Compared to store-bought gifts, DIY gifts are more personal, more thoughtful, gentler on the environment (no packaging!) and can even save you some money.
There are thousands of holiday crafting ideas available online, but it’s possible to create lovely, personal gifts without touching a glue gun or even standing in line at the craft store.
Essential oil-based aromatherapy products are relatively simple to make. Everyone loves a fresh scent in their home, so they can make a good gift for anyone on your list. They’re also a safer and more natural alternative to the synthetic fragrances that are often used in the home, so you can feel even better about gifting them to your friends and family.
To create beautiful, fragrant essential oil aromatherapy gifts, follow these three steps.
1. Decide How the Fragrance Will be Used
You might think the first step in the process of creating an essential oil-based gift should be to start researching which oils you want to blend together.
But the very first thing you should do is decide what you want the aroma to be used for. Figuring that out will guide your fragrance choices, and it will determine how you can package the result. (Because this is a gift, its presentation is important.)
People can use aromatic essential oil blends in some of the following ways:
Essential Oil Diffuser – If you expect your recipient to use the fragrance in one of these popular tools, you’ll want to present the blend in a small container with a dropper. They’ll just need a few drops each time they want to use it (the oils mix with the water in the diffuser). Take extra precaution that none of the oils could be harmful when inhaled, either by adults or children. (Many people are willing to go online and share diffuser recipes, but you shouldn’t take health advice from an uncredentialed blogger.)
Room Spray – Essential oil sprays can be great for freshening up linens, carpets, curtains, the contents of drawers, and even cloth upholstery. Check for any fabric reactions in an inconspicuous spot first, and encourage your gift recipients to do so, too. Glass spray bottles are the best option for this type of aromatherapy. Most recipes call for the bottle to be mostly filled with water, 10-30 drops of essential oil, with a bit of alcohol, witch hazel, or salt to help the water and oil blend.
“Wearing” the Fragrance – Essential oils are used widely used in personal care products, and they can even be applied to certain types of special jewelry. Some people like to roll essential oil blends onto their clothes or even onto their skin with a rollerball. However, any oil that comes into direct contact with the skin also requires a lot of due diligence, as some oils are known irritants. You should never apply undiluted essential oil directly to the skin. Essential oils can be diluted in carrier oils like olive oil or coconut oil.
Smelling Salts – Some aromatherapy enthusiasts have taken to putting essential oil “inhalers” in their bags for aromatherapy on the go. Unfortunately, most inhalers that you can find online are plastic and disposable. Instead, consider creating a blend of essential-oil-scented smelling salts in a small glass jar. Smelling salts are a combination of Epsom salt, sea salt, and about ten drops of essential oils.
Pillow Mist – Many people love to spray a calming fragrance onto their pillow at night. You can use the same ingredients as the room spray, but mix them in a mister bottle instead of a spray bottle. It disperses the mixture more finely and won’t take up much room on your bedside table.
Finally, regardless of which application method you’re using for your fragrant blend, avoid using plastic containers.
Oils can can react with some types of plastic, degrading the quality of the oils and even breaking down the plastic, too.
Glass is ideal for essential oil storage. Chose a dark glass, such as blue or amber, that will protect the essential oils inside from sunlight.
2. Choose a Scent for Your Gift
Now that you have an idea of how the fragrance will be used, you can start to think about what feelings and ideas you want your blend of essential oils to evoke.
As we wrote in our last post, the human sense of smell is uniquely complex compared to our other senses. Reactions to fragrances are very personal. We all have different ideas of what smells are pleasant and unpleasant.
However, there are some basic rules that experts use to develop fragrances from essential oil combinations.
The highest quality organic essential oils can get pricey (for more on how to choose them, see our post 4 Questions to Ask Before You Buys Essential Oils). Before you make a big investment in a wide variety of them, you’ll want to know a little more about which scents go together and how to test the results.
Essential oils give off their scent as they evaporate, and some oils evaporate more quickly than others. For that reason, experts blend fragrances into combinations of oils that evaporate quickly, slowly, and somewhere in between.
The quick evaporators are referred to as “high notes.” These make the strongest first impression. The slow evaporators are called “bass notes.” These are the smells that stick around the longest and form the foundation of the fragrance. The “middle notes” tie the high and low notes together.
If you’re new to blending, start with three oils: one low, one medium, and one high. As you gain experience, you can add five or more notes to the same blend.
As you decide which oils you’d like to try, do some research into whether each oil is low, medium or high so you can get the right mix.
There are a lot of oils to choose from though.
If your DIY aromatherapy gifts are for the holidays, you may opt for a blend that uses elements such as peppermint, pine, cinnamon, and other winter aromas. (For more inspiration for holiday scents, head over to our post How to Prepare Your Home for a Warm, Memorable Holiday Season).
But you can also come up with scents that you personally enjoy, or that you think the intended recipients would like.
Although personal preferences for scent can vary a lot from person to person, in many cases, oils from the same or similar categories blend well together. Some popular essential oil categories are fruits, herbs, mints, flowers (floral), spices, and trees.
Experiment with different combinations within these groups and make sure to hit all the right notes.
3. Present it Beautifully
Once you know how your scent will be used, have chosen a beautiful glass container for it, and finalized your chosen oil blend, it’s time to work on the presentation.
Labels and tags are essential for letting your recipient know what’s inside the bottle and how to use it.
There are many options you can use to label glass. There’s a great selection of pre-printed stickers and labels available for sale online. You can even try vinyl adhesives that give a cutout appearance and come with a variety of finishes.
Along with the label (which should note what’s inside the bottle and possibly how to use it, such as shaking the mixture before you spray), you can tie a tag onto the neck of the bottle or dropper with the “to and from” information. You can also buy these tags in bulk, or cut your own tags out of paper and decorate them by hand for a more personal touch. Punch a hole in the tag and tie it on with a beautiful piece of ribbon or twine for a holiday feel.
Finally, for added flair, you can also tie on a candy cane, a sprig of pine, or some flowers or herbs (fresh or dried) to the bottle with the ribbon.
The best aromatherapy gifts are more than just fragrance. Beautiful bottles, ribbons, and tags make a big difference.
Are you ready to get started? Head on over to Sally’s Organics Amazon store to see our amazing glass bottle selection. Don’t forget to read the customer reviews — we only stock the best glass products for a natural lifestyle.