Essentially Essential Oils

Lately I have been so obsessed with diffusing essential oils in my apartment. They last so much longer than candles and smell so much cleaner. The world of essential oils seems so overwhelming at first when you go to google it and everyone is talking about “blends” and “mixes” and labels of oils that come from what look like pyramid-scheme companies.

I did some research on my own and through that (and some home trials) am going to try to break down the world of essential oils to others out there who are looking to ease them into their lifestyle as I have.

First of all – what even are essential oils?

An essential oil is, according to a quick google search, “a natural oil typically obtained by distillation and having the characteristic fragrance of the plant or other source from which it is extracted.” They’re basically the highly concentrated oils that one would find in a plant in the wild. Like when you stop to smell a rose, now imagine a small bottle full of that scent and even stronger in some cases – that is pretty much what the oil smells like in comparison to whatever plant it is derived from.

Ever since ancient times people have used essential oils for medicinal and decorative purposes. Lately, it seems that going back to natural health alternatives is on the rise, and the popularity of essential oils is ever growing and expanding.

Where can I find essential oils?

They are popping up everywhere! Or maybe, they’ve been there the whole time and I just have never been paying enough attention. My favorite places to get oils are at Whole Foods, through the company Vitruvi (where my diffuser is also from, Vitruvi has really cute packaging and simple, clean scents, as well as essential oil blended sprays and roll-ons that smell delicious), and through local artisans. A woman locally, Amaloa, owns her own shop and she has recently started making incredible blends. I am obsessed with her Love blend and wear it daily on my diffuser necklace which I also purchased through her shop.

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A lava stone diffuser necklace from a local shop in Hermosa Beach, CA.

Where to begin:

Here are some simple steps for dipping your toes into the essential oil world:

  1. Start with scents you like. You can go to your local Whole Foods and smell so many of their different scents there with their sample bottles. Don’t be afraid to ask for help either! When I first went to Whole Foods I couldn’t figure out how to get the drawer open for the samples and when the lady showed me I was like oh oops hah. Along with that – Start simply. I started mostly with solo scents. The ones that aren’t mixed or blends. I did however, while smelling the samples at Whole Foods, become obsessed with a blend called “Chill Pill” because it smells, honest to God, like you’re sitting in a cup of cozy bedtime tea. I knew this was one I would want to surround myself in on calm evenings and weekends.
  2. Find a diffuser that is in your budget but you also find pretty. You’re going to want to have this running more often than not and I wanted a simple one that matched my clean, white bedroom. I spent days on the internet looking for one that didn’t light up in different colors and wasn’t too big until I came across this gorgeous porcelain one from Vitruvi.
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    White Stone Diffuser from Vitruvi

    It looks so beautiful and simple on my bedside table where I also keep a snake plant, some crystals, a journal for those late-night thoughts, and whatever book I am currently immersed in. The one I got is about $100 but you can find them as low as $10 on Amazon. (Because I’m one of those crazy people who will check to make sure the coffee maker is unplugged 18 times and then go back inside to check again it was important to me to find a diffuser that had an automatic shut-off function for when it runs out of water and there are so many options that have that function – if you’re paranoid like I am I would highly recommend that – diffusers are meant to add to the peace of your life not add any stress to it!). Recently, I have started diffusing on a necklace I wear daily as well. On it I diffuse the scent of Love, which is a rose blend. I get whiffs of it throughout the day and it is relaxing and a friendly reminder to focus on love in every moment.

  3. Now that you know which scents you prefer, you’ll likely be ready to explore more scent options – this is the point I’m at too. I’m beginning to research into oil blends to see what concoctions I can come up with to add fun into what I diffuse. I have learned that I can mix sweet orange with peppermint to help me energize and wake up in the morning.

Here are my favorite oils that I have started off with in my home:

  • Eucalpytus: This makes me able to breathe so well – it feels like I’m surrounding myself in Vicks Vaporub and I love it when I just want my apartment to feel clean. It also works wonders when it comes to ants – which I have an invasion of in my apartment by the California sea every summer – I spritz it around where they come in and they run away and refuse to return to the area. This also works well with peppermint oil.
  • Lavender: I brought some lavender oil home from a trip to the South of France recently and I am so grateful for picking this up in one of the little shops there. Even with all of the sleepy-time blend options available, I really prefer to diffuse plain lavender or mix some rosemary in with it when I go to sleep at night. I honestly have never slept better than when I have this diffuser running next to my bed. I feel so refreshed in the morning after getting such a deep sleep every night that I now look forward to bedtime as I know as soon as I start to diffuse the lavender I will feel super calm and the days stresses can be dealt with another time.
  • Lemongrass: This is like deodorant for the apartment. It makes it smell so clean and fresh almost immediately. It is my favorite oil to diffuse all day long and, even though I was unaware of what lemongrass smelled like before, I am now obsessed with this smell. It makes me feel like I’m outside in the fresh air even when I’m just stuck behind a computer doing work emails for hours on end.

The options are endless and so much fun! I hope you enjoy diffusing as much as I do 🙂


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