You may be thinking, “Why is cinnamon so special?” It is an everyday spice that we use in the kitchen. We are here to explain why cinnamon is a fantastic ingredient in our inventory. It is widely used in natural medicine, perfume, home fragrance, and beauty/ personal care products. There are different varieties and parts used. We use cinnamon bark oil and leaf oil. We don’t use powdered spice, which you may use in your kitchen or the whole bark.
First, let’s discuss types: Ceylon Cinnamon (true cinnamon) and Cassia Cinnamon (common cinnamon). Cinnamon is made from the inner bark of trees known as Cinnamomum. The inner bark is stripped and dried in strips and curls as it dries. The major compound in cinnamon is known as cinnamaldehyde. Scientists believe cinnamaldehyde gives cinnamon medicinal benefits, including metabolism, anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and immune modulation. However, when using cinnamon, high levels of cinnamaldehyde can cause eye, skin, and respiratory tract irritation, so it is best to use in lower potencies. As we always say, “it’s all about the dose!” Some studies are being done to verify cinnamaldehyde’s anti-carcinogenic effects. There is an article worth reading: “Immune Suppressive Effect of Cinnamaldehyde Due to Inhibition of Proliferation and Induction of Apoptosis in Immune Cells: Implications in Cancer.” https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0108402
Cinnamaldehyde is an organic compound which can classified as an aldehyde. It also contains Cinnamic acid, which is a natural carboxylic acid. Without going into depth, unless you love chemistry, we will keep it simple. Maybe that could be written about in our journal, it is certainly worth the effort. All we can say is that cinnamon is yet another fantastic beauty found in nature. How magnificent is Mother Earth?
We use Cinnamomum zeylanicum (Ceylon or true cinnamon) bark and leaf in our:
Cinnamomum zeylanicum is mostly grown in Brazil, India, and Madagascar; approximately 90% is grown in Sri Lanka. It has a subtler, sophisticated aroma. It is much more expensive than your usual culinary cinnamon. The flavour is also a lot milder than cassia. If you are ever wondering what type of cinnamon you have a quick way to tell: Ceylon Cinnamon is lighter in colour, softer and easy to break, subtle & sweet flavour. Cassis Cinnamon is a dark, reddish brown, which is strong and spicy and very hard, difficult to break.
Other types but not limited to, include:
There are other types called ‘wild Cinnamon’. One that comes to mind is Malabathrum, which is known as Indian Bay, Cinnamomum tamala. The leaves are semi-dried and used in Ayurvedic medicine practice. The leaves were used in ancient Rome and Greece to make a fragrant oil. This was called oleum malabathri. The bark is sometimes used in cooking but is lower in quality than Ceylon (true) cinnamon.
Okay, now you might think there’s a lot to learn about cinnamon. You are right in thinking this. Next time you pick up the bark from your spice cupboard or drawer, you might think about it in a new light. You may also feel differently when you see products which contain cinnamon; hopefully, you will have a newfound respect for this unique ingredient.
Until next time, when we highlight another beauty from Mother Earth.
Many blessings to you and your loved ones.
The Malano Family xxx
Lavender is a very polarising scent. When we speak to people about Lavender and its use in skincare, home fragrance products, body products and perfume, we see two responses;
“Oh, I love lavender” or, “I hate lavender!” Then, you find that there is usually a reason behind the strong negative response. Without going into too much detail here, we will save it for our journal and go into more depth about the scent response and emotional triggers.
We love Lavender, as we do many other ingredients that we use. We use Lavender in so many products it even makes a great addition to men’s scents.
So, let’s take a look at the species of Lavender. We use Lavandula angustifolia P.Miller from a local company that grows, harvests and distils the oil. Why do we buy oils? Well, the short answer is that growing, harvesting and distilling oils is a massive production on its own; there is no way we could do all of the oils that we require and make all the products that we make. Also, Tasmania is not the climate in which all plants thrive. We grow around ten species that are commercially grown, harvested and distilled.
Lavender is one of the most popular oils used globally. It has a beautiful herbaceous, sweet floral scent. Most often, when we ask people to smell our Tasmanian Lavender compared to the one they are thinking about, they seem surprised. The response is a lot more positive than the previous emotive response.
Why is Lavandula angustifolia so great? It originates in France, and the Lavender here was cultivated originally from French Lavender. Tasmania has the perfect soil and climate conditions for growing Lavender, and now it is recognised worldwide as its distinctive species, Tasmanian Lavender.
The active constituents in Lavender are linalool, linalyl acetate and trace camphor, and there are small amounts of other compounds, including a-pinene, camphene, 3-octanone, 1,8-cineole, Cis-B-ocimene, a-terpineol and lavandulol to name a few. Active constituents are essential to know as a formulator because batch variations in components may mean results may not always be the same or as expected. Obtaining high-quality oils and reading the constituent lists through the Certificates of Analysis (COA’s) is just part of the role of the formulator.
If you are wondering why these constituents are important, I will explain briefly. When people say, “Oh, I heard lavender was great for relaxation.” The actives in Lavender are the contributing factors. Linalool is a potent compound and has many benefits. In our Lavender, there is approximately 30-45% linalool in the oil. Linalool affects the serotonin receptors; it assists with feelings of anxiety and depression. As with all vital compounds, you need to look at safe dosages because too much linalool hurts the skin.
We will write a journal soon about the dosages, potencies & synergistic blending to give you some more understanding of how things work.
There are some concerns about the potency of linalool, so it is essential to use low dosages and never use neat oils on the skin. Always dilute.
Lavender also contains 25-40% linalyl acetate. LA has some great studies done on it, and I will add the link if you are interested. Take a read.
LA has some benefits as a natural analgesic, anti-spasmodic and identified as an anti-bacterial. See the article. Another great article here:
It’s easy to see why Lavender is such a versatile and well used ingredient. In perfume, it is used as a top (headlining note) or a middle (heart note), depending on how it is used in the formula. It adds depth and can be a conduit between the base (foundation notes) and the headliners. Some people can’t even smell it in perfume. Also, remember that when we blend oils, they go through another chemical reaction, and that, therefore, changes the scent.
If you would love to know more, why not drop us a line, and we can write about one of your favourite ingredients?
Until next time, stay well, stay happy, many blessings and remember that “life is Chemistry.”
The Malano Family xx
Opopanax oil Commiphora erythraea glabrescens. What is Opopanax? You may be wondering, surprisingly, a lot of people have not heard of opopanax. It is a steam distilled resin from a tree in the thick forest areas in Ethiopia. Opopanax shares many of the same properties as Myrrh (Commiphora myrrha) because it is closely related. Makes a fabulous foundation/ base note in perfumes, used in some cases as a middle note. Opopanax is lighter and sweeter than Myrrh, but still packs a punch in formulations.
Oppopanax has been cherished for centuries along with Frankincense and Myrrh. Used for skin restoration and nourishment. Also, used in natural medicine for pain and inflammation, insect bites and rashes.
Opopanax has a rich, woody, balsamy, earthy and sweet aroma and adds a depth to fine fragrance.
It is also classified as one of the “sacred scents” Used in many Middle Eastern fragrances and incense. Opopanax is very beneficial for spiritual practices including meditation, purification and worship ceremonies, it is also used to relieve anxious and depressive moods.
Why do we love Opopanax? It is versatile, rich, warming and adds an exquisite opulence to our perfumes and ‘Desert Storm’ deodorant. We also use in in some of our Ritual Kits, including the Cleansing and Protection kits. We will be releasing it as an isolated essential oil very soon, so look out for that. You will find this to be a must have in your oil kit.
Until next time, life is for living and giving. We are truly grateful to Mother Earth for gifting us with her beautiful offerings. We can create products to share with others, highlighting many of the amazing beauties that Mother has so generously provided.
The Malano Family xx
Jasmine is long regarded as the “King of Flowers”, and Rose is the “Queen of Flowers.” We love this exquisite flower and another example of nature’s unique and magickal creations. Jasmine is called the King because it is the most masculine floral scent. It is vital, smooth, intensely floral, and sweet. Used extensively in perfumery. We use a lot of Jasmine, especially in our perfumes. In some cultures, Jasmine is used in wedding ceremonies because of its aphrodisiac properties. It is calming, sensual soothing.
Jasmine has other benefits with spiritual practices, including being used for an anointing oil during ceremonies and mainly for protection, blessings and good luck. Skincare has some advantages: it rejuvenates and nourishes the skin and helps reduce irritation and skin damage. It has been suggested that Jasmine has anti-bacterial activity and aids in some minor inflammatory issues.
Did you know it takes around 7000 – 8000 carefully hand-picked flowers to produce 1 gram of essential oil? It is mind-blowing when you think about it.
We grow Jasmine Polyanthum and are extracting our oil to make a unique perfume for 2024. So, look out for that. It will be our organic perfume, with a few oils to add a Middle Eastern twist. Heads up, there will be Sandalwood and Oudh in it as well. There is a vast difference between species. Jasmine Grandiflorum (pictured) and Jasmine Sambac are the two most common varieties that we use. Polyanthum is a green, buttery scent; it smells pretty different from walking past the plant and capturing the sweet, soft, nectar-like bouquet on the bush. Polyanthum has a powdery scent, not sweet and nectar-like like that with Grandiflorum and Sambac.
We are crafting our own Jasmine mainly because we are using an ancient technique from Egypt called “Enfleurage.” It was used in the 1700’s in France, particularly in Grasse. This technique was carried out mainly by women. We have found that modern extraction methods lose some of the complete odour profiles, and enfleurage is one of the least used because of the labour intensiveness and time to craft a perfume.
We prefer this. We love to use traditional techniques with some of our products, and you also gain a lot of positive intention and love when you smell our scents. Our multi-faceted and highly layered perfumes offer an intense and immersive experience with the olfactory system.
Have you ever heard the saying, “Take time to smell the roses?” It is an old saying, but never a more accurate word has been spoken. Walking past a beautiful rose bush, jasmine bush or daphne, your senses are transported to a magical place. Well, it is for me. The scent is connected to the limbic system, and when we smell a flower or something present in the past with trauma, we will always have that trigger until the trauma has been resolved, especially where the scent has been part of it.
One day, a lady told me at the market, “I hate lavender!” I said, “That is an unusual and powerful response to such a beautiful aroma.” She replied, “It reminds me of my grandmother, who was awful and nasty!”
Then, I said, “Can you believe I love moth balls? They remind me of staying with my beautiful nan as a child.”
Scent can trigger great memories and emotions and evoke stressful and traumatic ones. Fortunately, the smell is our thing. We love it. See us at the market, or drop us a line and tell us what you love most about your favourite scent.
So, next time you walk past Jasmine, think of how many little blossoms are used to make a small amount of absolute or essential oil. Also, consider that the flowers must be carefully picked so as not to bruise the buds, which can impact the odour profile and make the odour unpleasant. When crafting your own oils, all flowers must be treated with respect and care. Trust me, you can tell the difference on an energy level.
The Malano Family xx
Not all synthetics are bad. People have decided that all synthetic fragrances are bad because some are made cheaply and use toxic chemicals. We are here to say that not all synthetics are bad and can be useful in making a more consistent and stable product. It all comes down to how the molecules are produced.
So, we have decided to put the issue to rest sharing some information about essential oils, absolutes and synthetics. We use premium quality with all of our ingredients. We use organic whenever we can, and sometimes availability can be an ongoing business issue that requires constant attention. Making the product is only part of the equation. There is a myriad of issues that need to be addressed when making products. It can be a little disturbing when people spruik on social media that all synthetics are bad. It comes down to the process used to create them and the type of chemicals used. We use natural molecules which are extracted by a chemist in NSW and the UK. We have them made and then carefully blend them with essential oils and absolutes.
You may be thinking, why use the molecules in the first place? Well, there are several reasons. If you were to buy pure musk, which is extracted from the male deer. It has been a major component in perfume for a long time, but the problem with this, illegal poaching and trading, has happened for a long time and continues today. Musk is also extracted from a cat with a musk civet. It is obtained from the musk pod, a gland under the abdomen from the gland in the pouch. It was common practice in the 19th Century, and the male deer were first killed and the musk extracted. The use of pure musk cannot be considered vegan, which is why we use synthetic musk, and for the most part, the majority of modern perfumers do not support animal cruelty or killing for an essence. Since the killing of deer for musk, it has led to wide spread low numbers and potential extinction of the species. The reason that pure musk was popular, because of it’s lasting power giving a perfume longevity on the skin. As years passed, it became necessary to synthesize musk, therefore, reducing the killing and extinction of musk deer. Some countries still allow the extraction and use, because they don’t think that the synthetic musk is good enough. It is a matter of ethics, law and customer expectations. At the end of the day, there are only two options for extracting animal secretions, either torture or death, there is no scent in the world worth that type of cruelty.
Other such molecules that are synthesized to eliminate animal cruelty and other potential issues are castoreum, which is from a beaver, the castor sac. Beavers secrete a yellowish substance anally, which they spray to mark their territory. It is used today as a synthetic. It smells like an animal, smoky leather and cannot be used pure; it adds a rich depth, giving a sensual and softness to perfume. Whale vomit, called Ambergris, is only allowed to be used in Australia as a synthetic. It is illegal to use pure Ambergris as it’s from whales. The Environment Protection & Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) regulates its possession and movement, so it is not an ingredient that should be used unless synthetic.
So what can we do as perfumers? Learn to create perfumes through the alchemical process, using what we can from nature and some molecules to provide depth and a captivating scent. We tend to make complex scents with the wonders of nature from the plant kingdom, and where we do want to use musk and ambergris, we do use synthetic molecules. A lot of the cheaper synthetics made do contain a vast array of chemicals. However, there are the more expensive molecules that are used in smaller percentages and don’t tend to cause any problems.
Always bear in mind essential oils and absolutes are classified as chemicals and contain medicinal compounds and constituents, so overuse can lead to acute toxicity if used in large volumes over a long period. Our favourite saying at Malano is, “It’s all about the dose.” Everything you use needs to be in moderation, so perfume is not designed to be bathed in or drown yourself in. It is to enhance your day or night and can be used on an irregular basis. The use of essential oils and absolutes does not make your perfume more natural than synthetic molecules. The toxicity is in the fillers used to heighten profits, here at Malano, we do not use fillers. The term essential oil means that it contains “raw essence” not because it is essential to good health and well-being; this is the key to understanding that essential oils have been marketed as such, so the public will believe that they are better than anything else. In cheap perfume, a tiny bit of essential oil is used, with a small number of synthetic molecules, followed by a large volume of filler chemicals that stabilise and offer UV protection to the perfume. So, if you react to perfume, it may be the stabilising chemicals. Not all synthetics will cause a reaction; believe it or not, some people are allergic to the weirdest things in nature, like coconut oil, aloe vera and shea butter. Not all reactions are because of synthetics.
We hope that this has cleared up any misconceptions about synthetic molecules, and if you ever want to find out more, reach out to us.
The Malano Family
Osmanthus, botanical name Osmanthus fragrans Lour. Another beautiful flower, our organic absolute, is another stunning oil to add to your collection. We use Osmanthus Absolute in our perfume, which has extensive uses in skin care, aromatherapy and for those that love a beautiful scent to add to their collection.
Osmanthus is floral and feminine when used in perfumes; it gives a stunning floral aroma. It is rich and fruity, with an almost peach note. Osmanthus is grown in Asia and used extensively in Traditional Chinese Medicine because it detoxifies antibacterial and antirheumatic constituents. It is called a flowering herb tea, thus used as a tisane. Skincare uses include moisturisers and creams to add nourishment and soften the skin.
Aromatherapists use Osmanthus to increase feelings of joy and contentment, encourage feelings of comfort and extensively use in spiritual practices such as meditation and breath work, reducing stress, tension and depression of the spirit.
Osmanthus is one to have in your essential oil/absolutes kit because it has broad properties and benefits; you can use it for cleansing your home to relieve negative vibrations and uplift the environment. It works well in ceremonial rituals.
We are in love with so many absolutes and essential oils. Nature continues to amaze us with its sheer brilliance and a vast array of amazing beauties if you want to blend Osmanthus with other oils, including rose, blood orange, sandalwood, ylang-ylang, vanilla and rosemary.
Why not try it, dare to be different, try something you may not have tried before and let us know what you think. Tell us your story if you come up with a beautiful blend and have had some benefits from using this oil.
Until next time.
Many blessings and happy blending.
Maryka & the Malano Team xx
Sandalwood has always been a versatile and amazing ingredient. It has many uses; in mystical ceremonies and rituals, skincare, perfume and body products. Renowned for its uses in Indian Attars and body oils. Attars are made with Sandalwood Nut oil, one method by enfleurage, whereby the beautiful flower petals, herbs and spices are left for months on end so that the essence is extracted delicately, and the result is a stunning scent from mother nature.
We use sandalwood that is grown in Western Australia. The company we deal with is involved in the Forest Stewards Certified (FSC) and has been involved in sustainable and ethical, globally certified with COSMOS and International ISO standards. They received a Gold Badge in 2022 from Ecovadis Sustainability Rating and have their certification from PEFC ( Program for the Endorsement of Forest Certification). So, you can be assured that we only use the best ingredients that we can source while caring for the environment.
We use both Australian and Indian Sandalwood. The Indian species is Santalum Album and is grown in WA along with the Australian one Santalum Spicatum.
Sandalwood has become a hero within the skincare arena as well, notably for its skin-restorative, age-defying constituents. One of the main constituents is sesquiterpene alcohol - alpha-santalol; however, Santalum Album has 125 structural compounds and is termed “Liquid Gold”. We love Sandalwood and use it in a vast array of our products. Our supplier ensures compliance with British Pharmacopoeia standards.
Sandalwood has a warmth about it; the scent is woody and creamy in a way, very balanced. It makes a fabulous fixative in perfume and is used in over 50% of fragrances around the world. Sandalwood has some benefits emotionally as well; used in meditation, it can enhance mood, assist with feeling grounded and quieten the mind, bringing a sense of calm and tranquillity.
If you want a hero in your essential oil collection, sandalwood is a must.
One of Tasmania's most beautiful flowers, also, one of the most expensive ingredients on the market. Boronia, botanical name, Boronia Megastigma, it is a gloriously fragrant and intensely rich Absolute. We use Boronia in some of our exquisite perfume, body wash, perfume with purpose, block soap, conditioner and our yet to be released interior sprays. It has a fresh flowery, blackcurrant type of scent. A little goes a long, long way and it is sourced by the French to use be used in high-end, luxury fragrances. If it were compared to royalty it would be called the "Queen of flowers" in the same way that roses are given such a grand title.
Boronia is also used in skincare and has active constituents beneficial for capillary strengthening, anti-inflammatory action, antioxidant activity, assisting with anti-glycation, reduces membrane peroxidation and DNA damage. Helps reduce fine lines, and dark circles around the eyes, reduces sun spots and increases the skin's elasticity.
As far as we are concerned, Boronia is one of our heroes with so many benefits that we have included using it in multiple products as mentioned above.
If you ever wish to learn more, we include functionals in our individual product descriptions.
Until next time.
One of nature's many wondrous oils with powerful therapeutic constituents. There have been many scientific studies done on the antimicrobial benefits of Manuka. The botanical name Leptospermum scoparium, Manuka, is one of our little gems. We use it in our Repair Salve. Used by indigenous populations in New Zealand and Australia for centuries. Clinical evidence will need to be further investigated for efficacy, standardisation and characterisation to ensure consistency in future. See the attached link - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7694078/
Manuka is sweet, herbaceous and contains a-Pinene & B-Triketone compounds, creating massive potential in multiple areas, including skin care, medicine, oral health, nutrition, hair care and personal care. We love Manuka, which is just another beauty in mother nature.
According to the above Article, Manuka has been found to have many healing properties, including antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, antihistaminic & anti-viral. Once again, as with all ingredients from nature, there are some questions about efficacy due to batch variations and consistent batches containing effective constituents.
We always obtain the Certificates of Analysis (COAs) with our batches to ensure that the oils do their job. We never skimp on quality and always get the best nature offers.
Until next time.
TASMANIAN ORGANIC SEAWEED ILLUMINATION MOISTURISER
What an incredible product. The way this product moisturises my skin is like nothing I have ever used before. My skin is glowing, and people are starting to notice. The difference in a week means this will be a staple in my skincare forever. I highly recommend it to anyone thinking of buying. To think beautiful skincare can be done so naturally and affordably means I will be a customer for life. Thank you Malano.