Post written by : Marco Gentile:- Gary’s long time top chemist
Gary created Valor in 1995. Its formula was the paragon of simplicity: Four essential oils. Black spruce, Rosewood, Frankincense, and Blue Tansy. Almond oil formed the base.
For decades Valor was the linchpin of Raindrop technique and was one of the most widely used (and cloned) of Young Living’s blends. This quartet of aromatics represented the peaen of oil perfection, with multiple benefits including physical and emotional renewal, energy alignment and structural restoration to name just a few. Magical in many ways.
Unfortunately the blend was also plagued by periodic shortages of several of its components. One year it was Blue Tansy, the Moroccan chamomile, due to a drought in Morocco and Tunisia; another year it was Black Spruce, which had a limited supply from the Trois-Rivières region of Quebec. And yet another year it was a sudden surge in frankincense demand caused by an unexpected wave of orders from medical providers and their patients.
It was the restrictions on rosewood exportation from South Anerica, however, that proved to be an even tougher hurdle to overcome.
The Valor formula was something Gary was loath to modify because the chemistry of the four oils was life-changing for scores of folks. At the same time he was open to selected improvements that had palpable and obvious benefits.
For example, the year that Young Living engaged Mahmoud Suhail to start distilling sacred frankincense in Oman, I swapped out the boswellia carterii (African Frankincense) from Valor and replaced it with boswellia sacra (Sacred Frankincense) to amplify the action of the formula. I also removed the sweet almond oil and replaced it with coconut oil.
The increasing scarcity of the Tanacetum annum prompted me to make another change to Valor: An adjustment to the ratios of the Frankincense and Blue Tansy. Few people realize that the Valor Roll-On formula is slightly different from the bottled blend. The Valor Roll-on has significantly more Frankincense essential oil than the Valor formula in regular 15ml and 5ml bottles.
In 2011 I began warning Gary of the impending shortage of Rosewood, the supply of which was becoming increasingly regulated and restricted, especially out of Brazil.
I flew to Brazil on several locations to try to secure a more sustainable rosewood leaf product. (See Photo attached). I was hoping that IBAMA would consider the leaf oil more “green” than the usual rosewood trunkwood product. The gas chromatograph anaylsis (GC) of the leaf’s chemical profile showed it to be superior.
When I presented a sample to Gary, I was nervous at first. I had poured regular rosewood trunkwood oil in one bottle and the leaf oil in another. Both bottles were amber glass and unmarked.
First Gary picked up the trunkwood rosewood essential oil. You could see his eyes light up as his olfactory neurons savored the majestic mind-altering magnificence of linalol. Gary always loved rosewood, which was why it had been woven into so many of the oil blends we created over the years.
Gary then picked up the rosewood leaf essential oil. At first I thought he was disappointed as I detected a slight frown on his face. Was I imagining this?
But his eyes told a different story. His pupils popped open as the aroma began activating his neurochemistry in unheard of new ways. As he slowly replaced the bottle on the counter, his eyes sparkled. Scintillated.
Gary was elliptical in the verbalization of his thoughts even as his glow-in-the-dark retinas could illuminate a good swatch of the Lehi parking lot. “I’m thinking we may need more of the second oil.”
The first product to receive the Rosewood leaf essential oil were prototypes of the Progessence Plus, a formula I had been working on for 3 years and finally finished with the help of physician Dan Purser, MD.
By 2012, the regulatory climate of rosewood became more onerous and the supply even more precarious. I formulated a “rosewood replacement” blend that allowed Young Living to remove rosewood from over 42 different oil blends. I told Gary, “all existing rosewood must be conserved for Valor and White Angelica.” Valor was too important to go out of stock. And Rex and I had field-tested a rosewood-free White Angelica with Diamond Level Distributors who were decidedly unenthusiastic; this made me nervous … very nervous.
As I continued my reformulation work on White Angelica, our production team accidentally adjusted the formula that produced a spectacular aroma, but was significantly different from regular White Angelica. When this happens, the QA/QC department has only one recourse: Disposal.
I told Rex, “No way.” This was $54,000 of essential oils. I knew that I could sell Gary the concept of a “limited edition,” so I added two special oils to the mixture to create an entirely new energy field.
I then brainstormed names that resonated with Angelica. It was Valerie in our label department who gave me the idea for the perfect moniker: “Sacred Angel.” And so it was launched within weeks of its accidental conception.
Today rosewood essential oil remains restricted, but there are excellent substitutes for it. A skillful compounder can partially reconstruct the rosewood, but unfortunately the aroma and chemistry will not be entirely equivalent.
We did investigate “Ho wood” out of Taiwan, but the ratios of different linolol isomers were different from authentic Aniba roseaodora oil.
The best substitute currently is orange blossom essential oil, Neroli.