We’re spending more time at home than ever right now, and so we’re all looking for solutions to make things look good and feel fresh in the great indoors.
Perhaps you’re already refreshed your furniture with spring’s biggest trends (hello, rattan) or invested in a bouquet of dried flowers to brighten up your favourite room. But another factor that can have a huge impact on our experience in any space is scent – and one of the easiest and most affordable ways to fill your home with it is using essential oils.
No one knows this better than Natasha Garbawi, founder of artisan home fragrance brand SUN.DAY of London, where all of the products, from room sprays to candles, contain aromatherapy grade essential oils.
So we asked her the best ways to use essential oils in the home for health, happiness and of course, the most amazing aromas. Here are six of her favourites.
The best essential oils to use in the home
Tea tree oil
Used in traditional medicine by aboriginal tribes for centuries, the leaves were crushed, and the oil inhaled to treat coughs and colds or applied topically to treat wounds and as an antiseptic.
What is tea tree oil good for?
Diluted tea tree oil can be used topically as an anti bacterial. It’s anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and anti-fungal properties have been known for centuries. Studies have shown the tea tree oil is more effective as an insect repellant than DEET, the active ingredient in commercial repellents.
Uses for tea tree oil
Use tea tree oil in the kitchen and bathroom for its antiseptic and antifungal properties – it can be combined with water and vinegar to create an effective cleaning agent. Tea tree can be used in the garden or outdoors as an insect repellant too.
This oil can also be used in cleaning, adding to laundry to freshen clothes. It can be used to create a DIY deodorant because of its odor-repelling commends. Tea tree can be great for soothing the skin and as a natural anti-bacterial when used in combination with other oils and hydrosolsat the correct ratio.
What can you pair tea tree oil with?
In perfumery it is a middle note and can be included in the herbal family which would blend well with Bergamot, Cypress, Eucalyptus and many other oils to create a green fresh fragrance.
Commonly known for its part in creating earl grey tea, the oil is extracted from the rind of the Bergamot fruit grown in Calabria, on the coast of Southern Italy. Bergamot essential oil was used historically in Italian folk medicine and in Ayurvedic medicine to treat problems related to digestion, skin health, fever and malaria.
What is bergamot essential oil good for?
Studies have shown that bergamot oil can be used to help relieve anxiety, elevate mood, reduce stress and thereby symptoms of depression. Bergamot oil is widely used to treat insomnia and headaches.
Uses for bergamot essential oil
You can use it in the bedroom, lounge and hallway for a uplifting and opulent addition to your home. Bergamot can be used to deodorise musty spaces such as attics, basements or cupboards.
Bergamot is a distinctive and rich citrus oil, it can be used in an ultrasonic room diffuser on its own or combined with other oils to create a fresh and tranquil space. Blended with other oils it can be used to create a room spray or can be used in an oil burner.
What can you pair bergamot with?
Bergamot is a top note and part of the citrus family so pairs well with cedarwood, eucalyptus, lavender, lemon, patchouli, and ylang ylang. Its use is widespread in modern perfumery and can be found in some of the world’s most iconic fragrances
Known as ‘the wood of the gods,’ cedar essential oil was used for centuries in India, ancient Egypt, and other parts of Africa and Asia. Considered a holy wood, its use was confined to the construction of temples and altars and in religious blessings and ceremonies.
What is cedarwood essential oil good for?
The cedrolcompound in cedarwood oil may have a soothing effect on mood, making it beneficial for anxiety, and reducing stress and is thought to enhance concentration. Cedarwood is often used in skincare for its benefits in reducing irritation and redness and reducing the signs of aging. It’s known to be used in haircare to stimulate the follicles for healthy hair growth and slowing hair thinning.
Uses for cedarwood essential oil
Cedarwood great in the bedroom for relaxing and as a sleep aid or in the bathroom during a relaxing bath or shower as well as the workspace when working from home or even misted in the car.
It’s is a base note and is widely used in perfumery; it can be combined with middle and top notes to imbue the space with a grounding woody aroma. It can be used in a room spray, natural candles, ultrasonic diffusers or oil burners and the wood itself as a smudge stick for cleansing and in meditation. Used for centuries in rituals it is thought to purify spaces and attract good spirits.
What can you pair cedarwood with?
Cedarwood can be paired with almost any essential oil to add a deep rich base note. When combined with orange peel and ylang ylang it creates a relaxing blend to use before bed.
Lime oil originated in south east Asia and is extracted from fresh lime peel by means of cold compression. It is made up of many compounds some of which are anti oxidants – namelyα-pinene, β-pinene and limonene.
What is lime oil good for?
By reducing an anti-inflammatory chemical called 5-lipoxygenase in cell studies, lime oil is known to reduce inflammation. Due to its highly antioxidant properties it is known to fight infection and germs.
Lime is also known for its cleansing and detoxifying qualities and is thought to help protect kidney and liver function and aid digestions as well as reduce stress.
Uses for lime oil
Lime could work well in the kitchen for its cleansing properties as well as the bathroom, in the shower as an invigorating boost in the mornings or in the study or lounge when working from home.
This oil works best when combined with other as most citrus oils, it is quite volatile and has a low flash point. It can be used in room spray, natural candles and diffused with other oils.
What can you pair lime oil with?
Best paired with anchoring scents such as cedarwood or black pepper, for a stimulating, well-rounded fragrance.
Chamomile essential oil
What is chamomile essential oil good for?
Due to its muscle relaxing properties, chamomile is found to be calming and promotes relaxation and sleep. Chamomile essential oils are used to treat digestive upset, such as indigestion, nausea, anti-inflammation and pain relief for conditions like back pain, or arthritis.
Uses for chamomile essential oil
Use chamomile in the bedroom and lounge for relaxing or during a luxurious bath.
Chamomile can be diffused in a room through a room spray, candle, or ultrasonic diffuser. A few drops in the bath promote relaxation and chamomile can be used topically when blended in combination with other oils.
What can you pair chamomile with?
Due to its potency and high cost it is best paired with other relaxing oils such as ylang ylang, vetiver as well as oils in the citrus family.
Lavender essential oil
Lavender has been used for thousands of years in various cultures and was considered a holy herb.
What is lavender essential oil good for?
This oil promotes relaxation and believed to treat anxiety, depression and insomnia. Lavender has been used to address fungal infections, allergies, nausea, and menstrual cramps. Studies have been conducted that evidence lavender as speeding up wound healing and aiding in eczema relief. Its use extends into the culinary world and is commonly used in perfumery.
Uses for lavender essential oil
Known to be one of the most relaxing essential oils it can create a spa like atmosphere in your bathroom or bedroom. Lavender can be well utilised within the storage of old or unused garments.
Lavender can be used to create relaxing eye masks, diluted and misted over your pillow before bed. It can also be used to ward off moths in your wardrobe or attic.
What can you pair lavender with?
Best paired with grounding cedarwood, frankincense and uplifting rose oil – with its versatile herbal essence, lavender’s uses and combinations are endless.