10 Aromatherapy Crafts to Infuse Your Home with Natural Fragrances
Forget synthetic sprays—these mood-boosting homemade fragrances are made from essential oils and a few everyday items.
Home is where we should feel most calm, creative, and nurtured, and few things can bring uplift faster than a house that smells lovely. You might be tempted by the ease of plug-in gels, candles, or deodorizing sprays—or their optimistically named scents, like Creamsicle and Freshly Cut Grass—but these products' high levels of VOCs (volatile organic compounds) make them more polluting than soothing. And, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council, many contain phthalates, which are known endocrine disruptors.
As usual, Mother Nature has a remedy: pure, plant-derived essential oils—and you don't need to be a professional aromatherapist or perfumer to devise fragrant and effective blends. We've whipped up a few formulas that, when paired with some creative scent-delivery vessels, will naturally and beautifully relax, motivate, or inspire. Extracted from leaves, fruit peels, petals, and other plant parts, essential oils capture nature's subtle fragrances and can even balance your mood, aromatherapists say. Combined in different ways, these highly concentrated oils contain potent natural compounds that can be used as medicine, for beauty and pampering, for perfumes and aromatherapy, and for household purposes such as cleaning, polishing, and disinfecting.
Some, like peppermint and eucalyptus, are believed to be stimulating and uplifting; others, like lavender and frankincense, are considered relaxing and centering. These crafts are the simplest way to experience aromatherapy for yourself. Spray the air around you, mist your hair and skin, or spritz them on linens to leave a light scent. (They won't stain.) Whether you're stressed or sluggish, one of these DIY ideas will suit your mood.
Lavender Spa Treatments
Bath soaks, balms, tub teas, and scrubs—when infused with lavender, all of them have a calming effect. Treat yourself to a little at-home spa luxury.
Citrus and Spice Candles
Light the wick and inhale. These candles, poured into copper shells, are scented with an intoxicating mixture of clementine, blood-orange, and bergamot essential oils.
Looking for good, clean fun? Try making these colorful, fragrant soaps. You already have most of the ingredients in your kitchen or garden, such as these freshly picked flowers.
Pits, peels, and inedible scraps: There are many ways to scent your home using these kitchen castoffs. You can arrange them in a bowl and make a potpourri bowl.
Welcome visitors by hanging a festive wreath made from lush foliage and seasonal fruits and nuts, displayed on the front door, in a hallway, or over the mantel.
Beads, as standard as they are, may be used in numerous ways. Aromatherapy beads made from air-dry clay can absorb about half their weight in oil. String together your own aromatherapy necklace with beads, charms, and essential oils.
Transform scraps of wool into
tactile little pouches with
refreshing aromas like balsam
or lavender (which naturally
repels moths). Fill them with your
preferred fragrance, such as
clove, cedar, or chamomile.
The scent of citrus is refreshing all year-round, even if this craft is traditionally made during the holidays. Pomanders combine the spicy fragrance of cloves with the tangy sweetness of citrus fruits to produce wonderfully aromatic decorative objects.
Bring on the tranquillity with a blend of lavender (shown to decrease levels of the stress hormone cortisol), roman chamomile, and ylang-ylang. Add 10 drops of the blend to a one-ounce bottle, fill the rest with water, and shake well. Spritz liberally on bedding, draperies, and other sturdy fabrics.
Oils of bergamot, atlas cedarwood, and geranium can open the channels of communication and lighten any mood. Bergamot's spicy citrus scent enlivens; atlas cedar has a grounding, earthy vibe; and soothing geranium rounds out the mix. Soak small twigs or sturdy dried grasses in a shallow dish of your blend until saturated. Then pour the rest into a small glass vessel and stand the sticks inside. As the oil evaporates into the air, more will wick up from the bottom.