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Aromatherapy 101: Get Started With These 4 Trending Scents for Fall

From 10/6 through 10/8/17, Whole Foods Market 365® Everyday Value Essential Oils (plus diffusers, bottles and carrier oils) will be on sale for 25% off in our Whole Body department. 

The secret to setting the mood and creating a welcoming space is fragrance. People have used scent since antiquity to purify their bodies and minds, homes and sacred spaces. One of the best ways to boost your well-being is with aromatherapy, using essential oils — ultra-concentrated plant extracts.

Luckily, a new line of 25 Whole Foods Market 365® Everyday Value Essential Oils (plus coordinating electric diffusers, bottles and carrier oils for making DIY blends) will be on sale for 25% off from 10/6 through 10/8/17 in our Whole Body department. Stock up on mix-and-match aromatherapy oils and accessories for cozy, cold-weather vibes all season long.

What can aromatherapy do for me?

Plenty! They can soothe stress, elevate your mood, increase alertness and enhance your general well-being and relaxation. Like these classics:

  • Ginger: Rub this onto sore muscles (using a carrier oil, of course). Mentally, it’s grounding and centering, strengthening your connection with yourself and others.
  • Lavender: Commonly known for its relaxing properties, this is incredibly calming, both for mind and body, and is the choice for soothing skin when combined with a carrier oil.
  • Frankincense: Helps still your mind when dealing with excess thoughts and worry.
  • Eucalyptus: Mentally, it’s a good option before a big meeting or event, since it keeps your mind clear, too.
  • Mandarin: As a rule, essential oils from all citrus fruits are uplifting and energizing, great for getting out of a funk (try mixing them with cocoa butter for an energizing body cream). They’re also astringent and can absorb excess oil in the skin when combined with a carrier oil.

Note: Essential oils should never be apply directly to the skin — carrier oils are the best way to make the most of every scent. Try olive oil or coconut oil: about three to five drops of essential oil per tablespoon of the carrier oil should do it. And, it’s always worth testing the blend on a small area first.

What’s special about the essential oils at Whole Foods Market?

Our new Whole Foods Market line of essential oils is made with ethically harvested botanicals from small growers throughout the world and are tested for purity. The line includes 25 single-note oils and 11 carrier oils from 365 Everyday Value, so making custom blends is a breeze.

“You could also mix your scent with 365 Everyday Value Maximum Moisture Body Lotion for a one-­of-­a-­kind moisturizer or hit up our bulk department for brown sugar or sea salt to make a custom scrub,” said Whole Foods Market aromatherapy buyer Steven Benoit.

So what are the must-have scents for fall?

  1. Black Pepper: “The mystery to my favorite blends is black pepper essential oil, which provides a spicy, warm depth.” –  Steven Benoit
  2. Neroli: “This orange blossom oil may encourage a feeling of wellness and happiness. It also smells like candy — in a good way.” – Mary Helen Leonard, author of The Natural Beauty Solution
  3. Frankincense: “A complex, sweet, spicy and woody oil distilled from tree resin, it layers beautifully with herbal and citrus notes.” –  Steven Benoit
  4. Myrrh: An earthy scent with a touch of licorice to it; paired with frankincense often (they comingle perfectly), most notably as a gift to the baby Jesus.

How do I get started?

Get some essential oils and a diffuser — preferably an ultrasonic one that’s safer than scented candles (think pets, kids, clumsy roommates) and quieter than other diffuser types. They use sound waves instead of heat, which can alter the chemistry of essential oils.

"One of my favorite diffusers is the Dahlia vase, available in our everyday collection,” Benoit said. “We partnered with our suppliers to create a floral pattern coated in a soft mint color crackled glaze."

Fill the tank with water and add in 3-4 drops of oils. Just be sure to read the insert and “follow the proper dilution guidelines,” Leonard said. “ODing on essential oils can make you feel sick.”

Diffuser recipe combos to try

“Blend, blend, blend!” Benoit said. “Everyone knows what lavender smells like, so why not make something special?”

Here are a few DIY diffuser recipes from Whole Foods Market aromatherapy buyer Steven Benoit and Mary Helen Leonard, author of The Natural Beauty Solution.

Cleansing: Rosemary + Tangerine + Cedarwood

“Citrus or herbal essential oils mask everyday kitchen odors and make any room smell fresh.” – Steven Benoit

Other Combos:

Energizing: Spearmint + Lemongrass + Lavender

  • “Cool spearmint, tangy lemongrass, and herbaceous lavender stimulate the senses, refresh the mind and energize the body.” – Mary Helen Leonard

Uplifting: Neroli + Vanilla

  • “This blend of sweet neroli and creamy vanilla has a gentle aroma that is comforting and promotes a happy mood.” – Mary Helen Leonard

Relaxing: Chamomile + Clary Sage

  • Ready to go to bed? Get some chamomile. “Combined with clary sage, which may promote calm and relaxation, it’s perfect for drifting off to sleep.” – Mary Helen Leonard