Love, like Luck, favors the Prepared.
The thing about life is that it doesn’t seem to work like it does in the movies. I can count on one hand how many times in the last three decades I’ve had a spontaneous intimate encounter. I’ve got some fingers left-over, too. When I was single and not yet a Mom, it was easier to change plans to embrace an opportunity, but even then work and class schedules and roommates made romance of any sort a more intentional event than a spontaneous one. With a family and careers…Preparation has become essential to enjoying the more intimate aspects of Love.
Be Prepared for Romance
I like to increase my chances of snatching a little Afternoon Delight (or Morning Delight or Evening Delight or Any Kind of Delight!) by having a few herbal assistants on-hand, strategically stashed so as to be ready to serve at a moment’s notice. The beauty of this approach is that it gives you a subtle support or boost while also setting your intention. By creating a few Herbal Assistants and stashing them strategically about your space, you’re also setting the stage for Love to make an entrance. Even if all you’ve got for Romantic exploration is twenty minutes of quiet to yourself, you can make the most of it instead of wasting half your time looking for the support you need.
Best Ingredients for Herbal Assistants
The key to creating Herbal Assistants that will serve you well is in choosing your ingredients and your Plant allies wisely. I like creating oils, lotions, and aromatherapy blends that relax, romance, and entice…and sometimes they’ve gotta keep for a few months until I can snatch my next Encounter. As you choose your ingredients, consider where you’ll keep the finished product and how those individual ingredients would do if you were to store them in that space. Formulate with both your romantic intentions and your stashing spot in mind.
Essential oils are one of my favorite choices. They tend to preserve and keep well in formula even for long periods of time at room temperature. In pure essential oil aromatherapy formulas, they’re easily used cold so stashing a wee bottle of your blend in the refrigerator works wonderfully. Blended with either water or oils, they tend to do well at room temperature.
I like oils that harden at room temperature, like Shea Butter and Cocoa Butter, and softer oils that are generally considered safe to store at room temperature, like Grape seed oil and Avocado oil. The harder ones force you to slow down for a moment as you warm them in your hands before applying them, which is a benefit if you’re living a fairly harried life and you’re snatching time amid the day’s activities for a little Love. The action of warming them in your palms before applying them is mildly meditative, giving your nervous system the signal that it’s okay to relax and focus on the moment. It also reminds you to take the time to get centered and focused as a means of expressing care toward yourself and your partner.
Three Best Herbal Assistants for Love
My three favorite Herbal Assistants are Herbal Massage Oils or Herbal Body Butters, Herbal Sprays or Perfumes, and Aromatherapy Blends.
A lovely scented Herbal Massage Oil that’s formulated to not only serve as a sensual massage tool but to also offer lubrication when needed is one delightful option. Coconut and Cocoa butter are generally favorites for good lubrication, although neither are terribly latex-friendly, so they may interfere with condom performance. Most other oils, including Olive, Sweet Almond, Sesame, Avocado, and Jojoba oils are generally considered latex-safe.
Herbal Sprays or Perfumes are a quick and easy way to invoke a little Romance. You can carry them with you or keep them stashed strategically about the house. A spritz or two, and Voila! You’ve created the atmosphere you desire.
The power of a good Aromatherapy Blend is in its versatility. You can add a few drops to your diffuser to set the atmosphere in your space almost as quickly as using an Herbal Spray. You can also add a few drops to unscented lotions, which is particularly nice as a daily self-care tool as well as for softening the skin before intimate contact. Unscented massage oils blended for actual massage therapy can double as Herbal Assistants in a moment or two with a few added drops of your Aromatherapy Blend, too.
My favorite Bonus Herbal Assistant is Herbed Honey. An herbed honey you can use as a sweetener for body or dessert could be nice. Stephanie Tourles has a lovely Ginger-Vanilla Honey Drizzle recipe that makes a delightful coffee or tea sweetener, too. How innocuous is that? An Herbal Assistant you can keep right on the Kitchen Counter takes your strategic planning to a whole new level!
The Best Essential Oils for Love
Essential oils that make terrific partners for Romance include:
- Rose and Rose Geranium – These both have long been considered aphrodisiacs and have soothing and opening effects on the heart and heart center. Rose and Rose Geranium both have a calming and centering affect on the nervous system, bringing one comfortably into the present.
- Lavender – Like Rose and Rose Geranium, Lavender has a calming effect on the nervous system. It was used as an aphrodisiac herb in Victorian England. Today, it helps soothe the nerves and musculature, reducing stress and helping one to get into the right mood.
- Sandalwood – Long considered an aphrodisiac, Sandalwood is said to “evoke the Earth element at its most sensual yet most deeply tranquil,” according to Gabriel Mojay. It’s used to cool and still, helping one to shift into a place of unity with one’s partner.
- Patchouly – The musky, earthy scent of Patchouly has long been associated with arousal and sensual pleasure. It offers a sensual base note to blends, anchoring and harmonizing the body-mind. In the twentieth century, Patchouly got a bad reputation for being a hippie-herb. The Hippie movement reached for this herb to help reconnect with the sensual pleasure of being human. Today, we can, too, although perhaps it would be wise to use Patchouly a little more lightly than the hippies did.
- Ylang-ylang – Euphoric is one of the descriptors associated with Ylang-ylang. This oil helps lift one’s mood and center one into the body, and thus has been associated with sexuality, sensuality, and Love. It also calms the nervous system without sedating.
- Bergamot – The light, refreshing scent of Bergamot has long been associated with easing depression and helping lighten the spirits. In an aphrodisiac blend, Bergamot helps bring one into one’s body and shift one’s mood toward sunnier skies. It’s more subtle than Orange, Tangerine, or Lemon, but you can substitute any of those sparingly in your Romance blend. All four are from the citrus family and share the same relaxing, uplifting qualities.
Tips for Making Your Herbal Assistants
For an Aromatherapy Blend, you’ll use pure essential oils. I like to keep the blends simple, focusing on three to five essential oils per blend. Keep your essential oil blends in a glass bottle with either a dropper top or a drop dispenser like the essential oils you get from the store. I re-use essential oil bottles when I can. If, for instance, you’re making a blend that uses Lavender and you’ve got an empty Lavender essential oil bottle, you can re-use it for your blend. If you’re re-using a bottle, be aware that there maybe residual essential oil in the bottle, so adjust your formula to accommodate that to prevent the original essential oil that was stored in the bottle from overpowering your blend. I like to keep my blends small, too. You’ll use just a few drops in your diffuser or added to your unscented oils or lotions. Your aromatherapy blend is likely to go pretty far, especially if you don’t have loads of opportunities for romance each week.
For Herbal Sprays and Herbal Perfumes, I like to use a blend of up to fifty percent rubbing or grain alcohol mixed with water and essential oils. If I think I’ll use the spray often, I’ll tip in the direction of more water than alcohol. The residual scent of alcohol as it evaporates is a bit antiseptic. That works terrific if you’re making a spray to disinfect a wound or prevent athlete’s foot in your shoes, but for romance or as a perfume it can be a bit harsh. I use a glass bottle when I can, although if the bottle is going to be stashed in a place where it may travel, like a purse or computer bag, or if it may be jostled about as it might in a bathroom drawer, I use a plastic bottle. Plastic can be degraded by essential oils over the long haul, so glass is better as long as it’s sensible for the situation. I aim for a two percent dilution rate when I’m making a this type of spray. although some oils require a lower dilution rate. This Article by Mountain Rose Herbs covers how to dilute well. Add the essential oils you want to use to your sprayer and top it off with your water or alcohol-water blend.
For Herbal Body Butters and Herbal Massage Oils, add the essential oils after you’ve heated your blend, if heating is required. Making a Body Butter is much like making a loose salve, except you don’t need to add beeswax. The harder oils you use, like Coconut or Shea or Cocoa Butter, will harden the blend, giving it a butter-like texture. You may need to use heat to melt the harder oils so you can blend them with your softer oils. Once you’ve got the blend you desire, let it cool a little before adding your essential oils. I like to bump up my essential oil ratio a little when I’m making a Body Butter to off-set the essential oils that will be lost to diffusion and evaporation as the blend cools. If you’re making a massage oil, you’ll be using just oils that are liquid at room temperature. If that’s the case, don’t increase the essential oil ratio and add the essential oils to your bottle before adding the oil blend to the bottle. In either case, I aim to use glass bottles or containers when I can, opting for plastic only when I know my finished Body Butter or Massage Oil will be traveling or in a place where it may be knocked about a bit.
Stash Your Herbal Assistants
Once you’ve blended your Herbal Assistants, you’ve gotta stash ’em strategically. Some may do well right out on the counter, doubling as daily self-care friends. Others can go in a little basket or cubby bedside or stashed in the bathroom drawer or medicine cabinet. If you’re on-the-go, you can pop a little jar of Body Butter in your purse, bag, or satchel or maybe stash a little Herbal Spray in your gym bag. Where ever you choose to stash your Herbal Assistants, be sure that they’ll be stored mainly out of excess heat or sunlight. If you have pets or kids about, be sure to either use containers with lids and caps that cannot be easily opened, use ingredients that will be safe should pets or kids get into them, or they’re stashed where they’re just not accessible to pets or kids.
With a little preparation, you’ll be ready when Love comes a-knocking.