Scents and Sensitivity

Last year’s adventures in natural perfuming kept us busy with several more street fair-type events. Our products continue to be delightfully welcomed into the lives of more folks who are sensitive to the alcohols and other unnecessary chemicals that are present in both large and small commercial lines of fragrances. I too, am one of those sensitive types.


Sensitivity is both a great gift and a challenge. Our world and our culture is far different today than in years past. Its fast pace, technology and drive to push forward, keep many distracted and over-stimulated. One of the gifts of sensitivity  allows us to notice when things are out of balance in our lives and offers us the early choice for correction.

We are ALL sensitive, it is part of our inherent nature. We can ALL shift away from our daily distractions, make course corrections into deeper more compassionate and loving relationships with ourselves and others. It is a practice. And when practiced regularly it will soften you, open you, and make you more available to love and to be more loving in your walk through life.

May the blessings of the benevolent beings carry us through until the next time.

~ Gail

All of our Sacred Escentuals products are made with just such sensitivity and you can read about them on our website. Our products support the sensitive nature in all of us and in a variety of ways. That information is also available on the individual product pages.

Yes Virginia, You Really Can Anoint Yourself

At a recent street fair a woman saw our “Natural Perfumes • Anointing Oils” banner. She came over to the booth and asked what Anointing Oils were for. I carefully explained that they are for anointing yourself anytime you wish to shift your attention and vibration from the ordinary to the sacred, such as when entering meditation, prayer or ceremony. Her response surprised us both. “You mean I can anoint myself?” she exclaimed. “Of course” I replied. She looked at me quizzically, then appeared to go into deep thought. After a bit of silence she went about sampling the oils, chose her favorite, made a purchase and walked away. Her way of life and her relationship to the spiritual may have shifted that day.

My mind has come back to her question and my response many times in the weeks that have passed. “You mean I can anoint myself?” “Of course.”

I grew up Catholic, or more accurately, my parents tried to grow me up Catholic. Many years have passed since my childhood, and my spiritual autonomy has evolved. Many members of my family are still practicing Catholics and I occasionally find myself sitting in a mass celebrating a baptism, confirmation, wedding or funeral. I am still able appreciate the ritual aspects of the mass, and find that my body automatically responds to its early training of standing and sitting; and my vocal responses unconsciously chime in with the rest of the parishioners at the appointed moments. Surely a testament to early indoctrination.

My spiritual needs and inclinations have always been larger than what comfortably fits into the box of an organized religion. If you’re a reader of my blog, you may already suspect this. My inclinations and connections to the spiritual are predominantly Nature-based. Thus, I have no need for a hierarchical system that requires an intermediary to function on my behalf, or between me and my spiritual connections. Anyone who chooses to explore beyond their indoctrination of a similar nature, can experience themselves in direct relationship with their God/Creator/Source and the benevolent beings that look after them and provide protection.

Our everyday routines of applying perfume, aftershave, cologne, and lotions are a form of anointing. The only difference between these rituals we perform at home, and what is performed by someone else at church, is our intention and the power that comes from being self-directed.

May the blessings of the benevolent beings carry us through until the next time.

~ Gail

With the spiritual support of our Anointing Oils, Sacred Escentuals has reached its 2nd Anniversary! These oils are ready and willing to assist all of us across the 2012 threshold.

Graceful Transitions

Sacred Alignment

Clarity & Vision

Mystic Woods

You can read more about our Anointing Oils, see our entire product line, and make a purchase on our website at:

The Counsel of Trees

“The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.” ~ John Muir

When I first smelled the essential oil of Hemlock Spruce, I traveled back in my memory to all of my favorite times spent in the forest. Many years of summer vacation were spent on family camping trips to Mt. Lassen and Mt. Shasta in California and on into the Rogue River Valley of Oregon.

On second whiff, I traveled back through all my years of cross-country skiing in the Sierras, the smell of pine and redwood forests, and to the countless times I have looked to the tall trees for direction, inner direction. Somewhere inside, I have always known that the tall trees are ancient guardians and wisdom keepers, and I have had favorite ‘tree friends’ throughout my life.

A conversation with a tree can be an amazing experience, they are great listeners and I find them particularly compassionate. For a tree to ‘hear’ you, the conversation must be heart-centered. Then, when we listen with the heart quietly and long enough, the tree will respond. Patience and being in the present moment is required. In my experience trees make sounds that sometimes resemble human words being toned very slowly. I sense these sounds in my body; others who have heard the trees say that they ‘sing’, and the way you experience them might be entirely different. I believe the trees benefit from our ‘conversation’; it allows them the opportunity to share their deep wisdom of how to live in balance with the Earth, the heavens and all living beings.

Essential to our survival, trees and plants convert sunlight into the air we breathe and the food we eat. The lifespan of some trees is several hundred years, making them the great witnesses to both the marvels and mistakes of human influence on the planet. Next time you are out for a walk in the beauty of Nature, try singing or toning to the tree of your choice and see what kind of connection and conversation is available.

From that memory-evoking Hemlock Spruce essential oil, I have created a new Natural Perfume and a new Anointing Oil. A complex blend that also includes citrus peel oils, sweet orange blossom, and vetiver essential oils. Vetiver is known to assist us in making the deep connection required for hearing Nature’s wisdom. Perfect for that next walk or talk in Nature.

To read more about these 2 new products and to make a purchase, click on the photos below or go to our website at:

Forging Ahead

Sometimes the longer you put off doing something the more intimidating it becomes. I have been absent from this blog for far longer than I had intended. Intimidated, yes, but forging ahead.

Since October a family member’s medical issues have kept me well distracted, appropriately so. The holidays, which could be spelled holi-daze for how I walked through them, are now over and we have just come through the time of the Winter Solstice. So it seems in my dazed condition, that I too have experienced the long dark night and await the return of the Light.

I know that I am not alone in thinking that 2011 was a year to remember, or rather, one we might wish to forget. Many of us have said our final good-byes to loved ones, lost homes and lifetime career jobs. Some have seen the closing of their businesses, and closed doors in the job market. Certainly we have all experienced challenge in one form or another.

In 2009 I made a statement regarding the times ahead, “We live in the time of the Great Course Correction, from which none of have immunity”. Then in 2010 I added, “All that is out of alignment with the greater good, will be forced to come into alignment or collapse”. These are strong statements, and yet they ring all too true of what we have witnessed in our own economical and political arenas, and across the world stage.

This is alchemy on a grand scale. This is a process of distillation and refinement, and we are living it. Depending on your beliefs, it could be said that we chose to incarnate into this time of great change, to be an integral part of what’s going on and participate in the refinement.

How do we participate? By choosing. A homespun motivational speaker from the 80s Les Brown offers this, “If you always do what you’ve always done, then you’ll always get what you’ve always gotten.” Pretty simple.

2012 will offer us endless opportunities to do things differently, to refine our thoughts and our actions, and to choose how we wish to participate. We are wise, we are capable and we are the ones we have been waiting for. We are the Light.

May the blessings of the benevolent beings carry us through to the next time.

~ Gail

A new product, inspired by a Wise Woman.

Naturally Nourishing Skin Salv-ation is a super-emollient salve for your hands and feet, and our contemporary version of the famous contents of Mary’s Alabaster Jar.

You can read more about this exceptional product and make a purchase at:

A Botanical Adventure

Recently while vacationing on the island of Kaua’i, Tom and I visited the Ahonui Botanical Gardens. Our hosts Bill, Lucy and Shyama (their dog) shared their beautiful tropical gardens on a 3-hour walking and tasting tour. Tasting? Yes, local fruits and chocolate, they have a few cacao trees and have begun making small batches of their own chocolate bars!

There were many gorgeous plants and flowers to photograph, smell and be seduced by. One such flowering plant was the Datura.

Datura, low to the ground, shrub-like with upright blooms and its sister Brugmansia, tree-like, with downward hanging blossoms, are members of the Solanaceae family, the deadly nightshades. Other familiar members of the nightshades are eggplant, peppers, tomatoes, potatoes and belladonna. All contain tropane alkaloids which are toxic, some to lesser degrees than others, and some like Datura, are so highly toxic that if ingested can be fatal to humans and animals even in small amounts.

There are several species of Datura, some commonly known as moonflower, thorn apple, devil’s trumpet, jimson weed, hell’s bells, stinkweed and locoweed. Among some North and South American native tribes Datura is used in sacred ceremony, often for rites of initiation.

Rather exotic (if not erotic) looking, don’t you think? These are double-blossomed specimens.

On the tour we walked right by these two plants without an introduction by our guides. Yet I was energetically pulled in so hard by one of them that I tripped and almost fell down next to it. Since that day, the purple-blossomed Datura haunts me, occurring randomly and frequently in my thoughts and in my dreamtime. I have no idea whether it carries a fragrance or not, I never put my nose to it. So wickedly seductive that I mildly-feared falling into it and never coming out.

My shamanic background tells me that when an element of Nature repeatedly calls to us, or in my case haunts me, there is a message or a teaching that it wishes to convey. One day very soon I will safely fall into the image of this flower via the shamanic journey method, and if appropriate, I’ll let you know what tale it wishes to tell.

Meanwhile there are many beautiful photos from these gardens to share. And so I will, either here with a bit of story, or on the Sacred Escentuals Facebook page. If you go to that page and “like” it, you’ll have access to them.

Likewise you can “subscribe” to this blog page below and each posting will go directly to your email box.

May the blessings of the benevolent forces carry us through to the next time.

~ Gail

October marks the one year anniversary of Sacred Escentuals and the launch of my first two Natural Perfumes, Egyptian Blue Lotus and Sacred Lotus. Both inspired by the exotic essential oils I brought back from Egypt.

They are available for purchase at:

Under a Graceful Moon

A new batch of Graceful Transitions Anointing Oil just finished curing with the recent Full Moon cycle. The Frankincense essential oil in this one is very energetically potent. It is ready to ship out and to be of service in your life.

Here are some testimonials about this exquisite product.

“I love, love, love, the Graceful Transitions Anointing Oil! I apply it with great joy knowing it may ease my way from one breath to the next. Thank you for this lovely oil. I have used several oils over the years and these are some of the best I’ve experienced.”
C.M., Bodyworker, Yoga Teacher , Horseshoe Bay, Texas

“When I first received and experienced Graceful Transitions Anointing Oil I was immediately empowered with a calm and serene feeling. Wearing it I feel added strength and added support for my soul. I use this oil frequently and enjoy every minute I have it on. I love the name, thank you for making and selling it.”
S.H., Pinole, California

About Graceful Transitions Anointing Oil . . . “This wonderful scent makes me feel soothed and loved and therefore I relax, and feel comfortable within myself.”
U.P., Maui, Hawaii

I am very proud of the on-going success of this very special Anointing Oil. It supports, strengthens, sustains and soothes us through all kinds of transitions . . . from the everyday to life’s great passages.

Order yours today at and  . . .

May the blessings of the benevolent forces carry us through until next time.

~ Gail

A Garden Walk

But first . . . Blogging or Blahh-gging?

You start with good intentions and then life gets busy, really busy. You think once a month would be good. It becomes five weeks, then six. So where did July go? And now here ends the first week of August. So the truth is, I don’t have anything mind blowing or soul satisfying to offer just yet.

In the meantime I’ll take you on a garden walk. Here are some photos from my new DSLR camera that I haven’t really figured out how to shoot “like a pro” because, well, life got really busy.

Lavendar (lavendula augustifoli) Lavender is native to the Mediterranean region. It was used in ancient Egypt as part of the process for mummifying bodies. Lavender’s use as a bath additive originated in Persia, Greece, and Rome. The herb’s name comes from the Latin lavare, which means “to wash.” The fragrance is oh so calming. I’m currently searching for the ultimate Lavender essential oil . . . the stuff dreams are made of . . . just ordered some from France, we’ll see.

Grandfather White Sage (saliva apiana) This is the season’s end of the flowering stalk, these stalks sometimes reach 6-7′ high. The local bees have harvested the pollen and are busy making some awesome honey. We harvest the spent flower stalk, dry them and save some of the seeds. The intensely aromatic leaves of this plant are harvested almost year ’round for making smudge wands. Sage smudging cleanses and purifies, and summons the powers that heal and protect, plus it smells fabulous.

Lemon Balm (melissa officinalis) A member of the mint family, loves the full sun. I harvest this along with my spearmint and brew an amazing tea. Hot or cold it’s a favorite of mine. Lemon balm has a calming and sedating effect, perfect before bedtime.

Culinary Herbs Some of my favorite cooking herbs . . . flat leaf parsley, sage and Thai basil which produce very beautiful purple flower clusters.

Basil (ocimum basilicum) from which the best pesto in the county is made. Mix it with garlic, toasted pine nuts, freshly grated parmesano-reggiano cheese, extra virgin olive oil, sea salt, cracked pepper and bit of freshly squeezed lemon. Yum!

Peppermint (mentha piperita)  and Blanket Flower (gaillardia aristata) I have had this peppermint plant for almost 15 years. Its container has changed many times, but it still produces like mad whatever I plant it in or where ever it is placed. I use it fresh, I dry it and I love it in tea. Great for upset tummies! The Blanket Flower is always a cheerful bloomer that is drought tolerant and a sun lover.

My favorite sitting spot for garden viewing, reading, meditation or a short snooze. The Buddha is peeking through a another type of lavender with very soft leaves called Goodwin Creek Grey Lavender a hybrid of French Lavender.

Ahh . . .  soul satisfying after all. Hope your summer is rich and full and you are enjoying yourself in Nature.

May the blessings of the benevolent forces carry us through to the next time.

~ Gail

This month we feature our Natural Perfume and Anointing Oil Samples.

Like a little bit of fragrance insurance  . . . this “try before you buy” offer is available at

Entering The Dream

I have shared in the past that part of the foundation for my beliefs and guiding forces in my life comes from my many years of studying shamanism. For the purpose of this blog, I will share with you one of the tenants of this system.

Everything Dreams

We are all familiar with the dreaming that we do when we sleep and of our day-dreaming. I am referring to a little bit different kind of dreaming. A creative and co-creative dreaming that all things do, humans, plants, animals, stones, the earth, the sun, the planets and stars, the universe, the Source . . . literally everything.

• Everything that exists here on the Earth plane began its existence there in dreaming. ‘There’ is just on the other side of the mirror or veil; the invisible realm, what the Aborigines refer to as the Dreamtime. They know that everything is dreamed first in the Dreamtime before it is manifested here, including us.

• We humans, and our Earth are being dreamed by our Source.

• Likewise we dream the aspects of the world we live in. This is part of what is meant by “creating your own reality”.

• Dreaming is the activity of the soul.

What does this have to do with perfume making?

The unique basis for my making natural perfumes is that I subscribe to the belief that everything dreams. So when I choose essential oils for creating sacred scented products, I smell them to see if the flower or plants’ dreaming is still intact. If the dreaming is intact, this is what I call a soul essence-based essential oil.

When we breathe in a scent, it travels to our brain and creates an effect or response in our nervous system. The quality of this response, is my indicator. Most often my visionary capacity is stimulated and I am able to connect with, or step into the flower or plant’s dreaming.

Every essential oil in every product I create, has elicited a response and an opportunity to enter the plant’s dreaming. From the feedback and testimonials I have received from our customers, I now know that this is not my singular experience, but it is available to everyone. So I encourage you to try any one of our products and notice your response. See if you can step into the plant’s dreaming. It can be a profound experience, as Nature has much to teach us.

May the blessings of the benevolent forces carry us through to the next time.

~ Gail

If you’d like to share your story, email it to me . . . gail at sacredescentuals dot com I’d be happy to post some of your experiences on this page. Additionally, if you would like to read more about shamanism and dreaming, let me know, I’d be happy to provide you with a book list and website addresses.


There’s only a bit of June left on the calendar, but plenty of our new products featuring hydro-distilled Rose Oil . . .  Naturally Nourishing ROSE PETALS Face & Body Mist and Naturally Nourishing FRANKINCENSE & ROSE PETALS Face & Body Mist.

Visit our website at to make your order.

Synchronicity or Magic?

When one becomes awakened to the invisible forces at work in their life, synchronicity (affectionately termed as “magic”) is a regular occurrence. The following is evidence of the invisible forces working their magic in my life.

I recently participated in a web video course, it was very interesting. For 6 weeks a guest whose life’s work involved the study of plant medicine and shamanism, offered us their time and knowledge. One guest in particular spoke of his work with indigenous healers in South America, and at one point he mentioned the Perfumeros. Whoa! hearing that word made a big impact on me, my heart jumped and my mind scrambled to find an association.

Perfumeros I learned, are the South American indigenous healers who through the smell of a plant or flower, create perfumes for healing purposes. This intrigued me, as I have often wondered why this recent path of creating natural perfumes came into being as an adjunct to my 20+ year career as a bodyworker, shamanic practitioner and healer.

Here inlays the “magic” . . . I have spent time in the last 5 years attempting to trace my lineage through my paternal grandmother. She, along with her sister and mother (my great-grandmother), entered the US from Mexico, their birthplace, in 1915 as evidenced by their immigration records.

These officially recorded documents confirmed my grandmother’s maiden name, my great-grandmother’s name and the year of their immigration into Texas. As yet, no birth records have been found. Through remembering her stories, I know that my grandmother grew up in villages along one of the coasts of Mexico. She often told stories of eating sea turtle and of raids on their villages by Pancho Villa. Whether she lived in encampments or true villages with names, I will never know. This of course makes her stories unprovable by ordinary means.

Through my shamanic training and extensive journeywork into the spirit world, I have received many visions of different events in my paternal lineage, most of which were in response to my inquiries about healing certain aspects of this family line. From these visions I have come to believe that a large portion of my healership and shamanic abilities flow through this bloodline.

In an effort to further the discovery of my lineage, I continue to study the migration of ancient peoples throughout Mexico, Central and South America. I have long had a sense that my ancestry might be traceable in some way to the Incan, Mayan or Olmec peoples. Provable on paper, no, but through my connection to the spirit world, the collective fields of knowledge, and my foundation in shamanic visioning, my curiosity may be satisfied.

Paternal Grandparents: William Johns (25) and Alejandrina Silva (18), March 25,1918

For now, the search continues through the remaining photos of my grandmother’s life. Her facial features possibly offering the best clues to our ancient relatives. If as I suspect, my healer’s lineage comes through this family line, then perhaps too, I may discover that utilizing the soul-essence fragrances of plants to create perfumes and anointing oils is a natural expression of my own ancient lineage. I may even be the Perfumero I am looking for!

May the blessings of the benevolent forces carry us through to the next time.

~ Gail

If you would like to share your own stories of magic and ancestral synchronicity, please submit them to gail at SacredEscentuals dot com

Featured Product

This month’s blog speaks of visionary experiences, so I’m featuring this exquisite personal favorite, Clarity & Vision Anointing Oil.

Prelude to a Blog

Welcome to The Alchemist’s Diary, my blog for sharing events and stories that apply to my path as an alchemist working with the transformational qualities of soul essence-based essential oils, the products I create with them, and their applications in our lives.

Thoughts on Practicing Modern Alchemy

To call oneself an Alchemist means that there is an understanding and a direct experience of the process of transformation. Whether we are discussing the process of turning lead into gold–the alchemy studied by ancient practitioners, or we are discussing transforming one’s life through the process of evolving one’s consciousness.

At this unique point in my life I stand at a crossroads of sorts. For over 20 years I have practiced body- and soul-oriented healing work, and for the past 11 years I have been an on-going student and practitioner of shamanism. Additionally a new path has emerged, that of a Natural Perfumer.

The crossroads is not about having to make a choice about which path to take, it is about acceptance. After all the alchemy of healing and the alchemy of natural perfume making is much the same . . . taking base materials and creating a transformative process by which they become more than they were previously. So the crossroads, my crossroads, is really about having a wider perspective and an expanded lens through which I can perceive life and living, and accepting that I have a greater capacity to do so.

There is a story about this new path coming into being and some of it is available to read on my Natural Perfume and Anointing Oil product site at The rest of my story is an on-going one that I will share with you here at The Alchemist’s Diary from time to time.

It is my greatest hope that this blog will serve in ways that I have not yet dreamed, and that you find inspiration, camaraderie and community as we virtually hold hands and step into our individual and collective futures.

The way is open and we are meant to enjoy it!

~ Gail

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