Our new poster range. NB Steam distilled lemon, as opposed to cold pressed lemon, is quite hard to get hold of. It has a tremendous strong, high scent.
- 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:
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
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.
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.
There are many reasons for visiting St James’s Church on London’s Piccadilly, but one is to see the magnificent magnolia tree which has just bloomed in the churchyard.
Magnolia is an ancient genus which evolved before bees appeared, so the flowers are pollinated by beetles. They produce no nectar but plenty of pollen. The pollen is high in protein and the beetles use it for food.
The flowers are great, vigorous, rubbery things of a delicate pink. The tree towers over Piccadilly on that desolate, de-natured, stretch between Piccadilly Circus and Green Park. As tourists, office workers, hedge fund managers and their armies of servants, rush about, the magnolia nods gently over their heads, beetles busy in the flowers.
I took these pictures yesterday evening on a camera-phone without a flash.
The following specialist essential oils are normally available from us in central London:
- Chamomile Matricaria Absolute
- Frangipani Absolute
- Gardenia Absolute
- Honeysuckle Absolute
- Hyacinth Absolute
- Jasmine Absolute
- Marigold Absolute
- Neroli Absolute
- Rose Maroc Absolute
- Rose Otto Steam Distilled
- Sandalwood Indian Steam Distilled
- Vanilla Absolute
We keep a limited stock so best to phone before visiting. You can smell the oils before purchase. We open four days a week, Wed-Sat incl, 10am – 6pm at:
St James’s Church
London W1J 9LL
Tel: 07588 964 422
Seven new essential oils will shortly be available at our stall on London’s Piccadilly:
- Lavender Spike
- Peru Balsam
- Sandalwood Australian
- Sandalwood Vanuatu
Which brings the number of oils we stock to over one hundred. Most are immediately available — phone first to be sure (07588 964 422) — and can be smelt before purchase.
I am particularly pleased to be stocking Spikenard, which has a warm and earthy scent. It is mentioned in the Bible several times, e.g.
Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment. [John.12,1,3]
When you visit Little Swift at Piccadilly Market to buy your essential oils, why not take in a lunchtime concert at the beautiful St James’s Church?
There is a range of recitals to choose from, featuring renowned musicians and a variety of composers, occurring several times a week in the fabulous Wren church with its excellent acoustics.
Or visit St James’s Church for a quiet few minutes, escaping the bustle of central London. The church, where William Blake was baptised in 1757, has soothed generations of Londoners and visitors.
Essential oils in the heart of London’s Piccadilly. Widest range in central London. Reputable suppliers. Reasonable prices. Immediately available four days a week (Wednesday to Saturday inclusive, 10am – 6pm) at:
St James’s Church
London W1J 9LL
Also available: natural soaps, argan oil, resins (e.g. frankincense, myrrh, benzoin) pure shea butter based body creams with natural absolutes (e.g. jasmine, frangipani, gardenia) aromatherapy candles, bath milks, fizzes and scrubs with essential oils, herbs bags, and a wide range of lavender essential oil varieties.