Fresh ways to use essential oils at home this fall (and why they’re better for you than pumpkin spice candles)

Aunt Fannie Blog

While some people are drawn to the picture-perfect colors of fall (yellow leaves, orange pumpkins, and gold miniature Reese’s peanut butter cups) we’re all about the aromas. From spicy chai lattes and the first fires in the fireplace to pecan pies and that can’t-quite-describe-it smell of crisp October nights, the scents of autumn make us wish it were twice as long as the other seasons. That said, we totally understand the desire to capture those seasonal smells in an easy-to-light candle that fills the house with pumpkin-spice goodness at the strike of a match!

But unlike essential oils which can contribute antibacterial and body-supporting molecules into the air, many synthetic scented candles do the opposite—releasing Volatile Organic Compounds, or VOCs, into your home and negatively impacting indoor air quality. Scented paraffin candles unleash soot particles and known carcinogenic VOCs like acetone, benzene, formaldehyde, petroleum distillates, and toluene into the air when burned, the same chemicals found in diesel emissions! Like the chemicals left behind by conventional cleaning products, these VOCs can exacerbate asthma, allergies, headaches, and skin woes like eczema. No, thank you!

The great news is you don’t need to ditch the smells that bring the season alive along with the candles. It’s no secret that we believe in the power of essential oils, those dynamic key ingredients supercharging our microbiomic cleaning vinegars. That’s why we’re using those same essential oils to transform our homes into personal havens from the elements and the stress of the world this fall (even if they don’t guarantee protection from stressors inside the home… but there’s only so much you can expect essential oils to do).

Here are a few ways to up the coziness of your home with a just a few drops!

Diffuse a chai tea “latte” with cinnamon, clove, and ginger. Three drops of each oil in an aromatherapy diffuser will capture the fall special of your favorite coffee shop anytime you want.

Drop an infused cotton ball in your vacuum bag or canister. Bring a little autumnal forest indoors by adding some sandalwood, cedar, or frankincense to a cotton ball, pop it in your vacuum, and spread the woodsy love while you clean.   

PSL-ify bathtime. Draw a hot bath, drop two drops each of vanilla, cardamom, nutmeg, orange, and cinnamon, and drift away into pumpkin spice paradise. For extra relaxation, add a cup of epsom salts!

Make your own fall-scented fabric softener. What can’t vinegar and essential oil do? We love this simple simple laundry tip from DIYNatural.com. For an autumnal laundry blend, try a spicy citrus mix of tangerine, cinnamon, and clove.

Self-massage with scented grapeseed or sweet almond oil. Known as abhyanga in the Indian healing science of Ayurveda, self massage with moisturizing oils is a totally soothing way to pamper skin that dries out in the cooler months. Traditional ayurvedic scents include vetiver, rose, myrrh, and mint.

Make doing the dishes a little more pleasant. Add a few drops of your favorite fall oil to the bottom of the sink before you scrub up after dinner. The hot water will cause the oils to reach you as steam and scent any bubbles.

P.S. Don’t have an essential oil collection yet? You can also spread calming fall vibes by simmering spices in water on your stovetop. Try cinnamon sticks, cloves, and nutmeg in water—or wine, and enjoy a glass of mulled grogg as you relax in your detoxed home.