It seems that nearly everyone who has a Pinterest account has at least one Pin linking back to a “Williams-Sonoma Store Scent”, which basically just has you simmer a sliced lemon with a couple bruised rosemary sprigs and two teaspoons of vanilla extract in a half-filled small saucepan or small slow-cooker. The only trick is really to make sure the liquid doesn’t boil away and to occasionally refresh the vanilla. I’ve actually used this concoction myself when I feel my house getting funky or I have company coming over. If the latter is the case, then I just make sure to start the simmer an hour before they are expected so that the scent has time to permeate through the whole house.
Well, I recently acquired an essential oil diffuser and have been experimenting with a variety of different oil blends to help perk up my mood, increase my wellness, and to generally enjoy something pleasant smelling without aggravating my lungs with incense. A couple favorites in my rotation are my homemade Thieves blend and a commercial “Brain-Aid Synergy Blend” of bergamot, basil, lemon, and grapefruit, and straight-up vanilla.
It was as I was adding a few drops of the vanilla to my diffuser a few nights ago that it occurred to me that I also had lemon and rosemary essential oil on hand. I knew that I liked the scent combination of the three from the famous Williams-Sonoma simmer, and realized that I had also liked the energy the simmer always brought to my house: It sort of cleansed everything but left a bright, warm hug linger. So I turned to my faithful Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs and refreshed my memory on the magical energies of these three plants.
As it happens, lemon and rosemary are sort of each other’s yin and yang. Lemon has feminine, lunar, and water energies whereas rosemary has masculine, solar, and fire energies. Both, however, are effective cleansers and purifiers, especially steeped in water for baths or cleansing fluids. Cunningham notes that both are also effective for use in love work, and he notes that rosemary is useful in improving mental powers. It’s also been scientifically established that citrus essential oils can be effective antidepressants, and lifting a black mood also has a beneficial on mental acuity. With regards to vanilla, Cunningham notes that it–like lemon–is aligned with the feminine and with water, but it predominately has Venusian planetary energies. While it does restore energy and improve the mind, it is primarily a boost to love (and lust) energies.
There you have it: cleansing and purifying, while brightening mood and mind and inducing loving energies. It’s hard to beat that combination.
Even better, this is also a very cost-effective blend. Lemon oil can usually be found for somewhere between $3 and $4 for 15 ml (or 1/2 ounce. The organic oil I purchased was slightly more expensive at $6.55 for 10 ml, but still quite cheap. The Herb Shop sells their vanilla oil for just $4.95 for 10 ml, and conventional rosemary is $3.95 for 10 ml.What I did was to combine about 50 drops of lemon oil with about 30 of rosemary and 15 of vanilla in a 1/8 oz/3.7 mL/1 dram bottle. As you can see, the vanilla oil is a thicker, heavier oil and it does not like to play well with the other two. After sitting for a few minutes, it largely sinks to the bottom of the vial. Before using it, then, you’ve got to shake the bottle pretty vigorously.
Overall, I like the scent proportion of this blend, though it may be a touch heavy on the rosemary in comparison to the stove-top simmer, which lets more lemon through. I think the next time I make it, I will halve the rosemary and work up from there. The vanilla plays well with the lemon, and I like the proportions used there. I’ve also noticed that when I diffuse the blend, I get discrete stages of scent. Rosemary floods when I first start diffusing, but then segues to a combination of lemon/rosemary. Then as it continues diffusing, the scent gets sweeter and sweeter until it is almost all vanilla. I rather like that. It really is as though the lemon and rosemary rush out to clean and purify, and then the vanilla lingers to sweeten and leave loving energy in the wake of the scrub.