Category Archives: Essential Oils

Zenbow and Nirvana Diffusers

zenbow diffuser

Our electronic diffusers get a lot of attention and sell like hot cakes. But why are they better than a standard heat diffuser?

The Zenbow and Nirvana diffusers use ultrasonic frequencies to create vibrations. These carry to the surface where the oils are floating and vaporise them, dispersing them into the environment without using any form of heat.

Essential oils are complex molecular compounds. When dispersed with heat, different molecule chains vaporise at different moments, depending on the degree of heat applied. Hence the temperature alters the chemistry of the essential oil, as opposed to delivering the whole oil into the atmosphere.

I notice the ‘heat factor’ effecting oils in other ways. We sell four types of sandalwood and as summer temperatures have arrived each has ‘blossomed’ becoming noticeably more complex, volatile and potent. The same has happened with our oakmoss, vanilla and rose absolutes.

Come and see, and smell, our diffusers in action at Piccadilly Market — the stylish Zenbow which resembles an erupting volcano and the mighty Nirvana which is almost a foot tall — and be amazed!

Or buy them online at havenessence.com

Queen Victoria’s Knickers

Queen_Victoria

Chatting just now with a customer I learned a startling fact. Queen Victoria’s knickers…

queen-victoria-knickers

… were scented with patchouli! Well I’m blowed.

It seems that 18th and 19th century silk traders from China packed their cloth with dried patchouli leaves as moth repellent. This led wealthy Europeans to associate patchouli with opulent Eastern goods. Which, in turn, caused Queen Victoria, Empress of India, ruler of half the globe, to pack her knicker drawer with the famous Hippie Gold.

Chill out ma’am!

hippie-volkswagen

Frangipani, Hawkmoths, God & Sex

Frangipani - plumeria rubra
Frangipani - plumeria rubra

One of the most exotic oils we sell is frangipani. We describe it as ‘rich, heady, exotic, deeply floral’ but that does not do it justice. Together with jasmine, gardenia, lotus, the roses, and a few other flower scents, frangipani is an aristocrat of the sweet, in-your-face, ‘feminine,’ essential oils/absolutes.

Some people baulk at the scent. It’s so sweet. Rose, for example, can be understated. But not frangipani. In its raw form, as an absolute, it grabs you by the throat and may make the eyes water. The variety we sell — plumeria rubra — is coloured blood red.

frangipani-cutting

The frangipani tree enjoys a symbiotic relationship with the Frangipani Hawkmoth (pseudosphinx tetrio). The caterpillars are tremendous: six inches long, a poisonous yellow and black, a spike on abdominal segment eight, feeding on the frangipani leaves before pupating and emerging as a moth with a five inch wing-span.

Frangipani Hawkmoth - pseudosphinx tetrio
Frangipani Hawkmoth - pseudosphinx tetrio

The moth returns to the frangipani flowers, attracted by the perfume, in search of nectar, and a dirty trick is pulled on it: there is no nectar, only pollen, which the moth distributes unwittingly to other trees, causing fertilisation to occur.

Frangipani Hawkmoth - pseudosphinx tetrio -1

There’s much more to be said about frangipani. It has a role in both religion and sex. It is the national tree of Laos (called dok jampa) and every Buddhist temple has one or more in their courtyard.

frangipani - Laos

In Polynesian culture, the frangipani is worn by women to indicate their relationship status – over the right ear if seeking a relationship, over the left if taken.

Frangipani Polynesia

Osmanthus Absolute – Coming Soon

osmanthus - osmanthus fragrans
Osmanthus - osmanthus fragrans

A rare, expensive, and (in Chinese culture) historically important scent: Osmanthus (osmanthus fragrans).

The scent is described variously as a blend of jasmine, gardenia and ripe apricots and like new shoe leather with cherry-like overtones. This will be available once we source a good, reputable, supplier who doesn’t charge an arm and a leg!

Also known as Sweet Olive, Tea Olive and Fragrant Olive. It can be seen in the Temperate House at Kew.

osmanthus - osmanthus fragrans -1

Essential Oils — beauty on many levels

Essential oils:

  • smell fabulous — used for millennia in scents and balms
  • good for you — we sell lots of Tea Tree for spots and Athlete’s Foot!
  • go deep into human history — Mary Magdalen poured Spikenard on the feet of Christ and wiped it away with her hair

Not only that but the plants they come from are often exquisitely beautiful:

caraway - carum carvi
Caraway - carum carvi
Cardamom - elettaria cardamomum
Cardamom - elettaria cardamomum
Carrot seed - daucus carota
Carrot Seed - daucus carota
Chamomile moroccan - ormenis multicaulis
Chamomile moroccan - ormenis multicaulis
Dill - anethum graveolens
Dill - anethum graveolens
Frangipani - plumeria rubra
Frangipani - plumeria rubra
Grapefruit - citrus paradisi
Grapefruit - citrus paradisi
Jasmine - jasminum grandiflorum L
Jasmine - jasminum grandiflorum L
Oakmoss - evernia prunastri
Oakmoss - evernia prunastri

Piccadilly Market London

Women in summer hats and frocks, men in t-shirts and sandals, lovers holding hands in the church gardens, tourists perspiring but happy. It’s the first day of summer

St James's Church Gardens
St James's Church Gardens

at Piccadilly Market!

After months of cold, snow, hail, a wind like the devil running round the churchyard (as if attempting, fruitlessly, to gain entry to the church) the warmth comes as a blessed relief.

The St James’s Church gardens are a secret delight. The stretch of central London from Piccadilly Circus to Green Park is a heavily built environment with little greenery. The property developers are in permanent action, knocking down buildings and building new ones, driven by some of the highest property prices in the world.

So in this dusty, car exhaust-laden, glass and concrete urban desert, the St James’s Church gardens, between Piccadilly and Jermyn Street, are important.

Galbanum Essential Oil

Galbanum - ferula galbaniflua

We are proud to supply Galbanum essential oil, steam distilled in England from resin of the ferula galbaniflua plant imported from Iran.

Galbanum, a green, fruity-floral odour reminiscent of green apples, sometimes referred to as the sacred “mother oil” goes deep into human history.

And the LORD said unto Moses, Take unto thee sweet spices, stacte, and onycha, and galbanum; [these] sweet spices with pure frankincense: of each shall there be a like [weight]:

And thou shalt make it a perfume, a confection after the art of the apothecary, tempered together, pure [and] holy… Exodus 30:35-6

Often used as a “green” note in perfumery, it is the ingredient which gives the distinctive odour to “Must” by Cartier, “Vent Vert” by Balmain, “Chanel No. 19” and “Vol De Nuit” by Guerlain.

Initial notes are bitter, acrid, peculiar, followed by a complex green, spicy, woody, apple-like balsamic odour: reminiscent of crushed foliage at the height of summer.

Supplied in 5 ml bottles only. Best to telephone before visiting as stocks are low. A tester is available.

Union Jacks go up at Piccadilly Market

havenessence Piccadilly Market

Flags are going up all over London in preparation for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations (60 years on the throne). Events will centre round an extended weekend on 2, 3, 4 and 5 June 2012.

Piccadilly Market is about 750 yards from Buckingham Palace and havenessence will be open on Saturday 2 June.

Piccadilly-Market-Map

It is unknown, precisely, which perfume the Queen prefers. Like all successful monarchs she has maintained an air of mystery… for 60 years.

But mention has been made of Joy, Fleurissimo and Penhaligons. Rose is the common factor in these scents and havenessence stocks high quality rose absolutes, steam distilled rose essential oils, rose soaps and rose perfume sprays.

Visit us as part of the celebrations and leave smelling like a queen!

Queen Elizabeth II

Rose Maroc - centifolia foliacea
Rose Maroc - centifolia foliacea

Essential Oils London – Try Before you Buy

Essential Oils London
Essential Oils London

Essential oils should be smelt. They can also be mixed with a good carrier — say Argon Oil — and used as scent or for massage. They can be dripped in the bath. Or used in the manufacture of high quality soaps, creams and perfumes. Or vaporised in an oil burner.

But most of all they should be smelt, especially before purchase. Which is an advantage of obtaining your oils from Havenessence at Piccadilly Market in central London. Nearly all our oils can be smelt before purchase. Some customers stay half an hour, working their way through our range — the largest collection of essential oils in central London.

Essential Oils London
Essential Oils London