With the first big rain of Fall in Portland this past week, the fresh pine and citrusy aroma of my neighbor’s majestic 50-foot douglas fir tree has been floating through the air. It is one of the first, and among my favorite, signs that Fall has arrived. It’s an intoxicating aroma that greets me in the morning and welcomes me home when I pull into the driveway at night. Couple the aroma of fir with the sweet and spicy scent of cinnamon or the bright citrus of sweet orange, and you’re well on your way to festive aromatherapy vibes at home! – Tracey Abell, ACHS President
Aromatherapy in the home is a perfect addition to your natural self and home care routines during the holidays. With so many to choose from, here are my top four festive fall scents:
- Cinnamon Cinnamomum zeylanicum
- Fir Abies balsamea
- Sweet Orange Citrus sinensis
- Ylang Ylang Cananga odorata var. Genuina
Aromatherapy during the holidays is also becoming more popular with the increased use of artificial Christmas trees. With aromatherapy, you can benefit from the sustainability of re-using your tree each year without sacrificing the fir and pine scents you love!
Bringing Aromatherapy into the Home
Wondering how to get started? First, think about how you’ll bring aromatherapy into your home. There are many ways to use aromatherapy at home, from methods as simple as using an essential oil diffuser to making your own incense. Here are a few suggestions to help you get started:
Diffusing Essential Oils
Diffusers come in all shapes and sizes and for all budgets, from an Aroma Sphere diffuser to the popular SpaVapor or Aroma Cloud diffuser. You’ll just need power, water (for most models), and your favorite essential oils.
ACHS Founding President Dorene Petersen had this to share about diffusing essential oils in her 2021 interview with Dr. Bianca Beldini: “I think diffusing is a wonderful way to administer essential oils because as you inhale an oil, papers have shown that inhalation is the fastest route for an essential oil to enter your bloodstream. You don’t need to put it on your body, you don’t need to take oils orally, you just need to inhale them, and they’re going to end up in your bloodstream pretty quickly. Plus, they’re going to have the added benefit of impacting your hypothalamus and have a psychological response as well.”
Safety note: If you have pets in the home (especially cats), be sure to diffuse oils in well-ventilated rooms that allow animals to exit when essential oils are being diffused.
Creating your own incense cones is easy, fun, and also makes great gifts! You’ll need a few supplies, including:
- blank incense cones (available from the Apothecary Shoppe)
- essential oil or blend of your choice (hint: Holiday Ambience Blend is a great holiday option!)
- denatured alcohol
- a deep pan, tray or large jar
- large spoon with holes
- drying rack
Gather your supplies, then check out this blog post written by Robert Seidel for instructions.
In the Bath
I love an aromatic bath after a long day. Honestly, I love a bath anytime, any day! Adding essential oils to the bath elevates the experience and can lift my spirits or help me relax, and it makes the whole house smell amazing. If you don’t have a bathtub, a foot bath is a great option also. Try these bathtime blends for inspiration. Remember, always follow essential oil safety guidelines. Another pro tip? Keep in mind that using essential oils with a diluent, such as a carrier oil, can make the tub more slippery than usual, so use caution.
Aromatic room sprays are perfect for any season. Room sprays also make a thoughtful and sustainable gift for a friend or loved one. Whether for the holidays, for a birthday, or just because, the gift of an aromatic room spray is sure to brighten everyone’s day! Explore some of our favorite formulas on the ACHS Blog.
The best part about room sprays is that you get to be creative and play with aromas that you might not usually consider. Pink peppercorn essential oil is one of my current obsessions and could be used as a substitute for black pepper for a bright spice note in a blend.
As you can see, there many ways to experience festive aromas in the home and some great ways to involve friends and family in DIY aromatherapy (an incense-making party sounds like a great holiday get-together, in-person or at a distance!). Learn more about aromatherapy in our ebook Aromatherapy Everyday Basics.
Festive Essential Oil Profiles
Now that you have some ideas about how you can use aromatherapy at home, here are the profiles of some of my favorite festive essentials. Give them a try in your diffuser or next room spray, and let me know what you think!
Cinnamon Cinnamomum zeylanicum
The aroma of cinnamon essential oil will transport you to a crisp autumn afternoon, the orange and yellow leaves falling to the ground as the cozy aroma of holiday spices waft toward you from the kitchen. A wonderful herbal spice, cinnamon is a warming essential oil.
Fir Needle Abies balsamea
Fir needle essential oil offers a refreshing and stimulating addition to any inhalation blend. Additionally, fir needle essential oil zests up homemade disinfectants, detergents, and air fresheners.
Sweet Orange Citrus sinensis
The sweet orange essential oil in the Apothecary Shoppe is responsibly sourced from Brazil and cold-pressed from the peel which is preferred for maximum quality. Sweet orange essential oil adds an uplifting aroma to soaps, DIY skincare and personal care products, perfumes, detergents, and room sprays. Added to the bath, it is a wonderful way to wind down after a hard day. (See above regarding safely using essential oils in the bath.)
Ylang Ylang Cananga odorata var. Genuina
In Malayan, ylang ylang means “flower of flowers.” With its fruity, floral, and sweet aroma, ylang ylang essential oil is cleansing and can create an uplifting atmosphere. It is wonderful when added to soaps or the bath for radiant skin, and the fragrance inspires joy.
Aromatherapy Made Easy: Handcrafted Essential Oil Blends
If you’re looking to hit the easy button on festive aromatherapy diffuser blends, look no further than these blends handcrafted by ACHS Founding President Dorene Petersen:
Holiday Ambience Blend
With Holiday Ambience Blend, you’ll enjoy an aromatic journey and comforting blend of Anise Pimpinella anisum, Black pepper Piper nigrum, Cinnamon Cinnamomum zeylanicum, sweet orange Citrus sinensis, and a hint of Fir needle Abies balsamea. All of the essential oils in this blend are Certified Organic by Oregon Tilth.
Festive Spice Blend
Invite holiday nostalgia into your home with this spicy, citrusy essential oil blend. This blend contains essential oils of Sweet Orange Citrus sinensis, Ylang Ylang Cananga odorata var. genuina, Lemon Citrus limonum, and Cinnamon Cinnamomum zeylanicum.
Both of these blends are a must-have for the holiday season! And, for those who start counting down the number of days until Christmas on December 26, these make a great gift. Pair it with a diffuser to make a set.
So this fall, have fun, get creative, and explore aromatherapy at home. Come back and tell us about your creations and share your favorite festive spice essential oils. Enjoy!
About American College of Healthcare Sciences
American College, founded in 1978, is a fully online accredited institute of higher education specializing in holistic health. Based in Portland, OR; our goal is to make research-driven and science-based holistic health education taught by industry-leading experts accessible to anyone anywhere while still giving students a hands-on experiential learning experience like a traditional college and a strong sense of community, school pride, and student bond.
This commitment to our students and graduates reflects in our current survey results that 98% of our students would recommend ACHS to a friend or family member. We believe education is the most powerful tool for changing an individual and the world around us.
When a person enrolls at ACHS, it is vitally important that they graduate with the tools they need to forge their own holistic and sustainable missions, build up their communities confidently and change the face of healthcare with knowledge.
Image credits: Sweet Orange and Ylang Ylang from Dorene Petersen