Healthy Holiday Scents, Decoded

Healthy Holiday Scents, Decoded

Want holiday-inspired scents without the harmful pollutants? Check out these natural ideas.

Peppermint, pine, cinnamon … there are some scents that instantly remind us of the holidays. So why not use fragrance to add to your holiday décor at home? Well, there are actually a few reasons why you’ll want to skip the artificially scented products, but the good news is that plenty of natural alternatives exist.

What’s wrong with artificial fragrance?

  • Paraffin-based candles (most non-natural candles) emit chemical pollutants such as acrolein, formaldehyde, acetaldehyde, toluene, benzene, acetone, and more into the air when burned.
  • Artificial fragrance can cause headaches, fatigue, and other symptoms in those who are environmentally sensitive—definitely not worth the risk to guests when hosting a holiday party.
  • Fragrance manufactures don’t need to list ingredients on products—the terms “fragrance” and “parfum” can mean any combination of potentially harmful ingredients.
  • It’s not just the ingredients themselves that are problematic—when compounds in the air fresheners react with ozone in the air, harmful byproducts are formed.

Beeswax or soy candles
Choose natural, clean-burning beeswax or soy candles. Many are scented naturally with essential oils, and often they can be found at winter farmer’s markets or health food stores. Also make sure that the candle you choose has a lead-free wick.

Essential oil blends
Steer clear of artificial fragrance. Instead, opt for prepared essential oil blends (available at natural health retailers) or get creative and make your own. Our new article “Create a Cozy Winter Retreat” has an easy-to-follow recipe:

10 drops of pine oil
4 drops of pure vanilla
5 drops of orange oil
2 drops of cedarwood oil

Mix essential oils with 2 to 4 oz (60 to 120 mL) distilled water. Place in a spray bottle to use as an air freshener, or use in a diffuser.

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