Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Joy in January - A Natural Perfumers Guild project and Three-day Giveaway - Day 2 of 3

 Joy in January - a three-day blogging event to help you deal with your SAD-ness this month.

If you're reading this on the second day of the three-day blog event, you can read my initial post about SAD and scents here.

When I moved to Syracuse, New York in 1980 for grad school, it was a very impulsive move on th part of my (ex) husband and myself.  He was offered a great job, and we welcomed a move from a very remote small Florida town where the biggest thrill was guessing how many alligators were in the lake across the road.

I knew Syracuse was super-cold and super-snowy, but I didn't know it held the rather dismal record as having the least amount of days with sunshine in the USA -- only 55 days of sun per year! That's the number I remember reading in the paper there, but some latest data I looked up doesn't support that.  Still, it's up there in terms of cloudy, rainy, snowy days.  I know that it snowed so much, every day in the winter, that many of us kept brooms and scrapers in our car because we often had to clean the windshield off after a brief visit to a store, restaurant or other stop.

I had lived in several regions of the USA at this point, and I immediately noticed a difference with the residents of Syracuse.  They were very bright, talkative, drank a lot and cursed like crazy.  "F*** you" was a part of many conversations, light-hearted or angry.  This shocked me, and I was known for a salty mouth.  There was a real undercurrent of anger, and the alcohol didn't help any.  Let's realize that they were often snowed in, isolated and depressed.
There were numerous scented geraniums growing in my house, under grow lights.  I remember a particularly dour guy walking into my house one day and exclaiming with a smile on his face "This smells like Hawaii".  Scent therapy, aromatherapy does work, folks.

I was going for a quasi-Syracuse mood photo of these lively, sweet-smelling essential oils. However, being in Miami, the sunshine will prevail.  Click to enlarge and see the light glinting through the oils.  Beautiful.
Today's giveaway - Four cheery essential oils from my Food & Drink line

Leave a comment today to be in the drawing for four of the most uplifting oils from my Food & Drink line.  They are of perfume quality, and may be used to make perfume, too.  But in the meantime, I suggest you put some in a diffuser, dilute 10 drops in a tablespoon of milk and add to a warm bath, or bring a small pot of water to a simmer on a stove and add some drops after you turn the heat off.  Be creative in ways to fragrance your home and body with yellow grapefruit, pink grapefruit, fresh ginger or cassia (cinnamon).

Prizes will be mailed to winners in the USA, Canada and the EU only.  You will find bloggers in Australia, Canada, South Africa and Vietnam, so please check their mailing policies.

1.  You, the poster can post as anonymous, but that will make you ineligible for the drawing.

2.  I'd love it if you sign up for my newsletter, or "like" my page on Facebook, but that isn't a requirement of this blog. Please just leave a comment that shares your difficulty with SAD.  We need to get the word out there so others reading this may recognize the disorder has aromatherapy and natural perfumery as an alternative healing modality.

3  I do want you to leave your first name or a nickname, ISP (eg., gmail) and location.  That way, when I announce the win, and you reply, I'll be sure I have the right person. 

Be sure to check out the other Guild participants that are taking part in the Joy in January project and leave a comment on their blogs to be entered in their giveaway, and leave a comment below to be entered in my Light drawing.  Winners of the three-days of drawings will be announced here on Thursday, the 19th. You will have until the 21st to claim your prize, or it will be awarded to the second chosen by random.org. 

* DISCLAIMER:  The opinions of Anya McCoy and Anya's Garden Perfumes should not be taken as medical advice.  SAD can be a precursor or trigger for other, more serious mental illnesses, so severely depressed or suicidal individuals should seek the care of a physician.  Never dismiss or self-treat massive depressive disorders yourself or encourage anyone to discontinue medication when being treated by a physician.

Ambrosia Jones http://perfumebynature.blogspot.com
Charna Ethier http://www.providenceperfume.com/blogs/news
Christi Meshell http://www.matriarch.biz/blog.html
Clemence Barbier http://www.dameclemence.blogspot.com
Elise Pearlstine http://bellyflowers.blogspot.com
Emily Pienaar http://www.roseenbos.com/category/blog
JoAnne Bassett http://www.joannebassett.com/natural_perfumes
Joyce Noerr http://sororiaorganics.blogspot.com/
Karen Williams http://www.aromaticsinternational.com/blog/
Liz Cook  http://oneseedperfumes.wordpress.com
Noelle Smith http://ellenoire.blogspot.com/
Stephanie Vinson http://www.stephanieknaturals.com/blog/
Susan Stype http://www.aromatherapycontessa.com


  1. I guess that was one way for them to keep themselves feeling present, strong.
    when i was younger, i didn't have a home, i spent my time on the streets (sounds terrible, i know, but we won't delve into that now) and i didn't have warm clothes for the winter, i had my summer clothes, only more layers of them, in the winter as well as summer.
    anyway, i don't remember feeling cold. i had taught a friend how to do it too, you can hold yourself up (internaly) in a certain way, that keeps you circulating, and feeling very alive and active, and so i wouldn't get cold.
    on nights when that didn't work i would get a little external help from alcohol too ;)

  2. even the bottles look like they are smiling! spice to warm and citrus to cheer- what a wonderful collection, anya! food grade for teas/baths/inhalation- an 'arsenal' for SAD.

    geranium is another wonderful depression oil- i often use it when i am needing a way to 'pull up my boot straps.'

    fragrance you! *grin* einsof in the sunny but frosted black hills

  3. An undercurrent of anger, I think that would feel strange to me not being from there. I believe it! Coming from the east coast, living in California for 10 years felt like living in a different world. I think the CA natives are gentler people, likely due to the climate difference. A great set of 4 oils for today's drawing -- I'm curious about the difference between yellow and pink grapefruit. I think the labels themselves look rather sunny, so no quasi-Syracuse mood photo possible, regardless of lighting conditions!

    Amy H. in Philadelphia using gmail

  4. Great and lovely uplifting suggestions! Why is it that lack of sunshine gives one sailor's mouth? (no offense to sailor's) ;-)

  5. Those are so pretty. And, being food grade - i could add a drop to a container of tea leaves to make scented tea, no?

  6. Certainly true here in Vancouver that a clear, sunny day during what is usually a gray, wet season has people grinning at strangers on the street.

    -- Lindaloo

  7. Thanks for sharing another great post and suggestions!

    I wonder, do you think that using the citrus oils in foods or drinks would deliver the same uplifting qualities that they have diffused or applied to the skin? Wouldn't that be a delicious medicine!

    Michael S

  8. Thank you SO much for this project. I now know what is the matter with me in the winter! I'm in the middle of a SAD episode as I write this, almost in tears. I'm in Oregon, and it's dreary. I'd love to win some bright fun oils to play with.

  9. I found out about this project and thought hmmmm maybe natural aromatherapy can help me. I always lose my job in December, for four years running because I get so grumpy. This year was different, and I"m hoping to cling to any hope that can help me not be SAD. Light therapy only works so much for me.

  10. Joan in Vermont here. I'd love to find out a way to lift me out of the hibernation doldrums. I'll make room sprays, bath oils and mix some yellow grapefruit in my body lotion. Thanks for this Joy in January project, I'm sharing with my friends.

  11. oh wonderful that you finally found that fresh ginger you were searching for.... i bet this are amazing in the air and in the bath and in perfumes... mmmmmm...

    thanks for the draw!

  12. When I was a child growing up in Arizona, I loved the weather, hot as it was. Twenty years on, married and living in Minnesota is taking its toll on me with the cold, snow and gloom. Please enter me to win, and thank you for this eyeopening project.

  13. I spent the first eleven years of my life in Syracuse - I remember walking to a grocery store with my Dad and a sled to haul provisions home after a blizzard - so I definitely can relate to your stories of darkness in Syracuse.

    When I moved to California in 1988, I found the people more friendly, less needing to hunker down for winter stoicism, and less prone to the winter blahs. Nonetheless, SAD affects some of us even here during the colder months, though my experience has certainly been less intense on the west coast.

    I agree w/ Amy H. - the bottles themselves are sunny and uplifting - as a graphic artist, I especially appreciate the thought put into the typeface choices.

    (And Hemla L.'s comment touched me - if by any chance I win the essential oil draw for today, I'd like to give mine to her - she sounds like she went through so much in her earlier years she could use a break today. ; ] I am reachable by the gmail using my nickname.)

  14. Ooo what is the difference between the taste of pink and yellow grapefruit? Been on antideps most of my life,so haven't been able to eat them. I remember them tasting really good though.

    Also curious how you know if an essential oil is food grade or not? I know the young living ones claim to be, and a few from Nature's gift she notes as being okay for that. But then like, the Saffron co2 from White Lotus was advised against being added into food.

  15. Amazing idea for lifting ones spirits!!
    thanks again..

  16. These look great! I use lemon oil in my cooking now and then. Would love to try all of these!

  17. These look so yummy and cheerful! I would love to learn to use oils in cooking. I have some geranium oil that I mix with a carrier to make a holistically healing body oil or lotion. It really does help!

    I have a friend who went to school at Cornell but had to transfer to somewhere 'less depressing' halfway through. I think it is partly the weather, but also partly the sense of isolation that it brings. Even going to the library, a cafe, or a bookstore and just hanging out in the presence of other people will often lift me up if I'm down.

    signed up for your newsletter, gmail email in profile

  18. Oh Dear...hope I'm not too late for Day 2...It's been so much fun blog hopping. This is a great way to fight the winter blues...THANK YOU ANYA!!!

    Vicki D. New York

  19. Dear Everyone:

    This project has warmed *my* heart in so many ways, and I know it has done the same for you. Such heartfelt sharings and raised awareness of SAD and the power of natural fragrance to rescue people from the doldrums. I'll announce the winner of the Food & Drink oils later today.



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