O to have Professor Snape as my Right Hand Man.
Sometime during the process of planning the layout of my physical shop (as opposed to my virtual shop) I happened upon the film "Practical Magic."
In our Post-Modern world of half a dozen billion folk apparently it has all been done before.
In this film Sandra Bullock's character has a shop just as I have envisioned for myself, full of magical concoctions of an aromatherapuetic nature.... but hold the phone, what is wrong with this picture ?
Is it a lovely image to behold?
Is it, in fact, in adherence with the title of the film, "PRACTICAL?"
Sadly, NO, and the informed film viewer suspends her disbelief and attempts to continue enjoying the film, all the while fretting at the fact that the abundant sunlight beating on poor Sandra's bottles through the windows are breaking down the therapeutic components of the contents, rendering her concoctions utterly useless.
It is a fun movie to watch nonetheless, zombies & improper storage of bath & body products not withstanding.
On to Alan Rickman, A.k.A Prof. Snape, whom I adore in innumerable ways.
His storage methods trump Sandra Bullock's a thousand fold.
AH, this is the way it is done! A dark cool storage area, climate controlled, and a close professional relationship with his supplier (enter Professor Sprout). As well as a highly knowledgeable, experienced (& need I say attractive) expert at the helm.
In summary, & all coyness aside, when shopping for essential oils please keep the following in mind :
Look for essential oils that are organic, responsibly wild crafted or unsprayed. Oils that are free of herbicide and pesticide residue are less likely to irritate the skin. Keeping in mind the fact that essential oils are highly concentrated, the amount of undesirable chemicals in or on the plant matter being distilled will be equally concentrated. This is especially true for citrus oils which are cold pressed from the outer peel - grapefruit, all varieties of orange (blood orange, mandarin, tangerine, sweet orange); also lemon, bergamot, lime etc., since the citrus industry is regrettably highly dependent on farming chemicals.
Look for essential oils which are tested with Gas Chromatography Mass Spectrometry (GCMS), two sophisticated scientific methods which guarantee quality and purity of therapeutic components.
Look for suppliers who import oils directly from distillers and a limited number of small distributors who are passionate about providing high quality essential oils to their customers.
And back to Snape - keep you oils in a dark, cool room, preferably climate controlled, at a temperature no higher than 65 degrees F. Heat & humidity are no friends to essential oils.
This is why Gretchen has bought black curtains for the Adirondack Aromatherapy Shop which is slated for it's grand opening in Spring 2010. Keep your eye out for news & photos as we continue to build our new location.
And Sandra Bullock, eat your heart out.