Australia : Land of hippies and flakes?

One of my favorite Aromatherapy tricks involves putting a few drops of peppermint oil into the morning shower, once the hot water is hot. I buy my peppermint oil from Coles, it’s about $5AUD. My American friend Sephy had never *heard* of Aromatherapy. How is that possible, I wondered? Until I suggested to him to purchase some peppermint oil, which seems to be an almost impossible thing to get in his country. That’s bizarre. If you’re American and reading this, can you mention where you might be able to get these products other than online?

Here in Australia, you can buy pure essential oils at every supermarket I have ever been to. You can buy them in *most* chemists and health food stores. You can buy “fragrant” oils (note, not necessarily pure essential oils and there is a difference) at almost every $2 store and bargain shop. Incense you can also buy almost everywhere. We also have a lot of products on our shelves which incorporate Aromatherapy. Shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, body lotions, etc.

Some of the products I love to use in the shower that involve Aromatherapy are the Aveda products. These came to me as a surprise during a hotel stay a couple of years ago.

Aromatherapy is quite a complex and diverse field and I’ve been studying it for a few years now. I found a few great online resources if you’re interested in knowing more

Aromaweb – Lots of great articles, worth a read.
A world of Aromatherapy – has a good oils a-z section which gives quick info on the oils and what they do
Essential Aura Aromatics – has a lot more detailed info on each oil.

Does the availability of Aromatherapy oils all over the place mean Australia is a land of hippies and flakes? Or does it mean that Aromatherapy is a valuable thing that works? What do you think? :)

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aromatherapy, Aussie Culture, health, shopping, Snoskred hearts

9 thoughts on “Australia : Land of hippies and flakes?

  1. Uhhh wow, I’m not sure where Sephy lives but aromatherpay is EVERYWHERE I am, and that counts at least two states. In the US.

    Grocery stores, drug stores, pharmacies, health food shops, and even signs in windows of many types of business. Hair salons, spas, chiropractors, massage studios and more all have signs that scream AROMATHERAPY!!

    I buy essential oils from my favorite health food store because I prefer the brand and distillation method there, also I get some handmade by local vendors err hippies.

    But you can get the major ones almost anywhere.

    And the Republic is not known as a granola state at all. LOL :)

  2. hahahaha you gotta love guys! Julie is right, you can get essential oils anywhere, especially something as straightforward as peppermint oil!! Of course if I said “aromatherapy” to my dad or boyfriend theyd be like “huh”??? Funny.

  3. My husband loooooves Aveda’s Rosemary Mint Shampoo. I think it could possibly be on his list of things to grab from the house in an emergency (after his loving family, of course!)

    My mom swears by peppermint oil for migraines. I’ve never gotten around to it, though. I think it is not too difficult to find aromatherapy oils in So Cal (Can you imagine that?) It just isn’t in the regular grocery stores or major pharmacies that I’ve seen.

  4. I buy essential oils at the health food store. Love how they smell, how they feel…. everything about them. Partial to lavender. Anything lavender.



  5. Yeah, what everyone else said… Whole Foods Market, Wild Oats, any health food store. True, they are not at every grocery, but they and Aromatherapy very much exist in these united states…

  6. Yep – what they all said. The health food stores will have more, but a lot of the grocery stores have started stocking the basics.

    Unless you’re in a small town, then you might have problems locating a local source. Any metaphysical store will have them too.

  7. Julie – I’m up in the land of cheese and beer, and I’m fairly close to the “major” city here, but I am serious when I say it’s almost nowhere to be found.

    I’ve checked a couple of the grocery stores in the area – one is a local chain, the other is a regional chain; I couldn’t find it in either place (though at the regional chain, I didn’t look through all the store).

    One place that I thought it would be in is Walgreens, but I couldn’t find it there; again, I might not have been looking in the right spot, and there were no signs that pointed you to it. Afterwards, I kinda likened asking if they had aromatherapy to me asking where the feminine hygiene products were…

    You’d also think that it would be at Target, but I looked through the “health & beauty” section, but zip, zilch, nada.

    Now, surely, Bath & Body Works would have it. I mean, it sounds like a place that would have the stuff. Well, they have it, but only mixed things like peppermint + rosemary. I asked about it and they said that they stopped carrying it about 2 years ago.

    Conveniently, I was in a mall that day and there was a place called the Body Shop. And shockingly, they actually had peppermint essential oil. However, I should have seen the warning sign when there was no price on the box, or on a sign nearby (you know the restaurant rule, if you have to ask the price, you shouldn’t be there). I asked the person there and she said that it cost $12! There is no way in the world that I’m paying almost two or three times more than I would think is a reasonable price.

    Quite honestly, I am surprised that it is available at grocery stores here. I must be shopping at the wrong stores; I also haven’t checked Wal-Mart out yet…

    As far as going to Whole Foods, it’s hard for me to get there since I don’t drive (just yet), and the closest one is quite a distance away from me (about 30 miles, and there is no straight shot from here to there). I’m thinking that the local organic market will have it, but I haven’t had a chance to get there (it’s right next to a pharmacy, who I suspect would have it cheaper anyway, if they do have it). I haven’t exhausted all my options yet, so hope isn’t lost. ;)

    Jhianna – Yeah, I am in a smallish town, one where the leaders are only interested in expanding the borders to build more and more houses…but that’s something for another day, and a different site ;)

  8. Mmmmmm – peppermint…

    Well, I don’t know about everywhere else, but I am sure glad to be living in a place where the ‘smelly stuff’ is freely available – I luv my smelly stuff – incense, candles, oils and sprays. Buying this stuff is one of my little addictions.

    I think aromatherapy is valuable because it is pleasurable. And because fragrance is powerfully ambient.

    One of my exes used to work in the Aveda factory and used to come home smelling fabulous everyday!

  9. Julie – I am really thrilled to hear this.. :) here I was thinking that ya’all were living in a sensory deprivation zone.. :)

    Al – The Other Half is very well versed in Aromatherapy. I think it is partly because he likes fire so incense and oil burners are attractive to him. :) Is it like the male caveman instinct? Provide fire, keep girl warm!

    Mary-LUE – It is excellent for migraines as well. And feet! Ohmigosh the cooling power on feet, it’s a miracle.

    Chani – lavender is also one of my faves, I have this great Avon body wash which doesn’t seem to be so available anymore, it is lavender and chamomile. I also bought this lavender aroma thing you plug into the wall in the bedroom, because lavender helps with relaxation and sleep. Oddly, since I have plugged it in, I’ve stayed on a daytime schedule. :)

    Liv – I’m surprised the framers didn’t work it into the constitution somehow.. they seemed to get pretty much everything else in there.. :)

    Jhianna – that’s great that the grocery stores have the basics. Coles here has a great section and it’s all so well priced, I like affordable oils.. ;)

    Sephy – I think the health food store is going to be your best bet. :) Either that or I package it up and send it, but I’m not sure what customs will think.. :)

    Jo – My favourite is probably frankincense, lemon and orange together. ;) Heaven! I really am so glad we’re able to get it easily here.

    Thanks for the comments ya’all.. ;)

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