I hate to admit it, but this is the time of year I need to start thinking about Christmas if I want the holidays to be as stress-free as possible. Thankfully, this year I have a new obsession that provides me with many opportunities for unique presents...I heard that the Oilcrowd was discussing Christmas gifts, and I thought I'd ask: Will any of your holiday gifts this year involve essential oils? Here are a few ideas bubbling in my brain; no recipes for now, just ideas! EITHER MEN OR WOMEN:
I'm planning on giving each family a 5ml bottle of lavender oil with a pretty little list of its possible uses. It's just too amazing and versatile not to share, and lavender is safe enough that I feel okay giving someone a bottle who doesn't know all that much about oils. (After all, that's how I got started!)
Four Robbers/Thieves oil blend products
I mixed up 30ml of thieves oil this week. (And Marsha's right-- that recipe smells fantastic!) I don't think I'll hand people a bottle of this oil, since it's a little caustic to the skin; instead, I'll mix up some disinfecting hand spray, foaming hand soap, and some of that great all-purpose cleaner. The cinnamon/clove scent is perfect for the holidays, and it fights germs to boot! Again, some kind of card explaining the legend and the oils' properties is in order here-- so they know that it smells great AND kills germs too.
Those inhalers we mentioned a few weeks ago are on my list for Christmas gifts as well. Here are some of my possible creations for gifts:
Headaches: lavender and peppermint
Stuffy Noses: (this is called catarrh in those British aromatherapy books you're reading, by the way) possible ravinstara & cedarwood
Anxiety Relief: (aka Calm the Heck Down, You Crazy Relative...) Bergamot, orange, lime, & vetiver
Immune Boost: possibly a Thieves inhaler, or a mix of the strongest antiviral/antibacterial oils. I'm reading amazing things about oregano these days...
I'm scoping out recipes for aftershave, and saving our pretty glass bottles. (My favorites: decorative salad dressing and maple syrup bottles.) I'm hoping, with Aaron's help, to come up with some wonderful-smelling formulas that also nourish and help heal my favorite fellas' freshly-shaved faces. I'll post a recipe when we've found one we like, but I'm thinking about oils like cedarwood... sandalwood... lavender... mmm. WOMEN:
Epsom salts and essential oils, plus an ingredient or two, will make a beautiful gift. Refreshing? Relaxing? Therapeutic for when you're sick with a cold or virus? So many possibilities!
If you have never experienced the exfoliating/moisturizing one-two punch of a sugar scrub, you need to do this RIGHT NOW. So much so that I'll break my intention for this post and go dig up a quick recipe. This is from a site called treehuggingfamily.com; I can't link it tonight because the site is apparently down (I used Google's cache to snag her recipe).
- 2 cups sugar - I like a mix of coarse natural brown, and basic white; it makes a good scrub worthy feel. You can use just coarse brown or just plain white though. Do not use soft brown baking sugar.
- Oil: I like apricot or light olive best. Any oil that’s natural and from a nut or fruit will work. Baby oil (non-scented) will also work. Do not use cooking oil like corn - that will make a funky smell and a too-slick feel.
- Vanilla beans: Use whole organic, or in a pinch I’ve used organic vanilla extract (seriously, I was hard up). However, extract will darken your mix - no biggie though.
- Organic lavender essential oil.
- Any old container with a lid.
- Place vanilla beans in dry sugar. Cover and let sit for a week or two - the longer it sits the better the smell. If using vanilla extract, skip this step.
- Remove vanilla beans. Cover sugar until saturated (but not over saturated) with oil. Short on oil? You can also use a mix of oil and water - I know the two don’t mix, but in sugar it will work.
- Add a few drops of lavender oil. If you’re using vanilla extract add a few drops now.
- Use to scrub down your body either before you start the shower or during. Rinse well. Do not use on face or hair.
- This last a long time - i.e. it won’t mold or anything before you use it up. You can keep it in your bathroom. Also, contrary to what you may think, you won’t be sticky. You don’t need to wash this off with soap; plain water is fine.
One, you will feel smooth and smell delicious. Two, your bathroom will also smell great all day long. I’ve been reusing the same container for years. If you want to give this as a gift, look for short, squat, wide glass containers at thrift stores. You can also mix this up with various herbs and essential oils.
Other nice mixes I’ve tried include:
- Grapefruit and peppermint
- Orange, clove, and lemon
- Tea tree
- Basil and lemon
- Cedar and lavender
- Coffee (I ground a bit of espresso) and grapefruit
- Almond and orange
Really the sky is the limit. The best thing about homemade body scrubs is how versatile and cheap they are. If you mess up, no big loss. It’s natural and degrades so no worries. If you don’t have essential oils around they can be a be more costly to get started with. I use oils for everything though so I have many. Also, one small bottle of organic lavender oil will make tons of this stuff. TONS. I saw some sugar scrub at the store and it was $22 - holy. I can make batches for that much money. Plus mine has no artificial anything in it.
Give it a try, you’ll love it.
Okay, your turn! Share your own gift ideas below. Then go down to your kitchen and make yourself a sugar scrub, and try it. It'll blow you away.