If the whole thought of Valentine’s Day leaves you cold, this is the article for you. Romance yourself with essential oils. Ignite and connect your five senses. Let them guide you to places of pleasure, joy and beauty in yourself and the world around you. Indulge yourself. Bring all senses alive in one mind blowing experience.
Discover how elixirs like Ylang Ylang, Rose and Vetiver can be used to deepen pleasurable experiences and to create whatever mood you choose. Set the scene with candles, dim light, music and sensual fabrics and envelope yourself in a fragrant mist of glorious scents. Journal about your feelings and emotions from these experiences and use your responses to facilitate emotional processing and healing. Learn how to romance yourself with essential oils today!
Valentine’s Day Is Not For Everyone
Valentine’s Day can bring misery for many people. Those who might be single and desperately wishing for a loving union. Those who have just lost the love of their life or those who have partners that just don’t buy into it at all.
Maybe, you are happily single and don’t need an appendage of a partner.
If this sounds like you, then this article is dedicated to each and every one of you, from my heart to yours this Valentine’s Day. If you think self romance is not for you, I urge you to stick with me for just a little while longer.
The Concept of Self-Romance
Self romance is a positive self-care practice that focuses on nourishing self-love and self-acceptance. Do the special things you might do for someone else you care about for yourself. Treat yourself to a massage or indulging in things that bring joy and pleasure into your life. Learning to observe beauty in life renews zest and enthusiasm and teaches you how to find joy in the every day. .
Benefits of Self-Romancing Yourself
Practicing self romance leads to increased self-awareness, which in turn can enhance personal growth and enhance self-confidence. A regular self-romance routine has the potential to connect you to the beauty and joy in life, leaving you feeling calmer and more relaxed, while reducing your sense of stress and worry.
Taking time out of your day (or week) to nurture yourself can enhance your relationships with others around you. It helps give you clarity on what is truly important in life. With self romance, you are investing in your own well being, which is always worth it.
The Importance of The Senses
The senses stand central to romancing yourself.
There is a wonderful book called Romancing The Ordinary by Sarah Ban Breathnach and while I have to confess to having never made it through the whole year concept in one go. Over the many years I have had the book, I have always dipped and delved into it with sheer delight.
The pages unfold the most incredible roadmap for igniting and bringing your senses alive and I heartily recommend picking up a copy if you find one. Here, though, you will find my own take on how to ignite those senses for your own delight and pleasure. The only person you are going to need on this journey is you. Wonderful, delightful, amazing you.
For those of us who are sighted, I think sight would be the sense most of us would struggle with the loss of, the most. We often take what we can see for granted and with it the miraculous value of actually seeing something.
I want to show you how to use that in new and mindful ways.
I am a creative person, but I am no artist. Nothing encourages you to look at something on a much deeper level than if you are about to draw or paint the subject.
Take a pencil and grab something close to hand or something that makes your heart sing.
Look at it.
No, really look at it!
It’s not a competition and no one will see your efforts unless you want them to, so just draw to your heart's content. Consider textures, how the light falls and what lies in shadow.
If you were to paint it, what colors would you need?
Where would you start mixing them? Landscape artists will tell you there are a thousand shades …or more… of green.
If you don’t fancy drawing, pick something up that feels familiar to you and again really look at it. What feels familiar to you and what do you discover that is new? What have you never noticed before?
You can do this with an artwork, photo or picture in your house. It may have hung there for 30 years, but what do you notice now you really look at it?
Take time to look at things mindfully, you will be amazed how much more you notice and observe. Just the simple action of mindful observation feel relaxing.
A Real Life Example
I had the great delight to go to an exhibition of the Sistine Chapel by Michelangelo recently, he is one of my childhood heroes. I was utterly spellbound all the way back in 1987 standing in the actual chapel. However, this exhibition allows you to view each humongous panel in detail..
I could see brushstrokes, linework and where mistakes had been remedied and painted over. Loincloths had been hastily (perhaps reluctantly) added, to make it more ‘appropriate’.
I was so completely filled with awe when I really looked and experienced such joy and childlike wonderment. Peering keenly and deeply and keenly, at something I held so sacred, immersed me in a wave of wonderful, positive emotions.
Hearing is intrinsic to our sense of place and safety. I have a hearing impaired friend. For her, riding a bicycle is utterly terrifying because she cannot hear cars coming from behind her.
Bring hearing alive and use it to its fullest potential, even if you have a hearing impairment.
For those of you that are not used to listening to music through headphones, grab yourself a pair. (Apple devices have a spatial audio setting that immerses you in 360 sound, which really enhances the listening experience.)
If you’ve stood at the front of a concert, near the speakers, you’ll know that not only do you hear the music, the beat pulses and throbs through your entire being.
Sound baths can be life enhancing experiences for people with hearing impairments as they feel the sound waves engaging with their body. Gong baths where the sound waves create even bigger vibrations can be an extremely interesting and powerful experience for all.
Stop right now. What can you hear? Right now I can hear the low hum of my PC, the jingle on my cat’s collar bell. The rumble of a van passing outside. A dunnock in the hedge outside the window and the resident blackbird heralding evensong. But what if I listen deeper?
I can hear the conversation of people in the street, the hum of the fridge from the kitchen, a car alarm right off in the distance and the music from someone's radio. They are faint but they are all there.
For those who are hearing impaired, try this but sensing vibrations around your home. Walk around your home and place your hand or your cheek (safely) on things like the fridge, the window, the front door. What do you feel through your body?
Try it for music too, place your hand near the speaker or turn it up so loud it positively vibrates you.
Realize too, how much your hearing enables your sense of place, alongside your sight. If you could not see and you could not hear, you would have to rely on your touch to give you a sense of your place.
Touch is intrinsic to our connection with the world and the other people in it. Just like babies when they are born, we need touch to thrive. Touching yourself, does not always have to stray into the risqué. The benefits of touching and massaging yourself are thoroughly backed up by science. For example, touch like being hugged, can vastly reduce a person’s Cortisol levels.
Nothing to do with masturbation, fear not. Though there is plenty of scientific evidence to extol its virtues if you are interested to seek it out. What I want to talk about here is non sexual intimate touch.
I admit it, I’m a devout hugger. I’ll hug you even if I don’t know you because I am aware of the importance of touch in people’s lives and how lonely and isolated we can feel without it.
Some people feel awkward hugging, but my friend Ronni gives the best hugs. There is no feeling of awkwardness, just allowing the hug of friendship to happen. We don’t rush it and can be there for quite a while which is great because 20 seconds of hugging stimulates oxytocin and serotonin that can improve our mood and wellbeing.
Try and hug people whenever you can and linger in the moment. (I’ll preface that with willing people only please! No holding people to ransom in bear hugs.)
For those people that don’t have others around them to provide that all important touch. That hug could be the one thing that helps that person to feel less isolated or lonely by stimulating the production of those wonderful feel-good hormones.
Have a look at the incredible science for yourself.
Again, this does not have to have a sexual connotation. It can be learning how to give yourself a hand massage or gently touching or stroking your skin to fire up those neurotransmitters in your brain to release all those fabulous hormones that we were just talking about.
Try giving yourself a hand massage with a massage oil laced with your favorite essential oils, travel up your arms and maybe up to your shoulders and your neck. Really work on those knots of tension and make the strokes alternate between stronger and firmer therapeutic strokes and those that feel softer, gentler and more intimate.
Just doing this once a week can help to reduce feelings of isolation and loneliness, stimulate feel good hormones and strengthen your connection with self. Such an intimate act can help you to rebuild trust in yourself and develop improved self esteem and self confidence.
There is a lot more to self touch than first meets the eye. It’s not all risque, ‘oh-er’ or ‘wink wink’ either.
Taste is fundamental to our enjoyment of food. This realization has been reached by the many people who lost this sense through having Covid. It happened to my own father in the later years of his life, he always enjoyed his food and was struggling to find any joy in it. Introducing sensations, through heat like chili warmth and different kinds of textures helped. I want to immerse you in a taste explosion.
I am fully aware that we are in the middle of the worst cost of living crisis that we have perhaps seen since the 1940’s. If you are counting the cost of your pennies like most of us, don’t skip past this, just be inventive and creative.
One of the most sensuous experiences I think I have ever had with food is with a papaya and a mango. I had bought them for a fruit salad for breakfast the following day but I just could not wait. I cut them in half and scored the fruit ready to remove it from the skins and I could wait no longer.
The fragrance of the fruits wafted up from the chopping board and the juices were flowing onto my fingers, sticky and luscious. I could not help myself and just picked the Papaya up and sunk my teeth into the soft yielding flesh. As I sunk into it, the juices were released and started to drip, unashamedly, down my chin.
Juices still dripping, I did the same with the mango and savored every last morsel of that refreshing fruity flesh. It felt decadent and a bit naughty, but more than anything it felt unbelievably sensuous. The scents, the juices, the texture and taste of the flesh, the sense of forbidden fruit.
What has Been Your Most Sensuous Moment with Food?
Why not have another?
It is so simple to do. Pick a simple piece of fruit or food and really savor it. From a banana to a steak, buy the best that you can afford and prepare it like you would a sacred ritual, with thought and intention. Then savor every last mouthful like it was going to be your last meal.
If you can, get yourself dressed up and take yourself out for dinner one night, order exactly what you like or fancy and enjoy your own company, take a book or your tablet with you (it will tell everyone that you are more than happy on your own and have no need of company or their pitious looks). Enjoy the experience of valuing yourself enough to romance yourself at dinner. The pinnacle of self confidence.
If you can’t do this, maybe cook yourself a meal just to suit yourself. No trying to keep the kids or your partner happy, this meal is for only YOU. Sit down and eat mindfully, really connect with the food, how does it feel in your mouth, which taste buds are firing? What do you enjoy most about the experience?
Smell, what would we do without it? It was very difficult for me when I recently lost my sense of smell. It made me realize how much I rely on the wafts coming from the kitchen to indicate how far along in the cooking process dinner was! Of course, what I missed the most, were the scents of essential oils and perfumes. When I don’t feel great, the first thing I reach for is something that smells nice, like a bottle of perfume or you find me, nose deep in a flower. I want to introduce ways that you can elevate your mood and your spirit through smell - it is most definitely aroma-therapy for the soul.
When I feel down or a below par the first thing I reach for is something that smells nice, in the same way that others might reach for wine or chocolate. I might spray myself in a beloved perfume or use an essential oil on my pulse points from a roller ball.
I use scents to elevate, ignite, soothe, calm and relax myself and I urge you to try it out for yourself.
Why not create yourself a perfumed oil for a massage or bath oil using your favorite essential oils. You could create a diffuser blend that helps you to define that sense of place within your home, a place of safety and security. Alternative, you could make a lotion or a moisturizer to leave your skin softened and highly fragrant.
Choose something that feels sensuous to you, remember the idea here is to romance yourself.
How to Bring All This Into One Incredible Mindful Moment
How can you bring all of these senses, sight, hearing, touch, taste and smell into one incredible mindful moment?
There are a few creative and imaginative ways to do this but by far the easiest is to create yourself the perfect meal just for you.
Clear the house of any kids and/or partners (if you can). Use a scented candle or your favorite essential oil blend in the room that you intend to use. Light a few more unscented candles and dim the lights.
Now, cook yourself a meal to ignite your senses. It does not have to be complex or expensive.
Choose your ingredients and really look at them, what is the best way to use these? Which is the best way to cut them or prepare them?
Smell them, do they smell fresh and wholesome? What do you notice when you smell them?
How do they feel in your fingers, notice the textures and how they sit in your hands, do they feel warm or cold? Is it hard or soft or does it yield slightly under your squeeze?
As you start to cook, listen to the chopping of the knife as it hits the board, notice what sound the knife makes as it cuts through the ingredients. I cut through a leek this week and the sound it made, sounded just like someone saying ‘shuffle’. Odd but true.
If safe. Taste some of the raw ingredients, how do they taste if you are not used to eating them raw, how do they feel in your mouth? Try and name some of the differences between eating it raw and cooked.
Listen to the sound of the ingredients in the pan, does it sizzle or bubble, do some ingredients sound different as they cook? When you cook, what is your favorite sound, or what evokes the most feeling in you?
How do the smells change as the ingredients cook? Does the browning of ingredients affect how it smells? Does it intensify the longer you cook it or does it stay at the same level?
Now set your own romantic scene - set your place beautifully, with maybe even a single flower in a vase just for you. Settle down, distraction free, to savor this edible homage to romancing yourself.
How does it taste? How does it feel in your mouth, as you savor this fabulous meal meant uniquely and entirely for you?
How does it make you feel? Name some of those feelings and emotions. Reflect on those, did some of the feelings surprise you?
Choosing Essential Oils to Support Self-Romance
While all the senses are intrinsic to self romance, we are still here to talk about supporting this wonderful practice with essential oils.
Most of the essential oils we associate with luxury and decadence can, unfortunately, be very expensive, like Rose Otto, Jasmine Absolute and Neroli Absolute.
I want to be able to give you some more cost effective options that are equally evocative and can make you feel like a million dollars too. My personal choices here would be Rose Geranium, Ylang Ylang and Sandalwood Amyris essential oils. I use these essential oils a great deal and can highly recommend them in their own rights.
All of these can be beautifully blended with fresh and vibrant Clary Sage essential oil and a drop or two of the deep and earthy Vetiver essential oil.
Choosing the Perfect Essential Oil For You
This is something that I simply cannot do for you, only you can do this for yourself. We all have our favorite essential oils and ones we are not so fond of.
Choose something that you KNOW that you like and that you respond positively too. You can use just one essential oil or blend it with other essential oils to enhance one another.
Part of your choice should always be based on “How do I want this essential oil to make me feel”?
- Do you want to be stimulated, enlivened or freshed?
- Maybe you prefer relaxed, calm or peaceful?
- Perhaps, you want to create the sensations of heat or cool.
- Or do you require something to make you feel sensuous and sexy?
Whatever the choice, there is a perfect essential oil for you.
You can enter words like ‘relax, focus or sensuous’ into the search bar of the VINEVIDA website and it will bring back plenty of options for you to choose from. It is a perfect tool to help you make your decision.
How to Use Essential Oils for Self-Romance?
Defining an Essential Oil Blend
Once you have chosen the essential oils that are perfect for you and for the mood you wish to evoke, you are ready to create your unique self romance essential oil blend.
Again, consider what you want your overall essential blend to DO.
You may also wish to consider this question. Are you creating essential oil blends for self love and romancing the self, general love and acceptance or to enhance the chances of attracting love and romance too?
Always keep in mind the ultimate goal that you have in mind and work from there.
Choosing the Perfect Product
Next you need to choose what kind of product that appeals to you the most. We are all different, so choose based on your strongest preferences.
If you have never made your own products before, don't let that stop you, have a go! For your ease and convenience, I will provide some links to some easy step by step tutorials.
Choose from projects like:
- Aroma Therapy - Use your essential oil blend to create your own perfume, scented candle or diffuser blend.
- Baths and Soaks - Use your essential oil blend to create a wonderful bath oil or bath salt or scrubs. You could even try your hand at bath bombs or melts that enhance any warm bath.
- Massage Therapy - Create a wonderfully decadent massage oil to apply to your precious skin. Make it with the finest quality carrier oils and your unique essential oil blend.
- Lotions, body butters and moisturizers make for beautifully soothing and sensuous experiences, when they are rich in oils and butters you can massage them into your skin more easily over a longer period of time.
- Don’t forget products like body and room mists for enveloping yourself in fragrance and elevating your mood.
There should be plenty of ideas there and step by step tutorials to encourage you to have a go and create something incredible just to indulge and romance yourself with essential oils.
Enhancing The Romance With Other Self-Care Practices
Self care and self romance practices can intersect relatively frequently, but don’t lose sight of them being entirely distinct from one another. Only practicing self care on its own, is not self romance.
Self romance is about romancing yourself and exploring what brings you pleasure and joy. Encouraging more sensual and pleasurable connections and experiences in your life that are not reliant upon other people.
Meditation with Essential Oils
If you have never meditated using your favorite essential oils, try it and see if you can connect with the pleasure you derive from those scents.
You could use a diffuser or a scented candle candle in the room you are using, but one of the most effective ways of using essential oils during meditation is by inhalation. Liz extols it many virtues in Exciting New Discoveries Around The Benefits of Inhaling Essential Oils.
Using essential oils can enhance your meditative practice no end. I highly recommend trying it with Palo Santo to raise your vibration and open your energy.
Recording Your Experiences
Journaling can be a very supportive process to romancing yourself, noting down what feelings and emotions pop up and giving you opportunity to look back and reflect on those later.
For instance, immersing yourself in the cooking exercise, culminating in eating your wonderful efforts. The feelings that pop up might not all be positive, but they will help you to define areas that perhaps need your attention.
One client who did this exercise found waves of anger surfacing at the injustice of losing her partner and guilt that she survived him. To this point she had not recognized this and it was pivotal in her processing these emotions and moving her forward in her life. Ultimately, it enabled her to connect more deeply to the joy in the world and recognize the beauty around her. Most importantly, it enabled her to engage and indulge in pleasure.
If your mind wanders and you struggle to focus, use essential oils like rosemary and lavender to bring you back to center.
Mindfully creating your own products to romance and indulge yourself with, helps to anchor you into the process. It can enhance your feelings of relaxation and help you let go of stress as much as the products themselves.
Making something special with ‘positive intention’ imparts a wonderful energy to whatever you decide to create.
I used to say to my creative students, it is not the end result that matters, it is the process of creating itself.
Set Your Scene
Do not devalue yourself and neglect to set the scene for your sensuous and romantic experience. Give yourself as much effort as you would if you were going on a date with the partner of your dreams.
Have fun getting ready as if you were going on a date, but dress to please yourself and choose fabrics that make you feel sexy and sensuous.
Choose your favorite scented toiletries and fragrances and thoroughly indulge yourself.
Use all those things you save for a ‘special day’, be it an outfit, a pair of outrageous shoes or a sublime scent.
Create the perfect backdrop if you are creating yourself a meal. Set one beautifully curated place setting with your favorite pieces (who cares if they don’t match). Not got a table? Set yourself a fancy tray in the exact same way.
Put a garden flower or two in a vase and light some candles to set the scene. Dim the lights and pop on some of your favorite music.
Romance YOURSELF for all you are worth!
The Final Word
Self romance is a practice all of its own and one that I heartily encourage that you adopt. It matters not what your relationship status is, it is for one and all.
Prioritizing yourself may feel alien to some people but it encourages healthy connection with your inner you and encourages healing, progression and development of emotional intelligence.
Using essential oils to support these new processes can help you anchor to something familiar, yet encourage you to the new and exciting. Essential oils can help change the mood and create stimulation or relaxation when you need it most.
Try some of the ideas suggested, cook yourself that meal, make yourself an indulgent massage oil and hug your friend just a little bit too long.
More importantly, get used to the idea that you DESERVE romance and you can totally do that for yourself.
Grab a handful of your most favorite and precious essential oils and find out how to romance yourself with essential oils on Valentine’s Day and every day thereafter.