Think of how magical you imagine the French countryside to be in the peak of summer…now triple it.
Provence in the summertime is a truly magnificent place. The warm breezes are naturally perfumed with fragrant true (also known as fine) lavender, earthy helichrysum, and sweet sage. But the scent that reminds me most of Provence is that of bitter orange.
While in Provence, I spent time studying natural fragrances at the Grasse Institute of Perfumery.
It was during this course that I feel even deeper in love with the bitter orange tree. Bitter orange groves are more commonly found in Italy, but I spent so much time smelling and formulating fragrances with Neroli, the essential oil derived from the fragrant bitter orange blossoms that this scent will always be connected to that place in time.
This bath salts recipe is based on a mixture I made while attending the “Grasse Institute of Perfumery: Scents of Provence” class just a month ago.
Since returning back to the states, I’ve recreated a few batches and immediately the recipe brings me right back to warm evenings in the French countryside; opening the windows and letting the sweet, perfumed air lull me to sleep.
Even if you don’t have a bathtub, you can still get benefits by using these salts in a simple foot bath.
This type of recipe is virtually foolproof (read: perfect for the type of person who doesn’t like to measure!). You can also use whatever type of salt you prefer.
My only advice would be to avoid adding more than 15 drops of essential oil per one cup of salt mixture. Other than that, you can experiment to your heart’s content!
In general, aromatherapy full-body baths are used to:
- Reduce stress/anxiety
- Alleviate muscular aches, pains, and tension
- Soothe mental or physical fatigue
- Stimulate circulation
- Enhance lymph circulation
- Reduce pain and stiffness
- Increase local circulation
- Improve the tone and health of skin
- Aid detoxification
For more info, see our post on The Science of Aromatherapy.
So pretty much you have nothing to lose and everything to gain by mixing up your own version of this deliciously fragrant recipe and having these bath salts on hand for a relaxing summer soak.
At a glance:
Intermediate: ingredients can be found at specialty stores or online
Great to destress and relax after a long day
Around a year
LEVEL UP BOTANERI TIP:
Add 2 tbsp of raw honey, 8 ounces (1 cup) of a hydrosol/flower water, or 8 ounces (1 cup) apple cider vinegar to your bath for some additional detoxifying benefits.
Japanese "Forest Bathing" Bath Soak
One highly effective (and ancient) method of stress reduction that has been getting a lot of attention recently is the Japanese ritual of “forest bathing”. Also called “Shinrin-yoku” (from the Japanese shinrin= “forest”, yoku=”bath”), this practice is named for seeking out a natural environment and taking it in with all our senses.
Don’t you feel calmer already just *picturing* sitting in or walking through a peaceful, natural setting? Connecting to nature is one of the most effective ways to immediately reduce stress by bridging the gap between our hurried, technology-filled modern lives and our most natural, human state.
- 1/2 cup epsom salts
- 1/4 cup sea salts
- 1/4 cup baking soda
Essential oil blend
- 6 drops Mandarin essential oil
- 3 drops Eucalyptus essential oil
- 3 drops Cedarwood essential oil
In a bowl or beaker, add salts and baking soda. Mix well.
Add essential oils.
Pour into a container to save for later or directly into the bathtub or foot bath to melt the stress of the day away.
Bring a wireless speaker or put your phone in a cup to amplify the sound into the bathroom. You can find a track of forest sounds, or you can click the link below for a great Spotify playlist called “Japanese Meditation”.
Did you try this relaxing Japanese Forest bathing soak? Did you do anything extra to enhance the experience? Tell us in the comments!
About the author
I’m Drew, creator of Botaneri and an artisanal skincare formulator and certified aromatherapist who is here to help take the mystery out of DIY natural beauty. I started creating my own plant-based skin and body care products at home to deal with my own skin issues.
What I love most is helping people create luxurious and effective self-care products right in their own kitchens. It’s a lot easier than you think. Trust me, if I can do it, so can you.