Add joy to your daily routine

Have the fires of love fizzled for you and your partner? If so, you're not alone. Living today is filled with distractions and obligations that can block passion and loving empathy: work, stress, family responsibilities, physical health, mental well-being, aging and boredom are just some of them.

The reality is that pitfalls to loving are normal facts of life, and it's unrealistic to believe that any love guru, self-help program, or small blue pill is going to permanently remove all distractions from your life and turn you into a no-fail love machine.

Impediments to loving can fall into three areas: stress and anxiety, distractions and lack of focus and, finally, a loss of interest and passion. Rather than perceiving these as challenges to overcome, it might do us good to remember that moving through these areas is common to the process of any loving response.

Whether it's during the easy springtime of a romance or the more challenging golden years, intimacy flows from being calm and relaxed. Being turned on means the smartphone is turned off. Being passionate and reactive comes from having your senses piqued and one time-proven way to do this is with the evocative scents provided by aromatic essential oils.

Fragrant botanicals have been used to inspire love and passion for millennia, from ancient Egypt, Rome and the Far East up until the present day. The delightful scents of perfumes and essential oils have been considered aromatic elixirs of love that possessed the qualities of aphrodisiacs. Some oils that have traditionally been included in aromatherapy recipes for passion include: rose, jasmine, sandalwood, neroli, patchouli, vetiver and ylang ylang.

Our aromatherapy formulator Tom Havran suggests three steps to love and passion with essential oils:

Step #1: Relax the body, calm stress and ease anxiety.

Intimate Massage Oil
Not overly floral or too heavy and masculine, this massage oil features a balance of deeply calming and physically soothing essential oils that appeal to both sexes. Exotic ylang ylang melts away emotional stress while fresh Mandarin orange and a bit of penetrating eucalyptus relax muscles and joints.

Ingredients: 2 ounces sweet almond or apricot kernel oil, 2 ounces jojoba or grapeseed oil, 16 drops Mandarin orange essential oil, 3 drops ylang ylang essential oil, 5 drops eucalyptus essential oil

Directions: blend ingredients and apply as soothing mood-altering, body-priming massage.

Step #2: Remove distractions and focus awareness on intimacy and empathy.

Passion-inducing jasmineLovemaking Linen Mist
You might associate the flowery scent and fabric-softening properties of conventional laundry products with cozy slumber, but what do they do for your love life? This recipe for a linen mist features focusing sandalwood, grounding vetiver and a touch of passion-inducing jasmine. Lightly mist pillows and sheets to create an aroma that will titillate the senses and inspire a love-making mood. Eventually, your mind and body will associate this provocative scent with anything but sleep and "not tonight, honey" excuses.

Ingredients: 4 ounces water, 15 drops sandalwood essential oil, 5 drops vetiver essential oil, 4 drops jasmine absolute oil

Directions: combine water and oils in a small spray bottle. Shake well and mist bed to set a provocative mood.

Step #3: Create a spark. Light the fire of passion. Stimulate the senses.

Passion & Fire Room Diffusion
Passion is not just languid and smoldering; sometimes we need to heat things up. Emotionally stimulating, spicy oils like nutmeg and cardamom activate the body and senses, encouraging ardor and desire. The diffusion technique in this recipe works especially well with the flickering, romantic illumination provided by a candle lamp diffuser.

Ingredients: 1 candle lamp diffuser with tea light candle, 1/4 cup water, 6 drops Mandarin orange essential oil, 2 drops cardamom essential oil, 2 drops nutmeg essential oil

Directions: Place water in bowl of diffuser lamp. Add oil droplets. Light candle and warm the liquid to release the aroma. Note: Extinguish candle before bowl burns dry.

Inspiring love and passion doesn't have to be an insurmountable challenge or stress-inducing task, but can be a satisfying and delightful ritual that is an expression of love and intimacy in itself. The age-old technique of using aromatic essential oils to set the mood and inspire responsiveness might be just what your modern day love life needs.

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Cypress essential oilPossessing the warm, woody, balsamic scent associated with pine and juniper, cypress oil is fresh and activating. The oil is distilled from the fresh needles and twigs of the tall, thin Mediterranean tree which can be seen growing throughout the rocky countryside and was featured by Vincent Van Gough in his famous painting: Starry Night. Cypress oil encourages circulation and energy flow during massage, inhaled it opens breathing while emotionally, cypress dissipates apathy and lethargy.

Breathe Clear Mediterranean Aromatherapy Diffusion

4 drops cypress essential oil
3 drops lemon essential oil
2 drops spike lavender essential oil
3 tablespoons water
1 Candle lamp diffuser

Add water to candle lamp. Add drops of oil to water. Light candle. Breathe.

Warming Cypress & Lavender Massage Balm

7 drops cypress essential oil
5 drops lavender essential oil
3 tablespoons shea butter
1 tablespoon sweet almond oil

Place shea butter and sweet almond oil into small pan and warm over gentle heat just until melted. Remove from heat and let cool slightly, add essential oils. Allow to cool and set up then apply a tablespoon at a time during massage.

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© 2014 Aura Cacia/Frontier Natural Products Co–op. 3021 78th St., Norway, IA 52318

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