Courtesy of 21 drops
When it comes to aromatherapy, that lavender salt scrub that you have in the shower won't pack the same sensory benefits as the flower in its purest form as an essential oil. In this state, essential oils have "volatile aromatic molecules," which means the oil dissipates quickly once it's applied, whether it's up through the nose or absorbed into the bloodstream. This way the oil can do its job better, like it's made to do. Below, we asked Cary Caster, co-founder of 21 drops and a clinically-certified aromatherapist and the brand's co-founder and creative director Amy Rosenthal to give us their sensory solutions for the following events.
Situation: Dinner with Stressful Relatives
Between big family gatherings and holiday dinners, everyone from your mother to your in-laws are bound to stress you out. Along with deep-breathing exercises, Cary suggests turning to the following of scents: lavender to help reduce anxiety and fears; ylang-ylang, which acts as a sedative; German camomile to help dissipate stress; and frankincense to encourage emotional balance. Cary recommends #11 De-Stress.
Situation: A First Date
Though you could just order glass after glass or red to soothe your nerves, you risk scaring off your date and leaving with a bad headache. Look for a potion that contains jasmine, which helps curb shyness; rose, an antidepressant to help you relax; sandalwood, which encourages acceptance and improves mood; and cardamom to help calm any jitters. Cary suggests #6 Passion.
Situation: A Job Interview or Asking for a Raise/Promotion
In all three scenarios, you need to prove yourself, right? But sometimes when it comes to tooting our own horn, we tend to honk it quietly in the corner. Besides practicing a mock interview, repeating positive affirmations, and buying a brand-new interview outfit, Cary recommends this solution of scents to help you through your interview: cedarwood to support confidence; rosemary to encourage clear thinking; and rose, which restores self-love and feelings of worthiness. Cary recommends #3 Strength.
Situation: Overwhelmed by a Long To-Do List
Ever reach a point in the week where a few errands soon turns into a never-ending laundry list? Rather than hide under the covers or yell at your husband for not doing enough to help you, reach for a sensory solution like the following: jasmine to support emotional comfort; vetiver to ground your emotions and feelings; and sweet orange, which is an antidepressant and helps encourage adaptability. Cary recommends #10 Calm.
Situation: A Mean Hangover
We've all been thereyou say you'll stop by for one after-work drink, and soon you find yourself arm and arm with your best friend's cousin, singing "Seasons of Love" from the Rent soundtrack. The next morning, you're reminded that it's been years since your Tri-Delta days in the sorority house, and your body is aching. Grab some water (coconut if your have it), pop an Advil, and take some big whiffs of these scents: juniper, which is a circulatory stimulant that helps detoxify the blood; geranium, which stimulates a stressed-out lymphatic system; lavender to help balance your body; and cardamom, which stimulates and refreshes the mind and settles the stomach. Cary recommends #4 Hangover.
Situation: Irritated by Everyone and Everything!
Blame it on the weather, blame it on your favorite pair being voted off Dancing with the Stars, or blame it on having a bad hair day. Regardless of the cause of your foul mood, shake out of your funk with these scents: sandalwood, which encourages harmony and acceptance; frankincense, which quiets the mind and supports tranquility; palmarosa, which reduces anxiety; and rose, which soothes and heals the heart. Now, head to kickboxing class to take out some aggression on some non-suspecting trainers, or pump up the radio in your car and belt out some tunes. Cary recommends #7 Equalize.
Situation: Jumpstarting a New Diet or Fitness Plan
We're all too familiar with how it goes: "Oh, fine. I'll have this cookie and really start my diet tomorrow!" Help put a stop to those excuses and at the same time curb your cravings with some sensory stimulation. Look for scents like ginger to encourage determination; cedarwood, which helps with strength and endurance; geranium, which fosters a sense of stability; rosemary, which is energizing and stimulating; and juniper, which invigorates and increases circulation. Cary recommends #01 Invigorate and #19 Will Power.