Making aromatherapy products with children

Finding new activities to keep younger children and teenagers entertained can be difficult at the best of times, and possibly more so during these unprecedented times of lock down.  This blog looks at some very simple ways you can supervise younger children to make bubble bath and/or hair products and teenagers to make their own perfume.  Apart from being a lovely way for families to spend time together it also helps develop numeracy and literacy, team-work and problem-solving skills, all of which may be linked to the home-schooling responsibilities.

Safety first

Although it’s fun and easy to whip up your own aromatherapy products for home use or to gift to friends and family, it’s imperative that these are formulated safely. Essential oils are very powerful substances and need to be handled with care. They need to be diluted correctly in a suitable base product and you need to check the safety advice and contraindications for each oil before incorporating it into your blend. Please see the link at the end of this article for more detailed safety advice.

Legal stuff

For home use, the individual takes personal responsibility for these products and anyone can make products under Common Law.  Any products made for sale must however comply with EU cosmetic regulations.

Basic equipment/ingredients

To get started you will need some basic bits and pieces, all of which are shown below and can be easily obtained online.

  • A selection of essential oils. We have listed some recommendations below.
  • Base Shampoo. Try our professionally formulated SLS Free Shampoo to cleanse the hair and restore shine and manageability. Its mild and gentle formula produces a rich lather that rinses clean to leave healthy looking hair.
  • Base Hair Conditioner. A conditioning base to nourish, detangle and restore hair condition.
  • Base Bubble Bath. Our SLS Free Bath & Shower Gel is ideal for creating your own bespoke shower gels and/or bubble baths
  • Vodka (for the perfume - as high a proof as possible)
  • Spring water
  • Sterilised glass bottles, caps/atomiser and labels
  • Measuring jug

Aromatherapy toiletries for younger children

You can make a wide range of bath and body products by combining our fragrance free cosmetic bases with your favourite essential oils. Here are a few simple ideas to try that are ideally suited to younger children.

Clean Hair Shampoo

Mix 10 drops of Tea Tree essential oil into 60ml of SLS Free Shampoo and pour into a bottle.  Instructions to write on label: Massage a small amount of product into wet hair, then rinse thoroughly.  Avoid contact with the eyes. In case of contact, wash thoroughly with plenty of water.

Shiny Hair Conditioner

Mix 10 drops of Roman Chamomile essential oil into 60ml of base conditioner and pour into a bottle.  Instructions to write on label: After using Clean Hair Shampoo, massage a generous amount of conditioner into hair and scalp.  Rinse thoroughly. Avoid contact with the eyes. In case of contact, wash thoroughly with plenty of water.

Bubbly Bubble Bath

Mix 10 drops of Mandarin essential oil into 60ml of SLS Free Bath & Shower Gel and pour into a bottle. Instructions to write on label: Put a capful of bubble bath under running water and agitate the water. Avoid contact with the eyes. In case of contact, wash thoroughly with plenty of water.

Mandarin is a children's favourite. It's cheery, uplifting and soothing and can help settle tummy troubles and aid sleep.

You can obviously choose to use different essential oils in your blends as long as they are safe to use with children. Our previous article offers more detailed guidance on oils that are safe for different age ranges.

Perfume making for teenagers

According to a report by Mintel, British teens are a little shower-shy, and are more likely to use a perfume than they are a bodywash or shower gel! Smell is a key motivator for eight out of ten teens when choosing their products, and nine out ten prefer to choose their own scents, rather than allowing their parent to choose for them! So, with teens showing a particular interest in this area – why not get them making their own perfumes?

The most exclusive and expensive perfumes can be made up of more than a hundred compounds and some can take up to two years to develop.  The actual ingredients in a bottle of shop-bought perfume make up about 10% of the retail price – the rest comprises packaging, advertising, profit and tax.  Making your own perfume therefore not only saves you money but also ensures your product is made up of pure, health supporting essential oils, as opposed to a mixture of natural and chemical components that tend to be found in commercial products.  

Perfumes change with people and with time, reacting differently with different skin types.  Perfumes also evaporate and as they do so the aroma changes.  The fact that essences with different rates of evaporation - top, middle and base notes, are incorporated into a single perfume accounts for the fact that it will smell differently upon your skin when first placed there to how it may smell shortly afterwards and at the end of the day. It is the well-balanced blending of top, middle and base notes that makes a good perfume. 

  • Top notes are light and fresh and are the ones that we smell first. They are also the most volatile and tend to disappear quite quickly.
  • Middle notes are the next to appear and make up the heart of the scent. Some will linger for quite a while.
  • Base notes are heavy, rich and long-lasting. They are called ‘fixatives’ as they will literally ‘fix/hold’ a perfume together and help prevent the lighter notes from disappearing too quickly.

Examples of popular essential oils for perfumery and their fragrance notes:

Top notesMiddle notesBase notes
Clary SageLavenderCedarwood
LemonNeroliJasmine Absolute
Sweet Orange


Ylang Ylang

How to make your own natural Eau de Cologne

  • Start with a general idea of what you want – is it something spicy, citrus or floral?
  • In a bottle combine 50 drops of essential oils with 70ml of alcohol (vodka – the higher the proof the better). Pop on the cap and swirl slowly but for long enough to ensure the oils have dispersed.
  • Leave to stand for forty-eight hours and then add 30ml spring water. Swirl again slowly to ensure a thorough mixing is taking place.
  • The mixture should be left to stand now for at least another forty-eight hours (the fragrance will be much stronger if the liquid is left for a further four to six weeks).
  • Pour the liquid through a paper coffee filter and pour back into a sterilized bottle.
  • If you find the aroma too strong, the eau de cologne can be further diluted by adding more spring water and mixing well.

Here are a couple of suggested blends to try. Please note these are not suitable for use with younger children.

Summer blend

  • 15 drops Lemon
  • 28 drops Geranium
  • 7 drops Jasmine Absolute

Sport blend

  • 15 drops of Lemongrass
  • 28 drops of Lavender
  • 7 drops of Patchouli 

We hope the above has given you a few ideas of how you can get creative with your kids during lock down, making products that can support their health and wellbeing, while keeping them busy for an hour or two. If you’d like more ideas on aromatherapy products to make at home, or more information on aromatherapy to enhance their learning check out the following articles:

Aromatherapy for beginners

Make your own aromatherapy bath bombs

Create your own herbal bath oils

Christine Fisk
Consultant Aromatherapist

Disclaimer & Safety Advice

Read other articles by Christine Fisk

Write a comment

Please login or register to comment