Essential oils

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Nicole
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Essential oils

I am having a delemma with essential oils.  I've been using the KISS recipe, and I get good results, but I find it often smells too strong of oils.  I use a mix of about 60/40 cajeput and lavender.  If I use less, my stain doesn't get as dark, or stain as quickly.  I have been known to have a sensitive nose, so maybe I'm overreacting, is it normal for the oils to smell strong?

My other question is if cajeput and lavender are the best to use?  I've used tea tree in the past, but that smells even stronger, and I don't think it made much of a difference stain-wise.  I've seen some people using orange, lemongrass mixes, does this help the stain, or is it just for the scent?  Does anyone use just lavender and get good results?

Any advice on this matter would be so much appreciated, as it's time for me to order more oils.  Also, I don't mind spending a bit more (or a lot more) on something that would work amazingly.

One last thing, could the amount of sugar added affect the stain?  Should I add more oils if I add more sugar?

Thanks in advance!

Maggie
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Re: Essential oils

Sugar will not affect the stain, if you add more sugar then you need you're going to end up with a gooey mess that won't hold a design which will be made worse if humid weather blows in.

I know for myself (and likely with others) I add sweet orange oil and sometimes a drop or two (literally) of clove to combat the strong scent. I too have found that tea tree in or out doesn't make that much difference if you're using cajeput. I use only lavender in my paste for pregnant bellies it does fairly well but I've never acheived the same stain from straight lavender as compared to a cajeput blend. As far as I know orange oil and the like do not help with stain just smell.

Play around with some new oils, be sure to check out their cautions/side affects before adding them in. Nutmeg is lovely but very dangerous for heart conditions if you use too much (so when I use it I limit it to 1 or 2 drops much like clove and never use on children). I am looking at treating myself to some cardamom oil in the new year.

Nicole
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Re: Essential oils

So interesting, thank you!  Yeah, I don't think I have to worry about humidity for at least six months, we get very dry winters in Winnipeg.  Last batch I made I added 2 tsp instead of the recommended 1.5, and people were still having problems with flaking.  So yeah, I'll be upping my amount again next time.

So you add orange and clove?  I've considered adding clove because it gives great colour, but I heard it can be an irritant, and I don't think people would be happy about that.  Have you ever tried straight cajeput?  When you add different oils, do you put them in addition to the regular amount, or do you make sure they all add up to the same amount each time (ex: KISS uses 1.5 tsp EO, so would you do 1tsp cajeput, .25 lavender, .25 orange, or 1 cajeput, .5 lavender, then orange on top of that)?

I love the smell of cardamom!

I guess you just have to decide if you're willing to sacrifice colour for smell, or maybe it doesn't effect the colour all that much?

ladytetsu
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Re: Essential oils

I use straight caj, and I'm generous with it.  I get wicked stain with my best powders. . . If flaking-off is your problem, add a little more sugar - I live in Ohio and we can get dry too, I'll add anywhere from 1/8 to 1/4 c of sugar per 100 grams powder depending on the humidity - some people use more.  Do little test portions and write down what you do!!!  I have a notebook full of recipes - what worked, what didn't stain, and what turned into gooey messes. I use 2 tbsp (yes, tablespoons!) of caj per 100g powder.  I personally love the smell, but is a bit whiffy - the fiance always gripes when I start "doing that stinky black magic stuff."  Watch citrus, it can irritate people and cause photosensitivity.  I personally loathe the smell of tea tree and lavender annoys me almost as much, but I'm lucky that I like caj. :)

Jen
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Re: Essential oils

Orange does not function as a terp. It can help tone down the scent, but it won't add kick to your stain. Go ahead and add it if you want, but add other oils to terp too.

Lemongrass does have some terp power, but not nearly as much as others.

If you're finding your paste stinky, you could go with just lavender. You could try geranium. I HATE it, but it is very different from the strong stink of a lot of other terps. Many people use it.

You may also want to try a terp cocktail of your own invention. Maybe a little geranium, a touch clove bud, and some... lets say... niaouli. When I had a little shop, my most popular terp blend was tea tree, lavender and geranium.

@LadyTetsu... how much is two tablespoons? *blush*

ladytetsu
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Re: Essential oils

30 ml.  and I miss your mix, darn you.

Desdemonas Designs
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Re: Essential oils

"@LadyTetsu... how much is two tablespoons? *blush*" 

LOL!!!!

The great conversion debate of 2010!

Nicole
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Re: Essential oils

Thanks ladies so much for your advice.  I think I'll order a bunch of cajeput and lavender because I know they work, and get some samples of the other ones mentioned to play with.  So are geranium and niaouli terps, or just smell nice?

Ladytetsu, I just did the calculation, and I think if you use 2 tbsp per 100g, it works out to just over 1tsp per 20g, which is actually less than the KISS recipe calls for.  Sounds like your sugar adding is around the same too once you convert it.  (1/8 cup anyway).

Jen
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Re: Essential oils

 

"So are geranium and niaouli terps, or just smell nice?"

They're good terps! Have you read this? It might give you some ideas.

Blurberrybuzz
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Re: Essential oils

I'm kind of late jumping in here, but I love love love my true lavender, Lavendula augustifolia, and tea tree, Melaleuca alternifolia, 50-50 mix.  I use certified organic oils by Wyndmere and love the smell.  True lavender is low in camphor so it takes the headache out of the equation for me.  Most types of lavender are high in camphor.  I like Caj, but find it smells a bit too much like medicine and all I can think about is cough drops.  Not the association I want to have with henna. CCJ has some nice smelling, wicked working terps.

I just did henna with Kim B and she has a lovely feminine homemade blend with geranium. 

I'd suggest you play around and definitely buy high quality essential oils. Do a lot of smell testing. 

I use a 1:6 ratio for my sugar and my oils to my henna powder.  I prefer fructose in my mix.  It's more elasticy than regular sugar and goes through the freeze/thaw process really well too.  Minnesota winters are very dry as well and we get nice and cold.  I will up the sugars in the mix during the super cold dry months (Jan and Feb), sometimes doubling it.  I found that fructose is more consistent in it's results despite the low humidity.  A bottle of lemon sugar spray is handy to have around too.

Victoria

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