Yule Preparations

Hello, I’ve not forgotten you!

Yule Decorations

The dining room mantlepiece decked out for yule.

 Followers on my Facebook group may be wondering where I have gone. There have been fewer posts of late. That’s because I actually live this alternate lifestyle, not just blog about it!
Currently the living is full on, leaving little time for blogging and updating my facebook group page.

Candles & Perfume Courses now Ended

I completed the final one of these on Monday (3rd December) This was a bespoke 1 -1 course. My oils have been out since October and I have been focussing on making 6 unique Chrismassy (can you say Yule-ee) room scents.
Mixing oils and scents may sound simple, and it is if you are happy to just fling some mixture in a bottle, add carrier and go, but like all seemingly simple things there are underlying rules.
Pure essential oils, that is oils made from wholly natural plant based ingredients, are categorised in 2 ways. Firstly oils are either a top, middle or bottom note. Secondly they can be categorised as:  woodsy/citrusy/floral/spicey/earthy/herbacious/minty/medicinal/oriental aroma.

To successfully blend pure essential oils you have to get the right balance of top,middle and bottom, if you don’t your blend will not ‘hold’ it’s scent. Essential oils are volatile, that is they react with the air and evaporate. And that’s why they make good room scents and perfumes!

In addition not all the 9 categories above blend together well.You need to know which categories  of fragrance ‘go’ together.
When dealing with ‘aromas of the season’ you will almost certainly want to use cinnamon. This oil can cause allergies, and you MUST use in the correct quantity.
Then there is the dilution with carrier oil. 10% or 20% or what? For example Cinnamon or Cassia, (still Cinnamon but from a different plant and cheaper and less intense, hence it is the most used Cinnamon choice for your culinary spices in the supermaket) must not be more than 0.05% of your mix.
ALL pure essential oils must be diluted in a carrier oil, you cannot apply any pure essential oils directly to your skin.

Finally the aromas change, and it can be up to 6 weeks before the ‘true’ aroma is established. Very important for perfume, not quite so much for seasonal room fragrances because chances are they’re not going to be around for 6 weeks. Even so as the oils blend together over time the aroma of your fragrance will change, so I began in October as a previous blog (Alternate November) mentions.

Then there is the hours spent trawling the internet for ideas and inspirations. Yes there are pre-made recipes out there! Mostly the blogs they feature on are selling essential oils/burners/stuff. You will discover the same recipes repeated in many, many blogs. I have concerns about this.

I strongly suspect that many bloggers, especially those blogging to sell, have not tried these recipes or know insufficient about essential oils. I have seen many recipes stating 3 drops of cinnamon for a room fragrance, 2 is the limit and even that depends on the final dilution. There is no warning that Cinnamon can cause problems for people and that you should ask your guests about this before you burn. No caution about handling pure essential oils, or diluting them.

Some recipes are just plain wrong. One asked for 12 drops of wintergreen, this was on a blog linking to a site selling oils. 12 drops of Wintergreen will give you the wonderful aroma of Germoline, right through your house. Unless you play doctors and nurses at Christmas, and if you do, please spare me the details, this is not an aroma that I associate with either Yule or Christmas!

Wintergreen as a middle note has it’s place. It is a sort of ‘secret’ ingredient, When the oils mix it contributes in a way not at first apparent, you may not even be able to smell its contribution.

A lot of the online ‘Christmas Tree aroma’ recipes would smell like toilet cleaner too. You need a sweeter woodsy or spicy undernote, not just 3 different varieties of pine.

So to conclude, the internet is a great place to start for ideas, which is how I use it but whilst the recipes inspire me. For example I saw ‘Candy Cane’, which woud have smelled nothing like Candy cane if I had followed it, but the name inspired me to create my own using a blend containing peppermint (A top note that ‘hits’ you immediately) and vanilla amongst other fragrances. N.B. The mint range can also cause allergies.

Yule Room Scents

Six scents of Christmas or is it Yule?

So here are my finished 6, becuase everyone’s idea of a seasonal fragrance differs. All researched and available to smell on the courses. 

When you come on my courses you take away the full gen on how to do everything I do for yourself, a full explanation is given on the day and then you get a booklet with it all written down to take away. All likely contraindications are carefuly researched beforehand and a sheet giving you this info is supplied., plus I provide samples for you to sniff, and the accompanying recipe if you don’t wish to create your own on the day, which you are free to do if you choose.

Yule in the snug

Yule in my snug

Yule village in the Snug

Yule village in my snug

The Christmas/Yule courses are completed now. Thank Goodness! As enjoyable as they are, and I do enjoy them greatly especially meeting new friends, they take a lot of my time.
There were homemade mince pies, using of course my homemade mince and Chrismas biscuits, plus Christmas music, a log fire and decorations. Lots of time but hopefully giving a lovely Yule experience!

When is an Essential Oil not an Essential Oil?

No this is not a Christmas cracker joke, but a marketing trick used by manufacturers.
If an essential oil contains only the oils extracted from the plant itself and nothing else, then it is called a Pure Essential Oil If the ingredient on your commercially bought room spray or perfume just says pure oils, or essential oils then it can contain chemical or synthetic aromas.
I, and others like aromatherapists think this is misleading and needs to be stopped. It can cause allergies. Perfume manufacturers can keep their ingredients secret under EU law as the formula is classed as a trade secret.
If for example you see Apple essential oil, then it is not a pure essential oil because you can’t make a pure essential oil from apples. It will probably be made synthetically.
There is another form of  essence called an absolute. A solvent is used to extract the aroma. There are several absolutes, but chocolate is the best known. This method of extraction means that although you have the intense aroma and pure essence, it does not have the holistic beneficial qualities.
Probably it would be o.k. in a room scent though.

Extensions all Round

In 2019 if  I continue to offer both courses and workshops there will be some changes.

Courses will become one day experiences, candle making and working with oils will still feature but it will be an immersive day long experience. This is not yet a fully formed idea but there will be ancillary and possibly related extra experiences. I will be connecting these to the seasons.

I am considering offering a mainland dowsing workshop venue, as the ferry prices are becoming a more significant factor every year.
To do this I have to:
a) find a suitable location which has all the required earth energies which also has to be accessible, b)have nearby toilets and refreshment opportunities, c)have parking, d)be able to satisfy health and safety requirements e) have suitable nearby venue for the half day indoor practical work on stones and stone circles f) have a good mobile phone signal in case of emergencies. So quite a tall order. I have a couple of places in mind. It will take me about 3 months and several visits I think to do this.

I would really, really welcome your thoughts & Suggestions on the Above.

Would you like an experience day dowsing/ oils/candles combo?

As well as learning about candle making and using essential oils ( takes about 3 hours) what else would you like added to your experience. I could offer: decorating a votive holder, making flower essences (like Bach essences) – depending on season and weather, that would include the theory behind flower essences. Spells/correspondences, learning more about the pagan life (just some info and a ‘toe in the water’, try out a few things that would require no commitment from you,) pendulum dowsing for health. I could put the crystal/chakra healing together with the oils/candles. I have lots of ideas, but what would YOU like to purchase in an experience day?

Being Busy

I hate it when people say ‘I’ve been busy’ as an excuse. If something important comes up, that is important to us, we always make time for it. When invited to pagan events, I never say ‘too busy’, because I know if I realy, really want to go I will make time for it. It’s just a personal thing!
So I have been busy, but that is not my excuse. Sometimes, especially in the time between Sawain and and Yule, it is a time of planning and incubation that is what I’ve been doing. I’ve been thinking about you and making plans for the new year to come! 

Yule decorations

I’m snug, in the snug, dreaming up exciting new experiences for you