Scents of Christmas

Christmas is a time for sparkling lights, family gatherings and the joy of giving and receiving presents. It can also be a hectic and stressful time. Add some calm with some of the welcoming scents traditionally associated with Christmas by diffusing essential oils. Use these safe and natural essences to create gorgeous aromas and to restore a sense of peace and relaxation.

Some essential oil suggestions

Pine (Pinus sylvestris)
The scent of pine is associated with Christmas for obvious reasons. Diffusing this oil will give your home that fresh, invigourating Christmas tree aroma.

Pine essential oil is strongly antiseptic and is fabulously useful during the cold and ‘flu season. Diffusing this oil can help to stop the spread of infection, helps clear sinus congestion and is a tonic for the immune system.

Pine essential oil, with its a fresh, green clear aroma is mentally and emotionally uplifting and is very useful for easing nervous exhaustion and stress. It is a strengthening and grounding oil.

Cinnamon Leaf (Cinnamomum zeylanicum)
Cinnamon Leaf with its spicy, warm aroma is strongly associated with Christmas. The smell of Cinnamon provides a wonderfully cosy feeling, which is ideal during this cold winter weather.

Beyond it’s festive aroma Cinnamon Leaf essential oil has many benefits, including being antibacterial, antiviral and a digestive stimulant. Mentally, Cinnamon Leaf essential gives you a boost when you’re exhausted and instills warmth and energy.

Cinnamon is one of the key ingredients in mulled wine and cider. Whether you are a fan of these or not, the aroma of cinnamon is bound to add a bit of spice and warmth to your Christmas celebrations.

Caution: Cinnamon Leaf essential oil is preferred over Cinnamon Bark or Bud as the latter two are severe skin irritants.

Frankincense (Boswellia carterii)
Frankincense with its resinous, rich, sweet, woody and slightly lemony aroma, has been used in religious ceremonies since ancient Egyptian times. As one of the gifts from the three wise men to baby Jesus, Frankincense has a long history with Christmas.

As well as being burned as incense for religious ceremonies, frankincense has long been used to treat a number of different ailments. This lovely essential oil stimulates and boosts the immune system, making it ideal for helping to prevent sickness during the festivities.

Frankincense has wonderfully calming and centering action on the mind and is great for reducing all that anxiety and stress that can come with those Christmas preparations. Using it in your diffuser or burner brings serenity and calmness for over-excited children and adults alike.

Myrrh (Commiphora molmol)
Myrrh has a balsamic, bitter, resinous, rich and spicy aroma; a bit similar to that of Frankincense. As with Frankincense, Myrrh was seen as being highly valuable in ancient times. This was the other essential oil gifted by the three wise men to Jesus. And, like Frankincense, Myrrh was burned as incense in houses of worship – often with Frankincense – during religious ceremonies.

Myrrh essential oil boosts the immune and digestive systems. It has a centering action on the mind which helps to stop overthinking and worry. It brings clarity and a deep senso of peace.

Coupled together, Frankincense and Myrrh make a lovely combination for Christmas time.

Clove (Syzgium aromaticum)
Derived from the flower buds of an evergreen tree, cloves have a long history of use, dating back thousands of years. Wars were fought in Europe to secure this extremely profitable spice!

Whether added to mulled wine, or used to make apple pies, cloves are one of the classic Christmas spices. Clove essential oil’s spicy, warm and pungent aroma brings depth to any Christmas aromatic blend. This essential oil can help to prevent colds and flu, eases respiratory and sinus problems and is a digestive stimulant.

It re-energises and uplifts you mentally and is emotionally warming and comforting. The classic blend of Clove and Sweet Orange oil diffused in your home creates an instantly cheering effect, creating a lovely welcoming atmosphere for your Christmas celebrations.

Clove has a minor anaesthetic effect and is know used for its ability to help with toothache (as a temporary measure only – go to a dentist as soon as possible).

Sweet Orange (Citrus sinensis)
Oranges and clementines have a strong association with Christmas. Christmas happens during the ctrus season in Europe and traditionally people put clementines in Christmas stockings – a tradition that is still observed by many today.

All of the spice oils have quite strong aromas and you don’t need to very much of them to fill a room. So the uplifting and refreshing aroma of Sweet Orange essential oil is the perfect choice to blend with any of the richer spice essential oils.

Sweet Orange paired with the rich scent of Clove Leaf or Cinnamon essential oil creates a wonderful scent for Christmas. This oil has anti-oxidant, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Sweet Orange with its sweet and light and sun-shiney essence will help reduce stress and lift your mood. It also has a sedative effect, so you may want to try diffusing a blend of 1 drop of Frankincense and 2 drops of Sweet Orange to help excited kids fall asleep on Christmas Eve!

Ginger (Zingiber officinalis)
Another key flavour of the Christmas kitchen, Ginger essential oil is also perfect for helping you get over any slumps in energy during the festivities.

In aromatherapy, the essential oil is considered as a tonic of the nerves, making is great for physical exhaustion and mental fatigue. It’s also supportive for the digestive and circulatory systems.

Psychologically, Ginger essential oil stimulates the mind and has a comforting, warming and uplifting effect on the emotions. This warming, sweet and spicy oil is helpful when tiredness is making you indecisive or demotivated, as it restores clarity, and brings strength and determination. It’s best used in combination with other oils such as Frankincense or Sweet Orange.

Atlas Cedarwood (Cedrus atlantica)
Valued by the ancient Egyptians as an incense and perfume, Atlas Cedarwood has a rich, sweet and woody aroma. It’s a wonderful aroma to diffuse in your home throughout the entire winter season.

Atlas Cedarwood is a good general tonic and is strongly antibacterial and anti-infectious. It also helps breaks down mucous, which makes it useful for chronic chesty coughs.

Its tenacious aroma has an uplifting, yet calming and grounding effect on the mind, helping relieve anxiety and calm fear or irritation.

Cypress (Cupressus sempervirens)
The fresh, piney sweet scent of Cypress makes it a wonderful oil for your diffuser at Christmas. The ancient Greeks loved this oil for its comforting smell and its ability to clear the mind and senses.

Cypress is a decongestant, is antibacterial and acts as a sedative to the respiratory nerve endings. The diffused essential oil helps clear blocked sinuses and soothe spasmodic coughs.

Mentally and emotionally, Cypress essential oil is steadying and strengthening, instilling positivity and relaxing the mind.

Some blends to try

The magic of Christmas

  • 3 drops of Frankincense
  • 2 drops of Myrrh
  • 5 drops of Orange

Christmas cheer

  • 4 drops of Orange
  • 1 drops of Cinnamon
  • 2 drops of Clove

Scents of Christmas

  • 2 drops of Pine
  • 2 drops of Orange
  • 1 drop of Cinnamon

Foray into the Forest

  • 4 drops of Cedarwood
  • 3 drops of Pine
  • 2 drops of Black Spruce

If you have an artificial Christmas tree, you can dd a touch of nature to it with this essential oil blend:

Christmas tree blend

  • 3 drops of Pine
  • 4 drops of Cypress
  • 2 drops of Cedarwood
  • 1 drop of Frankincense

You can use this blend in your diffuser. Or get six cotton wool balls and place 4 to 6 drops of the blend on each ball. Then hide the cotton balls in the tree’s container or on the Christmas tree itself. Make sure they’re out of reach of any curious small people or cats.

Some important words of caution

Essential oils need to be diluted in a base cream or carrier oil before being applied to the skin. Up to 6 drops in total can be added to a very warm bath. Wait until the bath is ready and at your desired temperature before adding your blend of essential oils. Stir the water vigorously to ensure the oils are well dispersed. With aromatherapy, less is often more when working with pure undiluted essential oils.

Always keep essential oils of out the reach of children. Do not ingest essential oils. Keep them away from your eyes and mouth.

If you are under medical supervision or on medication, please consult with your medical team before using aromatherapy essential oils.

And finally

This time of year usually brings an increase in coughs, colds and flu. The good news is that all of the oils mentioned above have powerful anti-bacterial, antiseptic and antiviral properties. So, along with making your home smell delicious, they will help to protect you and yours from all those wintery bugs.

Whatever you plan to do at Christmas, put your essential oils to use to support your self-care and the care of your loved ones during the festivities.

Have a happy, peaceful, fun and aromatic Christmas!