Ahhhh the sweet smell of summer! For me its: lemons; roses; sea spray; and frangipane. Tropical and citrusy, with a hint of England!
I love summer. Don’t get me wrong, the other seasons can be equally lovely. But summer is special. Regardless of where you live, summer is brighter, lighter and warmer. And everyone is just a little bit happier! It’s March, and officially autumn in South Africa (although its still hot and dry here in Joburg). Before winter hits and the weather changes, I am looking for ways to keep this summer feeling alive. Rather than emigrate (a bit too costly and not very practical!), I have decided to create a summer smell library. A little selection of lotions and potions using essential oils, to stimulate my memories of summer.
Essential oils are used in most beauty products and usually distilled from the various parts of plants: leaves; flowers; fruits; seeds; and woods. They are fragrant and super potent, offering endless benefits for both the skin and hair, depending on which oil you choose: antibacterial; ultra-moisturising; anti-ageing. But essential oils are also used for holistic wellbeing. They have the ability to stimulate the mind and cleanse from the inside out. Their therapeutic molecules trigger emotions and mental responses from the brain and physical reactions within the body. A simple smell can transport us back to different times.
I for one, am planning to include summer scents in my daily routine, to lift my mood whenever life gets the better of me. And if nothing else, the smell will remind me of lighter, brighter and warmer days! Here are some quick and easy ways to get your summer fix.
There is nothing more refreshing or cooling on a hot, hazy summer day than a lemon rush … a cooling glass of homemade lemonade, a zingy lemon tart, a fresh squeeze of lemon over your favourite salad, a palate cleansing lemon sorbet.
This refreshing and citrusy body oil, packed with lemon, lemon peel and lemongrass, will send you back to those long, lazy summer days. Apply this in the morning for an energetic start: the pure lemon essential oil revitalises and awakens. Use it when your work load is heavy and you need to be productive, efficient and relaxed.
Roses scream summertime gardens: lush green gardens, roses in full bloom and the air filled with sweet scent.
To take you back to wandering dreamily through a beautiful rose garden, try this rose infused body oil. It will replenish the skin, lock in moisture and give your skin a healthy, youthful glow.
Rose is a subtle fragrance, but it packs quite a punch. It is perfect to help relieve anxiety, depression and emotional unbalance. If you’re feeling a little glum then rose is probably the one for you. Use it to brighten your mood, whenever you need it.
Available online from the REN SA online store or at selected Woolworths and Foschini stores nationwide.
Jo Malone Wood Sage & Sea Salt Cologne (from R740)
A little spritz of this beautiful and lively perfume from Jo Malone and you will be transported back to summer holidays on the beach.
I fully accept that sea spray is not an essential oil, but it is evocative of summer holidays and the beach. Sea air is a mood booster because it helps balance levels of seratonin, the feelgood hormone, making us less prone to anxiety. And frankly anything that helps me escape to a windswept shore, where waves break white and the air is fresh with sea spray, is a winner!
Available at selected Jo Malone stores in Johannesburg and Cape Town.
Africology Frangipani Body Balm (R247.50)
Frangipani, a gentle, rich and exotic scent reminds me of beautiful, tropical islands like Tahiti or Hawaii. Escape to a tropical island mid-winter with this versatile body balm. Use daily to keep skin hydrated and supple, use as a massage oil, or melt some in the bath or aromatherapy burner.
The inhalation of the scent promotes deep internal cleansing which refreshes the soul, body and mind. And aside from its relaxing and de-stressing effects, frangipani is also known to create a calming, spiritual and soothing atmosphere. Use this when things are getting a little too much and you need to rebalance.
Available from the Africology online store or at selected spa’s nationwide.
What are your favourite summer smells? Fresh cut grass? Food cooking on a braai? Rain at the end of a hot day? Share them in the comments section.