Argan Oil Hair Treatment

Argan oil is great for dry, damaged, or over-processed hair. Some tips:-

# Ensure the oil you use really is pure argan. Check the label. Has it been taken down with other, cheaper, oils, e.g. sweet almond? Is it, in fact, a blend pretending to be pure argan?

# Use a pure cosmetic grade argan, not cooking argan. The nuts used to produce the latter will have been roasted before pressing, giving it a strong, nutty odour. Roasting kills some of the natural goodness. Cosmetic grade argan is unroasted and cold-pressed. It should have a light, pleasant, nutty scent, which disappears after about 30 seconds.

# If the oil has no colour (it should be a beautiful golden brown, like Lyle’s Golden Syrup) it’s been bleached. Avoid. The process kills some of the goodness.

# If the oil has no scent (it should have a light nutty odour) it’s been deodorised. Avoid. The process kills some of the goodness.

# Apply a generous amount of argan to the hair. Massage it into the scalp. Wrap head in a warm towel and leave for 30 minutes or overnight. Shampoo, condition and style in the normal way.

# If you’ve got short hair, apply argan at any time. It makes your hair look like you’re wearing gel.

# Keep a lookout for cooking grade argan. It’s delicious but tends to be wildly expensive — roughly ten times the price of a good virgin olive oil. For those with deep pockets, use instead of olive oil in salads, or add a few drops to an olive oil mix. Blend with lemon, salt, pepper and garlic. Try it once and you’ll find a standard olive oil dressing bland and conventional.

See our sister sites havenessence and Argan Oil London for more information. Buy a good, pure, organic, fairly traded, cosmetic grade argan oil from us here.

argan oil hair treatment

Dionysus on Piccadilly

Walk from Piccadilly Circus towards Fortnum’s and The Ritz and there, on your left, poking through the railings of St James’s Church, is a vine. It arches over one of the best stalls on Piccadilly Market — De Angeli Design (Bespoke Leathercraft/Made to Measure Belts) — bathing it in a soft green light.

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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

Queen Victoria’s Knickers


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


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.


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