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By Sophie Leaver
Health & Wellbeing Writer
Now that the festive season is in full swing, the days of December jingle on with the jolly sound of Christmas carols, and the chilly winter weather is brightened by the sparkling decorations and lights.
But for me, nothing quite conjures up the holiday spirit like the aroma of Christmas. Different smells can evoke different memories and emotions for each person, and aromatherapy is a powerful tool to treat your senses.
Used by many different cultures for centuries, many believe that aromatherapy can also counteract anxiety, ease depression, increase energy levels, boost cognitive performance, induce sleep, and speed up the body’s healing process. Others use aromatherapy as a spiritual or meditative tool. Frankincense oil, for example, has long been combined with prayer and meditation because its rich balsamic character, that penetrates deeply into the lungs and inspires a rhythm of slow, relaxed breathing.
Filling your home with the warming, spicy, and wintery scents of Christmas can be extremely welcoming when you have friends and family over. It can also be very calming and soothing to get you through the busy season, when tensions are often high, schedules are packed, and champagne is flowing. You can pick and choose different aromas, play with recipes, and indulge in safe and natural aromas without turning to synthetic sprays and air fresheners. So this Christmas, why not try blending, diffusing, and basking in the smells of Christmas joy!
Below are two different recipes to get you started. However, part of the joy of aromatherapy is the creativity that it allows, so feel free to adapt these combinations to suit your own senses and moods, and continue to experiment with different scents once the holiday season is over. Why not mark the New Year with an invigorating, refreshing scent to set you in a positive frame of mind for the year ahead?
Keep in mind that essential oils can be used in different ways. If you’re using them personally, you can directly inhale the scent by holding the bottle a few inches from the nose and gently breathing in. Alternatively, you can add a few drops to a tissue or cloth, and gently breathe in the aroma from that. Otherwise, if you’re using the oils to fill your home with an aroma, you can use a good quality diffuser or a ceramic essential oil burner.
The Christmas Tree Blend
This diffusion is a mix of fresh, earthy and woody smells that will have you dreaming of strolling through the evergreens. The natural aromas also help to clear and focus the mind and stabilise the emotions. The overall effect is both purifying and energising.
10 drops cedarwood essential oil
5 drops pine essential oil
4 drops cypress essential oil
2 drops eucalyptus essential oil
2 drops cinnamon leaf essential oil
This blend is warming, comforting, and smells delicious! It is the perfect aroma to fill the house when you’re curling up next to the fire on a chilly Christmas eve.
3 drops orange
1 drop nutmeg
1 drop cinnamon
1 drop clove
1 drop cardamom
1 drop frankincense