Aromatherapy: A User’s Guide
What’s good enough for Gwyneth, Brad, and Stella is most definitely good enough for us, which is why we’ve sworn loyalty to the cult of Kirstie Garrett. The celebrity set’s favorite aromatherapist, who pampered guests at Paltrow’s baby shower while she was still a local London resource, has since moved her mind-body balancing operation to Biarritz, where she offers the same wellness expertise via “pamper weekends” and “vitality breaks” at Prends Le Temps, a villa in South West France with mountain views on one side and the ocean on the other. Luckily, for those of us for whom Biarritz is a bridge too far, there’s also Essential Beauty Oils, Garrett’s line of wellness elixirs that are brimming with all-natural and palm-free plant essences designed to feed and protect both skin and soul. “The holistic properties of essential oils address the emotional stresses of modern life beyond our physical perception of ‘beauty,’” she explains. “I went completely back to nature and ignored all the taught guidelines regarding ‘aroma blending,’ selecting ingredients for their powerful properties rather than synergistic qualities”—a practice that led Garrett to release a different oil for different times of year. “It’s obvious that skin needs different things over different seasons,” she says. Her latest launch, the Winter Facial Oil, boasts geranium to balance, lavender to calm, chamomile to soothe, jasmine to repair, and rose to gently tone weather- and central-heating-worn skin—as well as the emotional duress that comes with it. Looking for other ways to sniff your way to a happier, healthier fall? Us too, which is why we asked Garrett for a crash course in aromatherapy below. Happy deep breathing.
Frankincense: “A heavy, meditative oil, it’s indispensable in modern life where we all overwork and try to cope under pressure. It quiets the mind, allowing an exhausted body its rest.”
Neroli: “This warms and relaxes the body, relieving anxiety and nervous tension. I love its hormonal-balancing properties and uplifting qualities too.”
Rose: “It takes around 40,000 blooms to produce a single ounce of this oil, so 67 roses go into producing a single drop of oil! No wonder it promotes soothing, peaceful, positive thoughts!”
Petitgrain: “This is invaluable in treating symptoms of an overburdened immune system, as well as addressing insomnia and aiding convalescence.”
Peppermint: “It’s amazing for clearing a troubled mind. It’s invigorating and refreshing, promising an immediate lift to the daily grind.”