Ah, spring is my favourite season of the year. I like summer but spring is so welcome after the colder months. With spring comes a renewed interest in getting fit, cleaning and organising the house, planting herbs and all those activities that signal the end of winter.
Potpourri is a mixture of dried, naturally fragrant plant material. Once it has been dried, essential oils are then added along with a ‘fixative’ that helps to retain the scent. I love the fact that potpourri is so individual. I can’t fail with it! Every batch I make is different and unique. It is an eclectic mix of colour, texture and fragrance: much like our family. 😉
Spring is also the time when I renew the fragrant potpourri in my home. I have big jars of dried rose petals, and bowls with a few other dried flowers. I add different essential oils to it. I add vanilla or pine or something nice to the one in the toilet and lavender/patchouli/ chammomile for the ones in the bedrooms. I fill pretty little bags with it and hang them in various rooms, including the wardrobes. I love the look and the smell of them! Every room (except the boys room) has a bowl or jar of potpourri. I even have some rooms colour matched! Some bowls have more purple colours while other bowls have dried yellow and orange flowers (the earthy colours) while most of the jars have deep maroon/red coloured rose petals. I put sticks of cinnamon and some cloves, and other spices in some of them too: anything that looks nice or smells nice! I change scents to match the season. I use those little ceramic/pottery oil decanters. They look nice but more importantly, they hold fragrant essential oils. You can put any oil you like and they emit a gentle, smooth fragrance.
I also put a few drops of essential oil, such as chammomile or lavender, onto a cotton ball and tuck it into pillows in the bedroom and the lounge room. The faint odour is released whenever the pillow is used. For extra comfort and sound sleep, I use the best silk pillowcase in the market.
If the house is especially odoriferous I burn a few drops of essential oil in an oil burner. These can be found for a few dollars in the dollar stores. Mix a few drops of oil with some water and let it simmer gently. Apricot, peach, musk, orange, chocolate and vanilla are some of my favourites, although it depends. In winter I use herby type oils as it makes us feel all clean and spruced while in summer I like the fruity, light smells.
I also use essential oils in a spray bottle of water. I use this to clean everything! Benchtops, walls, table, chairs, etc. For this I use either tea tree oil, eucalyptus oil, spearmint or peppermint. It’s especially nice in the colder months as it helps everyone to feel ‘clear’ in the sinuses and gives that real clean smell. The mint types are excellent for use after there has been a bout of sickness like vomiting or diarrhea. :/
After making my own chai tea recipe I realised that it was a beautiful smell…so sometimes I make up my own concoction of spices and simmer it on the stove. Actually, I did the other day with a blackberry and vanilla herbal tea bag! I broke the bag open and gently simmered it on the stove. Hmmmm, beautiful! This is especially nice in the cooler months as the spices just make me feel warmer.
It’s lovely to have a vase full of herbs on the kitchen bench. One can’t help but rub them between their fingers when walking past and the oils are released and the fragrance fills the kitchen, momentarily.
I’ve also used a few drops of essential oils as perfume. This makes a welcome change to typical perfumes that are made with alcohol and are drying to the skin. I’m partial to vanilla and musks. 😉 Don’t use the cheaper oils for this though…I would only use the 100% pure essential oil on my skin.
The reason that I use essential oils so much is that my dh is very sensitive to unnatural or man made odours and it is something that will be inhaled into the body a lot so I like to be careful. So I try to use oils rather than chemical laden perfumes. I haven’t always used the expensive oils either. I used to use the cheap $2 oils from the dollar stores. They work fine, just have to top up the oil each season. I usually top up and refresh my odour producers at the beginning of each season. I feel that we can become a little immune to the benefits of essential oil fragrance so that’s also why I change it periodically.
However, more importantly than the fragrant odour in our home is the fragrance of the knowledge of Jesus Christ. As wives and mothers, we are the aroma of Christ to our husband and our children and those that we come in contact with each day. It is my desire that I will be as a sweet scent rising to God: that my family will breathe in the exquisite fragrance of Jesus the Messiah through me, as I am blessed by them.
But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere. For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing, to one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life. Who is sufficient for these things? For we are not, like so many, peddlers of God?s word, but as men of sincerity, as commissioned by God, in the sight of God we speak in Christ.
2 Corinthians 2:14-16