In the forthcoming period of Christmas holidays most of us prepare in similar way – baking, buying and wrapping presents, cleaning your home and decorating the Christmas tree. Do you think we can do even more to enhance the feeling of Christmas spirit? Could scented decorations boost the effect of the visual ones? Why is scent so important to all of us?
Scent plays a major role in our memories, moods and feelings. How does it happen? After we smell a certain scent, the olfactory neurons in the upper part of the nose create an impulse that reaches the brain. The signal is then processed in the brain and the ensuing information is delivered to the limbic system, which has an important role in controlling our moods, memory, behaviour and feelings. The limbic system is considered to be an old and primitive part of our brain, because the same structures were present in the first mammals.
The sensation of smell is therefore more connected to memory and mood then any of our other senses. Does the smell of cinnamon remind you of Christmas? Or the smell of fir? Scents can even induce a memory of a long forgotten event.
The scents that remind us the most of Christmas (and by that I mean our childhood Christmas, when everything was magical, and magic was possible) are those connected to food (Christmas cakes – cinnamon, clove, orange, lemon, nutmeg…), to the Christmas tree (fir, pine…) and spirituality (frankincense).
The true Christmas aroma can be felt in the home when the tree is decorated and the cookies are in the oven. If you want to prolong the “scented decoration” of your home, the best way to do it is with the help of essential oils. Take care you use only high quality oils, so you can receive the nature’s best during the most wonderful time of the year.
Here is a short list of the most Christmassy essential oils.
If you want the smell of pleasant citrus freshness, the best choice is sweet orange. This oil also reminds of cakes with orange zest. Sweet orange always provides the feeling of warmth and cheer during cold winter months. Also, it blends exceedingly well with other oils.
Instead of sweet orange you can use bitter orange, mandarin, lemon or grapefruit.
The spicy scent of cinnamon definitely says: ”It’s Christmas!”. It is also warming, tonifying, strengthening and uplifting – all the things we usually need during the holidays.
The simplest blend is cinnamon in sweet orange.
You shouldn’t ignore the fact that cinnamon and clove are very powerful anti-pathogens and that using these, on the first glance just nice smelling, mixtures you are at the same time creating an effective health protection for all your family. This is one of the reasons why using only quality oils is an imperative.
Another spicy oil perfect for this time of year. Mixed with sweet orange (or some other citrus oil) it reminds of aromatic cookies and mulled wine.
Maybe you won’t immediately connect anis with Christmas, but it is a welcome addition to various synergies. Refreshing, sweet at the same time, it reminds of delicious cantuccini cookies with anis.
Warm and sweet oil helps in those moments when we lack motivation – it clears the mind and strengthens the will. It is valuable to know it is an excellent digestive tonic, something that many of us needs during the holidays. Try a very interesting blend of ginger and bergamot.
Similar like ginger, it stimulates and helps in the moments of fatigue.
What would be a Christmas without a decorated tree? Scent of an evergreen tree can be achieved with essential oils of pine or fir. Simply put one drop on your decorations (provided, of course, they are made of natural material), or on a piece of cotton. The needle scent can be additionally refreshed with grapefruit oil.
For the same “tree effect” you can use cypress, juniper, cedar, spruce…
In addition to the obvious spiritual connection to the holiday, frankincense is also a calming oil – for quiet and peaceful Christmas.
The second choice is myrrh essential oil.
All of the mentioned oil can be used alone (except cinnamon and clove – because of their intense scent they have to be mixed with some other, more mild, oils), but the best effect will be achieved with Christmas blends.
For blending you will need (of course) the essential oil, dark glass bottles with caps.
I would like to share with you several Christmas blends – perceive them only as guidelines and let your imagination go free while creating your own Christmas olfactory decoration. 🙂
(Note: to make the measuring easier, let’s say that 1mL of oil consists of 20 drops.)
sweet orange 9.5mL
cinnamon or clove 0.5mL
fir or pine 3mL
black spruce 2mL
lemon or sweet orange 5mL
cedar wood 3mL
sweet orange or mandarin 6mL
sweet orange or lemon 6.5mL
How to use the mixtures?
The simplest way is to use a diffuser that disperses the oils without heating them up. If you don’t have a diffuser and don’t want to invest in one, you can use a dispersing spray. It is very easy to make such a spray, you will need a dark glass bottle and a spray pump – all of which you can buy in specialised stores.
In a 100mL bottle pour 10mL of essential oils and fill it up with alcohol. Adjust the spray pump and your Christmas spray is finished. Take care to shake the bottle well before each spraying.
Essential oil mixture can also be used on any kind of natural material – wood, clay, fabric, cones…If you are using the tree decorations made of natural material, this is a great way to scent the tree. Don’t overdo with the number of drops – only put one drop on several decorations. If you don’t have natural material decorations, you can put the oils on some cotton and distribute it on the tree. A good idea is to use fir or pine essential oils.
Scenting the decorations doesn’t need to be limited only to the Christmas tree. If you have decorations anywhere else in your home, feel free to put a drop of essential oil on them and bring the Christmas spirit everywhere.
If you want to spread the Christmas scent to your friends, why not decorate your presents and cards with essential oils? Maybe you will need a bit more organisation and thinking ahead, but the procedure is very simple.
Put your wrapping paper and cards in a plastic bag, preferably one with a zipper. Put inside a bit of cotton with essential oils on it, close the bag and leave it at least for one day.
For the forgetful ones, you can put a very small amount of essential oil on the wrapping ribbon, or on the edge of the card. The amount should be less than one drop – the best way is to rub one drop between your fingers and just tap it on the ribbon and cards.
I hope these advices will help you achieve a true scented Christmas.
I wish you all a peaceful, happy and aromatic holiday.