My Favorite Essential Oils For Fall and Winter

4:01 PM Posted by jo


The fall is a perfect time to start using warming essential oils. When the days are getting shorter and the temperatures are cooler I start diffusing  my woody, spicy and warming oils.  Not only do these oils add a wonderful aroma to the home, but they also possess powerful anti-microbial properties to aid in warding off disease. I love how I can diffuse the aromas I love and at the same time protect myself from infectious diseases.

I especially enjoy the essential oils from spices, perhaps it is because we use a lot of spices during the long and cold winter months in my home country Sweden. We eat lots of spicy gingerbread cookies and drink our version of Gluhwein. We decorate the houses with Pomanders during Christmas time. 

Intense oils
Spice oils are very intense so it is best to mix them up with some other oils before diffusing them in the room. For example, diffused clove oil can irritate the eyes so it should not be diffused more than a couple of minutes at a time. Spice oils such as cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, and ginger blend well with citrus oils. So I enjoy blending citrus oils such as orange, lemon, tangerine, bergamot, lime, and grapefruit with spice oils during the fall and winter. Closer to Christmas I like to add  essential oils such as juniper, cypress, Balsam Fir, peppermint and pine to my diffuser.

I like to use essential oils to get the right holiday feeling during when it gets closer to Christmas.

Here are some of my favorite oils during the fall and winter. 


This is by far one of my favorite essential oils. Clove has a spicy, hot peppery and fresh top note. It is very penetrating and stays in my head. The middle note is very uplifting, smooth, more distinct and sweet. It is very aromatic. The base note seems stronger, sweet, spicy, and warm. The dry out note is still strong, spicy, slightly floral and fruity.  Clove is a very positive, uplifting, and stimulating scent. I like it. I makes me feel very positive and ready to do things. I associate the aroma with freshly baked gingerbread. 

Use with caution after first trimester but it is best to consult a physician before use when pregnant.

Avoid with homeopathics. It is a mucus membranes irritant, and it may cause dermatitis. It is also a blood thinner and should be avoided if taking blood thinning  medication.


Cinnamon has a warm, spicy, peppery, and slightly woody top note. The middle note is more intense and the characteristic sweet cinnamon aroma has increased, but it still has a slight woody undertone. It smells like cinnamon candy. The characteristic spicy cinnamon scent appears to be stronger in the base note. The dry out note is still very distinct spicy cinnamon but weaker. Cinnamon has a sharp penetrating aroma that is very comforting but also stimulating. It lightens the mood. 

I consider this my feel good oil. I love everything cinnamon and inhaling the essential oils reminds me of being a child eating fresh homemade cinnamon rolls. The aroma cheers me up, it is uplifting but yet relaxing aroma.

Cinnamon should be avoided in pregnancy and in stomach or intestinal ulcers. It may cause tachycardia, increased respiration and perspiration in excessive doses. It should be avoided when using homeopathic remedies.


Ginger has a warm, pleasant, slightly citrus and fruity top note with a woody undertone. The middle note is spicy, peppery, sharp, warm and uplifting. It also has a more characteristic ginger aroma. Ginger is stimulating and warming, and it makes me concentrate better. The base note is sweet, slightly characteristic ginger, woody and more diffused. Ginger has some burned smoky scent. The final dry out note smells sweet several days later. 

Ginger clears my nose when I inhale it and it goes to my head. It's an euphoric and stimulating scent. It makes me happy smelling it.  Ginger is a stimulating and grounding oil. It is said to help with memory.

Nutmeg is a warm and stimulating aroma. The aroma lifts fatigue and goes straight to the head. The top note is spicy, warm, woody, and little alcoholic. The middle note is rounder, softer, spicier and more euphoric. The base note seems dark, spicy and little burnt. Nutmeg is a warm masculine aroma that I associate with winter-time. Nutmeg is said to support the nervous and endocrine systems and prostaglandin balance.

The constituent myristicin is toxic if used in excess.


It is high in d-limonene (85-90%) and therefore a powerful antioxidant. Orange has an uplifting, rich, fruity, and at the same time a very calming aroma. It is a happy aroma.  

According to Salvtore Battagia, the sensual and cheerful nature of orange essential oils provides joy and warmth to everyone who is exposed to it. He says it is especially ideal for those who forget to laugh and take life too seriously. 


Cedarwood has balsamic-woody, earthy and slightly spicy, and camphoraceous top note. The scent is very calming, relaxing, and it feels comfortable. The middle note is sweeter, and more woody with a perfumery scent. Cedarwood is a warm and tenacious note. It reminds me of fresh cut timber. 

Cedrus atlantica may be useful in nervous tension and anxiety due to its warming and harmonizing properties, which make it very soothing and calming. The oil may be comforting, warming, and helpful in stress-related conditions such as nervous tension, anger and exhaustion.


Frankincense has a warm, sweet, balsamic, woody, spicy scent with a hint of lemon. It slows down breathing and produces feelings of calm. It has historically been used for respiratory congestion.  It also has astringent properties, which may also help balance oily skin conditions. According to Mojay, frankincense is to be recommended as an aid in meditation, prayer and contemplation since it will help still the mind and cease mental chatter.

Black Pepper

I love the smell of black pepper! It has warming qualities and according to Battaglia black pepper will help us move on when our lives feel stuck. He also writes that it is also recommended treatment for chilblains.


Rosemary has a strong, penetrating and clear aroma. It is a refreshing and stimulating herbal fragrance. It is said to overcome mental fatigue and to improve mental clarity and focus.
Rosemary is considered one of the best tonics for central nervous system. It strengthens mental clarity and awareness. It is an excellent brain stimulant and has traditionally been used to improve memory. It is also a valuable oil for respiratory problems such as  catarrh, sinusitis, common cold and asthma.


Cypress has a bitter, acidic, sharp, spicy and balsamic-woody top note. It is a clean and refreshing smell. The middle note is balsamic-woody, sweet and spicy. The base note smells more like cypress with a forest scent and it is not as sweet. The dry out note is sweet, woody, and mild. The aroma of cypress is calming and balancing, but also very refreshing and clearing.


Pine (Pinus sylvestris) has a refreshing and invigorating aroma. According to Battaglia the energetic qualities of pine are drying and warming as well as tonifying the Qi. He says it is one of the best oils to clear phlegm. He also says it is recommended for coughing, bronchial congestion, and asthma.

Before you leave:

I recommend that you always perform a skin patch test when you try a new oil.

Check out my safety page to make sure you are aware of any contrindications before you use essential oils. Some oils are not suitable when suffering from certain conditions. AlsoRead this Before You Start Using Essential oils. Some oils should not be applied prior to sun exposure so make sure you check this list before spending time in the sun.

Not sure how to apply the oils? Visit these pages to learn how to apply the oils:
If you're new to essential oils you might want to check out my Getting Started Guide. 


Johanna is an aromatherapist and she is passionate about educating people about health, essential oils, real food, natural remedies, and nutrition so they make healthier choices in their lives. 
Follow Johanna on twitter and facebook for more health tips and information.

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