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As we age arousal ebbs and flows, but sexy scents can inflame intimacy and deepen desire, says naturopath Caroline Robertson.

Our scent can attract attention like a flower beckoning bees. Have you ever fallen in love at first smell? Or been instantly repelled by someone’s odour? Essences play a pivotal part in attraction and aversion by messaging if a mate is biologically compatible and by releasing hormones. Smell has an immediate impact on the brain that’s 10,000 times stronger than other senses. It instantly affects emotions, appetite, memories and more. No wonder a whiff of your mother’s perfume unleashes a fountain of feelings. Every smell unlocks a Pandora’s box of specific associations for each person. Rather than one scent suiting all, the science of aphrodisiac essences works best when tailored to individual tastes. For example one person may find frangipani comforting because it was their happy childhood tree, whereas another may find it depressing as they see it as a funeral flower such as in Bali. It’s vital to use essential oils that appeal to you and your partner for the desired effect.

Perfumed path

So you’re preparing for a hot date. How can you use your seduction squad of essential oils to enhance romance? Imagine … mesmerising with your heady fragrance, lighting inner fires with scented candles, opening hearts with blossoming flowers, melting each other with massage oil, and diffusing tension on a bed spritzed in a blissful blend. The right mix of enchanting aromas can bewitch someone into a state of sensual surrender. What could be better foreplay than a fragrant bath, sensual massage, and petalled pillows? As Greek physician Hippocrates said, “Healing begins with an aromatic bath and massage daily …” and excess energy brims over to sexual energy.

Try these essential oil mixes to maximise mojo. Feel free to delete or substitute to your preference.

Love is in the air diffuser blend
This woody, citrusy, floral mix is great to charge the base chakra.
2 drops vanilla essential oil
2 drops ylang ylang essential oil
1 drop wild orange essential oil
1 drop sandalwood essential oil
1 drop cedarwood essential oil

Bathing bliss
An effervescent combo to send shivers up your spine. Mix the following ingredients well and dissolve into a flower bath.
2 drops patchouli essential oil
2 drops lavender essential oil
2 drops Roman chamomile essential oil
6 drops sandalwood essential oil
½ cup Epsom salts
1 cup aluminium-free baking soda

Milky minx
Try Cleopatra’s milk bath trick for irresistibly soft skin.
2 drops rose or rose geranium essential oil
2 drops ylang ylang essential oil
3 drops orange essential oil
2 cups coconut milk or raw goats/cows milk
Combine essential oils with the coconut milk and add to a tubful of warm water.

Yum yang massage oil for men
This edible massage oil makes him deliciously desirable.
100ml coconut oil
8 drops cinnamon essential oil
8 drops orange essential oil
5 drops cardamom essential oil

Yum yin massage oil for women
A feminine fragrance to attract a man like a moth to a flame.
100 ml coconut oil
8 drops rose or rosewood essential oil
6 drops vanilla essential oil
3 drops patchouli essential oil
2 drops jasmine essential oil

Pillow talk
Spritz snuggly scent on bed linen to wrap you both in a cuddly cocoon.
125 ml pure water in a spray bottle
10 drops lavender essential oil
10 drops rose essential oil
5 drops ambrette seed essential oil

Wakey wakey
Too tired for a tumble? Wake up with a blend of 20 ml coconut oil and a few drops of rosemary essential oil massaged into the scalp. Alternatively, try two drops peppermint essential oil on the feet or as a luxurious foot bath with 5 drops peppermint oil in 2 litres warm water. A diffuser blend of clary sage, basil and mandarin essential oils can also increase energy.

Cautions: Test for essential oil allergies by doing a small skin patch test on the inner arm and observe for 12 hours. Many oils are highly flammable, increase sun sensitivity and deactivate homeopathics. Don’t apply undiluted essential oils directly, don’t take internally, and don’t use on children under six years old or when pregnant unless advised by your health professional.

Intimacy invitation

Since Cleopatra lured Mark Antony into her arms with rose-scented sails, the perfume industry has built a billion dollar industry from passion potions. Today essential oils are added to endless homewares and personal care products to create a mood and mask bad odours. Smells can also stimulate, sedate, strengthen and balance us. As Aphrodite’s top tool of seduction, essential oils enhance romance, sensuality and sexuality through many means. They can heal the heart like rose, increase circulation as cinnamon does, balance hormones à la clary sage, mimic human pheromones such as vanilla, and soothe stress as with lavender. In fact, lavender and pumpkin pie essences were the strongest male aphrodisiacs according to a study conducted at Chicago’s Smell and Taste Treatment Research Foundation. Experiment with different essential oils to see which your partner prefers. Choosing a seductive scent is an erotic ritual in itself. Try blindfolding your partner and wafting cotton tips doused in different essential oils for their response. Then devise a signature blend for each other. Use moderately as excessive essential oils can aggravate allergies, overpower natural pheromones and cause headaches. Since oils penetrate the pores, putting processing stress on the liver and lymphatics, it’s preferable to spritz them on clothing rather than straight on skin. Shagadelic scents to consider are erotic amber, warming cedarwood, stimulating cinnamon, calming clary sage, spicy ginger, feminine jasmine, relaxing lavender, sexy neroli, loving rose, sensuous sandalwood, va voom vanilla, wild orange, and yummy ylang ylang.

Caroline Robertson is a passionate practitioner and teacher of natural therapies and First Aid. For consultations, guided meditations and health retreats: www.carolinerobertson.com.au, 0430 092 601.