Author Archive: Lydia Claire

Aroma Bath: Aromatherapy in the Bath Tub

One of absolute favorite ways to use my oils is in an aroma bath!

Orange Tree Oil Tips

My children love and benefit from an aroma bath as well!  Putting essential oils in the bath tub is a safe and very effective way to allow your body to absorb the powerful benefits of oils.  When you apply oils directly to your skin you often have to use a carrier oil (always with young children).  In a bath no carrier oil is required.  Just fill the tub with warm water and add 5-10 drops of the oils of your choice!  Enjoy these easy aroma baths.  All of them are safe for children as well.  You might want to use less with children.

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Rene Maurice Gattefose: The Father of Modern Aromatherapy

This is René Maurice Gattefosé, he is the father of modern day aromatherapy.

Rene Maurice Gattefosse- The Father of Modern Aromatherapy

In the early part of the 20th century modern pharmaceuticals were born.  Chemistry and medicine became entwined.  Antibiotics were discovered, along with vaccines, which saved millions of lives.  Natural medicine and plant medicine were quickly fading into history, in danger of being lost forever.  However, thanks to René Maurice Gattefosé natural and herbal medicine were not forgotten, and today are experiencing a true renaissance.

An Accidental Discovery

Around 1910, while working in the laboratory of his family’s cosmetic company, he badly burned his hand.  Lavender oil was on hand and he quickly applied it to the burn.  He was intrigued at how quickly the oil relieved pain and then healed the burn.  Thus beginning a life long fascination and study of essential oils.  He even experimented with essential oils in military hospitals in World War I.  Noting the antiseptic and quick healing qualities of many oils.  He invented the phrase “armothérapie” for the use of scented plant oils in healing and wellness.

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Orangetree’s Summer Essential Oils Top Three

Orangetree’s Summer Essential Oils Top Three!!

Essential Oil Uses (1)

It’s sum sum sum summertime here in FLA and it’s HOT, HUMID, and FUN!  I love summer!  I went through a brief phase when I hated it- but that was when I had a newborn baby and a two year old (seriously, what do you do all summer with a newborn and two year old??!!)- thankfully that phase has passed!  Summer is an awesome time to break out your essential oil collection, play around, and experiment.  There are several amazing and practical ways to use your summer essential oils.  I’ve made up a quick top three list of my favorite summer essential oils uses.  Give them a try, let me know your thoughts, and have some fun!

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The Evil Eye

In cultures all over the world- but mostly in Asia, Europe and the Middle East- folks believe in (or did) the “evil eye”  It’s the idea that a person can look at you or stare at you in a way that will bestow evil on you.  It’s a jealous or covetous look- it is often unintentional- but not always.  People worried that being successful in business or having a large number of children might bring “evil eye” looks and eventually bad luck or experiences.  In order to counteract the “evil eye” people began would say charms or spells or wear the “evil eye symbol”.  It was common practice in the Jewish faith as well as the Muslim faith to wear the an evil eye amulet to ward off danger associated with “evil eye” looks.

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Ancient Egyptian Makeup and Beauty

Elizabeth Taylor as Cleopatra in the 1963 film

Elizabeth Taylor as Cleopatra in the 1963 film

When I think of ancient Egyptian makeup the first thing that comes to mind is Elizabeth Taylor in Cleopatra.  She’s shown wearing heavy black eyeliner all the way around her eyes, with lines coming out at the corners to create a cat eye.  She’s also wearing heavy blue eye shadow over all of the eye lids all the way up to heavily darkened eye brows.  Her lips are neutral as well as her face makeup.  While some of what Liz’s Cleopatra is wearing is historically accurate- its not totally correct.  Today I’ll show what would have been more standard in ancient Egypt.  Hollywood has to take poetic license to ensure it’s stars still look beautiful according to modern times.  Beauty is a concept that changes with time; what was considered beautiful in ancient Egypt isn’t necessarily the standard today.

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Current Makeup Faves- Roller Lash & Pur Minerals

I love makeup- I have since I was little.  I have an older sister and I spent a lot of time in elementary school sneaking in her room and messing with her makeup.  As you can guess it was extremely annoying to her and I was her little pest!  After I grew up the love didn’t fade and now I’m discovering the world of makeup history- check back in a few weeks for my upcoming post on makeup in ancient Egypt (or follow me on instagram @orange_tree_fla)!  Today I’m sharing a few modern 😉 products that I’m currently in love and highly recommend!

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What’s a Kaftan?

Imagine yourself sipping a rum drink out of coconut while relaxing in the shade of a palm tree; you have on stunner shades, a wide brimmed straw hat, and you’re wearing a kaftan…..what a sec…… what’s a kaftan?

Kaftan’s are trending right now and they are the hottest in beach cover up wear this summer.  You know if I’m writing about it on this blog that it has some sort of historical story- so here goes!  According to Encyclopedia Britannica “A kaftan is a man’s full length garment of ancient Mesopotamian origin (which means they’re like 5,000 years old), worn throughout the Middle East.  Usually made of cotton or silk, or a combination of the two.”  Characteristics of one are: wide/long sleeves, can be open at the front and tied with a sash, and loose fitting and breezy.

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Off The Shoulder Style: Then and Now

One of the things I love about fashion is how styles come in, go out, and come back again.  As a historian I love looking for elements of historical style- or details that were stylish in the past now becoming en vogue.   So, when I saw that off the shoulder tops were the it item for the summer I immediately connected this style trend with a popular look in the 19th century.

In the mid 19th century off the shoulder gowns were the dominate style for ladies evening gowns and/or ball gowns.  The off shoulder look was not wore during the day, as it was not conservative enough.  When wearing an off the shoulder gown a woman’s bodice or corset would push her bosom up giving her lots of cleavage!  I know- it seems a little scandalous for that time period- but it was accepted and widely worn.  In addition to being very low cut, the dresses were also very tight and low across the shoulders.  They were so tight in fact that when wearing one a woman couldn’t lift her arms above shoulder height.  From the should down the gown would taper down to the waist tightly, and then balloon out over ample petticoats and a wooden frame hoop skirt.  Can you image wearing a dress like that in August?!?

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