"Fragrance impacts all of my moods," says Weiss. "It's so helpful to set the mood and get into that headspace. While I'm getting ready for bed, washing my face, brush my teeth, taking that time to unwind a bit, it's really nice to have the fragrance in the background."
- Dara Weiss, aromatherapist and founder of L’or de Seraphine
Weiss gravitates toward woodier, softer, more grounding fragrances for the evening. "My favorites are cedarwood, sage, and eucalyptus," she says.
Using an essential oil diffuser to disperse fragrance at night is a great option because, unlike a candle, you don't have to blow it out before bed. You can use a plug-in diffuser or a reed diffuser. Plug-in diffusers are great for customizing your own scent blends because all you have to do is add a few essential oil drops to water. You can also customize a blend for a reed diffuser, but you'll have to add the essential oils to a base like safflower oil ($11) or sweet almond oil ($13).
How many drops of essential oil you add to your diffuser depends on the size of your diffuser, the size of your room, and personal preference. "My room's not huge I don't have a huge diffuser, but I usually put in five to eight drops," says Weiss. "I don't like when fragrance hits you in the face, I think it should be something that you smell and experience, but it's a little bit in the background and setting the atmosphere without being overpowering."
Getting started with a diffuser
First and foremost, you need a diffuser. Weiss loves to make her own sleep blends for her plug-in Vitruvi diffuser ($103), but also likes to use their blends ($23 to $27). "Pre-made blends are helpful as you're just getting started with essential oils," says Weiss.
The Vitruvi White Aromatherapy Ultrasonic Diffuser is the brand’s top seller. The cover is made from porcelain while the water reservoir is made from BPA-free plastic. It also comes in beige and black.
Weiss says she also enjoys using a reed diffuser because, unlike a plug-in diffuser, it doesn't need to be regularly cleaned. Also, the reed diffuser is always emitting fragrance, whereas a plug-in diffuser stops when it's out of water. Her favorite is the L'or de Seraphine Ares Diffuser ($38).
Scents to use when making sleep blends for your diffuser
Weiss loves making her own sleep blends for her diffuser. "You really can't go wrong. There's a million wonderful ways to blend them," she says. "Even just getting down to how many drops of each to find the right formulation for you, I feel it's really fun."
She says to go for the following scents, which are relaxing and aid in stress relief. Grab one, some, or all of the following essential oils to make your own sleep blend.
While there are certain tried and true scents that are great to help you relax for sleep, relaxing scents that are tied to a personal memory or your culture can be very beneficial.
“Fragrance is so tied to memory, it can take you right back to different places,” says Weiss. “If there’s a place that’s really soothing or impactful for you, fragrance is the tie to that.
Scents to avoid in the evening
The last thing you want in your wind-down blend is a scent that's energizing.
"The citrusy, brighter, more energetic fragrances that'll really wake you up are wonderful for certain times of day, but are definitely what I would avoid in the evening," says Weiss. "A lot of woods are really grounding and soothing, whereas, I personally find pine to be a little bit more energizing."
It also comes down to personal preference. Even if a scent has calming properties, if you don't like the scent, it's likely not going to help you sleep.
"There are some lavenders that I'll enjoy, but I'm really particular with them. For the most part, I don't like them," she says ."It's typically associated with being really soothing, but to me it's more agitating. That's why I think it's so important to play around and find what works for you. Because while the lavender might be soothing...the fact that I'm not enjoying it is really taking away any benefit."
The more scents you try and the more combinations you explore, you'll be on your way to crafting the perfect sleep blends for your diffuser.
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