Christmas is a time when we fill our homes with candles, pot pourri and other festive aromas. But as well as smelling nice, fragrances have other benefits for our minds, bodies and environments. Nicola Elliott is an essential oils expert and founder of all-natural wellbeing brand Neom Organics. Here, she reveals the twelve key scents to keep you calm, happy and energised throughout the season.
“Cinnamon evokes warm memories of Christmas. It’s very calming, so it’s great to treat nervous exhaustion if you’ve had a hectic year! Because it’s a warming oil, cinnamon is also good in treating things like nausea or an upset stomach.”
“Myrrh by itself can be quite smoky and bitter, so try mixing it with other woody notes like frankincense and something citrusy. Woody essential oils are very grounding and are good for emotional stability. Myrrh is also a brilliant antibacterial.”
“Tonka bean is the cousin of the soya bean. It’s a beautiful sweet fragrance and it reminds me of Christmas cakes baking in the oven. Tonka bean is a good alternative to vanilla: it’s calming but it’s also a natural aphrodisiac, so watch out!”
“Lavender is the most flexible oil. It’s fantastic for insomnia and destressing in general and can also help with anxiety and depression. Lavender is a great natural antiseptic and can be used on skin for scrapes and burns. A first aid kit must-have.”
“Ginger is good for mental and emotional health, including anxiety. It’s also good for upset stomachs, nausea, flu and coughs as it has anti-inflammatory properties. A good all-rounder to have on hand during the winter weather.”
“Very ‘Christmas’ but with fresh Nordic undertones, especially when paired with woodier notes like myrrh. Pine is very uplifting so it’s great for when you’re feeling fatigued. It’s also good for coughs and colds and is said to help boost your metabolism.”
“Lime is a very refreshing and uplifting oil. A great one to use if you’re feeling tired or run-down as it can help detoxify and boost your immune system. Lime is also a great mood enhancer and can help to boost your emotional outlook.”
“Lemon is an uplifting and purifying scent. It’s one of the best mood enhancers and can make you feel more alert, assertive and spiritually aware. You can do so much with lemon oil; it’s great for putting in your diffuser or bath oil.”
Mood boosting scents
“I love mandarin, it’s a very flexible oil. It’s a good one to use if you’re feeling a bit low. It helps relieve stress and brings a real sense of joy if you’re feeling overworked, tired or just a bit ‘blah’. It’s also said to be great for creativity.“
“Clove has a whole range of wellbeing benefits. From an emotional point of view it’s a very powerful scent and can help to raise confidence. It also has healing properties and can be used on sore gums and teeth.”
“The ultimate Christmas scent. It has woody, earthy notes and is also very powerful and protective. It’s an oil that you would use if you were going through a tough time or even trauma. I would say it’s the ultimate grounding, healing oil.”
“Another wonder oil. Vanilla has the ability to calm and uplift you at the same time – a bit like chocolate! It also works as an antioxidant and an aphrodisiac. At Christmas I like to blend it with spices and fruity notes like mandarin and cedarwood.”
This article was first published in Mindful Christmas issue 1. Featured image by Unsplash/Hannah Balan.