What scents remind you of summer? Perhaps the bright sweet smell of fresh cut grass comes to mind, or the smoky warm scent of a campfire.
What about the scent of peppermint? Lavender? Or lemongrass? While this herb, flower and grass combination may not be at the top of your list, I think all three of these are perfect essential oils and scents for summer. And here is why…
Lavender (Lavender augustifolia, Lavender officianalis):
While many people prize lavender for its sweet calming scent, lavender essential oil has many uses beyond a floral relaxant. These include helping heal acne, bug bites, bruises and sprains. Beyond these uses though, I chose lavender as a summer essential oil because summer often equals sunburns.
Lavender essential oil has long been used to treat burns of all degrees. To help treat your sunburn you can keep a lavender body spray in your beach bag, immerse a towel in cold water that has a couple of drops of lavender essential oil in it and then dab it on the skin, or simply mix a drop or two of oil into a palm full of aloe vera and rub it on any areas that have received too much sun.
Naturally, safe sunbathing techniques should be practiced at all times, but if you happen to accidentally stay in the sun too long, grab the lavender, dilute it (the smell can be a bit powerful if you use too much, although many people use this oil neat) and apply as necessary!
Tip: Lavender essential oil can also help keep bugs away!
Essential Oil safety: Although lavender is considered a “safe” essential oil, you should always test a small amount on your skin diffuser before applying to larger areas of the body. Check for further contraindications and warnings.
Peppermint (Mentha piperita):
Peppermint is one of my favorite essential oils. Its strong sweet minty scent is the perfect nose candy for those looking for relief from the heat during a hot muggy day. Peppermint oil not only smells delicious, but it is both stimulating and cooling.* This is an intense oil though so I recommend using it in a diffuser if you’re using peppermint for its stimulating properties or in a highly diluted body spray for cooling and refreshing the body. One of my favorite body spray blends is Rosemint Refresh, from Kainoa Farms. It is a unique blend of Rose Geranium Hydrosol, Rosewater and Peppermint essential oil. A delicious and refreshing blend!
* The high menthol content in peppermint is what helps your body feel cooler.
Tip: If you’re not a fan of peppermint or find the oil a bit strong, try spearmint essential oil instead. It contains many of the same properties as peppermint, but has a more subtle scent.
Essential Oil safety: Do not use neat on the skin. Check for further contraindications and warnings.
Lemongrass (Cymbopogon citatus):
Lemongrass is another delicious scent. If you’re looking for an essential oil to keep the bugs away, but are not a fan of citronella, adding lemongrass to your essential oil bug spray blend is a good bet. This bright refreshing scent is a wonderful pick-me-up as well as a bug repellent. And I much prefer the scent of lemongrass to the scent of citronella (although citronella is also very useful to have around).
Depending on how much of a bug magnet you are, a lemongrass body spray may do the trick on its own. But if not, experiment with making your own bug spray blend including oils such as lavender, peppermint, Cypress, basil, etc… there are plenty of wonderful essential oils that work as bug repellents so have fun creating a blend that keeps the bugs away and smells great!
Tip: Witch hazel works wonders in a body spray, as it helps the essential oils to mix with water. Use 1-2 tablespoons of witch hazel per 8 ounces of purified/distilled water. Simply pour the water into your container, add witch hazel and essential oils (5-30 drops depending on the oils you are using) and shake well!
Essential Oil safety: There are some warnings about using lemongrass for children, although I found conflicting information on this. Check for further contraindications and warnings.