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  1. Short Version: What are your experiences working with Spikenard essential oil? I recently got my hands on Spikenard essential oil for the first time. It's one of those oils that I have been saving pennies on the side for over time, along with Vetiver and Oak Moss. With those last two, they have been a what-you-smell-is-what-you-get experience from the start, which gave me some confidence when trying them out in solid perfumes/colognes for the first time, despite their high prices. With the Spikenard, though, it seems to be a more mysterious and transformative oil, from what I gather reading pages about it around the web. I'm not sure what to expect for its potency, as far as how much per ounce of blended aromatic oil is needed to make a noticeable difference, how much difference it will make, and how it will transform as the overall aroma of the blend completes its lifespan on my skin. I've never seen so many people differing or even struggling describe what it smells like, in the bottle, out of the bottle, in products, during its dry down, etc. How much it does or does not overpower other types of notes, how long it generally lasts. Also since this is my first encounter with it, I don't know how to tell how nice or not it is, if the quality is where it should be or not. I can say that it is a blue-green hue, which I read is a good sign. At over $30 for just 15ml, I'm a little hesitant to just play with it. I'm not struggling by any means, but I do have to be frugal and methodical with my hobby stuff, especially while trying to build a little work-in-progress. business. The way it smells to me in the bottle reminds me very much so of pet stores that specialize in reptiles. I'm a major herpetology fan, myself, so I have spent a lot of time in those types of stores, and the combined aromas of the habitats between turtles, frogs, toads, snakes, lizards, etc - this Spikenard EO reminds me so much of that, from the reptile/amphibian habitat bedding and the sort of dank humidity, as well. I imagine many people would think it "stinks" but I have a more nostalgic perception of it, so. Many pages I have read about this EO indicate that it should smell quite differently during a dry down outside of the bottle. I took some of the advice I found, and tried putting just a tiny drop of it on a cotton q-tip. Its aroma however did not change over time in this experiment, but just became gradually more faint, no transformation, though. In its very faint state, it turned maybe sort of.. musty cabin.. like an old and little cabin in the woods, with some slight wood seepage issues, in cooler weather. Something I personally like, but again as far as blending.. It was also very STRONG, even at just one drop, but that is a good thing to me for how much it costs lol, don't want to have a need a lot of it in a blend. So! I'm wondering if my experience so far is normal. Dank reptile habitats = normal? I can imagine using this EO in very tiny amounts for some more unorthodox fantasy musk blends. I personally like it, but again I have an unusual subjective perception of it. When someone wants something "earthy" they usually (consciously or unconsciously) are thinking earthy as in patchouli. This Spikenard EO like a very humid, musty kind of earthy. I'm very excited to start experimenting with it, but again with the cost.. also kind of nervous, too. If anyone has experience working with this one and has thoughts to share, I would be very happy to read your input and about you experiences, especially in skin products.
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