Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Autumn Aromatherapy // What (and What Not) to Do

This guest post was written by Julie Longyear of Blissoma by Irie Star.  Big thanks to Julie for sharing her tips and skills with Bubby and Bean's readers while I'm away in Santa Fe!

A change of seasons brings a fresh feel in the air, a softer color to the light as it's filtered through colored leaves, and a shift in our moods and cravings. The advent of fall also brings a return to work routines and many gatherings, both professional and just for fun. It always seems to go so fast, and you want to treasure each moment of carefree comfort. You can relish sitting on the porch in the evening with just a light jacket, gabbing with friends and stargazing into the cool autumn sky. The only chill you really get is just enough to make an excuse to snuggle closer to your date, who if you're lucky smells a little woodsy.

If you surround yourself with aromas apropos to fall it will help you to create rich, striking memories of this special time. Your sense of smell ties directly into the part of your brain where memories are stored, so it makes a perfect way to enhance your experience of seasonality.  Breathe deeply and you'll smell bonfires, cider, spices, pine needles, butternut squash, a wool scarf snuggled near your face, hay bales, and the slightly cold wet wafting of fallen leaves after rain.  Infuse your life with natural scents and you'll create ties to good memories associated with those smells.

Now is the perfect time to change the scents around you, so let's dig into some "Dos" and "Don'ts" for fall aromatherapy whether you’re at work or play.

DO clean your space. Fall is the perfect chance to throw the windows and doors open wide and refresh before winter sets in. No matter how much you try to cover up residual odors it is no match for a good scrubbing. All too often people try to cover up a stinky mess with a strong, perfumey scent, which is a double faux pas for anyone with a sensitive sniffer. Cross the smell of sweaty socks, aging trash, or mildewed carpet with a tropical fruit candle and everyone will be running the other direction!

Instead refresh your space it the old fashioned way. Wash your fabrics, mop your floors, and clean up any odoriferous messes. Skip the Febreeze, which is loaded with irritating chemicals, and instead use vinegar, baking soda, or your favorite natural cleaning products brand like Better Life or Mrs. Meyers. You can also add a few drops of essential oil to your mop water to provide a gentle clean aroma throughout your space. Consider Marjoram, Rosemary, Cedarwood or Clove oil for freshness.

DO use a simmer pot, natural candles, or make your own natural air freshening mist to scent your air. Cinnamon Leaf, Balsam Peru, Sweet Orange, Allspice, Bay, Nutmeg, and Grapefruit are delightful choices for fall. These aromas are perfect for a rainy evening inside, a dinner party with friends, or a little energy boost at the office. Spice oils have the added benefit of being immune boosting, warming to the body, and anti-microbial too.  10 drops of essential oil added to a small pot of water and warmed on the stove will diffuse a cozy scent throughout your entire house.  Drip 20 drops of essential oil into 4 ounces of water and shake in a sprayer to create a natural air freshening mist. Put a few drops of essential oil in a vial and keep it at your desk. Inhale as needed to beat the midday drowsies and keep the creative juices flowing.

DO burn natural, essential oil candles to create instant ambiance. Choose 100% natural wax and natural scent candles from lines like Blissoma, Neom, and Way Out Wax. From Blissoma, try the Delight, Celebrate, and Harmony scents to set an autumn mood.  From Neom, the Cocooning and Restore will bring a welcoming vibe to your space. And from Way Out Wax, opt for the Cinnamon, Cedarwood, Clove, or Sage aromas.

DO purchase essential oils from reputable online sellers.  The best selection and quality is online, so skip your local health food store and head straight for your laptop.  These lines have what you're looking for – wildcrafted, options for organic oils, rare and special oils, and quality distillations. All the following suppliers sell in retail quantities: Mountain Rose Herbs, Amrita Aromatherapy, Organic Infusions, Doterra Essential Oils, Oshadhi Essential Oils.

DO use signature scent to create a memorable event. Experiment and create your own new blend to be your special party aroma. All your happy moments will be tied to that scent, and when you smell it in the future you’ll be instantly whisked away to remember all that goodness. Many of the essential oil lines above also stock pre-blended oils for ease if you don’t have the time or desire to blend your own.

DON'T overdo it with too much oil. This is powerful stuff, so just a little will do. If you’re at work remain conscious of the people near you and try to keep your scents to more private applications like on a tissue, in a bottle, or diluted for use as a personal perfume.

DON'T use cheap, synthetic, mass market air fresheners, especially if you’re having guests or sharing space with other people at work. Did you know that the irritating ingredients in many synthetic aromas can cause immediate and severe allergic reactions to sensitive individuals? Some people get blinding migraines or even seizures from a whiff of the wrong scent. Keep your air friendly to all by choosing only 100% natural scents.

Using essential oils can allow you to create scents that are more distinctly stylish and "you" - it's the epitome of elegance and personality. I’m told all the time how wonderful my house and clothing smell, and it's all due to essential oils as we are a strictly "No Synthetic" zone.  Once you've detoxed your nose, you'll wonder why you ever thought that Glade candle was a good idea! 

Here's hoping you enjoy all that fall has to offer, and make it memorable with just the right aromatherapy for every occasion.

Many thanks again to Julie for this helpful and inspiring post.  I'm excited to try autumn aromatherapy in my home this season!  Make sure you take a peek at Julie's shop, Blissoma by Irie Star - she makes deliciously scented aromatherapy candles, natural skincare products, and more (and is also a frequent sponsor here at Bubby and Bean).  You can also find Julie on Facebook, Twitter, and her blog.  Today is also the last day to enter Julie's Giveaway  for a chance to win a $90 natural skincare package.  I'll be back tomorrow!  xo, melissa


  1. Great tips!!! I've never done aromatherapy but it sounds like a great way to celebrate the season!!

  2. Thank you for sharing your scent secrets with us! I have often wanted to delve into the world of essential oils but have always been timid due to lack of knowledge. Now I feel like I can fill my home with the scents of the season without overpowering my senses!

  3. I'm looking forward to trying this out. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Thank you for reading! I hope the tips serve you well, especially the referrals to good suppliers. There are too many amazing oils out there to just settle on the typical lines at stores, which are not the best quality. I very much hope everyone will be adventurous and give these other indie suppliers a try. I don't think you'll be sad you did. :) love!

  5. Thanks for these tips. We just learned about aromatherapy in my complementary and alternative medicines class.

    <3 Melissa

  6. These are wonderful tips for infusing fall with memorable scents. I am so grateful for the reminder to use our sense of smell to enhance memories. Just the other day I caught a waft of that beautiful fall scent--the drying leaves and the pine trees mingling together. I smiled, stopped, and sniffed again. My son was impatient to keep moving, but I stayed in that one spot until I could smell it no longer. I LOVE FALL!!!


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