Holiday Essential Oils

Holiday essential oils cinnamon decoration

By Mark Piatt

Updated on February 24, 2020

Essential Oils For The Holidays

Family traditions focused around the holidays do not only include the sights and sounds, but also the smells.  And I am a big fan of the holidays and making my home smell absolutely delightful.

When we think of the holidays, one of the first things that probably comes to mind is the wonderful fragrances and aromas.  The smell of peppermint candy, the rich fragrance of the freshly cut Christmas tree, and the powerful aroma of the recently baked cookies, mmmm.  And for many people, citrus-based candles have long been traditional gifts for the Christmas stocking. 

Of all our senses, smell is probably the one that affects our emotions and memory the most.  As it turns out, it may not all be just in our heads.  Research has shown that there may be real-world benefits to many of these aromas.  These fragrances bring comfort to us, are fun, and bring back many terrific childhood memories.  All this from just a whiff of goodness.  Using essential oils, you can fill your home with all your favorite holiday scents not just during the holiday season, but any time of the year. 

Everyone may have different aromas they associate with the holidays, but many are universal.  Many of these aromas can be brought into your home with essential oils.  Let us start examining some of the natural aromas we can experience during the holidays or any time of the year using essential oils.


Information provided in this description is for educational purposes only.  For possible treatments of physical or mental diseases, please seek a trained and licensed health professional.  Enchanted Aromatics is not responsible for any adverse side effects resulting from the use of any suggestions, products, preparations, or procedures mentioned or from following historical uses of essential oils.

Holiday Essential Oils – The Christmas Tree

Holiday essential oils - christmas trees with decorationsThe fragrance of a freshly cut Christmas tree is a strong, pleasing smell and can be very uplifting.  When we think of the Christmas tree, we think of the rich aromas of pine, balsam, and spruce, amongst many other varieties of evergreen trees.  This is the same woodsy fragrance you get when walking through an evergreen forest during the summer months, especially after a fresh rain. 

Unfortunately, many people no longer get to experience this wonderful aroma because so many people have switched to artificial trees.  There is a huge industry to try and mimic this fragrance that is now missing from many of our lives.  Candle makers and air freshener companies attempt to mimic this fragrance.  Even those little air fresheners shaped like a pine tree that you hang in your car have become popular.  Most of these items use artificial aromas that in no way compare with the real thing

The closest you will get to the real thing are essential oils since they are derived from the actual tree.  Some of the more popular holiday essential oils include spruce, fir needle, pine needle, cypress, juniper, and even cedar.  If you are missing the aromas of the Christmas tree in your home, or if you just want to bring in the fresh smell of the mountains into your home, try these essential oils, you may be pleasantly surprised.  You can use them in a diffuser or sprinkle a few drops here and there. 

Spruce essential oil Who does not enjoy the invigorating aroma when walking in a spruce tree forest?  This smell brings back the wonderful memories I have while camping in the mountains as a child.  Spruce essential oil is used in the soap, perfume, and air freshener industries because of its fresh, warm, and inviting smell.  The oil is steam distilled directly from the needles and twigs.

As an added benefit, this aroma has calming effects, can ease stress and anxiety, and is considered a favorite in various meditation rituals because of its grounding effects.  The aroma of spruce essential oil is excellent for uplifting the ambiance of any space.

When used for aromatherapy, spruce essential oil is generally considered to be safe with no known side effects. 

Fir Needle essential oil you know what the fresh balsamic uplifting scent of a beautiful fir needle forest smells like.  Imagine that smell in a bottle.  This is an excellent essential for not only adding the holiday spirit to your home but also for masking bad odors.  The oil is steam distilled directly from the needles.

This essential oil has long been used in the production of various beauty products including bath oils, perfumes, and the air freshener industry.

The aroma from fir needle essential oil tends to be a little more subtle compared to other pine essential oils.

As an added benefit, because of its balsamic qualities, when used in a diffuser, the vapors can open the sinus and breathing passages and can deepen breathing.

A word of caution: Be aware that some unscrupulous sellers may adulterate their fir needle essential oil with turpentine, camphene, and other chemicals to increase profits.

When used for aromatherapy, spruce essential oil is generally considered to be safe with no known side effects.

Pine Needle essential oil This essential oil is derived from the needles of the Pine Tree, which covers several different species.  When thinking of a Christmas tree, the Pine Tree is usually recognized around the world as the traditional Christmas tree.

Besides smelling like a forest, for many people this scent can help to clarify, invigorate, refresh, and uplift one’s feelings.    

Some people have reported that using Pine Needle essential oil in a diffuser has helped to reduce their headaches.  Although it is only speculation, this is believed to occur because of its natural anti-bacterial and anti-fungal qualities.  Some bacteria and fungi are known to trigger headaches in some people, and perhaps Pine Needle essential oil kills these organisms in the air.

A word of caution: Be aware that some unscrupulous sellers may adulterate their Pine needle essential oil with turpentine, camphene, and other chemicals to increase profits.

When used for aromatherapy, Pine Needle essential oil is generally considered to be safe with no known side effects.  Do not apply topically without using a carrier oil.  If left undiluted, it may irritate skin and mucous membranes.  Ingestion of large quantities can lead to death, so it is best not to ingest pine needle essential oil.

Juniper Berry essential oil Although not a traditional type of Christmas tree, the aroma of Juniper Berry essential oil is woody, spicy, and clean.  As an added benefit, this aroma has both calming and grounding effects.  For this reason, Juniper Berry essential oil is great to use during meditation. 

Used in a diffuser, this essential oil can be used as a natural purifier because of its anti-bacterial qualities. 

A word of caution: Be aware that some unscrupulous sellers may adulterate their Juniper Berry essential oil with fermented fruits, Juniper wood, twig oil, turpentine, and terpene hydrocarbon fractions to increase profits.

When used for aromatherapy, Juniper Berry essential oil is generally considered to be safe with no known side effects.  Do not apply topically without using a carrier oil.  If left undiluted, it may irritate skin and mucous membranes. When used topically, skin sensitization can occur if oxidized.  To keep from becoming oxidized, Juniper Berry essential oil should be stored in a dark, airtight container in a refrigerator. 

Cedar essential oil –  this essential oil will make your home smell warm and cozy with its pleasant aroma.  Many people report that this aroma has great calming and soothing effects. 

This essential oil makes a great deodorizer for any room because of its ability to eliminate unpleasant odors.  Besides being used as a deodorizer, this aroma is a natural insect repellant, and can prevent the development of mildew, can relax the body, can enhance concentration, reduce stress and tension, clears the mind, and can help some to sleep.     

Warning: Cedarwood has a high ketone content and should be avoided during pregnancy.

Cedarwood essential oil can be mildly irritating if applied undiluted to the skin. 

Holiday Essential Oils – Incense Aromas

Holiday essential oils - incense myrrhIn the story of baby Jesus, the wise men arrived with gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh, all precious commodities at the time.  These aromas have become a staple around during the holiday season.  You can have the aromas of both frankincense and myrrh in your home using the natural essential oils extracted from these two resins. 

Frankincense essential oil has long been associated with religious ceremonies dating back to the ancient Egyptians.  Even today, this incense is widely used by many different religions including Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, and Hinduism, among many others.  Frankincense is probably the most widely recognized holiday essential oil around.  This is one of those aromas that have a way of capturing the holiday spirit.  Frankincense oil is considered very powerful when one wants to meditate or when used during prayer.  It can help promote a feeling of calm and well-being.    

Ingesting frankincense essential oil may have toxic effects.                              

Myrrh essential oil – has also been long associated with religious ceremonies and is a favorite around holidays.  The essential oil smells a little better than the resin itself.  The aroma is sort of woody, with earthly and balsamic undertones.  Myrrh is usually used to balance out emotions and is excellent for spiritual and meditative purposes.

Using Myrrh essential oil in a diffuser is generally considered safe. 

Holiday Essential Oils – Citrus Aromas

Bowl of citrus fruitAlthough not everyone may experience citrus fragrances during the holidays, fresh citrus is one of our favorite holiday scents.  Citrus is commonly associated with fruit baskets given as gifts during Christmas time.  Even though citrus fruits are available year-round, they tend to peak during the holiday season. 

Of all the essential oils, citrus-based essential oils smell just like the real thing.  Plus, citrus-based essential oils have some really great uplifting qualities.  They can all help one feel at peace, exactly what the holiday season should be about. Here are a few of our favorite citrus-based essential oils to use around the holidays, or whenever you want to have that holiday aura in your home. 

Grapefruit-based gifts have long been popular around Christmas time. The refreshing aroma of grapefruit is nice to wake up to because the fragrance almost has magical qualities of lifting even the foulest mood for many people.  It is no wonder this aroma is used in many skin products.  The essential oil can duplicate this fragrance nearly perfectly.  Some people also claim grapefruit essential oil can help reduce congestion.

Orange and mandarin are arguably the most popular of all the citrus-based aromas.  Intermixed in all their requisite candies, sweets, and other stocking stuffers, many kids find an orange stuffed in there somewhere.  Back in the early 1800s, having oranges at this time of year was rare and was, therefore, a special treat.  As an added benefit, the aroma from oranges is considered uplifting and cheerful – perfect for the holiday season.  For many people, the sweet fragrance of oranges can create a warm, calming atmosphere. 

Lemon brings back memories of freshly baked lemon butter cookies during the holiday season.  Then there are the lemon drops, lemon crinkle cookies, lemon shortbread – the list goes on and on. 

The holiday season can cause anxiety for many people.  The aroma of lemon essential oil can help lessen this feeling and can help to calm some people down.  For others, this aroma is so uplifting and seems like it can just cause depression to melt away.   As an alternative, you can also use lemongrass, which smells like fresh lemons, even though it is a grass.

Bergamot with its zesty aroma, similar to orange, is both refreshing and revitalizing to the senses.  The sweet smell of this essential oil will fit perfectly in during the holiday season.  This essential oil has long been known to help reduce stress and anxiety.

Holiday Essential Oils – The Cooking And Baking Holiday Aromas

Barley bread and cookiesGrowing up as a kid (and as an adult), I loved the wonderful baking aromas coming out of mom’s kitchen during the holiday season – cookies, candies, bread, and cinnamon sticks.  I get hungry just thinking about it.  Used alone, or mixed, these essential oils will bring those memories back any time of the year. 

Ginger gingerbread cookies and gingerbread houses have long been a staple in many people’s homes during the holidays.  The aroma of ginger goes hand in hand with Christmas time and helps to give that welcoming holiday feel.  Ginger is probably so popular because of its sweet, spicy, woody, warming scent.    

Peppermint When I was in elementary school, we made some Christmas decorations using candy and dough. 

We would roll the dough in long pieces a little thinner than a pencil.  We would then shape them into Christmas trees, stars, Santa Claus, and whatever shape we could think of.  Then we would place these shapes on aluminum foil.  We would fill in the empty space with crushed hard candies, including peppermint.  Then you cook them in the oven.  The candy melts creating a “stained glass” look.  You can then hang the decorations on your Christmas tree or eat them. 

But the point is that I always remember the smell of the crushed peppermint candy.  For me, Christmas would not be Christmas without the aroma of peppermint.

Cinnamon is another warm aroma that seems to go hand in hand with the holiday season.  Cinnamon sticks, fresh cinnamon rolls, or cookies topped with cinnamon sprinkles, you definitely can not go wrong with having the smell of cinnamon.   Being such a powerful aroma, this essential oil is excellent to use as a natural home deodorizer.  It will work even better when combined with a few other “holiday” essential oils such as clove, orange, or lemon.

Clove is known as the Christmas spice because of its frenzied peak during the holidays. Way back in the day, this was an expensive spice and was only used for special occasions, such as Christmas.  It has a woody, spicy, balsamic, minty, and peppery aroma.

Clove leaf essential oil is a powerful essential oil.  For this reason, it makes an excellent deodorizer.  Clove leaf essential oil can reduce stress, refresh the mind, and can help some have a restful night.  When mixed with cinnamon oil, this is the perfect Christmas smell.    

When used in a diffuser, clove leaf essential oil is generally considered to be safe.  When used topically, clove leaf essential oil can cause burns, so do not apply undiluted.

Rosemary essential oil recently, Rosemary Christmas trees have become popular, even though it is not a tree.  People shape the plant to look like a Christmas tree. 

The interesting thing about Rosemary is it is considered one of the most versatile essential oils because of its powerful strengthening and fortifying properties.  It has a strong herbal aroma with minty and woody undertones.  The aroma is stimulating, warming, and refreshing. 

Rosemary essential oil is best used in small amounts and it should be avoided altogether by those who have a history of seizures. Some authors have stated that the oil should not be used during pregnancy or by those who have high blood pressure. Do not apply this essential oil to or near the nostrils of infants or children under five years of age. Avoid Rosemary essential oil if you are taking homeopathic remedies as it may negate their effects.      

In Conclusion

So these were a few of our favorite Christmas aromas.  We are sure you have many more aromas you can add to your own list.  The bottom line is you can bring that holiday feeling into your home any time of the year by diffusing essential oils.  These aromas can create an inviting atmosphere in your home, any time of the year, not just during the holidays.  So go pick up some of these essential oils and give them a try. 

Have Fun!


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