Aromatherapy and Essential Oil Jewelry
What is Aromatherapy and Essential Oil Jewelry?
Jewelry that is specially crafted so that it can be subtly fragranced with essential oils is typically known as aromatherapy jewelry or essential oil jewelry. This form of jewelry allows you to diffuse and enjoy the benefits and aroma of your favorite oils throughout the day.
Below is an overview of the most commonly available types of essential oil jewelry including some precautions and safety considerations.
Locket Style Essential Oil Pendants with Felt Pads
Aromatherapy pendants are available that resemble lockets. The hinged pendant can be opened for placement of a wool felt pad that holds a drop of essential oil. The pad can be replenished with more essential oil as needed. These locket-style aromatherapy necklaces are typically quite beautiful in design, and most seem to be safe in the way they dispense the essential oil. The ones that I have seen and worn have solid metallic backs that won't allow essential oil to come into direct contact with the skin or clothing. When shopping for this style of essential oil necklace, do be sure to take a close look at the back of the pendant to make sure that it will protect your skin from direct contact from the essential oils that you use, and don't overly saturate the felt pad.
Cylindrical Silver or Gold Essential Oil Pendants with Wicks
A couple companies offer thin, attractive, cylindrical shaped metal aromatherapy pendants that open to hold cotton or fabric wicks. The essential oils evaporate into the air out of small holes present in the pendant.
Stone, Crystal and Hand Blown Glass Vessels with Cork Stoppers
Tiny hand blown glass vessels are available for use as essential oil pendants. Several drops of essential oil can be placed into the pendant, and then a tiny cork is used as a stopper. Cork is a porous material that allows the essential oil to slowly evaporate. Also available are small amulet-style vessels shaped out of rose quartz, amethyst, tiger's eye and other precious stones and crystals. Openings are carefully cut into these vessels that allow a drop or two of essential oil to be housed. A tiny cork stopper is used to diffuse the oil. With this style diffuser the cork actually is inserted on the underside of the essential oil necklace, and greater care must be taken that only a drop or two of oil is used. Otherwise, the cork will become saturated and can leak the essential oil directly onto the skin or clothing. When wearing this style of pendant, I tend to insert a very tiny piece of paper towel into the amulet opening to slow down the rate at which the oil permeates into the cork.
Terracotta Aromatherapy Necklaces
Terracotta is an absorbent clay that will soak up essential oils that are dripped onto it. Terracotta can be easily shaped into flat pendants that can be imprinted with a design and hung from a chain or leather cord. Terracotta pendants are quite affordable. When wearing a terracotta essential oil necklace, it's important not to use too much essential oil or allow undiluted essential oil to seep through to the back of the pendant. If the back of the pendant looks wet and you've used undiluted essential oils, you've used too much essential oil and risk the undiluted oil coming into direct contact with your skin or clothing.
Beaded Essential Oil Jewelry
I have seen porous beaded necklaces and bracelets available that intend for the user to simply drop essential oils onto the beads as a passive way to slowly diffuse essential oils while worn. Since porous jewelry can come into direct contact with the skin, it's important to ensure that you adequately dilute your essential oil with a carrier prior to application to the porous beads/stones. Otherwise, the undiluted essential oil can come into direct contact with your skin, causing a risk of irritation and sensitization. Please see AromaWeb's Essential Oil Safety page for more information. Even if you plan to wear a beaded aromatherapy necklace against a blouse or shirt, undiluted essential oil can potentially penetrate your clothing and come into direct contact with your skin.
Leather and Rope Aromatherapy Jewelry
Some artisan rope and leather jewelry is available that is already permeated with essential oils and/or intends for the wearer to replenish the oils as needed by simply dropping essential oils onto the leather or rope. As with porous beaded jewelry, there is a risk of irritation and sensitization if you use undiluted essential oils because they can come in direct contact with your skin.
General Essential Oil Jewelry Safety Information
The above list is likely not complete. Creativity is a wonderful thing, and there are jewelry artisans continually coming up with new ideas and ways to "wear" our favorite essential oils. The key when selecting aromatherapy and essential oil jewelry is to ensure that the jewelry doesn't permit undiluted essential oils to come into contact with your skin. Clothing can also be potentially stained if essential oils come in contact with it. Since essential oils are highly concentrated, it is also important to be mindful of the materials used in any essential oil jewelry that you are considering purchasing or wearing. Remember that essential oils ruin furniture finishes and can actually act as solvents. Imagine what they can do to the skin with prolonged exposure. So do use caution when selecting jewelry. It's best not to assume that the artisan you are purchasing from is well educated in essential oil safety. Please see AromaWeb's Essential Oil Safety page for additional safety information.
Also, please be mindful of those that are around you. Some individuals are highly sensitive to aromas, and some individuals are sensitive or allergic to particular essential oils. Be considerate of others, and don't overly saturate your pendant or other jewelry. If you are looking for a portable diffuser that offers the ability to inhale a stronger aroma, as needed, than your jewelry permits, consider using a personal essential oil inhaler.
Lastly, it's easy to get into the habit of using essential oils continually. However, it can be wasteful/disrespectful to the amount of botanical material necessary to produced essential oils if you use them beyond what you need for your personal wellbeing. It can also be potentially harmful to use essential oils continually through a combination of methods. Aromatherapy jewelry is a wonderfully beautiful and portable way to enjoy inhalation essential oils, but be sure that you don't overdo it.