Scents of the Season
Published 4:42 pm Thursday, December 7, 2017
By Amanda Edwards
The sense of smell is closely tied to memory. When you think of scents that evoke warm memories of holidays spent baking pies in the kitchen with grandma or creating decorative accents for the home, what aromas come to mind? Vanilla, cloves, cinnamon, and orange are all scents that immediately come to my mind when reflecting on precious family gatherings at the dinner table, or cozy evenings spent in front of a crackling fire, sipping on hot chocolate with a fuzzy cat on my lap.
You can create incredibly personal and thoughtful holiday gifts for family and friends using essential oils.
Remember old-fashioned pomanders? A pomander, from French pomme d’ambre, is a ball—usually an orange or apple—filled with spices, herbs, or perfumes. The most common pomander used during the holiday season is an orange pierced with whole cloves and tied with a satin ribbon. These can be gathered in bowls, tied to wreaths, or placed on fireplace mantels. Even better, you can create a holiday pomander spray that will leave your home smelling fresh and inviting.
Holiday Pomander Aroma Spray
4-ounce glass spray bottle
Rubbing Alcohol- 2 oz.
Distilled Water- 2 oz.
Sweet Orange- 10 drops
Clove Bud- 10 drops
Cinnamon- 10 drops
First, place essential oils into the spray bottle. Next, add rubbing alcohol and distilled water. Place the lid on the bottle, then shake well. Put the bottle in a dark cabinet for at least 48 hours to let the oils incorporate. Shake contents well before using and misting into the air.
Another wonderful option is to use an aromatherapy diffuser to scent the air. If candles make you nervous, especially in close proximity to the Christmas tree, try incorporating a diffuser into your everyday décor.
These can be found in some health food stores, spas, or online. They are incredibly simple to use. You simply fill the bowl with water per the unit’s instructions and add a few drops of essential oil. A light mist will be expelled and the most delightful fragrance will fill the air.
Here are a few diffuser recipes I use in my home during the holiday season:
Grandma’s Kitchen Diffuser Blend
Sweet Orange- 3 drops
Lemon- 1 drop
Cinnamon- 3 drops
Clove Bud- 2 drops
A Walk in the Forest Diffuser Blend
Spruce- 3 drops
Cedar- 2 drops
Fir Needle- 2 drops
Spiced Cider Diffuser Blend
Ginger- 5 drops
Sweet Orange- 3 drops
Cinnamon- 1 drop
Christmas Night Diffuser Blend
Frankincense- 5 drops
Myrrh- 4 drops
For an extra personal gift, you can make a delightful body scrub that not only exfoliates, but adds an extra layer of moisture to the skin, especially when using my favorite carrier oil—Sweet Almond. I’ve included two of my favorite body scrub recipes.
Ginger & Almond Body Scrub
Epsom or Sea Salt- 1 cup
Sweet Almond Oil- ½ cup
Ginger Essential Oil- 6 drops to ¼ teaspoon
Lemon Sugar Body Scrub
Granulated Sugar- 1 cup
Sweet Almond Oil- ½ cup
Lemon Essential Oil- 6 drops to ¼ teaspoon
Mix ingredients in a glass or metal bowl. Do not use plastic, as it will absorb the oils. I also recommend using a metal spoon. After incorporating the ingredients, spoon mixture into a glass mason jar and tie a festive ribbon around the lid. This yields 1.5 cups of body scrub.
Holiday Body Cream
A perfect addition to either of the body scrubs would be to pair it up with my Holiday Body Cream recipe.
Coconut Oil- ½ cup
Shea Butter- 1/4 cup
Cocoa Butter- 1/4 cup
Sweet Almond Oil- 1 Tablespoon
Ginger Essential Oil- 5 drops
Sweet Orange Oil- 5 drops
Heat the shea butter, coconut oil, and cocoa butter over low heat, stirring constantly until melted. Remove from heat and add the sweet almond oil and the essential oils. Stir and combine well. Pour into a mason jar and close lid tightly. The mixture will stay a little runny, but a quick stir with a spoon before using will help.
By using essential oils, not only will you be giving friends and loved ones something uniquely made from the heart, but also a gift that is good for them. Made directly from plants and flowers, essential oils are all natural and if you purchase organic oils, there are no harmful additives or chemicals to irritate the skin.
I hope my aromatherapy recipes enhance your homes and loved ones with joy this holiday season. •
Amanda Edwards is a certified aromatherapist, member of the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy, and owner of her own company, Juniper Jade Essentials. Amanda lives in Tryon, N.C. with her husband and two children. She writes a lifestyle blog at www.myblueridgelife.com.