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The festive fragrances to fill your home with – or gift – this Christmas


By Louise Slyth
06th Dec 2021
The festive fragrances to fill your home with – or gift – this Christmas

You might already be writing your Christmas to-do and shopping lists. Perhaps you already feel frazzled at the prospect of peeling a mountain of potatoes, or you are panicking about what to buy awkward auntie Deirdre.

I have one word for you that will dissipate your worries, soothe your troubled head and solve all your Christmas shopping dilemmas – aromatherapy.

Aromatherapy is a popular holistic therapy, and while practitioners suggest it can be used to address physical, mental and emotional ailments, it’s also just a lovely way to relax and create a beautiful ambience for your home. Essential oils affect our mood more profoundly than any synthetic perfume or candle. Here are my top five picks to use during the festive period.

Cinnamon

Nothing invokes the feeling of Christmas like cinnamon. As well as a pleasing aroma that revives the mind, cinnamon has a warming quality and is said to ward off headaches, colds and flu.

Frankincense

Frankincense is often used in incense and has religious connotations. It’s a wonderful oil to promote a sense of calm and confidence and is ideal for those suffering from stress or burnout. It’s a more masculine scent, so is a nice one to blend with florals like rose or geranium. Plus, if its good enough for baby Jesus…

Ginger

Warming and stimulating, ginger is a great winter spice that boosts circulation and digestion. Ginger helps combat travel sickness and morning sickness – a couple of drops on a tissue or a roll-on popped in your handbag can be a lifesaver. It’s also a great oil for those who suffer from seasonal affected disorder.

Sweet orange

Joyful orange will lift and soothe you – it’s a great oil to encourage optimism, lift low mood, and generally create a sunny atmosphere. It is calming, balancing and helps tackle insomnia. Orange is often used in face creams as vitamin C is great for the skin, but caution should be taken when using orange as it can cause sensitivity.

Juniper

The ultimate pick-me-up, Juniper has been used in herbal medicines for centuries, and of course, is well-known these days as a gin ingredient. Juniper is beneficial for the digestive system, it detoxifies and cleanses the body after rich food or excessive alcohol, so is perfect when you have overindulged. It’s ideal for meditating and is a great essential oil for post-party heads…

How to use

There are myriad ways to use essential oils, but for that cosy Christmas feeling, I use an oil burner. You can create your own signature scent using a few drops of your favourite oils. A blend I often turn to is orange, frankincense and bergamot – it’s soothing and uplifting at the same time.

Whilst it’s possible to produce your own body or massage oil by adding a few drops to carrier oils like almond or jojoba, beginners might prefer to buy off the shelf – Neal’s Yard do a great selection.

Worth knowing

To get the most from essential oils, be sure to store them away from heat and light and keep away from naked flames. Store out of the reach of small children. Never digest oils, and never apply directly onto the skin. If you are pregnant, seek the advice of a qualified aromatherapist.

Aromatherapy gift ideas

Candles
Perfect for creating that festive ambience, it’s a rare woman who doesn’t love a luxury candle…

Pillow mist
Give the gift of a great night’s sleep with Neal’s Yard relaxing pillow mist. Ideal for a secret Santa or that awkward relative who has everything.

Bath oil
Voya’s bath oil is not only luxurious, but is Irish made, cruelty free, sustainably sourced and organic. A gift with a conscience.

Roll-ons
Perfect as a stocking filler or to pop in your bag when you are on the go. I love Yogandha’s roll-ons as they are handmade in Ireland, vegan and 5% of the profits go to charity.

Oil burners
Old school – an attractive oil burner is a great addition to any home. I have several dotted around the place and I find that classic oil burners create a stronger smelling blend, which is ideal for people who might want to use it to mask the smell of smoking or pets. Add a couple of drops of two or three oils and you are good to go.

Diffusers
I love a diffuser because I can leave it on without worrying – it automatically switches off if it runs out of water, and the large tank means you can go a whole day without topping it up – perfect if you are entertaining.

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