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Scents like henna?

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I was just thinking of scents I like, and I remember that when I have henna done at the renaissance faire each fall I just can't help but sniff at it the whole time it's on. I'm not good at describing scents, but it's kind of a not-heavy herbal, plus a tiny hint of lemon from the lemon-sugar water they dab on it after. I know there are tons of different henna recipes, so that would affect the scent, but does anyone know what I'm talking about or have any suggestions? Thanks!

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I worked in a salon where we did natural henna work with homemade product and the closest I've come (so far) to smelling that distinct smell was with #20 Love Oil.


It's definitely an acquired scent as far as BPAL is concerned but, to me, it totally reminded me of henna.


eta: after applied...not from the vial.

Edited by siggster

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oooh hmmm let me think....


nothing quite like henna comes to mind, but i use in my mix (for body art, usually not for hair, unless it's just leftover stuff from festivals) an essential oil mix of cajeput and orange. cajeput, tea tree oil, lavender are probably the most commonly used oils that i know of from my forums...


if there's anyway to get an oil extract from the henna plant, i would be all over that!


i think it's a very earthy hay scent... no green grass. you may want to try to find some premature burial (discontinued)? i have that and like it, but i'll have to sniff it again and see if it is similar to henna.


ETA: I asked the henna expert, Catherine Cartwright Jones over at hennapage.com - if you are interested in following it up. But I will report back here anything I find!




(copy paste that line, the link has brackets and messes up the url code so clicking doesn't work)

Edited by HennaFairy

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some replies from over at the henna page! including a friend of someone here ;o) (I didn't want to share real names without permission so I changed BPAL'ers name to her initial!) It's not a definite answer, but may help with some notes to look for in scents!


Catherine's husband says she's away today but has experimented with henna blossom EO's, and she'll get back to me when she gets home.



My friend M (the star of my homepage! heh) is also a fan of BPAL... a huge one! She makes awesome candles and has a ridiculously huge selection of oils (not as many as BPAL...but definitely as many as only a BPAL-fan-run candle company would ever carry). I've asked her to make some tarts and/or votives for me to use while doing/making/thinking about henna, and after a bit of brainstorming, this is what we came up with out of her own set of available oils:


"What do you think of doing either orange blossom+clove

or cedar+nag champa? These are what seemed closest to

the smells I associate with henna (the first the

smells around the room as I'm doing the more pleasant

part of the preparation, the second with the actual

earthy smell of the henna+cajeput). I think the

orange+clove would smell best. "


Check out M's site here: EnkindleCandleCo.com. They're some damned awesome candles and she currently sells them for far too cheap...


I'm really interested to know if there are any answers about actual henna plant EOs... and I'm sure M would be as well!



Hi there Katie! A little while back, I found some incense that is supposed to be scented after henna blossoms. It's called Heena, made by the Hem company. I get it from nepalishop.com and it's WONDERFUL! I burn it when I do anything with henna, and at all my shows while I'm playing the drums. The guys in my band and some of our friends have come to love it as well ( they had no choice...lol) I could only imagine what a henna-blossom EO would smell like.




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if you go to the henna page link i posted, there is much more conversation there - but i believe the attar (which Catherine hopes to have up for sale in two months) is much different than the smell of the paste! people compare it to jasmine.

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I'd also suggest maybe Bengal or Sri Lanka for that weird sort of dirtspice thing henna has going on? I'd also look for champac (aka champa) for the Indian blossom note that might be a little similar.


This isn't exactly related, but I'm not a big fan of the scent of henna, so when I henna my hair I always add lots of bpal to the goop. My favorite by far to use for that is Zombi because the moss blends really well. (And I love Zombi!) Mossy notes in general might help you out. I've also used Voodoo and Lampades, but didn't like those as much.

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