Deep Forest Diffuser Blend

Shorter days and cooler temperatures have arrived at Humblebee Farms. The oak leaves have turned tawny. The sun’s light is creamier and more diffused. And the winter sparrows have returned.

While I love the longer days of summer to tackle projects, I find winter naturally is a time for reflection and contemplation. It’s a time to focus more on self. I use winter to organize my thoughts and consider my priorities for the coming new year.

To encourage such deep thinking, I often turn to my diffuser. Research has shown that scent can be a powerful tool to enhance mood, memory and attention. In a 2010 paper Differential effects of the aromas of Salvia species on memory and mood by Lucy Moss et al. Salvia (sage) was shown to markedly improve primary and secondary memory. And in a perhaps more intriguing 2007 paper by Wen Li et al. it found that subliminal smells can have a marked affect on social preferences. In other words, you can actually make people like or dislike you by using pleasant and conversely, unpleasant scents – as long as the scent was undetectable (curiously, consciousness of the scent actually negated the effect).

From the completely un-academic perspective, I just know that I like certain smells. Scents like lavender and frankincense help me relax. While invigorating rosemary and peppermint help me focus. But lately, I’ve been craving the scent of deep forest. And since I can’t always be standing out in the woods, I developed this diffuser recipe to recreate the mood indoors. It’s green and earthy. A bit dark, but still clean with just a hint of sweet spice.

Deep Forest Diffuser Blend

  • 5 Drops balsam fir
  • 3 Drops spruce
  • 3 Drops pine
  • 3 Drops amyris
  • 1 Drop ocotea

Sourcing notes

Both amyris and ocotea are not very common. Yet, I adore these essential oils and use them regularly. Amyris is a resinous, woody scent with notes of vanilla and leather. While ocotea is somewhat cinnamon cassia-like, but less sweet and more complex. I get both of these oils from Edens Garden (no affiliation).



Moss L, Rouse M, Wesnes KA, Moss M. Differential effects of the aromas of Salvia species on memory and mood. Human Psychopharmacology: Clinical & Experimental. 2010;25(5):388-396. doi:10.1002/hup.1129

Wen Li, Moallem I, Paller KA, Gottfried JA. Subliminal Smells Can Guide Social Preferences. Psychological Science (0956-7976). 2007;18(12):1044-1049. doi:10.1111/j.1467-9280.2007.02023.x