common scents: aromatherapy 101

A couple of years ago, I stayed at an Airbnb for a weekend with my best friend.  When I opened the front door to the place, we were immediately greeted by wonderful, subtle yet very present scents. This was no Glade plug-in, artificially sweet, toxic-smelling air freshener – it smelled like a high end spa up in there.  Pleasant notes of lavender and mint followed us from room to room.  “What kind of wizardry is this,” I wondered, as I finally spotted the diffuser gently releasing puffs of perfumed vapor.

When I returned back to the Bay, I jumped on the computer and began researching essential oils.  I ended up buying two diffusers (one for the bedroom and one for our living room), and a slew of oils that I use in various combinations depending on how I’m feeling or what I need that day.  Diffusing is the easiest way to reap the benefits of essential oils, so start there, and you can eventually move on to making your own oil blends that can be used to create custom air fresheners, body lotions, or roll-on perfumes.

 

The Most Essential of Oils

These are my top three must-have oils – they can be used singularly, or in combination with each other to create a relaxing or rejuvenating atmosphere.

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Lavender 

The use of Lavender oils dates back to ancient times, when the Egyptians and Romans used it for bathing, relaxation, cooking, and as perfume.  This is probably the most used essential oil in the world – it’s extremely versatile and has antibacterial properties that aid with treating a multitude of issues, most notably for calming and relaxation.

Benefits include:

  • Enhances calm, can help treat migraines, stress, and tension
  • Helps to induce sleep
  • Repels insects
  • Treatment for acne
  • Pain relief
  • Respiratory disorders
  • Hormonal balance, cramps, urine production

To Use:

  • Diffuse by adding a few drops to a diffuser
  • Make a lavender spray by adding a few drops to water in a spray bottle, then spray your linens and/or closet
  • Dilute with a little bit of fractionated coconut oil to apply topically as a calming salve

If you’re feeling adventurous, try diffusing a few drops of this Calming Blend:  3 drops each of Lavender, Geranium, and Chamomile, plus 2 drops each of Clary Sage and Ylang Ylang essential oils.

 

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Peppermint

This oil is probably the second most used essential oil after Lavender – it is often used as a natural energizer and works well blended with many other oils.  Peppermint is also known as a detoxifying oil, and can also be taken internally (diluted or in a veggie capsule) to aid with an upset stomach.

Benefits of Peppermint oil include:

  • Muscle pain relief
  • Sinus care and aiding general respiratory function
  • Joint therapy
  • Reducing hunger
  • Natural energizer
  • Allergy relief
  • Natural insect repellent
  • Alleviating stomach upset
  • Oral care

To Use:

  • Diffuse by adding a few drops to a diffuser as a natural pick me up
  • Make an energizing spray by adding a few drops to water in a spray bottle, then spray the air
  • Dilute with a little bit of fractionated coconut oil to apply topically as an energizing and invigorating salve for tired muscles
  • Add a drop or two to water to use as an oral rinse

If you’re feeling adventurous, try this Breath Support by blending together 2 drops each of Lavender, Lemon, and Peppermint essential oils to provide allergy relief and general respiratory support.

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Lemon

The bright citrus notes of lemon are both energizing and detoxifying.  Added to a diffuser, lemon can help purify the air.  Lemon essential oil is also often used in non-toxic cleaners for countertops and furniture, but can also be taken internally to help aid in digestion and promote healthy respiratory function.

Benefits of lemon essential oil include:

  • Cleansing and purification of the air and surfaces
  • Naturally cleanses the body
  • Aids in digestion
  • Supports respiratory health
  • Promotes an uplifting, positive mood

To Use:

  • Diffuse by adding a few drops to a diffuser to provide an uplifting atmosphere
  • Make an energizing spray by adding a few drops to water in a spray bottle, then spray the air
  • Dilute with a little bit of fractionated coconut oil to apply topically as an mood-lifting salve
  • Add a drop or two to water to help aid with digestion and cleanse the body

If you’re feeling adventurous, try this Stimulating Blend of 8 drops Grapefruit, 4 drops Lavender, 4 drops Lemon , and 2 drops Basil essential oils in your diffuser.

 

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Where To Buy

Many health food stores carry an array of essential oils, but I found that my favorite oils come from a few sources that mainly sell online.  If you’d rather purchase from a brick-and-mortar store, the brand Aura Cacia is widely available – you can even find them at Target!

Try these sources:

 

Are you into aromatherapy?  Share your favorite oils and blends in the comments below!

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fiendishly fond of cooking, SoulCycle, Pilates, green smoothies, and Korean spas.

One thought on “common scents: aromatherapy 101

  1. Great idea!! I would like to make my own oil extracts and start doing research on how to make them! !Thanks DARLINGBERNA for the inspiration!!

    Like

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