Canada is a really fantastic smelling country, with enough scents and landscapes to make any perfumer’s head spin. From the musty moss forests of the Gulf Islands of British Columbia, to the sunny alpine meadows of Alberta’s Rocky Mountains, to the honey-scented apple orchards of Québec, we are a delightfully fragrant country. With some serious Canadian wanderlust tugging at my heartstrings, and in honor of Canada Day, I decided to put my beautiful new Saje Aroma Cloud to work with some custom essential oil blends designed to evoke memories of different parts of Canada.
Saje, a fantastic Canadian natural wellness company based in Vancouver, got in touch a few months ago to ask if I’d like to do some blogging with them. The answer was an obvious and enthusiastic “yes!”, and we agreed on some diffuser blends making use of one of their fantastic ultrasonic nebulizers. After my new diffuser arrived in the mail I proudly went to work, devising ways to make my bedroom smell extra lovely (and Canadian).
I quickly fell in love my Aroma Cloud (or egg, as I sometimes affectionately call it). Ultrasonic nebulizers are my favourite way to diffuse essential oils. They diffusesthem gently in cool mist, without any heat, so they retain all their goodness (and as a bonus, you can fall asleep with it on without worrying about burning your house down). They also help purify the air and add a touch of humidity, though with only about 100mL going out over the course of 6 hours, I must confess it doesn’t dent Calgary’s dry climate.
It burbles away as it spouts fragrant mist, and it has an optional glowing light band that makes a lovely night light. To use it you just add 10–15 drops of essential oils to the water reservoir (along with some cool tap water, of course), pop the lid on, and diffuse away. You do need to make sure you’re only using pure essential oils, though—you don’t want to clog up your diffuser and destroy it.
I had a lot of fun devising these blends. Sarah and I hauled a big box of essential oils over to the kitchen table on a summer Sunday and sorted them out into different blend ideas. We spent a morning debating which smokey and coniferous tree essential oils were best for alpine meadows versus the Gulf Islands. In the end we concocted five lovely blends that make your home smell like Canada. I think you’ll love them.
Before you get started I would recommend you do the blending in a small vial or bottle (I used these). This allows for a better melding of the scents—plus, some of the essential oils I’ve chosen are quite viscous, and blending them with thinner oils reduces the chances they’ll clog your diffuser. And, when I say “toothpick swirl”, what I want you to do is dip a toothpick in the essential oil, and then swirl it into the rest of the essential oil blend. It’s a way to get just a hint of otherwise overpowering essential oils.
5 drops fir essential oil
2 drops labdanum essential oil
8 drops pine long leaf essential oil
1 drop cape snow bush essential oil
2 drops South African chamomile essential oil
4 drops camphor essential oil
2 drops michelia alba leaf essential oil
After growing up in the Rockies, Sarah and I both feel more that at home in mountain meadows. This blend just might be our favourite. It’s fresh and bright, dominated by the scent of fir and pine trees, with base notes of sunshine and warm grass, and accents of fresh air and spice. With invigorating pine, calming chamomile, and uplifting michelia alba leaf, this blend is brilliant for diffusing in your room in the morning. And, with loads of antiseptic, air-purifying properties coming from the fir, pine, and camphor, it’s also fantastic if you’ve got a cold.
Riding Mountain National Park
The smell of the forest in Rocky Mountain National Park alongside Clear Lake is one that never fails to instantly transport me to childhood summers spent splashing in the lake and exploring windy root-wrought pathways through the trees. This blend melds sunshine and spruce trees with chimney smoke and a light floral note. Cajeput, fir, and spruce purify the air, while rose geranium is both uplifting and calming—perfect for an anytime reminder of summer at the cottage.
Rocky Mountain Forest
My first summer whiff of the Rockies never fails to make me smile from ear to ear. I’ve been known to close my eyes, spread my arms wide, tip my face up to the sun, and inhale deeply for minutes on end before heading for the trail head. Benzoin provides a warm, vanilla-tinged sweet base note, while fir, pine, and spruce build a forest of coniferous trees in your imagination. A drop of cade evokes a campfire off in the distance, and fresh camphor is a breeze of cool, clean mountain air. A perfect blend for diffusing if you feel something coming on, or for when you need a reminder of summer in the dead of winter.
Gulf Island Winter
6 drops cedarwood essential oil
1 drop nerolina essential oil
3 drops hydacheim essential oil
3 drops curcuma essential oil
5 drops buchu essential oil
5 drops basil, sweet essential oil
5 drops black spruce essential oil
My parents live in the Gulf Islands, and I spent last Christmas with them—that’s the inspiration for this blend. Coming from frozen, frigid December Calgary where the only thing you can smell is your nose freezing shut, the musty green humidity of the island was more than welcome. Cedar and black spruce essential oils form the base of this rainforest blend, while notes from exotic hydacheim, curcuma, and buchu add intrigue. Basil adds a nice green base note, and nerolina brings a touch of brightness to the mix. Cedarwood and black spruce cleanse and relax, while basil uplifts. It’s a lovely blend for doing a bit of reading and tidying up.
Québec Autumn Orchard
3 drops cinnamon bark essential oil
13 drops South African chamomile essential oil
5 drops peru balsam essential oil or Benzoin essential oil
1 drop nutmeg essential oil
2 drops labdanum essential oil
1 toothpick swirl cade essential oil
1 drop clove bud essential oil
This blend was all Sarah’s idea, having spent far more time in Québec than I have. She spoke longingly of picking big $10 bags of apples in an orchard with crunchy leaves underfoot, and snacking on delicious apple cinnamon doughnuts that were being sold right there in the orchard. This blend is full of sunshine, apples (from the chamomile), and spice, with just a wee hint of smoke as somebody is always burning leaves somewhere in the distance in the fall. Chamomile calms, clove is stimulating and energizing, and cade disinfects. This blend is just divine for chilly mornings and late nights.
This blog is a team-up with Saje, and is available on their blog as well as here. They provided the ultrasonic nebulizer, but this has in no way effected my opinions or impressions of it.