Essential Oil Apothecary


Champaca, White Essential Oil


White Champaca essential oil (Magnolia Alba) from China.

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Magnolia and I found each other during a really sad time in my life. It was the 2008 recession and I lost my job which quickly led to losing my apartment. I had to put everything I owned into storage and move into an Extended Stay equipped with a kitchenette. I walled up in that room for a week depressed and scared about my future. Like many during that time, I had never been through anything like a recession before but by week two, I knew I needed to put my big girl boots on and figure out my life. When I need clarity, I seek nature so when I finally ventured outside, I found I was surrounded in sweet, light peach lemon tea scent that kind of took my breath away. The hotel was surrounded with beautiful Magnolia trees. In my dispair, I almost missed the beauty just outside my door and that turned out to be my biggest lesson in life that never left me. Every week, I would pick the flowers that I could reach and place them in the take out cups supplied in my room. I would wake up with that scent and some hope for better times. When I was back on my feet, I set out to find Magnolia essential oil, to capture that sweet peachy note that got me through a tough time. It took a few suppliers to land a good one but I have what I believe is the truest essential oil to the fresh Magnolia flower. It is a superb floral.

It’s easy to confuse Magnolia essential oil because of the various names for it: White Sandalwood, White Champaca, Pak Lan, White Jade Orchid Tree, Champaca and of course Magnolia. I, myself initially thought I was buying the oil that came from the big white flower that I had filled my hotel room with years before but I later learned what I was picking was the Magnolia Grandiflorum which has more of the gentle lemon scent not unlike a creamy lemon curd. Magnolia alba flowers have a long history of use in traditional Chinese medicine and is believed to relieve coughs and move ch’i. A book I highly recommend, “Art Of Perfumery” By Septimus Piesse was originally published in 1857 and speaks of an era we can learn a lot from as well as aromatic availability. He pens about the little use manufacturing houses had for Magnolia oil and suggests a botanical imitation that was sold in London (formula to follow). I tried his recommendation for imitation Magnolia and I liked it very much as a nice floral perfume but good Magnolia is available and I’m pleased to offer it.

Piesse’s Formula For Imitation Magnolia Oil:
Orange flower potatum 1 pint
Rose potatum 1 pint
Tuberose 1/2 pint
Violet 1/2 pint
Essential oil of Citron (lemon)3 drops
Almond Oil 10 drops

Suggested uses: Blends well with many wood oils such as Blood Cedarwood, Helichrysum, Patchouli, True Geranium, Chamomile and Bergamot.


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