As I’ve discussed, Jimm Harrison sources our oils and is our consultant for oil safety. One of the three leading essential oil experts, Jimm created the aromatherapy program at Bastyr University and also teaches across the world. He is a true connoisseur of oils, able to tell the quality of an oil with a just a sniff rather than laboratory testing.
He says he can tell the difference between an oil made with love, and an oil made without it. That’s why he sources hand-distilled, artisanal oils from family farms.
Recently, Jimm reminded me about something I had heard him say the first day of his aromatherapy class (I was lucky enough to attend his classes at Bastyr):
“Don’t judge essential oils. Don’t say, I like this one or I don’t like this one. Because when you place that immediate judgment on the oil, you don’t let the oil talk to you. You don’t learn what the oil has to offer.”
Don’t judge plants (or people)
Non-judgment is an important lesson in life and aromatherapy. Judging prevents truly knowing, and blinds us to the healing possibilities all around us.
When we face an essential oil through a lens of like or dislike, we don’t learn what that oil has to offer. The same goes for interacting with people.
Healers from every ancient culture knew how to LISTEN to plants without judgment. Traditional midwives, shamans, herbalists all relied on their felt-sense and intuition when crafting remedies.
They didn’t write off a plant “bad” because it tasted bitter, just like we don't label an essential oil "bad" because it lacks a sweet or floral fragrance.
These ancient healer experienced the bitter flavor without judgment, and in doing so, were able to experience the full spectrum of healing properties that plant offered.
This is how Shanon works to create our flower essences: she experiences the healing essence of the plant without judgment. It’s why we call her an “Intuitive” and “The Jungle Whisperer.” She lets the plants speak their ancient language to her, and so she knows what they have to offer.
How we formulate our oils
John and I have an extensive test kit of Jimm’s oils, likely close to 100 different oils. If John went through this test kit and said, “I don’t like the smell of this oil or this one,” he would dramatically limit his formulation possibilities.
John directs his interest to the energy of each oil, rather than considering the fragrance of the oil. It is certainly an unusual approach in the world of aromatherapy: blending for brain function, not fragrance. But in this way, he truly experiences the oils without placing judgments of like or dislike on them.
As a result, our oils do not smell like conventional perfumes. To experience our oils, we encourage you to do more than just sniff it and say, “I like the smell” or “I don’t like the smell.”
Can you listen to the oil with you body? Ask your body, “What does this feel like? What is my experience of the energy contained in this bottle?”