Stop and Smell the Essential Oils

By Shelby Jones, ISPA

A fresh, invigorating and instantly calming scent fills your nose as soon as you walk through the door – you must be at the spa. You know the smell, it’s the aroma of well-being. Everyone wants to re-create that scent and take it home. The good news is – you can!

Essential oils used in treatments like massage, facials, body wraps and hydrotherapy baths (pretty much anything on the spa menu) have been used for thousands of years. This ancient healing art dating back to 4,500 B.C. is better known as aromatherapy.

In aromatherapy, plants, leaves, bark, roots, seeds, resins and flowers are used to create essential oils that not only smell fantastic but have healing powers. The oils are used to treat emotional disorders, organ dysfunction and skin problems through a variety of internal and external application techniques. The best part is that they smell fantastic since most of the oils are extracted from rosemary (memory booster), lavender (stress reliever), roses (fights depression and anxiety), chamomile (antiseptic and acne fighter), eucalyptus (enhances concentration and helps with respiratory issues) and peppermint (digestive aid).

One of the most popular treatments in spas today is an aromatherapy massage, offered by 85 percent of U.S. spas that have massage offerings (ISPA 2011 U.S. Spa Industry Study).  A lot of these same spas sell essential oils so you can take the experience home.

If you want to learn more about different spa treatments visit ISPA’s spa glossary at

Shelby Jones is based in Lexington, KY at the ISPA  headquarters, Spa Week’s exclusive trade partner. She has worked as ISPA’s Public Relations Manager for five years where she connects with top media outlets to promote ISPA members and the spa lifestyle. To get in touch with Shelby please email her or follow @ISPADoYou on Twitter. If you’re in the spa industry, we encourage you to become a member of ISPA; weekly e-mails with pointers like these are just one small part of the package to help you succeed!

Fragrance F-air-ytale: Scents to Belie Your Sky

Guest Post by Candy Silvasy, Spa Expert and CEO of Art of the Spa

Last week in our quest to help you create a spa home, we showed you how to detox your oxygen – we got the muck out.  Now it’s time to adorn your lair’s air.

Imagine lounging by a garden of jasmine, walking in a dense forest or having a massage by a beach.  Fragrance can take you on these escapes instantly.  I know what you’re thinking:  “I’ve got a candle for that!”

Blow out that match.  The stress- (and almost) maintenance-free way to aroma up your abode is a fragrance plan.  Otherwise it’ll end up smelling like the perfume counter at Nordie’s – sickly.

One very strong candle is like one superbright light – too much and not enough.  For a superspa nosefest, follow these steps:

1.  Emulate Euphoria

What would your ideal home smell like? Because spa homes are healthy & relaxed focus on that.  What makes you happy?  Dream vacation?  Your disses?  For instance, I can’t stand patchouli – so any fragrance with that is banned from my bungalow.  Some examples to get you started are:

Love the beach? –  go for aqua fragrances with citrus notes.

More of a skiing or hiking hottie? – woodsy tones will be your choice.

Trying to lose weight? – keep away from sweet foodie fragrances, while mint can help keep you from snacking

2.   Choose Your Base Fragrance

Shopping! Yay! Find a home fragrance that matches your pick.   AnthropologieBath and Body Works, TJ Maxx, are fun fragrant field trips.  Remember your base is the background the under note upon which you will layer other fragrances like candles.

Best way to waft?  Reed diffusers are low maintenance. Flip the reeds occasionally & change when the oil is gone. My favorite base: Agraria Golden Pomegranate it’s fruity for energy and earthy for a nature vibe.

Place one diffuser for each 900 square feet of house.

Another option is the Hush Air Diffuser System.  It lets you control the intensity and program the time of fragrance release.

3.  Take Your Nose up a Notch

With your base in place, you should feel happy whenever you arrive home.  But sometimes we need more.  This is where aromatherapy comes into play.    For example, in my office I burn Slatkin’s grapefruit candle to revive my brain.  Or at Christmas I burn the Thymes Christmas Tree to harken holiday cheer.

For more aromatherapy ideas check out The Little Book of Aromatherapy – it’s simple & you can take it shopping with you.

In addition to candles, consider room sprays, scented stones, like Esteban Paris’ Teak and Tonka (woodsy) below sachets and oil burners.  Most important, get creative and have fun.  That’s common scents!

Live, love and lounge, Candy

Candy Silvasy is CEO of Art of the Spa (, a spacentric brand that delivers home decor, beauty, cooking, style and living advice.  An internationally recognized spa expert, her latest book SpaHome: Makeover Your Maison from Blah to Ahhhhh will be released in February 2011.  Is your pad more stress than sanctuary?  Pick her spa brain at candace at artofthespa dot com.

Little Luxury Report: Jo Malone Chemistry


Today we’ve invited Alexis Wolfer, founder of The Beauty Bean to tell us about one of her all-time favorite little luxuries.
Jo Malone fragranceThe Little Luxury:
Jo Malone: The Art of Fragrance Combining

Relationship status: Jo and I have been casually dating for a long time, exclusively for about a year. Well, “exclusively” is a slight exaggeration. We’re in a relationship, a serious one, but I do occasionally have casual flings here and there with Stella McCartney, Chloe, and Bond No. 9. (Shhh, don’t tell Jo, she’d be offended – and at the end of the day, she is my true love.)

How it works: Unlike many perfumes that are designed to be worn on their own, Jo Malone’s colognes are complex enough to be worn by themselves, yet also uniquely afford you the opportunity to create your own bespoke signature scent. Don’t worry – no technical training required. Just spray on one cologne (or lather on one of their lusciously scented bath and body products), let it dry, and then spray a different fragrance on top.

Advice for the novice: Ok, so not all of the fragrances pair well together. And while a dab of rubbing alcohol will help dissipate the cacophonous combos that could be, my advice for first timers is to stick with Jo Malone’s Fragrance Combining Menu – at least at first. (Although I have to say that my current go-to combo is not on their menu: Orange Blossom and Pomegranate Noir.)

Why it’s worth the splurge: While the 30 mL bottles are $55 at – and you do need at least 2 in order to appreciate the marvels of mixing – if my math skills serve me right, buying 3 fragrances that all blend well together actually gives you 7 possible cologne combinations, making it quite the deal.

Biggest bonus: For every additional bottle you buy, you add exponentially to your collection of possible scents.

The only downside (because no relationship is perfect): You’ll want them all. I do.

Hot Stone Scale: 6 out of 6 (because 10 was not an option)

This Little Luxury Report was brought to you by: Alexis Wolfer, The Beauty Bean