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Setting the Mood with Natural Aroma Therapy

If you’ve ever sold a house, a standard piece of advice from your realtor is to bake cookies just prior to the open house.  Why?  Because the aroma of baked goods (i.e. cinnamon, caramelized sugar, vanilla, etc.) reminds people of home. Grocery stores will sometimes waft the fragrances from the bread baking in the bakery department throughout the store to stimulate spontaneous purchase intent.  These are examples of basic aroma therapy. You can change people’s mood and attitude through the subtle use of calming or nostalgic fragrances.

One of the key words in this description of aroma therapy is “subtle.” Because with fragrance, as many things in life, a little goes a long way.  Too much and you can get the opposite of the desired effect.  Scents that are overpowering can be obnoxious and off-putting. Consider the person who wears too much cologne, or a scented candle that is too intense; rather than creating a sense of appeal—people want to escape.  Perfumes can also affect the other senses: if it is too strong it can change the way people taste food and wine.

Two reasons why we like non-artificial, natural lavender essential oil, is that:

  1. Lavender has a “low threshold of sensory extinction.” This means that you smell it profoundly at first and then within just a few minutes, it “disappears” from your olfactory sense. It’s still working its aroma magic, but you no longer register it with the initial intensity. In fact, one way to determine whether the lavender oil you are using is real or synthetic, is that if you can still smell it strongly after 5 to 8 minutes, it’s probably synthetic.
  2. Lavender is extremely versatile. It can be added to almost any other fragrance, and both are changed such that the new aroma is distinct from any of the components. This allows you to create exotic scents that produce different mood effects.

 

You can produce mood reactions by delicately scenting the air in your home prior to guest arrival.  Although a diffuser is the most efficient way to add the fragrance of essential oil to your environment, it isn’t possible to use natural organics in addition to the essential oil.  We have tried several potpourri recipes to create specific mood states by simply using a small saucepan, water and a combination of botanicals and essential oils.  Here are a few of our lavender-themed favorites:

 

Bright and Energizing Mood

This mix is perfect for welcoming guests and putting everyone in good spirits. Use two organic lemons (quartered), ten whole cloves, five drops of Monte-Bellaria Lavender Pure Essential Oil and two cups of water.  Add the lemons, cloves and water to a small saucepan and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to a light simmer and add the essential oil (you never want to boil an essential oil.)  Simmer for 10 minutes then turn off heat.  Let bloom for forty minutes.

 

Calm and Freeing Mood

When people are on edge or facing difficulties in life, a calming potpourri is welcome.  Use two cups of apple juice, ¼ tsp allspice, ¼ tsp nutmeg, 1 tsp dried ginger, 1 tsp black peppercorns and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to a light simmer and add the essential oil.  Simmer for 10 minutes then turn off heat.  Let bloom for forty minutes.

 

Comfortable and Agreeable

Like the old baking cookies technique, this mix can reduce apprehension and lessen tensions in important decision situations.  Add two organic oranges (quartered), two cups of water, two cinnamon sticks, four Star Anise pods, and a dash of vanilla extract to a small saucepan; bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer and add five drops of Monte-Bellaria Lavender Pure Essential Oil.  Simmer for 10 minutes then turn off heat.  Let bloom for forty minutes.

If you want more fragrance, you can bring any of these mixtures to a light simmer (don’t boil) for another 10 minutes and remove from heat.  Don’t heat for more than 30 minutes total, or the fragrances turn harsh.

 

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