Cinnamon Scented Memories

cinnamon sticksThe scent of cinnamon will always remind me of holidays, both Christian and Jewish. Its warm, comforting odor conjures up family memories and wraps me like a snuggly blanket. Cinnamon also does much more, like kill germs. And, perhaps surprisingly, it is an enticing aphrodisiac.

You can find cinnamon in just about every spice rack for enhancing savory and sweet foods. But if you found Cinnamomum zeylanicum essential oil in the cupboard, you could make a powerful air purifier. In aromatherapy, cinnamon is considered a potent germ fighter being antibacterial, antifungal, antimicrobial, antiseptic, antiviral, and bactericidal, and therefore a great winter bug killer.

On a provocative note, Cinnamon’s smell has been shown to be an aphrodisiac for men. Dr. Alan Hirsch, of the Smell & Taste Treatment and Research Foundation, studied odors and male arousal. He used the scent of fresh-baked cinnamon buns as a control because it wasn’t expected to elicit a sexual response. “The cinnamon rolls turned out to be the sexiest odor,” said Hirsch.

I adore cinnamon so much that I consider bringing it with me when I travel – if I cook I miss the powdered cinnamon in my french toast and tea. This time of year, at least, the kitchen is for warming up to cinnamon scented pie or a mug of hot cocoa with a little added cinnamon and cayenne. You can also use the spicy blend below in a diffusor and savor the seasonal aromas.

Holiday Spice
1 drop anise (Pimpinella anisum)
2 drops bergamot (Citrus bergamia)
3 drops cinnamon
2 drops clove (Syzygium aromaticum)
2 drops orange (Citrus sinensis)

What scent conjures up the holidays for you?