The Scents of Fall: Massage Therapy Edition

It’s not officially Fall yet, but it’s just around the corner; September 23’s fall equinox introduces shorter days and longer nights, cooler temperatures.

Walking thru the crisp fallen leaves of autumn’s oranges, reds, yellows; the smells of cooking in the kitchen with clove, nutmeg, cinnamon, pumpkin, stting by the warmth of a fireplace with its’ distinctive smell are all reminiscent of fall’s transition from summer to winter.

Recreating the sensual experience of autumn for your client can be fun and help further the relaxation experience. Using the sense of smell is easy and fun. We generally think of Fall as an earthier smell; woodsy, spicy, heavy scents (base notes).


scents for fall

  • Cedarwood-Woodsy-used to reduce anxiety/tension, calming, relaxes muscles, helpful for meditation, lessens pain, promotes restful sleep, vapors help with breathing, repels insects
  • Sandalwood-Woodsy-used to reduce stress, calming, helpful for meditation, promotes restful sleep, mood uplifting, aphrodisiac, healing to the skin
  • Lavender-fresh & clean-used to reduce stress/tension, calming in small amounts, stimulating in large amounts, promotes restful sleep, mood uplifting, balances mood swings, breaks up congestion, reduces inflammation, vapors help breathing, improves digestion, purifying to the body, disinfectant, healing to the skin, soothes insect bites, repels insects
  • Vanilla-middle/top note-blends well, anti-carcinogenic, fights infections/fever, reduces inflammation, antidepressant, sedative, tranquilizing, relaxing
  • Cinnamon bark and leaf-cinnamon- uses: warming to the body, relaxes tight muscles, lessens pain, mood uplifting, helps relieve fatigue, improves digestion, increases appetite, helps reduce cellulite deposits, disinfectant, repels insects
  • Clove-hot & spicy-uses: warming to the body, relieves pain, mood uplifting, helps relieve fatigue, vapors help breathing, improves digestion, improves mental clarity & memory, disinfectant, repels insects
  • Ginger-spicy-uses: warming to the body, relaxes tight muscles, relieves tight muscles & pain, mood uplifting, helps relive fatigue, energizing, improves digestion, increases appetite, improves mental clarity & memory
  • Patchouli-musky-uses: mood uplifting, nerve stimulant, disinfectant, healing to the skin, repels insects

Uses in the home

Many of the above oils repel insects. If you get a spray bottle of water & add 4-8 drops to the water, shake & spray areas where spiders or other insects might congregate in the house. Peppermint oil is wonderful for repelling spiders, and the peppermint oil smell refreshing.

Add 4-8 drops of eucalyptus or clove on the shower floor under the shower head during a hot shower for a wake-me-up or an aid in breaking up congestion.

Adding a few drops of vanilla, bergamot, lemon, or peppermint to a cotton ball and dropping in the trash will help alleviate odors.

If you have a fireplace inside or fire pit outside, put 8-10 drops of pine, frankincense, sage or myrrh on a dried log and let it soak in. Place the log in the fire & enjoy the smell. CAUTION: do NOT drop essential oil on a log while a fire is burning!

Adding a few drop to a candle can help to scent the room. Please use the same caution as for fire wood CAUTION: do NOT drop essential oil on a candle while it is burning!

If you still enjoy using snail mail, make the letter more personal. Use a drop of your favorite scent.

a few recipes

For a calming and strengthening blend to relax nerves, relieve irritability, and support your spirits try:

  • 5 drops of sandalwood
  • 3 drops of lavender
  • 3 drops of vanilla

For an uplifting, confidence enhancing blend try:

  • 4 drops cedarwood
  • 4 drops bergamot
  • 3 drops neroli

To create a positive atmosphere while stimulating the mind try:

  • 5 drops nutmeg
  • 2 drops cypress
  • 2 drops rosemary

To fight fatigue try:

  • 4 drops cinnamon
  • 4 drops clove
  • 4 drops cardamom

To fill the house with warm, loving scents, try:

  • 4 drops sandalwood
  • 3 drops patchouli
  • 3 drops rose

What is your favorite scent? When do you remember first experiencing that scent?

9 thoughts on “The Scents of Fall: Massage Therapy Edition”

  1. I love the scents of vanilla or cinnamon or any that smell like food. Makes me want to get In the kitchen and bake something yummy.

  2. I love the smells of fall and thanksgiving I’ll have to keep those recipes handy. And now I’m curious as to what happens when you drop essential oils on a burning log

  3. I am so sorry for the smiley face didn’t know it was going to be HUGE. and my favorite scent is peppermint but can’t remember anything specfic to that smell. just love it…

  4. I love vanilla and cinnamon! Pine also has that smell of Christmas! I learned to put cinnamon, and apple in boiling water and then let it simmer for a great scent throughout the house. You can add any scent you like!

  5. Cinnamon and lavender. Cinnamon reminds me of snickerdoddle cookies and lavender reminds me of the spring time.

  6. I, like a ton of other people, love Fall! I can smell cinnamon, vanilla, and lavender now just reading the article! I didn’t know about the log thing so i thought that was very cool and could and an extra kick to an ordinary camping trip. Great article, I can’t wait until Fall come makes it’s grand entry!