Summer is right around the corner here in the Northern Hemisphere, and if you can’t wait for it to get here, an aromatherapy mood spray may be just the thing you need to give you that summer feeling right now!
In this article, you’ll learn how scent can help put you in a positive frame of mind and transport you back in time, helping to relive some of your best summer memories. You’ll also learn how to make aromatherapy mood sprays that can help you call to mind some of these fond recollections.
Are you ready to dream of summer?
While the summer season tends to have a lazy, carefree vibe about it, for most of us, life goes on as usual. Sure, there are the family vacations, the kids home on break from school, summer picnics, and outdoor time spent with friends and family, but there’s also the reality of work, meals to cook, a home to clean, and errands to run.
If you find yourself stuck in the daily grind, wishing for the beach or the mountains but unable to get there, why not bring fond memories of these locations to you?
Maybe you’re not dreaming about getting away at all. Perhaps you simply want to recall fond summer remembrances, such as running through a sprinkler on a hot summer day or sitting on the front porch chatting with a friend and breathing the fresh scent of blooming lilacs.
No matter what mood you’re looking for, scents have the power to transport you back through time and to the places you hold dear in your heart.
How Scent Affects Mood
While some scientific studies have shown that pleasing scents put a person in a more positive state of mind and unpleasant scents contribute to a more negative mindset (Knasko, 1992), it’s not the scent itself that causes the change in the mood. Instead, it is the memory and the resulting emotion the scent is associated with (Herz, 2002).
Positively associated scents are linked to positive memories, and therefore, positive moods, whereas negatively associated scents are linked to negative memories, and therefore, negative moods.
This scent association is known as associative learning—the process by which an event, item, or scent becomes linked to another because of an individual’s past experiences (Herz, 2002).
When you think back on positive summer recollections, you often remember the colors, scents, and flavors that go along with those memories. When it comes to smell, perhaps it’s the scent of coconut or the salty ocean breeze that reminds you of days spent at the beach. Or, it could be that the smell of conifers and damp earth transport you back to summer camp in the mountain woodlands.
Some scent associations may evoke a positive mood for you and a negative mood for someone else. It’s really all about the experience associated with the scent. Maybe the smell of gasoline triggers the memory of an unforgettable road trip. Perhaps the smell of charcoal or burning wood summons memories of summer barbeques and bonfires.
The point is this: Which scents remind you of summer, and how can you incorporate these fragrances into your life to improve your mood on an ordinary summer’s day?
One answer may be in the form of an aromatherapy mood spray.
Aromatherapy Mood Sprays
One way you can incorporate scent into your day is through the use of aromatherapy mood sprays. These sprays, when made with non-toxic aromas like those from essential oils, can help to trigger positive summer remembrances, improve your mood, and perhaps even improve your productivity during the not-so-laidback parts of an ordinary summer day.
Aromatherapy mood sprays are easy to make and use. When made in small batches, each batch can feature a scent that kindles a different memory or feeling. You can store various aromatherapy mood sprays throughout your home, car, office, or any other place where you want to trigger a specific frame of mind from time to time.
For example, if I want to focus and get my work done for the day so I can head outside to enjoy the warm summer rays of the sun, I might spritz a scent near my desk that reminds me of rain, paper, and the smell of a sharpened pencil. These scents remind me of intense times of study in my college days, and this reminder always puts me in a focused mindset. After I finish my work, I may spritz a bit of a scent around myself just before I walk out the door that makes me think of sunshine, a flowery meadow, and a warm breeze—all scents that energize me and get me in the mindset to head outdoors.
Another benefit of using aromatherapy mood sprays to improve your mindset is that you only need a little bit to trigger a scent memory. This minimal amount is good news as it helps your spray last longer. While the scent may not remain in the air for hours on end, a few short minutes is just enough time to trigger the emotion or feeling you desire. This brief exposure to your scent of choice is often a better option than diffusing your scents in an essential oil diffuser. Diffusers can infuse the air in a room with a scent for hours on end and use a more significant amount of your essential oil stash—making aromatherapy mood sprays a more economical and sustainable choice.
Now that you know how to use an aromatherapy mood spray to influence your mood positively, let’s look at how you can go about making them.
How To Make An Aromatherapy Mood Spray
To make an aromatherapy mood spray, you will need 2-3 ingredients as well as one or more 1-ounce glass spray bottles with a spray top.
A Liquid Base
The first ingredient you will need is either pure water or some sort of hydrosol. Water is the most straightforward, most accessible of the two options. However, if you want the added benefits of a hydrosol, I would highly recommend using one of these lovely herbal essences as the base of your aromatherapy mood sprays. Hydrosol benefits will vary depending on the hydrosol you choose to use. If you were to use a peppermint hydrosol, your aromatherapy mood spray may have a more energizing or awakening benefit to it. On the other hand, if you wanted your mood spray to set the tone for relaxation, you may want to choose a lavender or chamomile hydrosol to use as your base.
Hydrosols can be purchased online from suppliers, but you can also make them yourself at home. Homemade hydrosols aren’t quite the same as a hydrosol produced from a still, but they can serve as an easy option for the base of your spray.
You can learn more about hydrosols and how to incorporate them into everyday life in the post, 4 Everyday Ways To Use Hydrosols.
The next ingredient you will need is one or more essential oils. A single essential oil can be used on its own in an aromatherapy mood spray, or it can be combined with other essential oils to create a blend that is used in the spray. I’m a big fan of blending essential oils to create pleasing scents. Not only is it easy to do, but it’s a creative outlet that can grow into much more than a hobby if you want.
The last ingredient you will need is Solubol (also known as polysorbate 20), which is optional, so let me explain. Solubol is a compound produced from ethylene oxide, sorbitol, and lauric acid that helps an ingredient dissolve in a solvent in which it would not usually dissolve. Because water (and hydrosols) and essential oils will not mix, since one is water and one is oil, a solubilizer can help the two combine—keeping the essential oils from floating on the surface of the liquid.
When it comes to using essential oils, this can be beneficial for a couple of important reasons. First, if you don’t use a solubilizer, you’ll have to shake your aromatherapy mood spray well each time before you use it to mix the essential oils with the water. Next, if there’s a chance that the spray settles on the skin or even on furniture, particularly wood surfaces, the water will eventually evaporate, leaving tiny essential oil droplets on the skin or the wooden surface. This exposure to undiluted essential oils can have unwanted effects over time, such as causing sensitivity to the essential oils or surface damage to the wood. Using a solubilizer can help minimize both of these issues.
Again, the choice is ultimately up to you.
Putting It All Together
After you have all of your ingredients, you will need to take your 1-ounce glass bottle, nearly fill it with 1-ounce of either water or hydrosol, add 12 drops of your essential oil, and add 48 drops of Soluble (4 drops of Soluble for every 1 drop of essential oil), if using. Place the cap tightly on the bottle and shake well. Label the bottle with the mood it evokes, and let it sit for 24-48 hours to rest before using. This resting period will ensure that the scents of the essential oil penetrate the water base of the aromatherapy mood spray.
You can store your aromatherapy mood spray unrefrigerated in the area you plan on using it, but you’ll need to make a fresh batch every few weeks unless you add a preservative to your spray, such as NataPres, Leucidal Liquid SF, or Phytocide Aspen Bark. If you store your spray in the refrigerator, you may be able to extend the shelf-life to 3-4 weeks. It’s a good idea to open the bottle and check the liquid once a week to make sure nothing is floating or growing in the water and that the smell hasn’t changed. You wouldn’t want your positively associated scent memory to become a negatively associated one!
Now that you know how to make an aromatherapy mood spray, let me share some essential oil blends linked to some lovely summer memories. Having these blends on hand will help you get started making and using aromatherapy mood spray yourself.
Essential Oil Blends for Summer
As I said before, it can be fun to create your own essential oil blends, but if you want something quick and easy, these essential oil blend formulas are just the thing you need. Here are 5 essential oil blends that are a perfect fit for summer.
Think of summer days gone by—days filled with sunshine, blooming flowers, and fresh breezes—with this mood-boosting reminder of summers past.
5 drops tangerine (Citrus reticulata) essential oil
3 drops lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) essential oil
2 drop lime (Citrus aurantifolia) essential oil
2 drop spearmint (Mentha spicata) essential oil
Warm, fresh, and calm. That is how one would describe this aromatic essential oil blend. It will make you want to settle in with a glass of tea and a good book while you wait out a passing summer rain.
6 drops lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) essential oil
4 drop bergamot (Citrus bergamia) essential oil
2 drop clary sage (Salvia sclarea) essential oil
Summer’s in the air, and the good vibes can be felt all around. This essential oil blend is perfect for those relaxing summer days, or for those times when you wish you could get away from it all.
5 drops Virginian cedarwood (Juniperus virginiana essential oil
3 drops patchouli (Pogostemon cablin) essential oil
4 drop lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) essential oil
Nothing says summer like the scent of fresh-cut grass. This aromatic essential oil blend is sure to put you in a centered, yet energized state of mind.
6 drops lemon (Citrus limon) essential oil
3 drops basil (Ocimum basilicum) essential oil
3 drop douglas fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) essential oil
Are you craving the beach? If so, the scent of this essential oil blend is sure to transport you to coastal waters, slow days, and cool summer breezes.
4 drops Virginian cedarwood (Juniperus virginiana) essential oil
4 drops douglas fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) essential oil
3 drop sweet orange (Citrus sinensis) essential oil
1 drop rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) essential oil
Safety Note: Please research essential oils before using them on yourself or in your home. Some essential oils are contraindicated for those who are pregnant, have chronic health conditions or are taking certain medications, and for certain age groups. It is wise to make sure any oils you choose to use are a good and safe fit for you before using them.
Are You Ready For A Summer Mood Boost?
Whether you are longing for the beach or the mountains, for summer gardens or picnics in the meadow, you can bring the aromas of summer to you with these aromatherapy mood sprays.
So which aromatherapy mood spray will you make first?? Snap a photo of your summer mood spray blend, and share it on your Instagram feed or Stories, complete with your associated mood or memory. Don’t forget to tag both @herbalacademy and @growingupherbal so we can share your summer memories with you!
Herz, R.S. (2002). Do scents affect people’s moods or work performance? [Online Article]. Retrieved from https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/do-scents-affect-peoples/
Knasko, S.C. (1992). Ambient odor’s effect on creativity, mood, and perceived health. Chemical Senses, 17(1), 27–35. https://doi.org/10.1093/chemse/17.1.27