When you are shopping for a special gift for a friend or family member, you may find that many products are labeled for aromatherapy. Aromatherapy is designed to cause a reaction to the body, mind and/or emotions and is very popular for gift items. However, the choices can be overwhelming and you may be wondering how to choose one for a specific person.
Aromatherapy gifts should contain essential oils. Essential oils are derived directly from plants and are extremely concentrated, powerful and actually have qualities that can heal, and/or change emotions. As you are searching for the perfect aromatherapy gift, you may find that many 'aromatherapy products' actually use fragrances and claim to be aromatheraputic. However, products that use fragrance are not aromatheraputic since fragrances are chemically derived. For aromatherapy to work, you must always use essential oils.
The only exception to this rule is when you are buying products that actually contain dried herbs such as sachets or eye masks.
For more information about how to use aromatherapy, please see The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy by Valerie Ann Worwood or Aromatherapy for Women & Children by Jane Dye, AromaThyme or AromaWeb.
- Always read the instructions and cautions about essential oils before purchasing them. Pregnant women, many children and some people with illnesses cannot use certain essential oils. When buying an aromatherapy gift containing essential oils, inform the recipient that the product contains essential oils and let them know what the precautions are or where to learn of them. Essential oils should never be put directly on the skin (they should be added to a carrier oil or lotion) and should never be ingested unless you are under the care of an aromatherapist.
- Choose how the aromatherapy will work. Will it be diffused or will it be used directly on the body? Products like aromatherapy pumps, lamps or discs diffuse the scent. Products such as lotions, massage oils or soaps go directly on the skin. If you are having problems finding products for the body that contain essential oils, feel free to make your own using a carrier oil such as shea butter or almond oil and a few drops of the chosen essential oil.
- Choosing a specific scent with a therapy in mind is only half the battle. If the person doesn't like the scent, she won't use it. Find out what the person normally likes. Just because you like a scent, doesn't mean the recipient will. Does your friend like flowery scents such as violets or lavender, cooking scents such as vanilla, citrus scents such as oranges or lemons, or herbal scents? Choose the scent for the person.
- Consider what the person wants aromatherapy for. Since aromatherapy is designed to do more than just have a pretty scent, you may want to specify it to the person. For example:
- To reduce stress, use essential oil scents such as Lavender, Rose, Geranium, and Chamomile.
- To increase energy or rejuvenate spent energy supplies, use essential oil scents such as Basil, Peppermint and Nutmeg.
- For sensuality, use essential oil scents such as Sandalwood, Patchouli and Jasmine.