INHALE: Scents of the season

OK, so maybe I lied. I hinted in this very blog just a few short weeks ago that autumn was my favorite fragrant time of the year. But I was being so good at staying in the present moment that I forgot all about the wonderful scents of the holiday season!

Truly, the approaching holiday gets me giddy with the prospect of being able to regale you with information on two of my very favorite essential oils: frankincense and myrrh. Both are steam-distilled from gum resins exuded by trees, and were highly sought-after commodities in ancient southern Arabia. Frankincense and myrrh were used so widely as medical treatments that supplies couldn't keep pace, driving cost up and making the resins as valuable as gold (hence, the well-known Christmas Biblical reference).

For topical skin care, the essential oil of frankincense is considered antiseptic, astringent and tonic, while myrrh is believed to revitalize aging skin. When inhaled, both are thought to be helpful for the lungs during cold season, regulating excess mucous. And energetically, both resonate with the crown chakra, creating an atmosphere of deep relaxation and spirituality~~perfect for special ritual use.

Two other oils that come to the front of my essential oil toolbox (yes, it's really a Craftsman toolbox~~it was the most practical thing I could find to hold my stash) are balsam fir and pine needle. Both are steam-distilled from the leaves and twigs of evergreens, and they're so nice to use to scent the house during this time of year. I put a few drops in the pot of water on top of our wood stove and I don't miss not having a fresh Christmas tree (no more dried needles to pick up or worries over keeping it watered!). These aromas are crisp, clean and stimulating to the mind, while their actions are thought to be antiseptic~~another good reason to have them handy during the cold winter months.

Does all this talk of essential oils have you intrigued? I'm planning an aromatherapy basics workshop for later this winter, so visit my website homepage, then scroll down and sign up for my email list. You'll get a recipe for a great way to use essential oils, plus I'll keep you informed of this and other upcoming doings. And I don't spam ;)

To be clear,  there is no such thing as cranberry (or strawberry, or banana ...) essential oil . But just looking at this picture reminds me of the amazing scents of holiday baking. And isn't it just pretty? :)

To be clear, there is no such thing as cranberry (or strawberry, or banana ...) essential oil. But just looking at this picture reminds me of the amazing scents of holiday baking. And isn't it just pretty? :)

Take care with using oils topically. They should always be diluted first, and spot tested to observe your reaction.