Geranium...a love/hate relationship for me personally. Too much in a blend can be overpowering and a floral failure, however too little or refusing to use it at all has cost me some customers and an opportunity to experience its benefits.
Geranium has a strong floral aroma that when blended at the right percentage can boost the entire aroma or crash it into an offensive odor, so blend wisely!
Back to the geranium article ....
Spring is finally on its way, and what better way to celebrate than learning about my Grandmother's absolute favorite flower, the beautiful and distinct geranium. Well actually, we'll be learning about a different species than what hangs by her front door, but you smell what I'm stepping in!!
Rose Geranium (Pelargonium graveolens) is a perennial shrub growing up to 3 meters high with pinkish white flowers. This is a different variety than the average yard plant, Pelargonium hortorum, known for its big, bright flowering heads. The essential oil of rose geranium is obtained using the stalks and the leaves via steam distillation. It has a heavy, sweet, floral smell and is a pale green/yellow transparent liquid.
History and Use
Rose Geranium has a long history of use as a nervous system and skin care tonic. Geranium is known for balancing hormones, relieving depression and calming anxiety. It is also used to balance sebum secretion in those who have oily skin which can help improve acne and certain skin conditions. It can also be used as a treatment for wounds, burns, ulcers, and other skin ailments.
Rose Geranium is originally from Egypt, Morocco, Madagascar, South Africa, and Reunion. The plant was brought to France, Spain, and Italy in the late 17th century and became very popularized during the Victorian Era. It is now cultivated around the world.
Rose Geranium blends well with angelica, bergamot, chamomile, ginger, juniper, palmarosa, rosemary, and sandalwood. Caution, may cause skin irritation in some people.
The history of Rose Geranium essential oil seems to be of the same origin as so many others... Africa. I have been recently learning that Ancient Kemet (Egypt) was once a central hub of herbalism and natural healing therapies which include the use of teas, tinctures and whole herbal formulas. A major faction of this holistic way of life was spirituality.
The Kemetic (Egyptian) spiritual system was divided up by what the west would deem a "conglomerate of gods and goddesses". Nefertem, the god of perfume, was a figure of tremendous spiritual and practical healing. In the recent past, however, Nefertem has been cast as too trivial for recognition and not worthy of divine celebration.
I beg to differ. His official role was patron of the cosmetic and healing arts derived from flowers and further reading (feel free to indulge) reveals a rich history. (Nefertem, Ancient Lord of Perfume, Volume I, Number 5 October 1st, 2000).
While geranium still remains on my some-days-I-like-it, some-days-I-don't list as an individual oil, I have learned to love it when used correctly in a floral or citrus blend.