I recently attended a class about essential oils hosted by a doTERRA representative. Both my husband and I grew up with a moderate exposure to essential oils, and though some people go a bit overboard in my opinion, I think there can be some extreme health benefits as well as olfactory pleasure to using them. With just two different oils (peppermint and wild sweet orange), lately we’ve had some pretty big success in helping cure allergies in our eyes/nose/throat. I am usually a skeptic of some of these natural cures, but in the words of a dear friend who experienced the same immediate allergy relief, “What is this sorcery?!?!” It seriously works, and works fast. It’s definitely something I want to keep pursuing, so I’m sure you will see more posts about essential oils in the future. Apparently there is a huge rivalry between doTERRA and Young Living (two large essential oil companies); it seems to me like both companies produce quality product, and the differences are minuscule. Have any of you had any experience with either of these brands, or any others? Any strong opinions?
One of the big reasons that essential oils are attractive to me is because both my husband and I are practically deathly allergic to most artificial scents. Perfume, body spray, scented lotions, cologne, strong smelling hairspray, scented candles, febreeze (ohh febreeze will make me sick), and even some dried potpourri. This is quite inconvenient at times, but in the end I’m a pretty firm believer that those artificial fragrances can’t be too good for your smeller or skin anyway.
Yet this is not to say that my house can’t use a bit of a freshening up at times. I love using essential oils as fragrance, so I figured why not use it to give my home a little olfactory flavor? Fresh citrus and dried herbs also give off some deliciously light and robust scents, as well as common baking spices and vanilla extract. I also love having herbs and plants growing around my home, which also provide a natural air filter; below are my three plants I haven’t killed yet, in the one window that I can get some good sun (two orchids and a Christmas cactus).
The next step for home fragrance is of course the how. How do you propagate these wafts into your living space without doing a continual rain dance with a grapefruit peel, dropping bay leaves into your couch, or spending $150 for an essential oil diffuser?
I’ve heard of a couple different ways to do this; some have you mix concoctions on the stove and let it simmer, but I would probably forget it on, ruin my pan, and burn my house down. Some put it in a spray bottle to mist the air with, but then I find the scent doesn’t last very long.
Enter a handy dandy mug warmer/wax melter. This little treasure is not only great for keeping a huge cuppa warm at your desk, but it’s also perfect for steaming up some natural fragrances. It usually has one setting, but it’s not hot enough to actually do any damage unless you leave it on for like a week.
(Something like this)
So, this process is pretty simple:
1) Fill a little glass bowl that fits on top with water.
2) Add a couple drops of essential oil, a lemon peel,
a dash of cinnamon, etc. and let the warmer do it’s magic!
3) Replenish the bowl with water as needed (usually
once a day) until the scent is boiled out. Depending on your
ingredients, it should last you at least 4-5 days.
Since most artificial fragrances are chemically based, they are going to last much longer than natural scents. They can adhere to the air particles and objects in your home for a greater period of time; so doing it the natural way won’t necessarily last very long after you turn off the warmer.
Some great “recipes” I’ve gleaned are as follows:
– Evergreen sprig, dash of cinnamon, bay leaf
– Sliced grapefruit, drop of vanilla, dash of nutmeg
– Sliced limes, mint leaves, rosemary sprig
– Orange, ginger root, almond extract
Play around, and see what you come up with! You can either assemble them as necessary, or you can also freeze them in glass jars and take them out as needed.