November can be a difficult time of the year, with the summer firmly behind us and weeks still to go before Christmas and the countdown to spring. Sunshine can be in short supply, and it’s hard to get out in the fresh air with the days so short. Most of us spend much of our time indoors, and the grey, drizzly weather can be a bit demotivating.
Aromatherapy is the art of using plant extracts and oils materials to help heal and relax and adding an uplifting scent to your home can be surprisingly effective. Not only will scented oils help a shut-up winter home to smell fresh, they can also help to energise and motivate. Using summery floral oils will help re-capture the scent of summer, which other oils have specific properties. Here are our suggestions:
1. Rosemary: the sharp, distinctive scent of rosemary stimulates the brain, clears away winter cobwebs and will send you right back to the scent of the garden in high summer
2. Lemon and orange: Citrus oils have an uplifting effect and can help reduce stress. Plus, they make your house smell gorgeous!
3. Lavender: One of the best known and widely used essential oils, lavender is a great mood booster and has a relaxing effect. Perfect for use in the bathroom.
4. Thyme: The essential oil of thyme is another stress-easer. It’s ideal for use in the kitchen as, unlike floral oils, it doesn’t ‘fight’ with cooking smells.
How to use essential oils in your home
Essential oil varies greatly in quality, so always buy a reputable brand for the best results. Add a few drops of oil to an oil burner to release scents into your home.
Alternatively, if you have an AGA cooker you can put a few tablespoons of water and a few drops of oil into a little bowl and leave it at the back of the AGA to scent your kitchen – keep topping the water up, though, as it will evaporate quickly.
You can also use scented candles, an attractive and atmospheric way of releasing scents. Here are our picks:
1. Lemon and lime mojito flamingo candle, Lime Lace
Lemon and lime mojito candle, £12
The name of this candle alone will cheer you up! The aroma incorporates notes of freshly squeezed juicy lemons combined with warm orchids, infused with fresh lime with added notes of cool aldehydes, mandarin and grapefruit. The perfect mood booster. £12 from Lime Lace.
2. Eucalyptus candle, Sophie Allport
Eucalyptus candle, £20
This luxury candle is made using high quality mineral wax to achieve a long, clean and even burn for up to 40 hours.
Eucalyptus oil can help relieve headaches and calm nervous tension, but it’s an intense fragrance that some may find overpowering in the home. This candle will release a softer, more aromatic scent that will freshen and uplift without being too powerful. £20 from Sophie Allport.
3. Grapefruit triple wick candle, Skeem
Grapefruit candle, £29.95
This grapefruit zest three wick candle from Skeem’s Voyage collection bursts with delicious tangy and energising citrus notes.
It has an 80 hour burn time and features beautiful illustrations by 19th century explorers which were used to document the many species of insect and marine life discovered on their travels, sometimes layered with maps, charts, early postcards and other ephemera. £29.95 from Annabel James.
4. Bee Calm scented candle, Bee Fayre
Lavender and geranium candle, £8.50
This natural plant wax candle is made with essential oils of lavender and geranium to promote tranquility and harmony. It burns for approximately 25 hours and is made using sustainably sourced, natural ingredients. Bee Fayre donates 3% of profits to bee conservation projects across the country. £8.50 from Berry Red.
By Sara Walker