essential oils and natural scent ideas for summer lotions, creams, shampoos and more

Aromatherapy: 7 Scents of Summer

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7 Perfect Essential Oils for Sensational Summer Products

By Kathy Steinbock, Cert. Aroma. R.A.

The Scents of Summer

Nothing brings back summer memories for me more than the smells of my childhood summers. Cut grass, citrus fruit trees in bloom, the buzz of summer critters and the bug spray used to outwit them. These are the heady floral notes such as jasmine, rose, and geranium are begging me to inhale them in as deeply as possible sharing their scents that seem to be strongest right at sunset. Below are seven Essential Oils that work on their own, or in combination with each other, to recreate the scents of summer.

Use Essential Oils To Create Seasonal Products

Using Essential Oils and Essential Oil Blends is a simple way to re-release your best-selling products into seasonal, limited edition products. Seasonal products can be sold in sets, at festivals, and to your best customers. They make great hostess gifts, thank you gifts for your clients, and in the right sizes, can be perfect vacation products, too.

How To Use Essential Oils with Bases

First, let’s stop for a second and clarify what we mean by a base. Bases are the lotions, gels, creams and “melt and pours” you start with. Most bases, like our Aloe and Jojoba Lotion with Rooibos Tea, can be used as is or with essential oils (EO’s) added.

The first rule of using EO’s is that a little goes a long way. Start with one drop from a pipette, and then add another and another until you get the scent you’re looking for. If you’re going to blend two or more EO’s together in a separate vessel, start by blending the EO’s and then and the EO Blend into the base. Make sure you mix the scent into your base thoroughly; a whisk works well so that the oils are dispersed evenly into the base. Make certain that you write down each and every adjustment that you make to your blend taking care to include each and every added drop.

Caution: Adding EO’s to Shampoos and Gels

Adding too many drops of EO into a gel or shampoo will actually liquefy the product and you’ll lose the nice thickness you associate with those products. If this happens, follow instructions on how to fix the viscosity here. Neither creams nor lotions handle too much scent well either, they can not only separate but can and will thin out considerably. Essential oils are very concentrated and a base too heavily scented can also upset the skin.

Single Notes and Combinations We Love For Summer

Basil, Bergamot, Citronella, Geranium, Jasmine, Lemon, and Spearmint are seven EO’s perfectly suited to long summer days and long summer nights. They are refreshing, bright, and fragrant. As you combine the EO’s, you’ll want to think about the strength of one EO scent vs. another. For instance, Geranium is a much “louder” scent than lemon because it is so diffusive. If you’re looking for a balanced scent–or one more Lemon than Geranium, you will probably want to add more Lemon EO than Geranium EO, which I usually use at 0.25 percent when using as a stand alone EO.

  • Basil and Bergamot – a fresh, herbaceous, slightly spicy but refreshing scent. This combination reminds us of the slopes in Northern Spain, and the hillsides of Tuscany
  • Jasmine – This lovely scent wafting over fences and walls is perfect on its own. If you want to combine a little Germanium, you’ll bring out the citrus notes.
  • Lemon and Spearmint – Both are strong scents so be careful when you’re mixing them to not over-scent. You might want to try going outside for some fresh air between sniff-tests. (Alternatively, smelling some coffee beans can help reset your nose, too). When someone opens a bottle of your lotion, they may remember bright summer days, lemonade and refreshing iced mint tea.
  • Citronella – Perfect on its own or blended with Geranium or Lemon, Citronella has a grassy, herbaceous quality you can enhance with Geranium and a citrus note you can enhance with Lemon or Bergamot.

You’ll find a Scenting Guide for these seven Essential Oils of Summer below. We’d love to hear your summer picks and to hear how you’re blending them together. Please share this post on Facebook or Twitter and let us know what you created.


summer scents essential oils to use skin care products

Essential Wholesale & Labs

7 Scents of Summer Essential Oil Scenting Guide


Basil: Sweet; herbaceous green and uplifting. Spicy, warm and fiery, is similar in scent to licorice. Blends well with Rosemary, Geranium, Clary Sage, Oakmoss, and Sandalwood. I find that including Basil works well for me in my personal blends when I am looking for a pick me up type of aromatic synergy, the aroma makes me feel energized!

Bergamot: Fresh, balsamic and fruity, sweet and refreshing, but with slightly spicy floral undertones. Blends well with Jasmine, Neroli, Cypress, Geranium most Citrus Oils, and Chamomile. Bergamot is an essential oil I reach for quite often when creating a personal perfume blend. I find it to be like a bridge between oils marrying citrus and floral and works as a fixative to a blend. When calling upon Bergamot for use in scenting a base use only BF or Bergaptene Free Bergamot such as we carry here at Essential. Bergaptene is a constituent in Bergamot which may cause extreme sensitivity and increases skin pigmentation when exposed to sunlight.

Citronella: Woody, sweet, grassy, fruity, and slightly herbaceous with a citrus undertone. Citronella blends well with Geranium, Bergamot, Orange, and Cedarwood. Ideal in candles or to use on your body whenever unwanted critters are near by. Another idea for you is to use the Don’t Bug Me Essential Oil blend with our Perfumer’s Balm or Perfumers Oil and apply like I do before gardening.

Geranium: Flowery rose, sweet, dry citrus undertone, green with a hint of mint. Blends well with Lavender, Neroli, Bergamot and most Citrus Oils, Clove and Patchouli. Geranium is what I call a LOUD oil– I think of her aroma as her SCREAMING her name, so all are aware of her presence in a room, or in an essential oil blend. Truly one of my favorites, I call upon her for her diffusive nature for and for making a room smell rosy and warm. I find Geranium is a nice addition to our Don’t Bug Me Blend when diffusing oils on a warm summer night.

Jasmine: Rich, warm, floral, and sweetly exotic with floral honey like aroma. Blends well with most oils including Sandalwood, Rose, Clary Sage. Whereas Rose is considered to be the Queen of the Roses Jasmine is commonly known as the King. Like his Queen Jasmine is expensive due to the enormous quantity of flowers needed to extract their oil and neither one is generous with their yield! Use them both sparingly but do use them; if I am feeling sad or just plain in low spirits I will diffuse one or the other to fill the room with the essence they thankfully provide. Jasmine is lovely in skin care; I enjoy including both for a mild but intense scent when scenting our bases.

Lemon: The most well known of citrus scents, lemon is clean, light, sweet, fresh Oils and sugary aroma. Blends well with all Citrus Oils, Lavender, Geranium, Chamomile, Benzoin, Petitgrain, Ylang Ylang and most Spice Oils. It is a wonderful addition to any blend that you create for a clean and fresh aroma or to freshen a stuffy room. I like using it in personal perfume blends for its long lasting fragrance ability, I like the way it holds onto and rounds out a blend.

Spearmint: Minty, spicy-herbaceous, cool, candy-like and fresh. Blends well with Lavender, Jasmine, Eucalyptus, Rosemary, Basil, and Peppermint. Mint Essential Oils all seem to give blends an uplifting edge with their rather diffusive and cooling nature. I often grab the Spearmint Essential Oil and blend it with Peppermint, Rosemary and touch of Basil in my diffuser before moving on with my day- the aroma is so up lifting and refreshing!


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