I have a new perfume available – Bourbon Geranium Perfume Oil – made from geranium flowers that were sourced from Reunion Island, a country that I would very much like to visit one day. The essential oil that is obtained from geraniums by steam distillation of the leaves and flowers has a strong rosy, sweet-floral scent. I like the smell of geranium essential oil, but on its own it can be a little over-powering for me. So in this perfume I paired the geranium with mandarin orange, clove, as well as woodsy and caramel notes to balance and tone down the floral notes of the geranium ever so slightly, and also to give it an alluring sweet and spicy aroma – think delicate floral notes mingled with just the slightest hint of barrel-aged rum or whiskey.
Bourbon Geranium Perfume Oil is a warm, simple, easy-to-wear scent with a reasonably good lasting power. Like most perfume oils it stays close to the skin and a small amount will go a long way.
The leaves of geranium flowers are edible and they are a popular choice for cooking with flowers. The rose-scented leaves can be added to iced teas, cakes and ice cream or combined with simple syrups and used in cocktails.
Besides Reunion Island, other major producers of geranium essential oil are Madagascar, Egypt and South Africa. There are many different varieties of geranium flowers grown all over the world, but the one most frequently used in perfumery – bourbon geranium (pelargonium graveolens) is actually native to South Africa.
In aromatherapy, geranium essential oil is said to help with hormonal imbalances, and is frequently used in skin care products geared towards mature skin types. It also shares many of the same chemical components that give rose oil its smell – such as geraniol, linalool and citronellol.
Bourbon Geranium Perfume Oil is currently available in Barbados from the gallery & gift shop at Andromeda Botanic Gardens in St. Joseph.