A rose is a rose is a... geranium?

I hate gardening. To me, it is back-breaking, dirty, sweaty work that is never finished.

Because of my intense disinterest, I know very little about plants and flowers. I know the major ones, like grass, dandelions and thistles, but mostly I am happily clueless.

When I helped make my first batch of rose-geranium soap here at GMSC, I thought the essential oil we used was a blend of rose and geranium oils. Not so! There are many varieties of geraniums, and rose-geranium is one of them. Apparently, there are lemon balm, peppermint and apricot-scented geraniums too. Who knew?                                                                                                                                             

Our best-selling soap is the Rose-Geranium Bar. I'm sure most of our customers buy it for its lovely rosy scent and creamy lather, but like many of our bars, it has wonderful therapeutic benefits as well. A lot of these benefits can be attributed to the rose-geranium essential oil in the bar.

The oil comes from the leaves and stalks of the plant, not the flowers, as you might assume. Simply inhaling the fragrance of the oil can have a positive effect. It is said to be a very “balancing” oil, lifting the spirits and easing depression, anxiety and stress.

It can also stimulate the lymphatic system and help detoxify the body. When used directly on the skin, rose-geranium e.o. balances oil production and clears problem skin. It is antiseptic and can be used on burns, cuts, scrapes and other skin issues.

There are several ways to use rose-geranium essential oil to obtain these benefits. Using our Rose-Geranium soap is one. We also have a terrific Freshly Floral deodorant that contains it. In addition, pure essential oil can be added to a warm bath for a soothing, leave-mom-alone aromatherapy soak, added to shampoo and body lotion or used as a massage oil. Heck, you could even put a drop on a tissue or handkerchief and carry it in your pocket, sniffing it when you need a boost, like when you're stuck in traffic, or you have a big presentation to do at work.

It might even take the sting out of your divorce. Or not.

There is one thing that rose-geranium essential oil can not do. It can not make me like gardening. I don't think there is anything out there that can change that. I am happy to sit back and let you tend to the flowers, plants and vegetables. I'll bring you some lemonade and shower you with praise for your hard work, but I won't be picking up a garden trowel any time soon. I don't want to plant anything, weed anything or pick critters off anything.

The only plants I want anything to do with are the ones that come in a long white box with a ribbon tied around it. Anyone? Hello?

- Lori

Savon du Bois
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