Enhancing Your Holidays with the Science of Smell

Did you know that there’s a limbic connection between smell and emotion that you can use to enhance your holiday experience? Read Aromatherapy and the Science of Smell.

Think for a minute about holidays past. Do any specific scents come to mind? And when you tap into those aromas, what thoughts come up for you?

We asked similar questions around the office. The responses were illuminating.

Rodolfo, a digital marketing expert and immigrant to the USA whose parents live far away in South America, said, “With my dad we had the tradition of buying a real Christmas tree. Every time I smell a pine I remember my dad and a lot of great memories comes to my mind.”

Rodolfo’s story shares an experience that is common to many of us: when we smell Christmas trees, we are flooded with memories.

Pine Needles with snow

But many people no longer buy real trees, opting instead for artificial.

If you love the memories brought to mind by the smell of a freshly cut tree but you’ve made the switch or are considering making the switch to a more convenient, earth-friendly tree, try diffusing EARTH::GROUNDING while decorating your artificial tree and throughout the season. And remember, Mother E plants a tree for every bottle of Mother E oil you purchase!

You could also sprinkle a few drops of EARTH::GROUNDING inside several pine cones and place in a basket next to your hearth.

Describing EARTH::GROUNDING, Kim, seasoned copywriter and entrepreneurial jewelry designer, said, “It reminds me of walking in a misty grove, looking for the perfect little pine to put in the living room. It also makes me think of our home, fully adorned with holiday decorations, a fire burning, and steam on the windows from the food cooking in the oven.”

Closeup of Fire in the Fireplace

Josh, a writer and SEO expert who grew up in a large family with many Christmastime activities, replied, “Each time I smell the cloves, citrus, cider, and cinnamon from wassail simmering on the stovetop, I am flooded with memories of fresh-cut Christmas trees; sleigh rides in the falling snow; houses dressed in red, green, and white light; and the sound of the laughter of little children playing on the family room floor in the warmth of the fireplace's glow. Hot wassail is meant to be sipped slowly until you've savored every last delicious drop. Upon smelling and drink it, I'm reminded that that's exactly how I find the most meaning in Christmas—when I enjoy it moment by moment and to its fullest.”

Clove Bud Essential Oil with pot of Orange Spice Wassail

Do the scents you associate with happy holiday memories also include orange, clove, and cinnamon? Try diffusing the warm, citrusy, spicy, and enticing ELIXIR No 1 IMMUNITY blend to tap into the holiday spirit. Plus, get immune-boosting benefits during the winter months!

Mother E Essential Oils Diffuser

Haley, an artist, dancer and social media coordinator, reflected, “Smells that come to mind for the holidays are pumpkin pie, cinnamon, eggnog, and pine needles. Any memorable holiday is always spent with my family. The smells are reminiscent of us getting together to bond over our appreciation for cooking and delicious food. Cooking with my family is a beautiful and fun way to spend time with them, so these smells are naturally associated with happy memories.”

And Julia, a mom, motorcycle adventurist, and Marketing Account Manager, recalls the scents of “turkey basting in the oven, pumpkin pie, and cinnamon-scented pinecones.” She fondly remembers “helping mom in the kitchen, watching football, leaving the curtains open to watch the snow come down, and enjoying quality time with family that would no longer be with us next year.” These scents and memories were associated with feelings, which she describes as “nostalgic, excited for the future, love, pure joy, and calmness in the chaos.”

Table set with holiday decor

Unanimously, the smells of the holidays were associated with specific memories, which were associated with specific feelings. This connection between our sense of smell, memories, and emotions is probably most evident during the holidays. It’s a great example of the power of smell in our everyday lives.

Use your sense of smell to enhance your holidays

Think about your most joyful holiday memories and the associated aromas. Whether you’re day-dreaming of finding the perfect Christmas tree, drinking peppermint hot chocolate with your loved ones, or cuddling up next to a fire with the warm tones of holiday baking lingering in the air, you can use essential oils to conjure up warm and fuzzy feelings during the holidays.

Clove Bud: Keep clove bud around during the holidays to diffuse or use in your favorite holiday recipes. Stay tuned for a Cooking with Ruthie blog post later this week featuring a holiday clove bud recipe.

Clove Bud Pure Essential Oil with leaves

Shop Clove Bud Here.

Frankincense: Considered one of the most sacred oils, this deep, rich aroma helps us connect more deeply with our spirituality. Diffuse or use during meditation or simple quiet reflection time to experience more meaning during the holidays.

Mother E Frankincense essential oil with Mother E diffuser, quartz crystal and air plant

Shop Frankincense Here.

Peppermint: Uplift your mood without the sugar and calories! A drop or two in your drinking water will help stave off food cravings and keep you energized during the holiday bustle.

Peppermint Essential Oil with Water Glass

Shop Peppermint Here.

Rosemary:  While the savory scent of rosemary is often associated with the holidays (think Thanksgiving turkey and potatoes!), did you know that rosemary essential oil is associated with mental focus and acuity? Keep your eyes out for Cooking with Ruthie’s holiday recipe featuring rosemary during Thanksgiving week.

Rosemary Essential Oil Bottle with bundle of rosemary

Shop Rosemary Here.

Of course, we understand that the traditional aromas of the holidays don’t always bring back happy memories that bestow holiday cheer; it might be time to make new associations between scent, emotions, and memories in your limbic system. For an uplifting change, try all four essential oil blends in the Mother E ENHANCERS COLLECTION:  PURE LOVE, REAL HOPE, DEEP GRATITUDE, and TRUE JOY. Start a new tradition!

The Enhancer Oils, Pure Love, Deep Gratitude, Real Hope and True Joy, on a Kitchen Counter

Whether you tap into happy memories of holidays past or start your own new holiday traditions, consciously use the science of smell to enhance and bring deeper meaning to your moments.

And from Mother E to you, we wish you a beautiful holiday season filled with love, hope, gratitude, and joy!

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