Aromatherapy and Mood

aromatherapy and mood

Harnessing the power of smell is a useful ability for those who want to encourage the predominance of certain emotions, reduce negative feelings or perhaps fill their homes with a certain "scent sense." Using essential oils is a natural way to do this – avoiding the cheap, manufactured and artificial smells of air fresheners.

Different Vaporizers

There are various options available to create scents around the house. The traditional method is an oil burner and there are various different types available to suit different d├ęcor schemes. The basic concept is a basin to contain the oil, with a space for a candle or tealight beneath. It is a good idea to look for an oil burner with a deep reservoir which can hold a decent amount of water; otherwise the burner risks running dry or needing constant top-ups. For the same reason, having a good space between the candle and the basin makes sense.

Another option is the electric vaporizer, which uses either a heated dish or, more usually, a fan to distribute the scent. Although more expensive than the traditional burners, the electric vaporizer does serve a good purpose. It can, for instance, be left without the supervision required when using candles and without needing to check the reservoir frequently. It is also suitable for use in the bedroom, particularly a child or infirm person’s room, without the hazard of candle use.

How to Diffuse the Scents

For both types of vaporizer, the amount of oil required should be enough to allow a pleasing scent, without heaviness. For a small room, perhaps using three or four drops would be sufficient, whereas a larger room could perhaps take seven or eight. It is always better to err on the side of caution – using fewer drops initially which can always be added to. For a traditional oil burner, the reservoir should be filled with water and the drops of essential oil added. For the electric type, the oil should be added according to the instructions, which usually suggest dropping it on to the ceramic pad or soft padded, removable base.

Which Oil?

Deciding which oils to use is very much a personal choice, depending on how each individual responds to the smell and how people want the scent to function. For example, during the day, a fresh lemon oil in a burner on a kitchen windowsill infuses the room with a clean and uplifting fragrance. Emotionally, it can reduce sensitivity in people, so it's a good one to use if there are touchy or moody children in the house! In the evening, however, it would be better to choose a different oil, perhaps one to distress or relax.

Oils to Uplift or Calm the Spirits

There are many oils that can induce a feeling of wellbeing and refresh the spirit. Lemon, as already mentioned, but orange, bergamot, grapefruit, palmarosa, geranium and eucalyptus are also good choices. Oils can also be used to calm and relax, releasing tension and inducing meditative states. Oils with these effects include marjoram, lavender, ylang ylang, frankincense and Roman chamomile. Oils can be blended to create a tailored fragrance to match an individual’s emotional needs, developing a synergy oil. In general, essential oils are delineated by whether they have "top," "middle" or "base" notes and a good blend should include an element of each.

The use of essential oils is an ancient art. Using the scents appropriately can help to create or enhance both individual emotions and those of the home.

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