Thursday, November 15, 2012

Scents of the Season

O Christmas Tree: Evoking the Scents of the Season Via Evergreen and Conifer Oils
By Christi R. Pugh
For Nature’s Gift Aromatherapy

The question we most often hear this time of year is: which of your Conifer (evergreen) oils is MOST like the aroma of a Christmas tree? It is always hard to answer because depending on where you live different types of Conifers are traditionally used as Christmas trees, so the scent you are expecting can vary a bit. 

 For holiday time Marge prefers our Balsam Fir, the Christmas Tree of her New England childhood.  I am drawn more to Fir Grande and I suspect if you grew up in the West, you may feel more connected to the White Fir. (Our White Fir EO is produced from recycled Christmas trees!)  We also offer a wide range of Evergreens: Balsam Fir, Scotch Pine, Maritime (Sea) Pine, Cypress, Juniper, Atlas Cedar leaf, and Pinon Pine.  (Check out our new Pinon Pine Hydrosol!)

A neat trick Marge came up with if you are using an artificial holiday tree, is to fill one of the little terra cotta clay pots with the conifer of your choice and hide it in the branches of the tree.  Your home is then filled with the Christmas tree aroma via the essential oil in the clay pot—a suitable illusion to set the mood.  I like to put these little clay pots in the closet, laundry room, and other areas of my home, too.

Black Spruce ( Picea mariana)-Marge says this is the scent of the New England mountains, refreshing and uplifting.

Cedar leaf, Atlas (cedrus atlanticus)-Lush and green aroma invoking deep mountainous woods.  Distilled from the needles.

Cypress (Cupressus sempervirens)-Fresh, green, and exhilarating. From young green tips and needles. Although our Cypress Oil comes from France, Cypress trees grow through out the midSouth and are a familiar sight here in middle Tennessee.

Fir, Balsam (Abies balsamea Canadensis) –Another special evergreen from Canada, from the needles of trees often used as Christmas trees in the Northeast and New England. More grounding and centering than some of the other Conifer oils.

Fir, Grande (Abies grandis)-Huge and full, rich and woodsy with a bit of tang! Stimulating and might be helpful for raising one’s spirit.

Fir, White (Abies concolor)-Christi’s favorite, from a high mountainous area in the Southwestern USA, clear, clean and crisp woodsy-ness.  (Artisan produced from fallen needles and recycled Christmas trees.) Evokes a feeling of freedom, may help reduce stress and tension.
Juniper Hi Altitude (Juniperus communis)-Fresh, bright, and cleansing aroma.  Suggested for use in meditation or centering prayer to clear the room or any space.  Christi has recently fallen in love with this oil describing it as bringing clearness yet fullness to a space, as if sensing one’s guardian angel or a loving embrace. 
Larch Needle (Larix laricina)-Our newest addition to our line-up of Conifers, Larch is the lightest, gentlest, and sweetest of these oils and is NOT an evergreen.  The oil is distilled from light, feathery needles, which drop each autumn.  Relaxing, said to stimulate creativity and intuition.

Pine, Maritime (Sea) (Pinus pilaster)-Marge says, “Somehow this oil from trees growing on the Mediterranean coast brings the sea to mind.  When I close my eyes I can visualize the scrubby pine trees that struggled against the ocean winds on my beloved Cape Cod and Christi says she can visualize the same trees from her travels to the Isle of Patmos, Greece.”

Pine, Pinon (Pinus edulis)-Ethically Wildcrafted from an artisan distiller in the Southwest from fallen needles and twigs.  Energizing, cleansing, spiritually uplifting and inspiring.

Pine, Scotch (Pinus sylvestris)-There are many inferior Scotch Pine specimens on the market and if you’ve never experienced a Scotch Pine to your liking or only think of it as a “bathroom cleaner,” then this is the oil to give it another try!  Organic, French, from needles, it is said to be helpful for physical, mental, and emotional exhaustion, as well as a feeling of hopelessness or despair.  Marge describes the aroma as, “heady, the freedom of mountain tops!”
As you can see, there are many varieties of conifers.  If one doesn’t speak to you immediately from our descriptions, request a sample the next time you order.  Inspired by the glorious pine, I gathered pinecones and needles throughout my neighborhood and filled a festive basket for my porch this season.  My secret weapon for scenting is a little terra cotta pot with Pinon Pine and Balsam Fir, evoking Christmas memories and joy, each time I pass by. 

Another suggestion...  add a few drops of your favorite conifer oil to the individual cones.  I'm told this will add to the delight of a warm fire if you use the scented cones as firestarters, but I've not tried this yet.

Note:  Our terra cotta clay pots are sold out and we’ve been unable to source more at this time.  However, I am wondering if the little refill pads for the car scenter could be used hidden in an artificial tree or a basket like I mentioned above, at the least for a bit of ambience nearby. 

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

As an alternative to a pad from a diffuser, the "scent wicks" sold to hunters work well. Cabela's sells these wicks, but check your local hunting & fishing store too. Here is an example: http://www.cabelas.com/catalog/product.jsp?productId=745348 Another alternative is the thick "Pellon" padding used in suit jackets or some craft projects. It can be found at many fabric stores.

Sarah Jane said...

All those oils you listed are really calling to me right now. I really love woodsy smells lately!