Origin: a Latin derivative
meaning "Gift of the Earth."
In this episode, we sit down with Chris Cook, member of doTERRA’s product marketing team, and discuss the Precious Florals collection, just in time for Spring. We'll also take a look at the history of two very special oils.
doTERRA: Did you know that your sense of smell is closely linked with your memory? Probably more so than any of your other senses. Those with full olfactory function may be able to think of smells that evoke particular memories.
For example, the scent of a flower might remind you of your mother's perfume. Today we are excited to be able to share with you some essential oils with truly incredible scents. Not to mention wonderful benefits.
Welcome back to Essential Oil Solutions with doTERRA. The podcast where you'll hear exciting, useful, and simple everyday uses for essential oils from experts in the field. If you like what you hear today, rate, review, and subscribe wherever you listen. We always appreciate hearing from you. Today we're excited to sit down with Chris Cook, a member of our product marketing team. To talk about the beautiful oils in the precious florals collection.
We'll also give you a sneak peek at a couple of very special oils.
Chris thank you so much for sitting down with us today.
Chris Cook: No problem. I'm happy to be here.
doTERRA: So, my first question, this is such an incredible set that has come together. Can you tell us what oils are in the set?
Chris: Absolutely. So, this this amazing Precious Florals set is comprised of five 4mL bottles. Some of our favorite floral essential oils we've got Neroli, Jasmine, Magnolia, Rose, and then a brand-new oil Blue Lotus.
doTERRA: Those sound beautiful. And can you tell us why you've chosen these particular oils to go together?
Chris: Well we really wanted to highlight the precious women in our lives this Mother's Day and what a better way to do it than some really unique floral essential oils? Together they're used to combine to make really unique aromas that you can use for your personal use and really just beautify the skin and celebrate what it means to be a precious woman.
doTERRA: I love the sentiment behind that because we really do need to just celebrate these incredible women in our lives. Can you tell us more about this Blue Lotus oil? It's one that doTERRA hasn't come out with before.
Chris: Absolutely. It's brand new and we're really excited about it. So Blue Lotus is sourced from South Asia and it has a long history of being used in many different religious ceremonies. It's considered to be a really sacred you know oil and it has many of those properties. I mean they even found it on the tomb of King Tut when they opened it up in the 1920s and it was just kind of really cool how it has a lot of history in being used for meditation and then also for its skin beautifying properties.
And we're just really excited that we have this to offer to everybody so they can experience, one those amazing benefits, but then also the ability to have it really invigorating new experience with a brand new floral essential oil.
doTERRA: That's so wonderful. And it has such a great opportunity to have a new oil like this that people can try. So, you mentioned earlier combining these different scents to create your own you know customized fragrance. How do you go about that? What advice would you give people?
Chris: So, the best thing to do with this is kind of a new technique that we're trying to introduce to everybody is the concept of layering our essential oils. And so all five of these really can be used together in different quantities in different layers on your body that are really going to allow you to have this unique experience for yourself. So, say that you wanted to start with Rose, like it's your favorite thing. You put that down first and you do maybe two or three different coats of that and then you can layer anything else that you are on top of it. And it's really customizing this fragrance for you, and what makes you happy and what makes you feel confident and powerful and precious in your own life. And, of course, these can be also layered with additional essential oils so really any combination is up to you. But this is kind of how we envision you owning your essential oil experience.
doTERRA: That's so cool. And like you said you could use not just the oils in this kit but any of the essential oils that we'd have if you like the smell of Vetiver, or Sandalwood, bringing those woods in there anything to make you feel like you have found the scent for you.
Chris: Absolutely 100 percent.
doTERRA: Well Chris, my final question is just, is there anything else you want to let people know about this Precious Florals collection?
Chris: I just want everybody to know how amazing this truly is. We have five unique oils in here and one brand new unique oil that's probably never gonna be able to be sourced again. And we just want to make sure that everybody has an opportunity to celebrate the precious women in their lives with this amazing offering.
And it's going to be a really great addition to your Mother's Day this year.
doTERRA: Well Chris thank you so much for sitting down with us, for sharing your insight, we always appreciate it.
Chris: Happy to be here.
doTERRA: All of the oils in the precious florals collection are truly amazing in their own right and it's such a powerful combination to have them all together. Today we want to tell you a little bit more about an oil you might not have heard much about before, Blue Lotus.
Blue Lotus in Egypt
When Howard Carter and Lord Carnarvon discovered the tomb of King Tutankhamen in 1922 they discovered untold treasures, including a solid gold coffin. They also found something else quite intriguing. King Tut’s mummy was covered with Nymphaea caerulea, also known as Blue Lotus flowers.
This beautiful flower is commonly known as blue lotus or the sacred blue lily of the Nile. The Blue Lotus is a tropical water lily that has lovely star-shaped flowers with upright, pointed, light blue petals that spread flat and rest serenely on the water’s surface.
The plant and flower are very frequently depicted in Ancient Egyptian art. They have been depicted in numerous stone carvings and paintings, including the walls of the famous temple of Karnak. The flowers are frequently depicted in connection with "party scenes", dancing or in significant spiritual or magical rites such as the rite of passage into the afterlife, which is most likely why they were found on the mummy of King Tut.
One of the most notable connections in Egyptian culture is the flower’s connection to Nefertem, an Egyptian deity. Nefertem which translates to “beautiful one who closes” was, in Egyptian mythology, originally a lotus flower at the creation of the world.
Nefertem is usually depicted as a beautiful young man having blue lotus flowers around his head. He represents both the first sunlight and the delightful smell of the Egyptian blue lotus flower.
He was also known as “He Who is Beautiful” and “Water Lily of the Sun” and was held in great affection. Egyptians often carried small statuettes of him as good-luck charms or protective amulets.
In the telling of Nefertem’s birth it is said that he rose from the primal waters at the beginning of creation, born from a blue lotus bud. He was linked to rebirth, both as a personification of the newborn sun and as the patron of many of the necessary ingredients of the mummification process. A passage of the Book of the Dead says the blessed dead will “Rise like Nefertum from the lotus.”
In addition to its connection to Egyptian history there a few other very interesting facts about blue lotus.
Contrary to some popular belief, the flowers of the blue lotus do not sink below the water at night and rise back up in the morning. Instead, the flower buds rise up to the surface over a period of two or three days, and then when they’re ready, open in the morning and then close again in the afternoon.
The blue lotus is also part of a group of likely candidates for the lotus plant eaten by the mythical Lotophagi, or “lotus eaters” in Homer's Odyssey who spent their time sleeping in peaceful apathy.
The blue lotus has been used to produce perfumes since ancient times; it is also used in traditional aromatherapy practices.
Tara and Blue Lotus
One of my favorite associations with the blue lotus flower, especially as we’re headed toward Mother’s Day, is its association with Tara, a Buddhist savior-goddess, who very often holds one in her hand. Tara is known as the "mother of liberation", and represents the virtues of success in work and achievements. Like a mother Tara is said to be a good friend, ready helper, saving hero, precious guide, and she always has time for everyone.
Bringing this oil to you has been a labor of love. When extracting Blue Lotus essential oil only the head of the flower is used (no leaves, stems, or roots) which means that it’s not an easy material to get in large quantities. However, we worked for months to produce the quantities necessary to bring you this incredible essential oil, because we know how special it is, and the beautiful power it can bring into your life.
The Origin of the Clementine
Before we end today there is one more incredible oil that we want to share the history of.
Chances are you’ve never heard of Misserghin. This small town in Algeria, located on the coast of the Alboran Sea doesn’t make much of an appearance in history books. But it is home to something incredible in the history of botanicals. In the little town of Misserghin the clementine was born.
I will say that there are some sources that attribute the creation of the clementine to China however, the larger consensus is that the origin of the clementine comes from Algeria.
The story starts with Brother Clément Rodier.
The Clementine in the United States
But, before we get into that, let’s take a look at what a clementine is exactly. Clementines have been called the “Crown Jewel” of citrus world. The clementine is part of the citrus family, more precisely, it’s a variety of Mandarin. The clementine is a cross between a sweet orange and a Chinese mandarin orange. It grows on trees and the fruit looks like little mini oranges. Clementines are considered the tiniest in the Mandarin orange family. They are typically juicy and sweet, with less acid than a regular orange.
One fun fact about clementines is that in the United States they’ve often been called “Christmas oranges” because their limited growing season in the US falls during winter. Making them perfect for holiday gifts because they are just reaching their peak during the Christmas holiday. This made giving clementine oranges as a gift very popular.
Brother Clément Rodier
Now let’s go back to Brother Clément Rodier who was born May 25, 1839 in the small village of Auvergne Malvieille, in the Puy-de-Dôme region of France, near a large dormant volcano of the same name. From the age of twelve, Clément felt a call to the religious life. This may have been due in part to the fact that twelve of Clément's relatives were monks or nuns. In the course of his service to the Catholic church Brother Clément ended up in Algeria overseeing a garden for the orphanage in Misserghin.
Father Roger Tabard, general archivist for the Spiritan fathers, wrote about Clement and recorded two different versions of the story of the birth of the clementine.
In the first version, Brother Clément was responsible for the orphanage's nursery, which included nearly 50 acres where several hundred species of forest, fruit, and ornamental trees, as well as over 600 varieties of roses had been planted. Clément was meticulous and carefully recorded his experiments in notebooks; but unfortunately, the notebooks were destroyed by rainfall and a harsh climate.
Father Tabard wrote about this version of the story saying,
“There was in the field, at the edge of Misserghin, an uncultivated tree that had grown there among thorns. It was not a mandarin or an orange tree: its redder fruit mandarins were delicious in flavor, and most had no seeds. This is what Brother Clément told the young Arab who had tasted it. Interested in these fruits, our arborist decided to transplant with grafts of the miraculous tree. The operation was successful. We then multiplied the grafts and the new tee was given the name of clementine.”
Now, in the second version of the story Father Tabard indicates that there may have been a young boy who played a large part in the discovery of the clementine. He wrote,
“Another version is given by the son of an employee who lived in the nursery at the time of Clément. This boy would have followed the work of bee train foraging: and watched as the bee goes from a bitter orange to a mandarin. What can come out of such a mixture of pollen? Brother Clement tied a red ribbon to the flower of the mandarin and monitored production. He allowed the fruit to mature, made a seeding and got a clementine.”
Whatever way they came into the world we’re thankful that we have the clementine.
The Name “Clementine”
You may be wondering if there is a connection between Brother Clément and the name clementine. And the answer is, absolutely. The small fruits were originally called “Mandarinettes.” But there were so many differences between the clementine and the mandarin. It matured earlier than the mandarin, its fruit was sweeter, and it was easier to peel. It was determined that the new fruit deserved a name of its own; and at the urging of orphans who loved Brother Clément, the fruit was named “Clementine.”
Sourcing of Clementine
doTERRA: Christa, thank you so much for sitting down with us to talk about this incredible oil today.
Christa: Yeah, of course I'm happy to be here.
doTERRA: So, my first question is, can you tell us about where we get our Clementine oil?
Christa: Yes, we actually source our Clementine oil in southern Brazil.
doTERRA: And why do we choose to get our Clementine oil from Brazil specifically?
Christa: The south of Brazil has the perfect climate for citrus growing. It's ideal for growing high quality citrus fruit and consequently produces some of the finest quality citrus essential oils.
doTERRA: That is so amazing. So, in addition to this high-quality amazing oil that we can get from there, what impact does our sourcing Clementine from Brazil have on the people in the communities that we source from?
Christa: Yes, so our sourcing partner there in Brazil works with hundreds of smallholder farmers and many of them sell their citrus fruit actually to the fresh fruit industry, but usually because of blemishes or bruises a lot of that fruit is actually rejected. And we're actually providing an extra income for this fruit by producing this essential oil on those blemished or bruised fruits that usually can't be sold. So, they're finding an extra income through something that would otherwise have been waste. So, it's pretty neat.
doTERRA: That is amazing and that's such a fantastic opportunity that doTERRA is able to provide where it is this extra income something that they would have just lost out on before.
Christa: Right, we're really trying to find ways to amplify what the smallholder farmers are already doing and generate even more income for their hard work that they're already putting into these citrus groves.
doTERRA: And that is one thing that I think is just so impressive about doTERRA's sourcing initiatives that is that they're always looking to really improve the lives of the people they're working with.
Christa: Yeah, it's especially neat in southern Brazil. We have a wonderful partner who we've worked with for quite a few years now and he is partnered with smallholder farmers throughout the region and through that we're able to ensure fair and on time payments long term agreements so that these farmers have more stability and support in their production.
doTERRA: That's so cool and it's amazing that we can create those long-lasting partnerships. Christa my final question for you, is just is there anything else that you would really want our listeners to know about the sourcing story for Clementine?
Christa: Well it's something that is unique about all doTERRA oils but especially with this Clementine supply chain, is that with such a great partner on the ground in Brazil we're able to ensure that we're treating our farmers who are producing these citrus oils for us. And at the same time, we're able to ensure high quality pure essential oil because we have traceability on the entire production chain of these essential oils. And I just think at the same time it's so neat to think that we're able to use a product that's normally considered waste and turn it into something so useful and also so lucrative for these farmers in this area.
doTERRA: Absolutely, and I think, again I know I've said this before, but I think that goes to show how much doTERRA cares about every step in the process and every person involved in each step of the process.
Christa: Yeah, we agree. We love being able to implement these co-impact sourcing principles in all of our supply chains.
doTERRA: Well Christa thank you so much for talking with us and sharing the incredible sourcing story behind Clementine.
Christa: Of course, I'm happy to. I hope you guys enjoy the oil.
doTERRA: Thanks for joining us and congratulations on living a healthier lifestyle with essential oils. If you'd like what you heard today rate, review, and subscribe where ever you listen. Also, if you want to try any of the products you learned about go to doterra.com, or find a Wellness Advocate near you, to place an order today.