The purpose of an essential oil profile notebook, materia medica, herbarium, aroma journal, or any combination is to make a personal aromatherapy reference book to help you learn about essential oils, and to keep a record of what essential oils you have used, including what worked and what didn’t for you and to collect recipes of aromatherapy products and other information.
A materia medica is a collection of files on medical herbs. A herbarium is a collection of plant profiles or plant descriptions with dried and pressed plant leaves and flowers. An aroma journal or notebook is a collection of essential oil profiles and what you think and feel about the aroma of each. It will be something you will want to keep and add to over the years, if you do careful, neat work and put forth an effort it will be a nice reference book worth hanging onto.
I suggest you use a loose-leaf (an appropriate description) notebook/binder so when you create a new page you can easily add it. One option is to create a left and right page layout, some essential oils have lots of known information but for others very little is known so plan carefully. You can add images, pressed leaves, or draw a picture of the plant. Be creative.
If you have access to an herb garden you can photograph plants. Take photos of just the plant, and ones that include shots of the habitat or farm.
It is an excellent idea to have pressed flower and leaf specimens in the essential oil profiles, if you can get them. Many of the essential oils come from overseas so getting a fresh sample may not be possible. To press the flowers all you need is an old phonebook. Simply lay the plant material carefully between the pages of the phonebook, and then put some other heavy object on top (like a couple of big books). Or you can buy or make a plant press, which is two square pieces of plywood with a long bolt in each corner. Layer leaves between paper and place them between the boards then tighten down the bolts. Either way, let the plants dry for 2 weeks. Handle them very carefully, they will be extremely fragile. To glue them to the page use a tiny drop of clear drying glue. Don’t use stick glue, you might tear them.
You can sketch the plant, leaf or flower, or draw with colored pencils, markers, paint etc. it is entirely up to you.
Also, you could make creative subject dividers for recipes, family health history, glossary and other stuff.
More Art Ideas
Several leaves, fresh or pressed
Paper, regular printer paper
Old broken crayons
It is best to work on a smooth hard surface. Place the leaf vein side up on the table and lay your paper over it. Then with the side of a broken piece of crayon color over the top of the leaf with firm wide strokes. Practice a little to get the right amount of pressure and coverage that you want. Make artistic arrangements with several leaves and several colors of crayon.
Paint tray- a plate works well
Put a puddle of paint on the plate, press the leaf into the paint and then lightly dab it on the paper towel to remove excess paint, then carefully place it onto the paper or object and gently press it down. Then carefully lift it.
Paper or some paintable object, such as a box, note card, wooden shape
Paint tray- a plate works well
Double sided tape
Stencil brush (the brush is round and the bristles cut off looking)
Put a puddle of paint on the plate. If you are using more than one leaf you can arrange them all at once or you can do them in layers with different colors of paint. (Make sure each color of paint is dry before going on to the next one.) Tape the leaf onto the paper or object. Dip the brush into the paint, press it against the plate in a dry spot to work the paint up into the bristles, then dab it on the paper towel, it should be fairly dry. To apply the pint dab the brush onto the object, keeping the brush straight up and down. “Pouncing” the brush up and down dab over the edge of the leaf and around it. When the paint is dry carefully lift the leaf.