This page was created to give you ideas and recipes for making your friends and family gifts rather than buying them something. You can have a lot of fun with this. You could make your mother her very own, personalized salt scrub with a one of a kind scent made especially by you. You could also give her a few different body balms, each one having a different scent. One idea is to have a gift package with several of the recipes below, all containing the same essential oil or blend. You can use this same idea with the household recipes below.
Most of these recipes need bottles, so don’t forget ours on our aromatherapy bottles page.
No time or energy to create your own gifts? See our list of Aromatherapy Gift Ideas with something for everyone! Or visit our aromatic baths page for luxury gifts for friends and family.
Origins-Type Salt Scrub
A friend recently shared her formula for the commercial Origins Salt Scrub…basically it calls for one cup of sea salt, 1/2 cup of a mixture of rich and exotic carrier oils (you could use whatever oils you have on hand that suit your skin type).
The scent blend is as follows (enough for this amount of salt and carrier oils)
- 10 drops Peppermint essential oil
- 5 drops Orange essential oil
- 5 drops Spearmint essential oil
- 3 drops Rosemary essential oil
We tested the blend in the pouring room, bright and invigorating. This would be great in a morning shower. (You might want to do a double batch and package it in our PET bale jars, the same ones Origins uses for their scrub!).
Janice Brady writes: Salt Scrubs are just too rough and abrasive for me. My arms and legs have a lot of scratches on them and the salt hurts, but I want to really get rid of dead skin.
Our reply? Try a soothing brown sugar scrub for gentle exfoliation. A generous scoop of brown sugar (light or dark will work equally well), enough of your favorite carrier oil to gently moisten, and one or two drops of Sandalwood oil…soothing to the skin, and the aroma just sweetens the brown sugar. Gently scrub away dull winter skin, without the sting of salt.
- 3 parts Jojoba
- 2 parts Beeswax Beads
- 1 part essential oil or blend
Warm the oil, add the beeswax beads, and warm gently until melted. Let cool until warm to the touch and starting to thicken. Stir in the essential oil, and pour into wee pots. We think it would be a great idea to make a few different perfumes and pour each into our little lip balm jars. Then you can give each of your friends a variety of your one of a kind perfume creations!
For a little girl or teenager, try adding some glitter to the blend, just for fun!
Martha’s Foot Soak
Martha Stewart recently shared a recipe for a foot soak for pregnant momma’s on her show…to counteract swelling and achiness.
To make the foot soak, combine 1 1/4 cups of Epsom salts with an equal measure of kosher salt in a jar. (NOTE…I would use Sea Salt!) Add a 1/4 cup each of baking soda and cornstarch, up to 1/2 teaspoon of Lemon essential oil, and up to 1/4 teaspoon of Spearmint essential oil. Attach the lid, and shake the jar to combine. Pour the mixture into a bag, and use within a few weeks.
(My daughter-in-law says this doesn’t sound anywhere near as good as having her legs rubbed with our Prenatal Massage oil…but she might be both prejudiced and a wee bit spoiled.)
Soothing-Cooling Aftershave Gel
- 1/2 cup Aloe Vera Gel
- 2 oz. Witch Hazel Extract
- 1 tsp. Glycerine
- 5 drops Chamomile essential oil
- 2-3 drops Peppermint essential oil
Add the glycerine to the witch hazel and slowly add the essential oil’s. Mix in the aloe gel and bottle. This is also nice for sunburn.
Shaving Soap (for Mug)
- 1/2 cup grated soap (castile is recommended)
- 2/3 cup distilled water, boiling
- 2 tb. melted Coconut Oil
- 3 tb. Almond Oil
- 1 tb. borax
Dissolve soap in the water, and put in blender. Add remaining ingredients and whip until fluffy. Add scent and pour into mug (I used a large coffee mug) and let harden.
Note: if using homemade or melt-and-pour soap, increase the amount of soap by 1/4 cup to 3/4 cup total.
- 1/4 oz. stearic acid
- 2 tb. olive or Almond Oil
Melt together and set aside. Separately, combine:
- 1 cup hot water
- 1 tsp. borax
- 2 tb. grated soap
Beat in oil/stearic acid mixture and whip until creamy.
Old Fashioned Hand Lotion — Rosewater and Glycerine
Simply blend equal parts of vegetable glycerine and rose hydrosol, bottle in a pretty jar.
What could be simpler?
Orange Blossom Body Balm
An intensely pampering body balm to ease stress, tension, and anxiety.
- 6 oz Shea Butter
- 1 oz Virgin Coconut Oil
- 1 oz Orange Blossom Wax
- 2-6 drops Neroli essential oil (optional)
Let the shea butter warm to room temperature, cut in small pieces in the bowl of an electric mixer. Start beating and beat until fluffy.
Meanwhile, warm the VCO and the Orange Blossom Wax together over very low heat (or in a double boiler!) just until the wax is melted. Try not to over heat this! When the wax is melted pour the mixture into the whipping shea butter. Add optional drops of Neroli, continue beating until light and fluffy.
Note, if whipped shea, alone, is a bit too greasy for you, you may sift one or two tablespoonfuls of cornstarch over the mixture and beat in thoroughly. The shea, and coconut are available on our carrier oils page, The Orange Blossom Wax may be found on our Floral Waxes page.
**Try using this Orange Body Balm with our moisturizing spa booties and gloves on our Aromatherapy Skincare Page.
A friend of mine kept getting re-occurring infections along his gumline. I “tweaked” a formula I found on a Canadian “non-toxic alternatives” site.
- 10 drops Tea Tree oil
- 2 drops Myrrh oil
- 6 drops Peppermint oil (for taste, no therapeutic value)
- 18–25 drops Polysorbate 20
- 1 quart distilled water
Add the essential oils to the polysorb in a sterilized 32 ounce bottle. Add one quart (or liter) of distilled water. Shake well. Use to rinse mouth, do not swallow.
Balm for Chapped Lips
By Weight, NOT Volume.
- 1 oz Beeswax Beads
- 1 oz Shea Butter, Mango Butter, OR Virgin Coconut (not all three)
- 1 oz rich, liquid carrier oil (Jojoba, Kukui, Avocado, etc.)
This makes a basic soothing balm or salve that can be divided into smaller portions and/or enriched in innumerable ways. Use herbal infused oils (infused chamomile or calendula) for skin soothing. Add the essential oils of your choice…a drop of Peppermint or steam-distilled Lime for lip balms… Lavender and German Chamomile for healing baby’s diaper rash…Patchouli or Frankincense for badly chapped hands. Less beeswax or more of the liquid oil makes a softer balm, more beeswax makes a firm “stick” that can be rubbed on.
Mix 15–20 drops of your essential oil blend per one ounce of cornstarch or unscented talc.
Put the cornstarch or talc on a plate or platter. Scatter drops of the essential oils on top of the talc or starch, then cut it in with a fork until it’s well blended.
Gentle Honey Cleanser
My friend Ravenna in Australia shared this delightful facial cleanser:
Honey gently softens and cleanses the skin. This is a mild cleanser that works well for dry skin types. It is wonderful, leaving your skin so soft and moist! It’s not at all sticky and can be used as either a facial cleanser or bath gel. I fill empty honey squeeze bottles with this cleanser. Makes a nice gift.
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1 tablespoon liquid castile soap
- 1/4 cup Glycerine
- 10–15 drops of your favorite essential oil
Mix together all ingredients and pour into a clean squeezy bottle. Remember to use non breakable containers if you are going to be using it in the tub or shower.
This is more of a “put together” than a real recipe.
- 2 cups sea salt or Dead Sea Salt
- 1/4 – 1/2 cups of Jojoba
- 1 tbs Liquid Castile Soap (optional)
- 15–20 drops of essential oil or synergy
In an unbreakable container (you’re going to use this in the shower after all) mix your sea salt and Jojoba together. The texture should be that of sand castle building sand. Liquid castile is not necessary, but will help the bath tub from being so slick from the Jojoba. Then add your essential oils and stir very well.
Homemade Household Gifts
Aromatic Window Cleaning
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 2 cups water or club soda
- 1/2 teaspoon Peppermint oil (2+ ml)
- 1 tsp cornstarch
Stir the lemon juice into the cornstarch slowly to avoid clumps and lumps. Add water or club soda, and essential oil. Store in a glass atomizer/spray bottle. Shake well before using.
Spray on windows, polish dry. (Polishing your windows with old newspapers really adds to the shine.)
From Sandy Maine’s “Herbal Housekeeping” book.
Pomander Ball Cleanser
(adapted from a recipe from Barbara Lucks)
Not only does this preparation clean but the essential oils disinfect and provide a natural, festive fragrance.
- 1 teaspoon Sweet Orange or Mandarine essential oil
- a few drops of Clove Oil and Cinnamon Leaf oils
- 1 teaspoon washing soda
- 2 teaspoons borax
- 1/2 teaspoon liquid soap or detergent
- 2 cups hot water (to dissolve the soda and borax)
Combine the ingredients in a spray bottle. Shake to dissolve and blend the minerals. You can spray this cleaner onto a surface then leave it for 15 minutes before wiping it off, to give the essential oils antiseptic qualities time to work. Makes 2 cups.
It will leave your house smelling like an old-fashioned, clove studded pomander ball!
House Cleaning Recipe
A friend recently shared the formula for what she calls “Mrs. Bubble.” She said it came from The Naturally Clean Home by Karyn Siegel Maier
Fizzy Bathroom Sink Cleaner
- 1/2 cup baking soda
- 6 drops Lemon or Pine essential oil
- 1/4 cup vinegar
Combine the baking soda and essential oil. Sprinkle into the sink; pour the vinegar on top. After the fizz settles, scrub clean with a damp cloth or sponge. Rinse clean.
- 20 drops Lavender
- 10 drops Lemon
- 6 drops Bergamot
- 5 drops Lime
- 5 drops Grapefruit
Place in spray bottle with water.
**Use Polysorbate to help the water and oils mix.
All Purpose Cleaner
5 drops Lavender, Lemon, and Pine in a spray bottle with a squirt of liquid soap.
Cleaner for Kitchens and Bathrooms
- 2 drops Rosemary
- 4 drops Lemon
- 3 drops eucalyptus
- 4 drops Lavender
Place in a spray bottle with water. Always shake bottle before using to mix the oils.
**Rather than shaking each time you this, try adding Polysorbate to the recipe.
Counter Cleaner and Kitchen Freshener
- 2 cups club soda
- 1/2 teaspoon liquid soap or detergent.
- 10 drops essential oil
Combine ingredients in a spray bottle and shake to blend (careful — you are using club soda here and it likes to “fizz” on you!). Spray on. Wipe off.
Shake the bottle each time before using.
Seems to me Lemon Myrtle would be great in this, for both its ultra-clean lemony aroma, and it’s powerful germ killing ability. Perhaps with a touch of one of the spice oils?
From a workshop done by Judy Zambroski on natural living.
Recipe for “Wipes`
from our friend Christa Maria:
I just cooked this up:
Cut one good quality papertowel into two pieces. Have containers that the papertowels fit in, with a good lid ready.
Make a mix of:
- 1/4 cup Liquid Soap (I use organic non-scented liquid soap)
- 1/4 cup Fractionated Coconut oil
- 20 drops of Marge’s GermBeater.
- 2 cups hot water
Mix first 3 ingredients well together, add water and pour half of the mix into each containers over the papertowels. Takes about 24 hours for the liquid to sink into the papertowels.
I take those to my woods for a fast clean-up.
I bet this could also be done with the Skeeterbeater, taking a towel and putting some drops on it. I will try it out tomorrow when I go to the woods, (some nice person has volunteered to help me dig leeks..:).
And while we are talking about deodorizing, my friend Wendy from Aromaweb recommends the following carpet deodorizer in her recipes section.
- 35 drops Eucalyptus essential oil
- 30 drops Lavender essential oil
- 25 drops Rosewood essential oil
- 4 cups Borax (Mule Team Borax can be found in the grocery store in the laundry detergent aisle, usually)
Notes: I was in a cleaning frenzy one day and decided to make my housework more pleasant by incorporating essential oils into it somehow. I found many ways to do so, but this one of my favorite and it scents the house at the same time. I also used the Eucalyptus and Lavender to help keep whatever pests there are at bay that Lizzy, and Cheech & Chong (our cats) bring in with them.
Directions: To make the carpet deodorizer (any essential oils could be used by the way, just make sure no one in the household finds the odor offensive) measure your 4 cups of Borax into a bowl and then drop in the essential oils indicated in ingredients in the amounts listed. If you find the smell too strong, add more Borax. Take a spoon and mash up the little clumps that will form when the oil hits the Borax, stir until well mixed. Before vacuuming, I walk around the house and sprinkle it by hand in the same manner one would sow seeds. Let it sit on the carpet for 10–15 minutes, or longer if you like, and then vacuum. This formula will cover about 1000 square feet, give or take a little.
Personal note, I think I’d skip the Rosewood, and use either Black Spruce or Pine in its place. But that’s my taste. The eucalyptus and lavender are probably key. Some sunny citrus might be a nice addition, as well!