‘Tis the Holiday Season!
Many of us find this time of year very busy and in addition even stressful. Yet firstly, the holiday season begs us to slow down. Secondly, to take a deep breath and appreciate the scents of the season. Finally, to enjoy an Aromatic Christmas.
Aromatherapy uses quality essential oils to encourage relaxation, balance and rejuvenation. With some scents and aromatic combinations creating a memorable holiday atmosphere at the same time.
For instance, consider the fresh scent of evergreen. In addition, the energetic mint, complex sweet spice, joyful citrus. Balsamic ‘ancient’ oils and exotic florals.
Therefore, by using the aromatics of quality essential oils to create holiday ambience, we invite a festive mood. Or help calm over-stimulated senses, which helps make cherished time with family and friends just that much more special. In other words, even ‘magical’.
Get Personal with an Aromatic Christmas
Personalize the holiday experience with a blend of seasonal favorites. Like pine, spruce, cedar, fir or juniper berry. Perhaps peppermint, clove, nutmeg, cinnamon or ginger. Another combo is sweet orange, lemon or mandarin. I adore frankincense, myrrh, and sandalwood. Additionally, try the exotic jasmine, ylang ylang and rose.
Whether diffusing a heavenly blend of essential oils into the air. Or spritzing artificial greenery. We can always scent wrapping paper and cards for those special someones. Or my fave, relaxing in an aromatic bath following a harried day. Most importantly, the wonder of aromatherapy offers beautiful holiday season memories.
Be creative and make you own blends or be inspired by the recipes that follow. Make sure that you are using fresh, high quality essential oils in your blends to avoid being disappointed. The botanical names of the essential oils used in the recipes are found at the end of this article. In other words, check that the essential oils are labelled with their botanical names to ensure a higher quality e/o.
This diffuser blend is beautifully layered from the hint of lemon through to the depths of frankincense and myrrh. Blend the following essential oil together in a small glass container.
- 5 drops of cedarwood essential oil,
- 7 drops of juniper berry essential oil,
- 8 drops of lemon essential oil,
- 15 drops of frankincense essential oil
- and 15 drops of myrrh essential oil.
Firstly, follow the directions and use in your own diffuser.
If you do not have a diffuser or nebulizer, you can just allow what we call ‘passive diffusion’. Just add a few drops of a blend to a simple potpourri for your own aromatic Christmas. Which you can make yourself!
Begin by getting a decorative contained. Then you get creative. Mix together some cedar shavings (found in pet stores) with real or imitation cranberries for color. Add a few small pine or cedar cones for texture. Pop in some star anise for interest and I like to add some small glass beads for bling. Dried fruit can make for interesting textures.
Apply 4 to 6 drops of the essential oil blend onto your home-made potpourri and voila! Simple, beautiful and aromatic!
For those who use artificial greenery during the holiday season, including me! This essential oil blend is sure to transport you among the evergreens. Mix together, in a small glass bottle:
- 10 drops of balsam fir essential oil
- 11 drops of black spruce essential oil
- 9 drops of cedarwood essential oil
- and 10 drops of juniper berry essential oil
Lots of ways to use this one: Use according to the directions for your type of diffuser. Consider applying a few drops to a terra cotta tree ornament or a small unglazed pot stuffed with cedar boughs. Or make a room mist! Instructions follow.
To make a room mist is quite simple. Fill an 8oz (1 cup of 240ml) spray bottle. Add one of the lovely combos suggested here. Or try making your own. About 40 drops of essential oils is good. And the secret to getting the oil to mix and not stay on the top of the water. Add about 1/2oz (1 tablespoon or 15 mL) of cheap unflavored vodka. (The vodka is used as an emulsifier.)
Shake well before each misting and avoid getting droplets on wood or precious fabrics.
Perhaps it is the ‘hard to resist’ aromas of the holiday kitchen that cause you to stop and take a deep breath. This baked-goods inspired essential oil blend may be the one for you. Remember to keep the experience at the nose level! Do not ingest essential oils, ever!
Combine in a small glass bottle (with an orifice reducer)
- 16 drops of cinnamon essential oil,
- 10 drops of nutmeg essential oil,
- 6 drops of sweet orange essential oil,
- 4 drops of frankincense essential oil
- and 4 drops of clove essential oil.
Diffuse according to the instructions for your diffuser. The original recipe suggests a diffusion time of 5 minutes but I find that 15 minutes is perfect when diffused into a large room. This aromatic blend works well when made into a room mist. (Recipe adapted from wlnaturalhealth.com)
Wrap & Unwrap an Aromatic Christmas
Let’s scent some stationary and wrapping paper! Blend the following in a small glass bottle
- 10 drops of frankincense essential oil,
- 11 drops of myrrh essential oil,
- 9 drops of cedarwood essential oil
- and 10 to 20 drops of sweet orange essential oil (adjust the number of drops of sweet orange to reach desired aroma).
Apply several drops of the essential oil blend onto a cotton pad and place it in a plastic bag, with your selected paper products. But remember, never to allow the cotton pad to touch the paper as it will leave a stain! Seal the contents and let it rest for a day or two, allowing for the full absorption of the aroma.
Reminiscent of handmade orange-clove holiday balls this aromatic blend is both refreshing and balancing. Combine
- 12 drops of sweet orange essential oil,
- 7 drops of cinnamon essential oil,
- 5 drops of ginger essential oil
- and 1 drop of nutmeg essential oil.
However, if you are looking for a seasonal blend that will put some pep-in-your step consider this ‘head-clearing’ blend
- 8 drops of cedarwood essential oil,
- 12 drops of pine essential oil
- and 12 drops of peppermint essential oil!
Need to slow down and relax? I came upon this ‘heavenly’ aromatic blend a few years ago. It’s called ‘Angel’s Breath‘. And I gift aromatherapy bath gifts each year made with this blessed recipe.
Start with 1 oz (2 tablespoons or 30 mL) of a non-scented base (carrier) oil. I like to use grapeseed or fractionated coconut oil. The add
- 12 drops of lavender,
- 6 drops of sweet orange,
- 4 drops of Roman chamomile,
- 4 drops of ylang ylang
- and 3 drops of sandalwood.
You may use this as a delightful massage oil. Firstly for yourself during the holiday season. But it’s always lovely to share. Don’t you think?
Or pop in your bathtub filled with warm water. Additionally, consider adding the essential and carrier oil mixture to 16 oz (2 cups or 460 grams) of Epsom salts. Mix well.
Use half of the aromatic Epsom salts in a bathtub filled with warm water, and save the other half in a sealable, decorative container. Therefore perfect for another evening. Dim the lights, light a candle or two and plan to soak in the aromatic water for at least 15 minutes.
Staying with an exotic floral theme? Then let’s consider this precious recipe (from the sadly now gone, Snow Drift Farm). Combine
- 5 drops of rose absolute,
- 5 drops of sandalwood essential oil,
- 4 drops of bergamot essential oil,
- 3 drops of jasmine absolute,
- 2 drops of sweet orange essential oil,
- 2 drops of Roman chamomile essential oil
- additionally, add 1 drop of ylang ylang essential oil.
Above all, beware! This complex blend is not for the faint of heart! It’s exotic and full of natural aphrodisiacs, for instance.. But also super for your skin.
In conclusion, we have created festive ambiance, crafted seasonally-scented potpourri We took an aromatic journey into the evergreen forest. Additionally, we tinged the air with holiday-kitchen spice and citrus. We’ve scented stationary and wrapping paper. After that, punched the atmosphere with energetic mint and bathed in ‘angelic’ waters. Finally drifting to a far away place fragranced with intoxicating florals. All in a bid for relaxation and rejuvenation.
I truly hope that one or more of these seasonal offerings resonates with you. Or perhaps you are inspired to create your own seasonal blend.
Well, I’m off to do some blending. But not before I extend to you my best wishes for a truly joyous, ‘scent-sational’ holiday season and aromatic Christmas.
Barbara Power, Certified Aromatherapist and Aromatic Christmas Specialist
Common and Botanical Names for Essential Oils used this Aromatic Christmas
Balsam Fir – Albies balsamea; Bergamot – Citrus bergamia; Black Spruce – Pacea mariana; Cedarwood – Cedrus atlantica; Cinnamon –Cinnamomum zeylanicum; Clove – Eugenia caryophyllus; Frankincense – Boswellia carteri; Ginger – Zingiber officinale; Jasmine absolute – Jasminum officinalis; Juniper Berry – Juniperus communis; Lavender – Lavandula angustifolia; Lemon – Citrus limon; Myrrh – Commiphora molmol; Nutmeg – Myristica fragrans; Peppermint – Mentha piperita; Pine (Scotch) – Pinus sylvestris; Roman Chamomile – Anthemis nobilis; Rose Absolute – Rosa centifolia; Sandalwood (Australian) – Santalum spicatum; Sweet Orange- Citrus sinensis; and, Ylang Ylang – Cananga odorata.