Spa & Hot Tub Aromatherapy Guide
By the end of a day, my olfactory senses are dulled by offices and highways, but a dip in the hot tub always restores.
Did you know that you can distinguish over 10,000 scents? Certain aromas or scents have a very real physiological effect on humans. They can soothe, energize and produce a sense of well being. Certain scents are also known to give a sensual or euphoric feeling, especially to those already relaxing in a hot tub.
I've been using spa scents for as long as I remember, but recently I was given a box full of spa scent samples - to test out for you, my dear reader! I have to admit that I haven't had time to try them all - after all we have over 60 different spa crystals, beads and elixirs. I grouped them into 'scent categories', to simplify the testing of the different spa scents.
What resulted was a list of my favorite hot tub scents - used to create different moods in your spa or hot tub, sometimes serene, sometimes sensual.
Lavender has been used for thousands of years, since Romans added it to their bath houses. It's a known antiseptic, useful in treating mild infections, especially candida, but is mainly used to bring calming to the mind. Inhaling the aroma of lavender can help with sleep problems, depression and worry. As a circulatory stimulant, it brings relief for muscle pain, cramping, migraines and other head and body pain. Lavender is also good for your skin. It helps skin cells to regenerate, and is used to treat scarring or stretch marks, and can also be used with rashes, sunburns or skin infections.
I'm told it's one of our best selling scents. It's one that people know, commonly used in soaps, pillows or sachets. I like the Lavender Spa Crystals. They come in a large, 2 lb. box with a scoop, and is so fragrant I began to relax before even opening the box. I sprinkled in the spa scent crystals, watching them sink slowly, while they immediately release the soothing scent, along with natural plant moisturizers, into the water.
Another Lavender spa scent that tested well with me was the Lavender Palmarosa Escape Elixir. As opposed to the spa crystals, Elixirs are a thick and shiny liquid, in beautiful colors, that is poured into the water. Lavender is mixed with botanical oils, and in this case, Palmarosa, which is a type of Lemon Grass. Lemon is another scent that rejuvenates, and I really liked the experience more than just the lavender alone. The Lavender Palmarosa Escape Elixir is a thick liquid, but if you prefer spa crystals to liquid - the same scent by SpaZazz is also made in crystal form, as the Escape Crystals - Lavender Palmarosa.
Jasmine is a rich and warm floral fragrance, seductive and sensual. It has an ancient reputation as an aphrodisiac, and I can see why! Jasmine is sweetly exotic, and is also called 'Mistress of the Night' or 'Moonlight of the Grove', because the seductive scent is at its strongest in the middle of the night. When you add Jasmine to a hot tub, you may be calling for your lover to join you! Jasmine is sweet, soft and very sexy.
Jasmine is considered a mild sedative, and it certainly also helped me to relax, and really enjoy the spa session. It helps with anxiety, depression or a general blah feeling. It relaxes the central nervous system. Jasmine is also used in some countries as an aid to skin healing, by adding a few drops of Jasmine essence to a mineral or vegetable oil.
The samples of Jasmine that I had included the Jasmine Spa Crystals, and the White Musk Vanilla Jasmine Escape Crystals, with the word "Soothe" on the label. The Jasmine Spa Crystals were more fruity and floral, and the Escape Crystals were also sweet, but less so - toned down by the Vanilla and Musk aromas.
I used these scents on consecutive nights, so I could best compare. Both Jasmine crystals were soothing and sensual, and when I closed my eyes, I could easily imagine that I was in the south pacific, on a floating island. The Musk Vanilla Jasmine blend was definitely the sexier of the two, as you may have guessed.
Mint is one of the most widely used aromatic herbs, used in everything from food and drinks to lip balm. In 1879, the British Journal of Medicine noted that the vapors of menthol gave relief to headaches and nerve pain. It improves alertness and helps one to concentrate, and could be perfect after a long day, to prepare for a long evening. Peppermint increases blood flow, reduces itching and is helpful with arthritic cramps or muscle pain. And, it's good for your skin, stimulating natural skin oil production.
Mint grows wild throughout North America, Europe and Australia. It's an abundant perennial in some areas, like my backyard! For this test, I picked a small basket of leaves and laid them in the spa water, to give peppermint aromatherapy a more authentic feel.
Added to the leaves on my peppermint trial, I used the SpaZazz Eucalyptus Mint Elixir, also available in crystal form. The packet was labeled "stimulate", so I was prepared and ready for stimulation. It was a calm stimulation - I felt my breathing open up, like when Mom would rub Vicks on my chest. After 15 minutes, I noticed that my skin did feel stimulated, almost to the point of goosebumps. This fresh feeling lasted for hours, as did the energy boost - which may have come from deeper breathing in the hot tub.
Eucalyptus leaves have long been used in early cultures, for relief from aches and pains, and for treatment of altitude sickness. Early Incas, in the highlands of Peru would bathe in natural hot springs, filled with eucalyptus leaves. Similar to peppermint, Eucalyptus has an element of camphor, and can be used to treat sore throats, sinus problems, flu and fever.
The Eucalyptus tree is fast growing, to heights of 80 foot or more. Popular in sub-tropical regions (like California), you can often find wild eucalyptus trees that you can harvest for your spa aromatherapy sessions. In fact, I did just that - a neighbor down the street has large Eucalyptus trees lining their driveway. I'm sure she wouldn't mind, so I trimmed a few stems.
Added the Eucalyptus directly to the hot tub and then sprinkled in a scoop of my 2 pound "sample" of Eucalyptus Spa Crystals. Energizing and pungent, my soak in eucalyptus oils, with the mist surrounding me, was the most stimulating of all the spa scents that I tried. It also completely removed a headache that I had brought home with me. Like the peppermint aromatherapy, my soak in eucalyptus also made my skin dance a bit, and allowed my sinuses to open up for some deep breathing in the spa.
In summary, if you are looking to increase your spa relaxation, try a Lavender spa scent. For a romantic evening, go with a Jasmine fragrance. For a rejuvenating and energizing aromatherapy spa session, use Mint or Eucalyptus.