Cape May Oil

The natural, pleasant insect repellent.

Cape May Oil

Cape May (Coleonema album)

Coleonema album (C. album) is a fragrant shrub with many medicinal properties. In general appearance the plant resembles the European May plant. C. album is a dominant plant of the mountain vegetation of the southern coastal region of the Western Cape. C. album has been domesticated and planted in many South African gardens for its show of flowers. During the flowering season the small white petals cover the ground like confetti after a wedding, hence the colloquial name – ‘confetti bush’. The plant is used extensively as an insect repellent, and a deodoriser.

C. album is a medium to large woody shrub with small ericoid (heath-like) leaves. In spring and summer the bush is a mass of small, white, star-like flowers. C. album is related to.


Coleonema album is found in the mountain and coastal region of the Western Cape, South Africa.


Essential oil by steam distillation of stem and leaves. Sustainably wild-crafted.


Cape May oil is clear in colour with a fresh herby fragrance and an interesting pepper note. The fragrance is typical of the Cape fynbos.


Myrcene, phellandrene, pinene, ocimene, germacrene-D.


Open for experimentation.


Has an attractive fruity/flowery and pepper note fragrance.


There are many confirmed reports of the leaves being used as an insect repellent. Campers rub their bedding with the twigs to repel mosquitoes and ants. A wash made from the leaves is used as a deodorant, and fishermen traditionally rub their hands on the leaves to remove the fishy smell of bait. The leaves add fragrance to pot pourris. There is also anecdotal evidence that leaves added to bath water aids relaxation.


PROPERTIES: Antiseptic, deodorant, diuretic, febrifuge, insecticide, sedative, restorative.

USES: Colds, flu, sore throat, insect repellent, water retention, relaxing, nervous tension.


BLENDS: Angelica, basil, bergamot, Cape chamomile, clary sage, fennel, geranium, ginger, jasmine, juniper, lavender, neroli, patchouli, petitgrain, vetivert, ylang-ylang.

Mental and emotional: Relaxing to the nervous system and helps to ease tension.

Physical: Helpful to bring down a fever, ease the aches and pains of colds and flu, and bring relief to a sore throat. Has gentle diuretic action, useful for a gentle detox and mild water retention. Tonic to the skin and the body. Will leave the skin invigorated and refreshed. Helps to remove stale and unpleasant smells from the skin, e.g. fish and onions. A wonderful insect repellent, used to repel mosquitoes and ants. Can be used as an alternative to citronella or lemongrass oil around a campfire.