Reacquaint yourself with plant fragrances by incorporating these health-enhancing essential oils into your life. At natural-foods stores, look for personal-care products that contain them (not their artificial counterparts), or buy the oils themselves and try our do-it-yourself suggestions. When working directly with essential oils, remember that a little goes a long way, and don't apply them directly to the skin.
calms, relaxes, and balances emotions
In a mister, add 5 to 10 drops of essential oil to 1 ounce of water and spray pillows and sheets for a good night's sleep.
Neroli (Citrus aurantium)
the sweet scent of the orange blossom; helps mitigate stress, anxiety, and insomnia
Add 5 to 10 drops of essential oil to 1 ounce of unscented body lotion.
Palmarosa (Cymbopogon martini)
a warm floral scent that acts to gently strengthen the nervous system.
For a soothing soak, add 5 to 10 drops essential oil to 1 ounce of almond oil and add to a warm bath.
Geranium (Pelargonium graveolens)
an earthy scent that's said to soothe the emotions and focus the mind
Make an uplifting massage oil by adding 5 to 10 drops essential oil to 1 ounce of grape seed oil.
Bergamot (Citrus bergamia)
most famous for flavoring Earl Grey tea; balances and gently uplifts the mind and emotions
In your morning shower, add 1 or 2 drops of essential oil to a hot, wet washcloth. Inhale the aroma for an energy boost.
Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)
an invigorating, woodsy scent.
Mix a few drops of this energizing scent with grapefruit essential oils for a fresh-smelling room mister.
Read how to get smart about the scents in your life in Making Sense of Scents.
Sniffing for alternatives to health-hazardous artificial fragrances? Read Overhaul Your Scents.