Home for the holidays with aromatherapy: Make your own aromatic gifts

Dec 14, 2023

Learn about Colleen’s favourite holiday aromatherapy traditions—and get some of her most treasured recipes. They make wonderful handmade gifts!

Each year, my five grandchildren and I gather to make aromatherapy gifts for their parents and other grandparents and family members. This tradition started many years ago, and as the children have grown, we added more complex blends to our repertoire. The eldest is almost 21 this year, and the youngest two are 12. Surprisingly, they still want to continue our blending day tradition. Here's a photoaren't they beautiful? 

Here are some of our favourite recipes. I’ve grouped them by level of difficulty so you can choose the ones that are best for your family.

Easy aromatherapy recipes – great with young children

Scented Coat Hangers

Add 2–3 drops of essential oil to cloth coat hangers. Place in plastic bags and seal to allow the essential oils to infuse into the fabric for a day or two. Ideas for essential oils: true lavender (Lavandula angustifolia), Virginian cedarwood (Juniperus virginiana), lemon (Citrus × limon), or eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus).

Scented Bookmarks

Create a bookmark by cutting your favourite porous paper (such as construction paper) to your desired dimensions. Then, place 1 drop of your favourite essential oil onto the bookmark and seal it in a plastic bag overnight to allow the essential oil to infuse into the bookmark. Decorate it with a bead and ribbon to hang from the book's pages.

Scented Cards or Perfumed Paper

Cut tissue paper or paper towels into 1" squares and dab one drop of essential oil onto each square. Place the squares between the cards or sheets of paper, seal them tightly in a Ziploc bag for 24 hours, and then remove the scented squares.

Aromatherapy recipes perfect for older children and adults

Aromatherapy Potpourri

Essential Oils

  • 10 drops sweet orange, Citrus sinensis
  • 3 drops cinnamon, Cinnamomum verum (bark or leaf)
  • 2 drops clove bud, Syzygium aromaticum
  • 1 drop cardamom, Elettaria cardamomum

Other Ingredients

  • 1 cup rock salt
  • 1 cup dried peppermint leaves
  • 1 cup dried orange peel or sliced dried oranges
  • ½ cup whole cloves
  • ½ cup cinnamon bark, broken into small pieces

Combine all of the ingredients in a large airtight glass jar and allow to cure for about a week. If you give this as a gift, you can provide it in the jar. You could also offer a small glass bottle of the essential oil blend to perk it up as it loses its aroma. In addition to smelling awesome, this blend can help to keep nasty viruses at bay.

To make a 5 ml bottle of the essential oil blend, combine:

  • 63 drops sweet orange, Citrus sinensis
  • 20 drops cinnamon, Cinnamomum verum
  • 12 drops clove bud, Syzygium aromaticum
  • 5 drops cardamom, Elettaria cardamomum

Safety considerations (with inhalation): Cinnamon has a low risk of mucous membrane irritation; clove bud has a moderate risk of mucous membrane irritation. Because of the 1,8-cineole content in cardamom, avoid with children 6 years of age and younger. We advise wearing nitrile or latex gloves when blending the essential oils with the other ingredients.

Shower Disks

I've always put a drop of eucalyptus essential oil on my shower floor each morning—this is a nicer variation.


  • 1 cup baking soda
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • ⅓ cup water
  • essential oils: consider true lavender (Lavandula angustifolia), eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus), peppermint (Mentha × piperita), or pine (Pinus sylvestris)


  • muffin tins (I use the mini ones, but any size will do) 


  1. Mix the baking soda and cornstarch, making sure there are no lumps. Slowly add the ⅓ cup water and stir to mix.
  2. Pour the mix into the muffin tins and bake at 350 ℉ for 20 minutes. Once cooled, remove the disks from the muffin tins and drop 4–5 drops of essential oil on top of the disks. Store in an airtight container.

How to Use

Put a disk on the floor of the shower to release the aroma of the essential oil. The disk will probably last for several showers (leave it in the shower) unless there is a lot of water left in the bottom of the shower, which will dissolve the disk more quickly.

Safety considerations (with inhalation): Use caution with peppermint and Eucalyptus globulus with children under 6 years. Use caution with Eucalyptus (all species) with cats if your shower does not have a door or if your feline friends like to jump into your bathtub. Be sure to download our free guide to safely supporting your furry friends with aromatherapy.

Want more aromatherapy recipes for the holidays? Get our free ebook!

Aromatherapy is a beautiful and healthy way to help make your holidays merry and bright. Download our FREE ebook and transform your festive dishes—and atmosphere—into aromatic delights!

You’ll get recipes for:

  • Winter Spices Diffuser Blend
  • Peppermint and Chai Eggnog Cocktail
  • Cozy Chai Ginger Cookies with Orange Glaze

..and more!

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Article by: Colleen Thompson, Cert Ed, MIFPA, RA®, EOT®, CA

For over 25 years, Colleen Thompson has been a passionate and highly respected aromatherapy educator. She has owned 3 aromatherapy stores and a holistic spa, and she founded Essence of Thyme in 1995, where she mentors budding aromatherapists from all over the world, helping them create their own thriving aromatherapy businesses.

About Essence of Thyme College of Holistic Studies

Essence of Thyme College of Holistic Studies offers 300- and 630-hour professional aromatherapy certification programs that help you grow a successful, fulfilling career by specializing and creating your market niche. Professional Level Certification prepares graduates to become aromatherapy consultants, launch product lines or retail businesses, or provide services as an adjunct to existing holistic health specializations. Master Level Certification and electives are ideal for certified aromatherapists seeking higher education or a path to clinical aromatherapy practice.

All Essence of Thyme programs focus on aromatherapy product development and advanced formulation, evidence-based research, spa and business management, international industry regulatory guidelines, and sustainability and conservation of essential oil and carrier oil-bearing plants.

Our comprehensive, evidence-based programs meet or exceed the criteria set forth by 5 international professional aromatherapy associations. Learn more about our aromatherapy certification programs.


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