Do orange scents remind you of carefree, summer days? Does the smell of lime take you back to your last beach vacation? Even if you answered “no” to both questions, it’s likely you have certain scents that evoke memories and transport you to sunny summer moments.
It’s no secret that smells can elicit significant emotional responses. On an anatomical level, our sense of smell “is part of the brain's limbic system, an area so closely associated with memory and feeling it's sometimes called the "emotional brain" (Dowdey). In other words, our sense of smell is so strong that it can cause us to recall seemingly long-forgotten memories and emotions.
Now that we’ve discussed the powerful connection between smell and memory, let’s dive into the ultimate summer scents. Read on to learn about the uses and benefits of lemon, lime and orange essential oils.
Few things taste better than a cold glass of lemonade on a hot summer’s day. Its refreshing, fresh taste and scent are positively invigorating. But lemons aren’t only limited to beverages. For centuries, lemons have been used to heal and restore.
The Romans and Greeks of the Middle Ages applied lemon’s healing properties, and the fruit was also used by the British in the 18th century to treat the effects of scurvy. Today, lemon essential oil is used to clean, uplift and inspire.
- Add several drops to a natural cleaning solution to boost grease and grime-fighting power.
- Diffuse to create an inviting environment.
- Apply topically in a 2-5% dilution and breathe deeply to restore balance.
From its bright color to its fresh, tropical scent, everything about limes is reminiscent of summer. This refreshing oil is great for cleansing and can be used as an astringent for the skin and a clarifier for the hair. One whiff of its cheerful smell will have you dreaming of breezy days spent in the sun.
- Mix 1 cup of water, ¼ cup of witch hazel and 15 drops of lime essential oil. Spritz throughout your home to encourage a happy atmosphere.
- Add three drops to your shampoo to clarify hair.
- Put three drops of lime essential oil on a cotton ball and use to blot excess oil on the face.
Orange is a well-known, universally uplifting scent. It is the most popular fruit tree in the world and can be found all over the globe. Orange trees thrive in warm temperatures, but you don’t have to reside somewhere subtropical to bask in their sweet, summery scent. Just as there are a vast amount of fruit trees, there are also many uses for orange essential oil that are great to use in summer and beyond!
- Apply to the abdomen to ease swelling caused by indigestion.
- Rub into hands and breathe deeply to boost mood.
- Put 3 drops of orange essential oil down your sink disposal each week to prevent unpleasant odors.
- Diffuse in the evenings to ease anxiety and prepare for sleep.
- Add 5 drops to cotton balls and place them near the entrances of your home to repel insects.
All citrus oils are phototoxic, which means they increase sensitivity to the sun. Avoid direct sunlight for 16-24 hours following topical application to lessen chances of sun damage and to keep your summer memories sunburn-free!