Mint condition

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ResolvableOwl

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I'm generally cautious with expanding my EO collection. (I know I can't use up even 10 mL bottles, but neither am I particularly experienced in letting things go and dispose of expired oils.)

Mint.

Currently I'm in the condition of danger to binge-buy as many mint EOs as are accessible to me, and then end up needing psychological support. For some reason I still ask the plenum beforehand, for you for experiences and opinions (though not sure if this will be any good, lol).

I have only a slight idea how huge the variety of species/subspecies/cultivars, geographical origin, chemotypes, wild types, hybrids, fractions/isolates etc. really is. I'll try my best anyway:
  • Mentha piperita (peppermint)
  • Mentha spicata (spearmint)
  • Mentha arvensis (corn mint)
  • Mentha suaveloens (apple mint)
  • Mentha aquatica v. citrata (bergamot mint). The only one I have, and it does hardly smell like mint at all. I love it partly because it serves as a good example of non-mintiness, i. e. reminds us to not prejudge a family by its surname.
  • Mentha pulegium (pennyroyal). Toxicity caution sign!
  • Mentha × gracilis (scotch spearmint), allegedly with some heart-note qualities.
  • Nepeta cataria/nepetella (catnip)
  • Lippia turbinata (poleo)
  • Hyptis crenata (Brazilian mint)
  • Purified menthol. As far as I have understood, it is a very widespread practice that menthol is sequestered from mint EOs (particularly peppermint), by fractional crystallisation. So, most of the mint EOs aren't in their original composition any more. One can buy dementholized peppermint oil in any pharmacy/drugstore, at prices that appear incredible compared to reputable EO sources. I can't judge if these oils as “good enough” and for which use cases. With only (part of the) menthol removed, they should have enough of the other complicated minty goodies still in them. And there is always the option to get some pure menthol and “spice up” things by “white chemistry”.
Am I on the way to become a mint snob? I'm seriously hoping so! Let's share our enthusiasm, preferences, and experiences! Which one keeps up well in soap, with or without tingling, or sticking to the skin? Which is good for respiratory conditions? Which makes a tasty herbal infusion? Which reminds you too much of toothpaste to use it in a serious context? Which one you must not miss as fresh herb?
 
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Tara_H

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As a fresh herb, I know very little about basil mint other than it tastes/smells like basil, but grows like mint, which is a blessing to me since basil is too delicate to grow here.
EO wise I've only got peppermint, for toothpaste and because it's handy to slow trace in a pinch.
 

Zing

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Um, evidently I'm a "plenum".... so I'll weigh in. [God bless you, @ResolvableOwl , for constantly expanding my vocabulary -- and I'm an English speaker!!]

I really like peppermint first distilled essential oil but it is the only scent I use at the "light" recommended rate from eocalc.com -- because of, you know, tingling in, er, all the places.

Years ago I was excited to get peppermint second distilled essential oil and spearmint essential oil but I just cannot use them. It's jarring to me because I think of it as a "taste" (gum and toothpaste) and not a "scent" -- not sure it that makes any sense.

Anyway, scent preference is so idiosyncratic. If you are offered a good price, then, I say, binge away!
 

dibbles

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I've only used peppermint and spearmint, and now I feel boring :rolleyes:. Of the two I love peppermint and spearmint is too much like gum. But, spearmint is very strong and a very little bit can sweeten a blend or FO that needs 'something'. When I work through what I have, I probably won't buy more.
 

Mobjack Bay

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I like and use peppermint and spearmint in eo blends, but that’s the extent of it for me. I just checked and can still smell peppermint in a soap I made in mid-May and spearmint lasts longer for me, but I don’t count on any eos to hang around longer than a year. eocalc recently lowered the % spearmint in the blend Calm because IFRA lowered the safe usage guidelines. I haven’t tried the new blend, but the old one was a favorite. I hope you will try all of the mints and report back!
 

glendam

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I have used peppermint 2x EO (second distillation) in cold process soap, and I liked it a lot. It did fade a year later (kept unpacked, on open shelf). I have also bought peppermint Japanese eo, which according to NDA its botanical name is Mentha arvensis. This one is supposed to be "softer" or lighter, and therefore better suited for diffusers or other uses where that might be preferred.
I used spearmint EO in hot process soap, and after two years, I found a remaining bar of it. (Kept in same conditions as above). I used it in the shower, and to my surprise the smell was still there (so, gone from outside layer, but still inside). I have bought the menthol crystals too (For roll on type of applications, melted in pure grain alcohol and blended with other EO's (to clear sinuses and such, personal use only)
I think it is too late to think you are in danger of becoming a mint snob, that boat sailed already! :)
 

lsg

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Peppermint and spearmint are the only mints that I use.
 

ResolvableOwl

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peppermint second distilled essential oil
First/second distilled EOs – patchouli and ylang-ylang, yes. But mint? 🤯 The more you know!

I hope you will try all of the mints and report back!
I'll do my very best. In fact, quite a few moons ago already, I might have subconsciously taken the herbs part of the ”Aromatherapy, Herbs & Essential Oils” subforum title serious, and ordered some mint from Paraguay, where it is a traditional addition to UNESCO-sanctified mate/herbal infusion (sadly, they've just called it “Mentha sp.” without botanical clarification). Sipping through domestically available mint teas since years (with low intensity), I haven't found “my” weed yet.

Peppermint and spearmint are the only mints that I use.
That's already complicated enough 🙄.
 

SirSoapsAlot

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eocalc recently lowered the % spearmint in the blend Calm because IFRA lowered the safe usage guidelines. I haven’t tried the new blend, but the old one was a favorite. I hope you will try all of the mints and report back!
I noticed it was lowered as well. You can barely use spearmint at all and I prefer it to peppermint which psychologically reads more medicine to me personally. :( After reading this Pubmed, I am not sure why it was lowered given that they said the risk for skin irritation was low and they also studied respiratory, genotoxicity, etc. and didn't conclude it to be detrimental, but this chemical, Carvone, was listed as the reason the numbers were lowered. I didn't want to deep dive any further, but it would be nice if they explained why they chose to lower it besides just listing this chemical comp. Carvone
 
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