Last year I traveled to the Ojai Valley Inn and Spa, which is a must-see destination for any R&R connoisseur.
My favorite activity during my short stay was creating my own fragrance with essential oils in the Apothecary. The Master Perfumer brought dozens of essential oils, asked me to close my eyes, and waft each under my nose. From there, I rated each aroma with one, two or three lines; one meaning “nice” to three meaning “I love this!” Naturally, and perhaps not surprisingly, I was attracted to scents redolent of citrus—lemon, mandarin, grapefruit and tangerine. Though considered top notes, meaning they evaporate quickly without some middle (e.g., clary sage) or base notes (e.g., myrrh), I always find these essential oils the most uplifting, sprightly and full of verve—a sure sign a new season is upon us. Of course no summer scent is complete without flowers. It’s these delectable, seductive and lyrical fragrances that serve as a reminder to stop and smell the roses…quite literally…
Here are some of my favorite floral fragrances to herald in summertime:
- Jasmine: if you’ve ever smelled a jasmine in bloom, you will know why this is one of the more popular essential oils. As with any flower, there are many different species—but the best jasmines have a robust, honeyed, honeysuckle-like scent. Jasmine is a sensual, romantic and relaxing scent.
- Rose: As one of the most popular floral fragrances, rose has often been associated with love and sensuality. It’s light, uplifting scent has been proven to calm and soothe.
- Neroli: Princess Marie-Anne de la Tremoille of Nerola popularized this fragrance by generously using the perfume as a scent for her gloves. The oil is carefully distilled from the blossoms of the bitter orange tree, and exhibits a powerful, spicy scent, which blends nicely with citrus and floral oils. It is both sensual and uplifting.
- Tuberose: Originally from Mexico, tuberose was deemed sacred by the Mayan peoples. Its waxy, fragrant flowers are very rich and long lasting and the scent is known for its rejuvenating, warming and aphrodisiac effect.
- Geranium:Another popular floral scent in many mixes, this oil has a rosy scent with subtle minty undertones. It’s a scent that is often used to help sooth and balance the senses.
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Ed: Kate Bartolotta