opened up an entire world of figurative language, complex characters, love, devastation, all through the eyes of Iago, Prospero, Portia, and more. I only wish I can be half as inspiring when I teach Shakespeare.

Mr. Steven Zebofsky
You made me love history. Even though I was a horrible history student who couldn’t write an AP US essay to save my life, you taught me things about the world that no one else ever mentioned. I was always amazed and how all you needed to do was write an Aim on the board and still deliver a brilliant lesson simply through discussion and debate. Thank you for letting be Sparta and kicking Athens’ ass.

As you think about all the teachers who have positively influenced you or your children, please remember them during this special week. A little moment of gratitude means everything to us.

Kristen Fusaro-PizzoPresident

A Serenity Candle Created From Chaos

A Serenity Candle Created From Chaos

I bought twelve amber glass jars a little less than a year ago. I stored them in a drawer for that entire time. I had a million ideas for these jars. I knew I wanted them to be a candle, but I pined over the design of the label, and most importantly, over the fragrance.

I knew I wanted something a little spicy. In my mind, I kept seeing a phoenix, or the symbolic burning of rebirth. I experimented with a sweet orange and jalapeno fragrance, but I smelled no spice. Then I tried a caramel and cayenne, it just smelled like burnt sugar. I mixed hot pepper with lavender, with vanilla, with sandalwood… everything was just awful and burned my nose. I sadly decided to give up on the hot pepper.

I was actually a little heartbroken. I did not just want to buy a conventional fragrance oil; I really wanted this candle to speak to whoever was burning it – I wanted them to hear my soul through the blend of fragrances.

The scent still needed fire and spice – I had to show that aspect; the part where you find the strength to emerge from the flame, but I realized I needed it to be delicious. This spice shouldn’t be painful; this spice was meant to demonstrate empowerment, so the candle needed to also be sweet, or tangy, but completely palatable.

The idea of patchouli struck me. Alone, patchouli is musky with a bit of earth, not the hot spice I was looking for, but combined with chocolate, it is complex – both sweet and green; it gives the chocolate a punch. To add to the depth of this new combination, I wanted something floral. I love the scent of true rose, but it is dominating and overpowering, so blending rose with a fruit base to make a rose-jam scent would be perfect.

The combination of patchouli, chocolate, rose, and jam is sophisticated, intoxicating, and serene. It immediately reminded me when you’re at the breaking point and you absolutely need a moment to step away from the stressors of your life. The scent is both so complex, much like our daily chaos, I wanted something to balance the scent with tranquility. That’s where the idea of our logo came into mind.

 

Serenity Prayer Candle Scents the Moment
Shop the Serenity Prayer Candle

 

Instead of further complicating the deep and provocative scent combination I created with a witty and wordy name, I chose the Tree of Life directly from our logo. This tree is a perfect symbol of serenity. That’s when the name finally hit me… Serenity Prayer.

The most famous part of the “Serenity Prayer” poem by Reinhold Nieubuhr:

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

The final goal of creating this new limited-edition candle was to ask people to stop and meditate when they light the candle. The objective is to make the moment so peaceful from the alluring aroma and candlelight that everyone could stop to collect themselves, say the “Serenity Prayer” and find that moment of calm.

SHOP THIS CANDLE NOW

More than Soap and Candles: Twenty Random Facts About the Maker

More than Soap and Candles - Twenty Random Facts About the Maker

I realized in 3 years of blogging about business, I have never actually written about myself. I like to think that anyone who is shopping with Scents the Moment is someone who is already quite conscientious about living a natural, healthy lifestyle and about caring for animals, so they would also be curious about the person who is crafting their products. Hey, I figure if my soap is hanging out in your shower, you should allow me to introduce myself – Hi, I’m Kristen Fusaro-Pizzo and I am honored to be a part of your morning routine!

Firstly, while I do credit Frank, my husband, as being co-owner, I am the one who does 99% of the product-making – with the rare occasion where Frank will help me mix some bath salts. That’s why this particular article is more about me – the one behind your candles and soap.

In no particular order, here are some facts about me:

  1. I was a complete nerd in high school and proud of it. I was one of the captains of the bowling team, one of the founders of mah-jongg club, and one of the editors of the yearbook – I even went to yearbook camp.  I now teach in the same high school where I was a student.
  2. I have read Macbeth at least 50 times and can recite random portions of it from memory.
  3. My all-time favorite Broadway musical was Rent. I was definitely a “Rent-head” all throughout college.
  4. My college major was English with a minor in Russian language and literature. My first master’s degree is in teaching secondary English, and my second master’s degree is in educational leadership.
  5. I have not traveled nearly as much as I would like to, but I have been to Russia and South Korea, both of which were really amazing.
  6. When I craft new soap recipes, I see the whole process backward in my head. I envision myself smelling my soap while in the shower and begin designing with that end moment in mind.
  7. My all-time favorite sitcom is The Golden Girls with The Goldbergs as a very close second. I prefer light comedy but have never missed an episode of Game of Thrones.
  8. I have no qualms about being a child-at-heart. I love Harry Potter, Disneyworld, The Little Mermaid, playdough, “Guess Who,” Super Nintendo… I’d rather be in Disneyworld than anywhere else on the planet.
  9. Despite being the head of a business network, business owner, and high school teacher, I am actually very much an introvert. I would pick alone-time or time with my pittie, Lucy, over anything else.
  10. It is my life’s goal to own a large dog rescue ranch where unwanted pit bulls can roam free and live out happy, healthy, loved lives. (All dogs would be welcome, I just have an affinity for pit bulls because they’re the underdog… pun intended.)
  11. I have absolutely no fear of public speaking but I am deathly afraid of rollercoasters.
  12. I like to identify as Slytherin, but my Pottermore told me I’m a Ravenclaw. I just can’t get down with that, though.
  13. My greatest dislikes are:
    1. People starting to eat before everyone has been seated or served.
    2. People who are too proud to admit mistakes or being wrong.
    3. People who lie to make themselves look better.
    4. People who are generally phony or unoriginal.
    5. Celery. Disgusting.
  14. I use all my reject products on myself. I am keenly aware of waste and it breaks my heart. I secretly judge people who don’t recycle.
  15. I am distinctly unlucky. I once picked all 5 numbers, in order, of the New York Pick-5 lotto… but never bought a ticket.  I bowled a 298 game after I was pulled out of a match.  I hit the 7-10 split spare in bowling but no one was around to see me do it.
  16. My all-time favorite food is pizza.
  17. I absolutely love teaching Grendel by Gardner, Macbeth (as you figured), Greek Mythology, and 1984 by Orwell. Teaching these works makes me so excited to go to work every morning.
  18. I have difficulty trying to complete one task at a time. This is a great source of anxiety for me as I am always working on multiple things at once and never feel accomplished. (I also never feel finished about anything, which creates more anxiety.) I actually believe my anxiety is both a detriment to my health and a core aspect of my success.
  19. If I had a million dollars, I would pay off my house, my parents’ house, my in-laws’ house, put money aside for my niece and nephew to go to college anywhere they want, and rescue more dogs. If I had any leftover… (which I probably wouldn’t, considering the price of college these days)… but if I did, I would put a down payment on a little soap shop by the water.
  20. My birthday is on Christmas. My Mom’s name is Mary. My father-in-law’s name is Joseph. I was born on a Sunday. Chew on that.

Kristen Fusaro-PizzoPresident

What is Ayurveda and Ayurvedic Herbal Medicine?

What is Ayurveda and Ayurvedic Herbal Medicine_

I have long been intrigued by Ayurveda and ancient Indian herbalist practices. My introduction to Ayurveda is actually one of the (many) reasons I chose to develop my own skincare; I just didn’t feel Western culture used enough of these practices in our own holistic health.

The main practice of Ayurveda is the balance between mind, body, and spirit. It is the belief that if all three are in balance, you will be healthy. It suggests that total wellness is a derivative of all aspects of the whole self, meaning that the root of medical ailments is not always solely physical. Another important aspect of Ayurveda is understanding the harmony in the universe; the belief that the whole universe, alive or dead, is all interconnected.

The Three Doshas of Ayurveda

In Ayurveda, it is understood that all humans are divided into five elements of the universe: space, air, fire, water, and earth.

As explained by WebMD: “These combine in the human body to form three life forces or energies, called doshas. They control how your body works. They are Vata dosha (space and air); Pitta dosha (fire and water); and Kapha dosha (water and earth).

Everyone inherits a unique mix of the three doshas. But one is usually stronger than the others. Each one controls a different body function. It’s believed that your chances of getting sick — and the health issues you develop — are linked to the balance of your doshas.”

Achieving Balance

Imbalance occurs when we have accrued too much of one specific dosha. Too much Vata dosha, which is the control of the basic body function, can lead to anxiety, heart disease, skin problem, arthritis. Too much Pita dosha are more likely to develop metabolic and gastrointestinal issues, high blood pressure, and infections. Too much Kapha dosha is usually shown through obesity, cancer, diabetes, nausea, as it is related to the main body system.

To achieve balance, Ayurvedic practices would teach us to follow these steps for a healthy, balanced life:

  • Eat foods that are mildly spiced. The best spices to use are cumin, turmeric, coriander, fennel, mint, asafetida (hing), black pepper, dried powdered ginger, cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cayenne. These spices help aid in digestion and balanced eating.
  • Do not wait until you’re full to stop eating. Eat only until you are no longer hungry.
  • Drink water that is alkaline. You can use lemon or lime with deionized water (like Smart Water).
  • Use skincare products rich with real sandalwood and jasmine. This is one of the reasons we make our natural probiotic deodorant, It’s the Pits, with sandalwood powder.
  • Exercise moderately most days of the week. Practice yoga and deep-breathing exercises every day.
  • Read, study, or create at least once per week.
  • Spend time just being alone and quiet. No cell phone, no technology, no music. Try to walk through nature, like a park or beach, while practicing this mental clarity.
  • Build bonded relationships with people and animals. Give hugs and love!

Kristen Fusaro-PizzoPresident

Myths About Essential Oils

myths about essential oils

There is hardly anywhere you can turn without hearing about essential oils.  From relaxation to cleaning, migraines to massages, essential oils are often touted as the modern-day natural solution to almost anything.  Coming out of a generation that became warped by its over-reliance on pharmacological medications, it’s pretty easy to understand why people, especially Millennials and Generation X, would want to adapt into a more natural and healthier lifestyle.

But, how far is too far? When is natural simply not safe?

When people ask me about Scents the Moment, they usually ask if our products are “all natural,” to which I reply our products are where “nature meets science.”

Unfortunately, because of the all-natural wave in the last decade, many holistic companies and individuals have become fear-mongers, touting falsities about “all natural” that is, at best, wrong, and at worst, deadly. An example of when holistic goes too far is the anti-vaccine brigade which has instigated the resurgence of dormant diseases, specifically measles, mumps, and rubella, all on the false claims that vaccines cause Autism.

The claims I have heard about essential oils, especially from the two major multi-level marketing (MLM) companies, are downright scary. In this blog, I hope to do some essential oil myth-busting, putting our trust in actual science.

  1. MYTH: Essential oils are better and safer than fragrance oils in my cosmetics and skincare.
    1. Actually, this is not the case. In fact, there are some essential oils, such as eucalyptus, which can actually burn your skin, or citrus essential oils which cause phototoxicity. Fragrance oils, specifically phthalate-free fragrances, have been specifically formulated to be consistent with replication and safe for the skin. I would dare say they are safer since they are being created and duplicated from an actual formulation as opposed to varied crops and seasons that can affect essential oils.
  2. MYTH: I can ingest essential oils.
    1. What!? No! As my brilliant, and certified aromatherapist friend, Kayla Fioravanti says, “Beware of anyone who tells you to ingest essential oils either by putting a few drops in your water or putting them into a capsule. The only cases of death, organ failure, and hospitalization in the history of aromatherapy have been caused by ingesting essential oils. It is THAT dangerous.”
  3. MYTH: I use essential oils around my pets and babies to keep them _____.
    1. Please stop! Many essential oils are toxic to both children and pets. For example, tea tree essential oil can actually send your cats into toxic shock and seizures. Have a nice essential oil blend diffusing in your baby’s room? You could actually be triggering asthma and allergies.
  4. MYTH: Essential oils come from plants, so they must be safe.
    1. The FDA says it best: “Sometimes people think that if an “essential oil” or other ingredient comes from a plant, it must be safe. But many plants contain materials that are toxic, irritating, or likely to cause allergic reactions when applied to the skin.” Think of it this way: Poison ivy is a plant, do you want to rub it all over yourself?
  5. MYTH: My essential oils are “therapeutic grade,” so they’re higher quality.
    1. Yeah, sorry, NOPE again. There is no such thing as “therapeutic grade” essential oils.  As explained by aromatherapist Jade Shutes, “therapeutic grade” essential oils is only the use of clever marketing to imply that some oils are better than others. However, when you study the language, anything that claims to be “therapeutic” is implying medicinal practice, which is just plain dangerous, especially in the hands of untrained essential oil distributors.
  6. MYTH: I can just mix essential oils with water and use it as a cosmetic.
    1. Yikes for so many reasons.
      1. Water grows mold and bacteria. Unless you have included a preservative, the essential oils in water are just as susceptible to growing mold and bacteria.
      2. Most essential oils need to be diluted in another carrier oil for safety. Because some essential oils are so potent, they can cause major skin irritation, burning, or worse, unless diluted. As we know from basic chemistry, oils and water don’t mix (without an emulsifier), so you’re putting whoever you’re spraying at major risk for burns.
  7. MYTH: I use special blends of essential oils to sanitize and disinfect my home.
    1. While mixtures of essential oils can be decent for gentle cleaning and odor refreshing, as far as sanitizing or disinfecting – nope. Depending on what you need to sanitize or disinfect, you still need bleach or hydrogen peroxide.
  8. MYTH: I only burn essential oil candles because they’re healthier.
    1. Sorry to be a downer, but no again. Actually, because essential oils have such a low combustion rate when mixed with the fire of a candle, the fire is actually changing the chemical compound of the essential oil – this means that burning it could literally make it a) combustible b) flammable, or c) poisonous.  Essential oils not only burn poorly in candles, they make your candle more likely to spark and even explode, turning them into a major fire hazard. Plus, they really stink at being scented candles since their chemical compounds change and the scent changes along with it.
  9. MYTH: Lavender and Tea Tree essential oils will make my son grow breasts.
    1. If we take a look at the actual BBC study that has become the root of this claim, we find that they did not even use essential oils, but instead used various components and chemicals that can also be found in these oils. Dr. Robert Pappas of Essential Oil University explains most of this on his Facebook page.
  10. MYTH: Essential oils are part of my chemical-free lifestyle.
    1. You can’t be chemical-free. Water is comprised of two hydrogen particles and one oxygen particle = chemicals.  All things have chemicals.

Do you have any other questions about aromatherapy or essential oils?

*For further reading, I recommend Kayla Fioravanti’s book: The Art, Science, and Business of Aromatherapy: Your Essential Oil and Entrepreneurship Guide

 

 

Kristen Fusaro-PizzoPresident