Perfumes, candles and bath products are all popular gift ideas, but why not try opting for natural fragrances over their chemical-based counterparts this year? Many natural fragrances made with essential oils, herbs and flowers come with benefits for the body and mind, such as lavender for rest and basil for relieving stress and improving focus. But how do you choose the right scents for each recipient?
Whether you’re gifting naturally scented bath products, beauty products or candles, it can be difficult to decide whether a recipient would enjoy something floral, such as lavender or geranium, or whether he or she would prefer a more sultry aroma, such as bergamot or vanilla. Luckily, there are some general guidelines you can follow in order to make the best decision possible and give a great gift.
1. Consider the benefits of the fragrance
Lavender is well known for being a natural sleep aid. In addition, jasmine, chamomile and rose petals are associated with relaxing the body and calming the mind. Unless you know someone has a true dislike for a specific scent, go with one of these choices if gifting an item known for its soothing effects, such as bath salts or a candle. These gifts are perfect for a coworker who is always stressed or friend who struggles with getting enough rest.
2. Stick with the classics
Some scents are classics that many people enjoy, so if you have no idea what to buy, select something from this category as a safe bet. Popular, classic fragrances include vanilla, rose petals, apple (or apple cider) and peppermint. Lavender, basil, geranium and eucalyptus are also popular, but some people find them overpowering; these may not be ideal if someone is sensitive (or has allergies) to plants and flowers.
3. Choose a scent based on the item
You may want to select a scent particularly suited to the gift choice. For instance, a vanilla candle could work anywhere in the home, as it provides an instant warmth and comforting smell no matter where it’s kept. However, a lemon-scented candle is not as universally appealing and may belong only in a kitchen or bathroom. Similarly, a lavender-scented perfume spray may not be appropriate (or may be too strong) for a younger individual, such as a teenager or young coworker. Don’t forget to take into account the gift’s intended use when considering fragrance options.
4. Pay attention to what the person likes or already uses
Perhaps your friend already enjoys certain scents in her home or tends to wear certain types of fragrances. Consider gifting her with a similar scent but in a natural alternative. Another tip here is not to select a fragrance that you enjoy but to think about what the recipient would most appreciate. While you might like a rose-scented candle for your home, your coworker who has allergies or doesn’t enjoy the smell of fresh flowers at the office might appreciate something such as vanilla or apple instead.
5. Embrace seasonal scents
Many seasonal scents such as peppermint, apple, vanilla/custard, cinnamon and cloves are all good options for the holiday season. Fruity fragrances, such as mango, pineapple, strawberry and coconut, may be more suitable for spring or summer. This isn’t always the case for everyone, but in general, most people appreciate receiving seasonal scents during the appropriate time of year.
No matter who you’re gifting a naturally scented product to this year, choosing non-chemical alternatives is a simple way to say you care — and it’s better for the planet too. Check out the essential oil choices at Vitacost to learn about different natural scents, and shop our natural home selection or our beauty and personal care items!