If someone asked you to describe the smells of Christmas, what would you say? The first thing that would probably spring to mind would be the comforting aroma of fragrant spices and citrus fruits such as ginger, cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, orange and mandarin. Maybe you would imagine pine trees and peppermint candy canes, or even the beautiful scents of frankincense and myrrh? Whatever your favourite festive smell, you can easily scent your home with it by making your own potpourri.
All you need to make your own Christmas potpourri is:
Once you've gathered your ingredients, arrange them in a pretty bowl or tray. To make your potpourri more decorative, you could add glitter to the pine cones and leaves, or tie a bunch of cinnamon sticks together with a red ribbon. Once you're happy with your potpourri, sprinkle over a few drops of essential oils to enhance the aroma (you could also add essential oils to wooden potpourri balls and place them among your other ingredients). Whenever the scent of your potpourri starts to fade, simply add a few more drops of essential oils to refresh it!
Have fun mixing and matching different ingredients and essential oils to create your perfect potpourri. Why not make several varieties for different rooms in your home? Make sure you place your potpourri in a safe place where it cannot be reached by children or pets, and as always please check with an aromatherapist if you are unsure of how to use essential oils. I am always happy to offer my advice so please feel free get in touch if you have any questions.
Frankincense has been used for centuries as incense, both in the East and in the West. It is said to be one of the three gifts that were presented to the baby Jesus by the three wise men, along with gold and myrrh. In modern times frankincense is still associated with religion and spirituality; it is often burned in churches, and used as a meditation aid.
Frankincense essential oil is produced from the oleo gum resin of the Boswellia carteri tree, which is native to Somalia. Incisions are made into the bark to produce the resin, which first appears as a milky liquid before solidifying into small amber, orange or brown lumps. Frankincense has a warm, balsamic scent.
The chemical constituents found in frankincense have demonstrated anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antiseptic, astringent, expectorant, sedative, and bronchodilator effects (increases airflow to the lungs). Frankincense was traditionally used in herbal medicine for the treatment of syphilis, rheumatism, respiratory and urinary tract infections, skin diseases, digestive problems, and nervous complaints. Today the essential oil may be helpful for:
Frankincense is associated with the colour violet and the crown chakra. Violet is linked with spirituality, religion, intuition, creativity, inspiration, and mental strength. It is said to be a helpful colour for aiding meditation and psychic ability. Violet helps to calm emotional upsets, and banishes negative thoughts and emotions. An imbalance of the crown chakra may appear as depression, anxiety, self-doubt, boredom, lack of direction, memory loss, or headaches.
Frankincense features in one of my signature Christmas aromatherapy blends, where it is mixed with myrrh and sweet orange to create a relaxing and uplifting effect. This blend is perfect for helping to ease the stresses that come with the festive season, although it would be great to use at any time of the year to bring about a sense of peace and serenity.