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Clary Sage Essential Oil in Soap & Candles


Clary Sage Essential Oil in Soap & Candles Quarto, Inc. / Getty Images


Clary sage essential oil comes from the steam distillation of the flowering tops and leaves of Salvia sclarea. It was highly esteemed in the middle ages, but now is mostly a favorite of aromatherapists and fragrance blenders. It's interest is in its complexity - it's not quite green, not quite floral, not quite earthy - but yet all of them together.

Scientific Name for Clary Sage:

Primarily Salvia sclarea

Clary Sage Smells Like:

It has a complex nutty-herbaceous scent. It has some warm and sweet notes, as well as some earthy, woody and spicy notes. It's a very green scent, with a spicy/woody base note. It's the kind of scent (like rosemary) that wafts up when you brush against it in the garden.

Clary Sage Blends Well With:

Clary sage blends well with lavender, geranium, bergamot, cedarwood, spice oils like coriander and cardomon, and most citrus oils. It's complex enough in and of itself that simple blends like lavender and clary sage or orange and clary sage are wonderful.

Clary Sage Essential Oil Safety:

The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils by Julia Lawless, lists clary sage essential oil as generally "non-toxic, non-irritant, non-sensitizing, but to avoid during pregnancy.". Lawless also recommends against using clary sage while drinking alcohol. Evidently it can induce a narcotic effect and exaggerate drunkenness.

Primarily From:

Clary sage essential oil is produced all over the world, especially in the Mediterranean region and southern Europe.

Clary Usage in Soap or Candles:

Clary sage is great in simple essential oils blends, or in a more complex blend that needs a touch of a mysterious green note.

Some of my favorite blends using clary sage essential oil are:

    Energizing Blend
  • 1 part clary sage
  • 3 parts lavender
  • 2 parts lemon
    Summer Garden Blend
  • 3 parts clary sage
  • 3 parts lavender
  • 1 parts clove
    Mirthful Blend
  • 1 parts clary sage
  • 2 parts orange
  • 1 part eucalyptus
    Bright Woods Blend
  • 1 parts clary sage
  • 2 parts petitgrain
  • 1 part cedarwood
These blends work really well in soap, but with candles, you'll need to test the individual blends to see how they burn and throw.

More About Clary Sage Essential Oil:

Clary sage is known for its therapeutic uses in "women's ailments" like PMS and cramps, and its calming and relaxing qualities in aromatherapy. It is also used a lot in "masculine" essential oil blends and fragrances, too. A number of popular men's colognes have strong clary sage notes.

Julia Fitzsimmons, in Aromatherapy Through the Seasons, says clary sage is "good to have as your companion for meeting the beginning of spring. It's relaxing and uplifting, good for new times and newly found energy, great for giving you an alive, vibrant feeling after the long dreary months of winter."

So try some clary sage essential oil the next time you are creating an essential oil blend. I think you'll be delighted...but in a very relaxed way.

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