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  • Writer's pictureBrooke Campbell

A Few Essential Things

I’ve been using essential oils for several years now. In the beginning, I made everything from dish soap to shower cleaner to hand sanitizer out of some combination of essential oils, white vinegar, and/or baking soda. While they did the job generally, I found some to be less effective than others, and all required more patience and elbow grease than modern spray and wipe cleaners. These days, I’m not quite so industrious. And there are plenty of other things demanding my time and patience, both of which are in limited supply more often than not.

Then there was the time the exterminator’s essential-oil-based “pet safe” spray poisoned our tuxedo Josie. I’ve never seen so much liquid come out of any animal before, and I pray I never see it again. We nearly lost her. And not that it’s anywhere near as important as her life, but a stay at the emergency vet hospital is not cheap. And they gave us some super valuable information regarding cats’ unique systems and essential oils. That terrifying experience cured me of willy nilly use of essential oils around the house, I can tell ya. The animals I’m gifted to provide a home come first.

Oh, I still use essential oils nearly every day. However, other than a toilet spray (honestly, why buy it when it’s so easy to make and does the exact same thing?) I mostly use essential oils as aromatherapy via one of the diffusers at my home and office. At the first sound of a co-worker’s sneeze or cough, though, I’ve been known to dump that lovely fragrance in favor of diffusing germ busting mixes.

And peppermint. Because, well, peppermint makes everything better.

I particularly like to diffuse certain combinations when I’m writing. I use specific smells to set the mood of a scene, or to get me in the right mindset. Peppermint and orange are especially helpful in the morning. I’m not so much a morning person and bright scents go a long way toward getting me going. After all, I can drink just so much caffeine these days.

When I first gave Jo her specific woodsy scent, I was partially trying to describe an oil I had just picked up made out of a grass species native to India. The scent set butterflies twirling in my stomach, and I just knew it would have the same effect on Libby. It should. After all, it’s apparently a key ingredient in many colognes.

Later, I realized I was unconsciously associating a particular scent with Libby. True, she lathers herself in lotions with a variety of scents from citrus to floral, but for that all-important first date with Jo, she chose a specific scent. (You get extra kudos if you remember why!) Jo even remarks on how she smells. Once she recovers from the sight of Libby standing in her doorway, looking so beautiful, that is.

And so, when I particularly need help getting into the mindsets of this romantic pair, I diffuse a few drops of each of the oils that I’ve come to associate with them: Vetiver and Lavender. When the diffuser gets going, I get into the right frame of mind – to put our romantic couple in theirs.

What about you? Do you diffuse oils or use a spray? What for? What scents do you like?

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