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The best essential oils for winter

As the days grow shorter and the nights become longer, many of us will become less active, spending more time at home and less time in the great outdoors.

Moods often dip during the winter months whilst our immune systems take a hit from the circulating viruses.

Essential oils can be particularly beneficial during winter. In this article, we’ll share some of the best essential oils to use over the winter months, keeping the winter blues at bay and leaving your home smelling warm and comforting.  

Content/Quick links

  • What are the benefits of using essential oils in winter? 
  • Essential oils for a warm and comforting aroma
  • Essential oils to boost your immunity in winter
  • Essential oils for congestion in winter
  • Essential oils for a warm winter bath 
  • Essential oils to lift your mood in winter 
  • Essential oils to give you energy in winter
  • Essential oils for nourished skin in winter
  • To sum up

What are the benefits of using essential oils in winter? 

Using essential oils can alleviate some of the discomfort that winter often brings, whilst giving your home that warm and comforting scent that everyone craves during winter.

Essential oils can help to boost immunity. Coughs, colds, flu and other illnesses are often at their peak during the winter months, and certain essential oils can help to keep these at bay. Not only that, but when an inevitable cold does strike, essential oils can help you to cope with the symptoms.

Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD, is most disruptive during winter. This is due to the reduced sunlight during the cooler months. Essential oils can help you to manage the symptoms of SAD, boosting your mood and increasing your energy levels.

There are many other benefits of using essential oils during winter, including giving you energy, easing congestion and nourishing your skin.  

Essential oils for a warm and comforting aroma

Certain scents give you an instantaneous sense of nostalgia, coupled with comfort and warmth. This is exactly what you need in winter when the cool weather is keeping you indoors. There are a range of warming essential oils which are ideal for the cool winter months.

Featuring a fragrant mix of fir, pine, spruce and thuja essential oils, volant’s Cabin blend is ideal for diffusing around your home in winter. The warm and woody aroma of Cabin is perfect for creating a cosy atmosphere, like a log cabin nestled in the forest and warmed by a wood fire, leaving you feeling comforted, content and refreshed.

With a history stretching back over five millennia, frankincense is another essential oil which is ideal for diffusing during the winter months. This decadent oil has a rich and woody aroma with notes of citrus and spice, which will lift your mood and set the
scene for cosy evenings in front of the fire.

Cinnamon and ginger often trigger nostalgic memories of Christmas baking, which can be warm and comforting on those cold winter nights. Peppermint is another essential oil which is perfect for getting you into the Christmas spirit, eliciting thoughts of candy canes and peppermint tea.

Other warming essential oils which are ideal for scenting your home during winter include rosemary, marjoram and juniper. Try combining different oils together to create the perfect winter aroma for your home. 

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Essential oils to boost immunity in winter

During the winter months, coughs, colds, flu and other illnesses spread rapidly as we spend more time indoors. This is the time of year when our immune systems most need a boost. Luckily, there are essential oils that can do just that.

Eucalyptus essential oil is known to boost immunity. As well as having both anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties, eucalyptus oil has been proven in studies to stimulate the immune system, increasing the body’s ability to fight illness and infection. Not only that, but eucalyptus oil can also help to clear the sinuses and ease congestion when a cold does strike.

Another essential oil which has strong claims for boosting immunity is tea tree essential oil. Studies have proven the antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties of tea tree oil, and there is evidence to suggest that the oil also helps to fight against bacteria and viruses, although more research is required.

If you want to boost your immune system, try adding eucalyptus or tea tree oil to a diffuser and take the time inhale the aroma of these immunity-boosting essential oils.  

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Essential oils for congestion in winter

Congestion, or blocked nasal passages, are a common symptom of a cold, sinus infection or the flu. Although congestion typically resolves itself within a week or two, congestion can cause headaches, ear pain and general discomfort. Some essential oils have been proven to help open the airways and ease congestion.

Many people rely on the effects of inhaling peppermint oil when they have blocked sinuses and congestion. Peppermint oil contains menthol which helps to open the airways and clear mucus. For this reason, many nasal decongestant products contain peppermint.

Eucalyptus essential oil is another promising remedy for congestion, with many people enjoying the benefits of this oil. Many decongestant products such as chest rubs contain eucalyptus oil thanks to its success at relieving the symptoms of sinus congestion.

If you’d like to try peppermint essential oil or eucalyptus essential oil to relieve your nasal congestion this winter, you can try adding a drop of these oils to a tablespoon of carrier oil and massaging the mixture into your chest, or create your own facial sauna with a bowl of hot water and a towel and inhale these helpful aromas deep into your nasal passages and airways. You can also add the oils to a diffuser to fill your room with the relieving aromas of peppermint and eucalyptus.  

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Essential oils for a warm winter bath

There’s nothing better in winter than climbing into a warm bath and allowing the heat of the water to permeate your body and to soothe your muscles. Adding essential oils to your bath can enhance your relaxation and provide the perfect end to your winter’s day.

There are a wide range of essential oils which are ideal for adding to your bath in the winter to promote relaxation, including lavender, chamomile and frankincense. For ultimate relaxation, we’d recommend volant’s Relax blend of essential oils which includes palmarosa, ylang ylang, eucalyptus and grapefruit to calm your mind and relax your body.

If you’re suffering from tired, overworked muscles, essential oils such as marjoram, lemongrass and lavender may help to boost your circulation and reduce your pain. A soak in the bath with these essential oils could leave your muscles soothed and
ready for another day.

If you decide to add essential oils to your bath, you’ll first need to dilute them with a carrier oil such as jojoba, coconut or grapeseed oil. Simply mix a few drops of your chosen oils with a tablespoon of carrier oil and mix it into your bath. The carrier oil will help the essential oils to disperse throughout the water, minimising the chances of skin irritation.  

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Essential oils to lift your mood in winter

Many people find that their mood drops during winter. This could be a result of the reduced sunlight which leads to lower production of melatonin and serotonin and affects your body’s circadian rhythm. Scientists refer to this as SAD, or Seasonal Affective Disorder.

However, there are many essential oils which have been proven effective in boosting mood and countering the winter blues.

Bergamot essential oil has been proven to improve mood. A 2015 study found that bergamot essential oil may help to improve negative emotions, reduce fatigue and lower levels of the body’s stress hormone, cortisol.

Another essential oil which can improve your mood during the winter months is geranium oil. Geranium essential oil has a bright, floral aroma which will take you back to the warm summer months and evoke the sense of being in the midst of a beautiful flower garden. It has an instant calming effect, helping your body to balance its natural hormone levels whilst promoting relaxation.

Try adding these essential oils into a diffuser and inhaling the aroma when you feel the winter blues kicking in. You can also mix these oils with a carrier oil and add them to a warm bath for a mood-boosting soak.

Find out more about using essential oils for SAD here 

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Essential oils to give you energy in winter

Many people notice their energy levels drop over winter. This may lead to spending more time curled up on the chesterfield and comfort eating. Whilst we’re not discouraging spending a little time relaxing, many people look for ways to naturally increase their energy levels and give them motivation.

There are many essential oils which have been proven to increase energy levels. For example, a study in 2016 concluded that inhaling sweet orange and spearmint essential oils had the potential to improve athletic performance.

We recommend volant’s Energy blend of essential oils for boosting energy levels. This blend combines the aromas of sweet orange, grapefruit, lime, bergamot and juniper essential oils, leaving you feeling energised and invigorated. Adding this blend to a diffuser when you first wake up can motivate you to get out of bed and give you energy for the day ahead.  

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Essential oils for nourished skin in winter

Cold weather can cause dry skin in many people. This can be itchy, as well as uncomfortable. Luckily there are many essential oils which can help to nourish dry skin, leaving it feeling hydrated and smooth.

As well as being one of the most effective essential oils for relaxation and sleep, lavender essential oil is known for its ability to balance moisture levels in the skin. It’s often used to soothe eczema and psoriasis, reducing redness and hydrating the skin.

Chamomile is another essential oil which nourishes the skin. Chamomile oil contains the compound azulene, which is known for its ability to increase moisture and reduce inflammation, making it ideal for use on dry skin.

Before applying an essential oil topically, you should dilute it with a carrier oil. We always recommend performing a patch test before applying your essential oil mixture more liberally.

After you’ve diluted your essential oil with a carrier oil and completed a patch test, you can then massage the mixture into your skin, leaving it feeling nourished and hydrated.  

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To sum up

Winter can be a difficult time for many people. However, essential oils can bring many benefits including boosting your immune system, helping you to cope with the symptoms of a cold, nourishing your skin, lifting your mood, increasing your energy levels and helping you get through those long winter months.  

For more information about essential oils, or to speak to an aroma expert, email us at:

Curious of what essential oils can do for you?


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"I received my Terracotta Volant right after Christmas and it has been routinely used! I love the smell of the oils and have learned to balance to strength for me and my family. I recommend it to anyone who loves essential oils." Robert S.
"Perfect for meditation, especially Geranium. And Grapefruit for yoga." Cathy S.
"Easy to switch between subscription products, have tested 5 oils. Very satisfied" Mary H.
"I love getting essential oils in my post box every month, cool recipes by mail as well" Johan J.
"Been looking for essential oils for aromatherapy, these oils give me a boost" Svetlana W.
"I purchesed Volant diffuser, and I am obsessed with it! I am using it every day and I feel super satisfied. Excellent experience." Agnieszka S.
"Struggled to fall asleep before, the blend Sleep has changed that" Chloe L.

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