Essential Oils for the Holidays Part II: What’s Trending in 2018

It just isn’t the holdays without the aromas of the holidays. For me, there are certain oils that evoke memories of long peaceful walks in fir forests, making clove and orange pomander balls, and simmering spiced cider on the stove. Each year, I have my firm  holiday favorites, but this year I wanted to check in with our experts about new essential oils they’re adding to their repertoire this 2018 holidays season. Here’s what they shared:

Nutmeg Myristica fragrans Essential Oil

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Nutmeg M. fragrans is an evergreen tree that usually grows 30 to 60-feet high (five to 13 meters). The bark contains pink or red sap. The flowers are pale yellow and female flowers are larger than male flowers; usually only one sex of flowers is found on an individual tree. The tree does not usually flower until it is nine years old; however, it will continue to flower for up to 75 years. When the fruit is ripe, it turns a golden color. It is only when the fruit dries that the brown seed (the nutmeg) is revealed. The bright red coating on the seed is known as mace. Our organic nutmeg essential oil is responsibly sourced from India. The essential oil is steam distilled from the seeds. Every batch of oil is Certified Organic by Oregon Tilth and produced without the use of genetic engineering, artificial fertilizers, or pesticides. Additionally, our expert aromatherapists here at the Apothecary Shoppe personally assess all of our oils—using touch, taste, smell, and lab analyses—to ensure that your essential oil is suitable for use and entirely free of adulterants. Nutmeg aromatherapy essential oil is a flavoring favorite in the kitchen for the holidays. Think seasonal cookies, grandma’s rice pudding, or your favorite crème brûlée (it’s even delicious on wilted greens). The essential oil has a similarly warm, spicy aroma, which makes it a favorite in seasonal blends, spicy perfumes, and men’s products. Delicious!

Sweet Orange Citrus sinensis Essential Oil 

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On most holiday aroma lists is sweet orange. What’s more refreshing than the citrus aroma that bursts forth when you peel an orange? Not surprisingly, since it is cold pressed from the peel of organic oranges, sweet orange essential oil has the same aromatic qualities, including a fruity, flowery aroma that can be wonderfully uplifting and soothing. Citrus sinensis essential oil has a pleasant sweet, fresh, and fruity scent. It is used extensively in aromatherapy, and commercially in soaps and floral perfumes. It harmonizes well in a blend at about a 5% concentration. Our certified organic sweet orange aromatherapy essential oil is responsibly sourced from the USA. The essential oil is cold pressed from the peel; this is preferred for maximum quality. Every batch of oil is Certified Organic by Oregon Tilth and produced without the use of genetic engineering, artificial fertilizers, or pesticides. Sweet orange volatilizes quickly (it is a top note) and does not store well, so blend in small quantities and keep in the refrigerator if possible.

Fir Needle Abies balsamea Essential Oil

FirNeedle-notachs-460x460_7fbd7c7b-1a16-4c48-b092-d6c615a8d71eCrisp, sweet, and invigorating, fir needle essential oil effortlessly whisks one’s senses away to a peaceful, lush forest. Fir needle Abies balsamea essential oil has a characteristic, fresh, and woody aroma, which makes it a frequent addition to aromatherapy holiday season blends, as well as air fresheners, disinfectants, detergents, and household cleaners. To avoid your holiday blend smelling like a cleaning product, fir blends well with sweet orange and other spice oils, like cinnamon and clove. With its vitalizing aroma, the fir needle essential oil is perfect to add to an inhalation blend, and it’s a robust addition to woodsy winter blends. Our organic fir needle essential oil is responsibly sourced from our neighbors to the north, Canada, where the essential oil is steam distilled from the needles.

Black Pepper Piper nigrum Essential Oil

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Black pepper was one of the first spices to travel the spice route and was perhaps one of the most expensive and treasured. The characteristically “peppery” aroma offers a stimulating ZING! It is also a very stimulating scent, which, like basil Ocimum basilicum essential oil, makes an interesting and effective addition to shower gels (especially morning shower gels). Its spicy, fresh aroma blends well with cardamom, frankincense, lavender, marjoram, and rosemary. Add to men’s fragrances or personal care items for a spicy, sporty undertone! Our certified organic black pepper essential oil is responsibly sourced from Sri Lanka. The essential oil is steam distilled from the dried, whole, unripe fruit. Every batch of oil is Certified Organic by Oregon Tilth and produced without the use of genetic engineering, artificial fertilizers, or pesticides.

Anise Pimpinella anisum Essential Oil

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Anise is one of the oldest-known botanicals in aromatherapy and has historically been used as a spice, and is popular to balance digestion and stimulate appetitite. Pliny recommended it in the morning as a pick-me-up. Ancient Egyptians documented its use for household purposes. Charlemagne cultivated it on the imperial farms in the 9th century. Anise has a warm, soft, spicy, sweet, and rich fragrance. It blends well with lavender, pine, and rose attar for aromatherapy blends.It has a natural licorice-like flavor and savory, spicy aroma. The aromatherapy essential oil can encourage deep, rejuvenating inhalation. Our organic anise essential oil is responsibly sourced from Egypt. The essential oil is steam distilled from the seed. Every batch of oil is Certified Organic by Oregon Tilth and produced without the use of genetic engineering, artificial fertilizers, or pesticides. Additionally, our expert aromatherapists here at the Apothecary Shoppe personally assess all of our oils—using touch, taste, smell, and lab analyses—to ensure that your essential oil is suitable for use and entirely free of adulterants. A GC analysis of our Anise oil shows 89% anethole, 3.26% y-himachalene, and .98% astragal.

Cinnamon Cinnamomum zeylanicum Essential Oil

cinnamon-eo-newsletterCinnamon Cinnamomum zeylanicum essential oil has a characteristic odor and taste of cinnamon – which just sings holidays!!! It blends well in aromatherapy blends with rosemary, pine, and thyme. The aroma of cinnamon will transport you to a snowy winter’s day, as the cozy aroma of holiday spices waft toward you from the kitchen. A wonderful herbal spice, cinnamon is a warming essential oil. This is the perfect oil for autumn or the Holidays, with a peppery and slightly woody fragrance. Try blending it in homemade soaps! Our cinnamon essential oil is organically grown and steam distilled in Madagascar from the inner bark of cinnamon tree shoots. Every batch of oil is Certified Organic by Oregon Tilth and produced without the use of genetic engineering, artificial fertilizers, or pesticides. 

EY IS UP TO HERE

The 7th Oil of the Holidays is… Spearmint! 

Spearmint (Mentha spicata) essential oil has a minty aroma that is similar to peppermint, but sweeter. Spearmint blends well in aromatherapy with anise, basil, cedarwood, cajeput, eucalyptus, lavender, lemon, lime, grapefruit, peppermint, and rosemary.

The 6th Oil of the Holidays is… Lavandin! 

Lavandin (Lavandula x. intermedia) essential oil is highly antiseptic, antifungal, and antibacterial. It has a similar aroma to lavender (Lavandula x. angustifolia) but offers camphor as a major constituent, making it a great antiseptic and a stimulating rather than sedating oil! Great for holiday parties when you don’t want grandpa falling asleep during Twister! 

The 5th Oil of the Holidays is… Clove! 

Clove (Syzygium aromaticum) essential oil has a fresh and fruity top note. Clove blends well in aromatherapy blends with bay, bergamot, black pepper, clary sage, lavandin, lavender, vanilla, and ylang ylang. Plus don’t forget to grab bags of whole cloves and stud some oranges for home made pomanders – a great activity for kids that last all year!

The 4th Oil of the Holidays is… Ginger! 

Ginger (Zingiber officinale) essential oil has antibacterial and antifungal properties. Ginger has a warm, fresh, woody, spicy, almost citrus top note, and blends well in aromatherapy with cedarwood, coriander, frankincense, grapefruit, lime, neroli, orange, patchouli, petitgrain, rose, sandalwood, and vetiver. Plus you can use ginger essential oil in cooking – just a drop in gingerbread brings a new depth to a winter classic!

The 3rd Oil of the Holidays is… Petitgrain!

Also known as bitter orange, petitgrain (Citrus aurantium var. amara) essential oil has a woody, slightly floral aroma and blends well in aromatherapy with grapefruit, rosemary, and tangerine. It gives you the citrus hit without the sweetness, so tends to be a favorite with the guys. 

The 2nd Oil of the Holidays is… Myrrh! 

Myrrh (Commiphora myrrha) essential oil has been used to help soothe coughs and colds. Myrrh has an earthy, woody aroma, traditional for seasonal aromatherapy blends!

And …. Drumroll please…. 

The #1 essential oil of the holidays is… Frankincense! 

Frankincense (Boswellia spp.) essential oil has a balsamic, slightly spicy and fruity aroma, and is a common ingredient in perfumery and incense. Frankincense also makes a great additional to aromatic holiday blends!

So tell us, what are your favorite essential oils for the holiday? Are you adding any new oils this year?

Why not start a new tradition this year? Use these 12 Essential Oils of the Holidays to create your own aromatherapy blends for seasonal get-togethers.  Blending is a fun hands-on activity and a great way to spend quality time with loved ones. Get started now — anise, black pepper, cinnamon, fir, and sweet orange essential oils are the key ingredients in ACHS President Dorene Petersen’s Holiday Ambience Blend — download the recipe here.

May your holiday season be merry and bright! And filled with light, love, and wonderful memories!

Best wishes

Dorene, Erika, and Lauren

PS: Remember we promised you a bonus? Now through Noon on Friday December 21, get 20% off any or all of these oils when you shop through this link and use the code 12OILS at the College’s Apothecary Shoppe College Store!

Embrace your tomorrow.
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