For those times when things don’t go as planned, when life twists and turns unexpectedly, your week feels too long and your to-do list longer, when you’re in pain, or as in the words of singer Daniel Powter back in 2005, you’ve had a bad day; what do you turn to for comfort?
Family, caring friends, cuddling pets, escape through reading, binge-watching and gaming can be sources of comfort. When my personal stress level is too high, I seek solace in solitude. In the past, I’ve dabbled with meditation, even taking some classes which I found helpful. Maybe I’ll pursue it again this year, as it’s a skill that requires practice to call upon in times of stress.
I’m sure it’s no surprise that home fragrance is a wellspring of comfort for me. It’s also one of the easiest methods I have to de-stress. Sense of smell can be a powerful force. Though I’m no student of aromatherapy, I believe that mental and emotional moods can be influenced by the senses.
I witnessed a fascinating example of this as I was waiting to take my dog into a veterinary exam. A cat with a broken leg was brought in, it expressed a lot of aggression and understandable anxiety in it’s crate. The vet tech sprayed a cloth with a pheromone spray, draped it over the crate and that cat was instantly calmed down. I thought, I’ll take a gallon of that to go!
Lacking access to a spray bottle of instant calm, these are the comforting fragrances that I’ve had on repeat the last few weeks:
Yankee Candles in retired scents, Do-re-mi (vanilla musk) and Sleigh Bells Ring (soft rose). Both are light but worthy examples of calming scents. Yankee used to have an aromatherapy line and I still have some of the single-scent oils. The cardamom oil adds warmth and spice when used as a mix-in with baking soda for carpet powder and is so inviting in an oil warmer.
I’ve tried two of the B&BW‘s wax melts purchased for 50 and 75% off during SAS. At $4.50 for 0.97 oz, I wouldn’t buy any at regular price, but I was happy to try them in some scents I haven’t had in their candles.
Pure White Cotton– extremely relaxing on cold throw, I started with one wedge, but added a second for the best result.
Walking past my warmer felt as if I was greeted by the sweetest spring breeze. There’s no laundry or starch to this. Just a hint of newly cleansed linen that’s been dried in the sunshine, folded into a basket still warm, filled with freshly-picked bouquets of Freesia and notes of white cotton blossom, anjou pear and soft gardenia petals.
Sweet, simple, natural smelling comfort of warm cloth.
Wine Cellar– as sophisticated as Pure White Cotton is simple. Wine Cellar is comprised of warm cedarwood, sugared clementine, red berry, and dark vanilla bean. To me, these four notes form a nearly perfect blend.
The rustic hewn timbers of the wine barrel, the full-bodied plummy fruit, juicy round flavor of citrus, the richness of vanilla bean skimmed from the fleshy pod. This wine has legs too, a beautiful abundant throw. Nearly as much of a creature comfort as an actual glass of red wine and zero calories.
The Relax candle from the blink-and-you’ll-miss-it aromatherapy line is saved for February, but I can tell you the black chamomile is a delicious essence of herbal tea refreshment. So spa-like I’ve almost forgotten the stress of wading through the store to get it the day after Christmas.
Which scents provide a comforting boon to your senses? Is it homey cinnamon or sugar cookie? Possibly lavender or mint soothes your savage beasts? Smoky patchouli send you off to a calm place? Do tell.