Scents and smells can evoke memories and there is no time of the year more tied to certain aromas (or, indeed, memories) than the Christmas Season.
Spicy smells of Christmas cooking, the green scent of a real Christmas tree or the summer smells of the sea, fresh grass or even the first summer mangos (ok, maybe that last one is just me!) are such an integral part of an Australian Summer Christmas, that we probably don’t think about it too much. But that doesn’t mean those scents don’t have a profound effect on us and those around us. They are an essential part of our Christmas traditions.
Essential oils are one way to bring those scents into your home to celebrate the season. If you prefer to have an artificial Christmas tree, you can still use essential oils to remind you of the scent of the real thing. You can use spicy essential oils to enhance (or replace if you are not an enthusiastic Christmas cook!) the scents of a Christmas party. Or echo the original gifts of the season by introducing the spiritual effects of essential oils like Frankincense. You are really limited only by your own imagination and the particular traditions of you and your family.
If you want ideas of which essential oils to use, read my earlier blog where I share some of my favourites. You can also try our Limited Edition Christmas Spirit Essential Oil Blend – a gorgeous blend of essential oils to easily put you in the Christmas mood!
But how do you use these essential oils around the home?
I want to share some of my favourite ways to use essential oils for Christmas
Diffusers are a very easy way to bring essential oils into your home. With the variety of diffusers now available, there is one suitable for nearly every space in your home. You can choose one essential oil or blend to use throughout the season. Or ring the changes with different essential oils at different times or even on different days.
Perhaps fresher citrussy aromas in the morning, or more relaxing essential oils in the evening (especially useful on Christmas Eve when the younger members of the family may be too excited to sleep!).
Tip – remember to clean your diffuser regularly and especially before changing essential oils, so that you get the full effect of the oil and don’t have it diminished by contamination from any earlier essential oil used.
If you are not sure how to use your diffuser, I wrote this blog post about how to diffuse essential oils.
Send a scented greeting
Although many people send Christmas wishes electronically these days, with email, text and online messaging platforms becoming ever more popular, there is nothing like opening a Christmas Card bearing handwritten greetings. If you send Christmas cards, you can take these to another level by incorporating a Christmassy scent.
To do this, don’t drop essential oils directly onto the card. It will be way too strong a smell, and, depending on the card, may affect the appearance by causing staining or perhaps affecting the print or pictures on the card.
Instead, put a few drops of essential oil onto a tissue or cotton wool ball. Then place this with the cards into a sealed bag or box and leave them for a few days so that the cards absorb a subtle scent.
Any Christmas Tree can smell like Christmas!
Personally I think there is nothing like a fresh Christmas Tree for bringing that particular Christmas scent into the home. It is a smell from my childhood and never fails to make me feel like Christmas has arrived!
But if you prefer to use an artificial tree (and there are pros and cons for both types of tree from an ecological standpoint) it can still add to the Christmas aroma.
Simply put a drop of essential oil on a few cotton wool balls and tuck between the branches.
Decorate with Essential Oils!
Depending on the type of decorations you use, you can also add scent to them. Avoid adding essential oils directly onto plastic or painted decorations. The best decorations to use for this are usually those made from wood or fabric – a material that will hold the essential oil more easily. But again, be cautious as some finishes may be affected by the direct use of essential oils.
The best option is to use the same method as suggested above for Christmas cards. Or, thinking ahead, add the tissue or cotton ball with essential oils to the box of decorations when you pack them up at the end of the season so they will have a scent the next time you use them. You can use this method on Christmas Tree decorations in place of the tree method above. Or add scent to decorations used in other areas of the home. Why not add an essential oil to your front door wreath to welcome guests!
Enhance your gifts with Christmas aromas
Wrapping your Christmas gifts in scented paper adds another dimension to your gift giving. Choose a scent to compliment a particular gift, or perhaps choose a “signature scent” to use on all your gifts!
As before it is best to use the “seal and store” method to scent paper to avoid damaging the paper with essential oils, or making the scent too strong.
If you prefer, instead of scenting wrapping paper, you can scent gift bags, ribbon or other trims or other wrapping such as fabric.
Some things to remember about using essential oils –
- Essential oils are very strong, so be cautious about how much you use. For most methods a drop or 2 is more than enough. Remember if you need to you can always add more, but it’s much harder to remove the scent if you overdo it!
- Not everyone experiences aromas the same. Some people are more sensitive or may have allergies or sensitivities or even medical conditions that affect their ability to tolerate scents. Bear this in mind if this applies to anyone in your family or to guests and moderate your essential oil use accordingly. Respect others’ limitations and preferences.
- Consider the total amount of essential oil you are using in your home. If you are using essential oils in several ways around the home, it can really add up! Consider using one method at a time, or reducing the amount of essential oil you use for each method, to keep your use within safe limits and avoid the aroma becoming overpowering.
- Make sure to freshen the air by opening windows and/or doors regularly. This is a benefit for the health generally and also helps to improve the aroma of your essential oils by reducing stale air or older smells.
- If you find you no longer notice the smell of your essential oils (whichever method you are using), don’t assume you need to add more essential oil. When we use the same aroma regularly, we can get used to it and our brain simply doesn’t register it anymore. If you are not sure if an aroma is still noticeable, spend some time out of the space and take notice the smell when you return. Or ask someone who is new to the space for their opinion.